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Thursday, September 29, 2011

STRING




String Theory, by Dave Morrison

Thousands of lives are being
spent trying to construct an
Explanation of Everything, six
extra dimensions, parallel universes,
the whole overloaded wagon held
together with tiny bits of string.


String?

Why not tiny jacks, or tiny crescent
wrenches or tiny dandelions, or tiny
charm bracelets, or tiny umbrellas, or
tiny teacups, or tiny disco balls, or
tiny rubber bands, paper clips?
Our Universe is as it is because of
tiny hoops of twine? This
is what you get from too much
coffee and a 'what if'-


When my friends and I considered
such possibilities behind the
cafeteria with a nickel bag of
lame weed, it did not occur
to us that we were budding physicists;
we were burnouts
trying to get comfortable with
mystery.



Text Credits:
New Scientist Blog and Scriblerus 2008



Monday, September 26, 2011

SMALL TOWN BACKYARD

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Recently, I noticed this quaint backyard in a small town in Madison County.  Looking old, yet a bit lonely, with its  mature apple tree and a vintage two-car wooden garage, it enticed me to stop and snap a few pictures. Scattered on the ground, dropped from its mature tree, were lots of apples that I could tell had not been sprayed this year.



The gnarled apple tree had lots of bare branches that looked like old grey bones.


Sitting together, the apple tree and garage, reminded me of how backyards looked before plastic swimming pools, large garages, patios, decks, and all other types of outdoor paraphernalia came about.

I let my imagination kick in --  I could easily see my great-grandmother sitting under this tree peeling apples into a  large granite dishpan. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BUDDIES

SAL (SALLIE TOMATO) AND LIL (LILLY PAD)
Lil entered my life seven years ago as an adopted critter. She and I hit it off immediately -- she liked to travel in the truck as did I. We traveled to the southeast, Rockies, and states in between finally settling in Kentucky to live for the last four years. 

She died of natural causes yesterday aged thirteen years. 

She left me with great memories and lots of laughs.  

Her buddy was Sal my male golden -- he missed her today.


"LIL"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BEAUTY PUT OUT TO PASTURE


I have noticed these doors leaning outside against a building for quite some time. They are old yet their craftsmanship is excellent. Sometimes we put the best old objects out to pasture and treat poorly produced new objects as priceless.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

QUILT SQUARE ON NURSERY'S OLD BARN


Preparing for the seasonal closing of a nursery, that sells mostly from its outdoor plant area, can cause as much hustle and bustle as the start of spring season. Winding down at a nursery can involve lots of organizing while at the same time chaos. Much like when you are doing major cleaning around your house -- you begin fairly organized, move to chaos, then return to getting everything back in place. 

The beautiful vintage barn above, with a graphic tulip quilt square on its gable, stands above the disorganization of the fall scene at the nursery.  Tulips, a symbol of spring, reminding us that the cycle of life returns after the winter ahead. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

HISTORIC ALLEYWAY


Chaotic materials clash with use, time, and mother nature, assembling industrial beauty in this old alleyway in historic Lancaster, Kentucky.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

1899 PHOTO -- MAN AND HIS FRIEND



In the photograph above dated 1899, sits a man and his friend -- his arm on its back like they were best of friends. 


He brought it to a studio to have their picture taken together. Notice the sign (difficult to read)  that he placed on his friend.  I have a feeling that his "friend" was a squash or pumpkin that probably was a county fair winner and the man was so pleased about it that he took it to a professional photographer. 


And why do I assume that it was a professional  photographer? Because of the hand-painted backdrop  that is behind the man and his friend. Backdrops like these were popular in small studios during the late nineteenth -- early twentieth century.


The sign on the pumpkin or squash says that it is 122 pounds in the year 1899. I cannot make out the long name except that it starts with an "S."  It could be his name or perhaps an heirloom variety name.


I found this old photo in a box with many others about twenty years ago in an antique store in Williamston, Michigan. It was one of those large, about 8 X 10 cardboard's, with the photo pasted on the cardboard while leaving about an inch of cardboard border. Sometimes you find names on the backs of old pictures. This was not the case here. Its back was blank.


You might wonder why I call this very large pumpkin or squash this man's "friend"  Well, I just thought it was a bit strange to include a squash or pumpkin with the presumed owner in a photo taken professionally. Perhaps it was a cultural folkway in 1899 to do so?


It is difficult to understand folkways sometimes when time has passed, in this case one hundred and twelve years. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

SHAKER EYES

Window in the Shaker Farm Deacon building 1809


Window panes are like eyes to the world. As you gaze out a window you frame a space that becomes part of your thoughts. How many of you sit by a window looking outside all the while letting your thoughts roam while including the landscape seen outside. Perhaps something is seen that triggers your mind to stray to another place that contains emotional occurrences.

