Why This Bird?

flamingo-coldI’ve seen this flamingo more than once here in mid-Virginia, where you really never see any real ones, and it makes me wonder. Why a flamingo? It’s probably like those things you see on license plates (especially here in Virginia, where the privilege is cheap): sometimes obvious, but often so intensely personal, there’s no deciphering it, let alone figuring out why.

florida-whimsey-one-2012 - Copy

Here’s another version of a bird, this one really is from Florida (a store front in Del Rey), and also false, of course.

I’m not arguing against this sort of thing. Doesn’t it make the world more interesting? florida-whimsey-two-2012

Well, yes, real birds are more interesting still. But require more upkeep…



Patio Figures

patio-pals-summer-14In the apartment complex where I live, the patios are at the front, like little front porches, which makes them a not very satisfactory place for practicing one’s tai-chi (unless one were very good, I suppose), but they do provide lots to look at.

turtle-and-potAnd the beauty of it is, people are always moving in and out, so the subjects are often changing.

IMG_0331_edited-1The artificial geese below, for example, have departed.fake-geeseAs have these angels.

welcome-angels-twoBut this icon, also departed, has long been a favorite. I don’t know what it means, or means to depicct. I imagine it to have religious significance.

patio-icon-japanese-looking - Copyor I hope so. Here’s one of mine, though he doesn’t live outdoors (he’s made of papier mache). It’s Hanuman, a god with a lovely reputation, which is more than you can say about most gods. I would put him on the patio if he could take the weather.

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The Pond of Summer

the-pond--high-summerI call it a  pond, but technically, it’s a “stormwater reclamation project.” It sits adjacent to several fairly high density (for the suburbs) living areas, including the apartment complex where I live. For those of us who live nearby, it’s a blessing of many kinds. I like to take its picture.


And then there’s the geese

geese-in-glassy-water-twoFor a while there, this spring, it seemed like the pond was a goner. They, the ubiquitous they, came in, put up a chain-link fence and proceeded to dig.

earth-moving-equipment-throNobody knew what they had in mind, but it didn’t look promising. Day after day, big trucks came in and out, carrying away dirt and stones. Pretty soon, it began to look like a field

the-pond-is-gone and we began to wonder whether we should be resigning ourselves to another development going up or something equally non-aquatic. Then, Saturday, as I was driving up that road I noticed the chain-link fence was gone. I pulled over immediately, parked at the side, and ran to look. The pond was back.


Of course it looks a little ragged right now

pond-with-grass-summer-14 - Copy - Copy but no complaints. Long live the pond!





This angel appeared on a neighbor’s patio one day. I admired her (I’m pretty sure it’s a female angel) and hastened to take pictures of her. Then one day, I came across her standing a little to one side  instead of at the side of the front door, as she had been.


The next time I went by, she was gone. I have no idea where. It’s curious how these apparitions come and go. Just because I don’t imagine them myself, doesn’t mean I don’t think they exist. Hey, my camera thinks they exist.



These are angels too, I think, though it’s less clear. In Victorian literature they would certainly have been called so. They are still in residence in the neighborhood. At least they were yesterday. You never know.



This cherubim lives in a friend’s garden. He (pretty sure it’s a he) seems to me lonely. Or maybe he’s just feeling sympathy for the world. Or maybe he’s just been rained on once too often.

A Dog’s Life



It’s not dog days yet (which really has no relevance to dogs) so I don’t have a fully ostensible reason for posting these dog pictures. This one is named Wink and I took this picture of him relaxing at home. Wink relaxes a lot.


This dog, whose name I don’t know, perhaps doesn’t relax as much. I took this picture of him doing his job on the downtown mall.



These, also un-identified dogs are maybe relaxing, but I suspect they are paying attention.



This dog is being patient.

angry dog

And this one is not.

Virginia Wrestling



There’s something I’ve always liked about this poster, which I photographed in the summer of 2011 (which I know, because it says so in the picture). Of course there’s always much to  like in sight of muscular young man looking enthusiastic, but it’s more than that. It’s partly because they are so clearly playing up. And then, it’s partly because Virginia wrestling is what we’re all doing here in Virginia, eh? I don’t mean, necessarily more than one would be doing anywhere else (New York wrestling, anyone?) but particular to its own particularities. One is always wrestling with something…

The Geese of Summer



It’s high summer here in Charlottesville and time for geese. Anywhere there’s a decent body of water, Canada geese abound. Babies and all. Is this something about picking rosebuds? Maybe everything is about picking rosebuds. Geese are a nice example of nature taking its way. The crowds of geese get pretty full.  Some people love to see them. Some people hate it — ugh, goose poop. Oh well.



Where We All Came From?

Speaking of gatheringjuliet-garden-for-net rosebuds, there’s nothing like a garden. The one is the picture here is not my garden (I lack the talent), but I get to visit it a lot. It doesn’t have actual roses in it currently, but there’s plenty of life to be gathered, if only with the eye.

The thing about gardens is they are at one and the same time, nature encouraged and nature controlled. Some people let their gardens get more out of control than others. But what a sad site — to see a garden left to run completely out of control. Nature continues to thrive, but it’s not the samples we desire. It’s weeds. Well, we call them weeds. Some gardens can be very small, maybe a single kind of roses-on-the-wallflower. Yeah, roses here.Some, in their insistence on thriving, show what human endeavor can be. It also helps, as the young woman who planted this last garden toldnext-door me, to have a boy friend to construct the planters.