Windows
 Shaker Farm Deacon Building, 1809


Shakers did not mix freely with the outside world. They left their ties behind when they joined the sect.  Yet with all their discipline and vigor to remain true to the Shaker principles, I wonder if they didn't daydream as we do when we look through windows to the world beyond. If what we view is natural beauty we are more than likely to take a holiday from our busyness and  float on a stream of private thoughts.

Lots of windows
Shaker Centre Dwelling with herb garden
"where Shakers slept and ate"

My photos taken at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill -- an original Shaker site in Kentucky complete with original on site buildings. 


BOOK RESOURCE 

Shaker Communities of Kentucky: Pleasant Hill and South Union, The (KY) (Images of America) [Paperback]
James W. Hooper (Author), Larrie Curry (Foreword), Tommy Hines (Foreword



Sunday, September 11, 2011

LAST GARDEN BOUQUET OF SUMMER SUNFLOWERS




The vegetable garden  has now passed its glorious stage after all the cool and wet weather we have experienced here in central Kentucky. Now it limps along providing only sweet  butternut squash and tall golden cosmos. But that is enough and I thank the garden for what it has provided through drought and stormy weather.

The last of the mammoth sunflowers have come to rest in my brown crockery pitcher, a bit bedraggled. They sit near me while I’m at my computer, smiling and telling me its been a good summer. Yes, it has been, with my son here teaching me new tricks with my computer. He is leaving in October bicycling across a few states heading west – then meeting up with a good friend – where they will drive the rest of the way to probably Oregon – no sure destination – just west.


Go west young man – go west. --  as they used to say long ago.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

RETIRED SIGN



An old wooden sign with hand lettering sits in back of the volunteer fire department in Paint Lick, Kentucky. Once it hung on the front of the building. But now a new sign has taken its place -- announcing -- the Paint Lick/Cartersville Fire Department.


Change happens. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

WHICH CAME FIRST -- THE TOMATOES OR THE WHISKEY


Growing tomatoes in a narrow sliver of a bed that runs the length of  an old dirt alley way  can be quite a challenge. Especially when you have to lean the tomato plants up against an old multi-story  commercial building. Maybe the stress of it all called for a drink or two . . .  Or maybe the empty bottle sitting on the door ledge above the tomato bed was found while digging the bed? But whatever was going on the plants knew to grow tall and heavy with tomatoes. 


I wonder which appeared first -- the tomatoes or the whiskey bottle?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

COMMUNITY THREADS IN RICHMOND


I like to ride up and down side streets which run at right angles to old commercial districts and take photographs. One town where I like to ride the roads is Richmond, Kentucky -- finding a rich diverse stock of vintage residential architecture.

Here the housing stock is eclectic in its originality.  Streets bubble up with old residential homes. All shapes and sizes, some appear to have original exteriors while others have new vinyl siding and windows. No harm, vinyl can easily be removed if a person wants to restore. Overall, the residential landscape along the streets is more vintage in appearance than up-dated.

In the photos above and below are two homes I spotted close to each other on one of the streets. These homes had been up-dated with modern vinyl siding and newer doors but still had the old original archtectural trim decorating their porches. 

The porch's trim illuminates not only the home, but contributes to the historic ambiance of the neighborhood -- architectural pieces are the threads of a fabric that represents community

Fabric threads weave community.



Sunday, September 4, 2011

A COPPERHEAD COMES A CALLIN'


Follow-up author's note: Thanks to Lola -- she thought this snake was not a copperhead -- I tried to further ID it through online sources. My source of identifying this snake had been a neighbor that was a Kentucky native.  So now its true identity is up in the air. If you want to take a crack at letting me know who the real Mr. Snake is I would appreciate it. I found this great source if you want some help: http://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/venomous-look-a-likes/copperhead-look-a-likes/copperhead.asp

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Yesterday afternoon my son was outside with my two dogs when he noticed something strange moving on the front porch. Strange it was -- it was a copperhead! It had tangled itself in a web under my long sitting bench. The snake was wiggling trying to break free from the web.  



My son ran inside and grabbed the camera and got this close-up. Mind you he was not that close -- it is a cropped photo.


He took a small branch and hooked it in the web that was partly on the copperhead's neck and walked the snake, dangling from the web, out to the field where he let it go.  


Copperheads are extremely venemous but so far no one has died in Kentucky from their bite. But a bite will send you to the hospital for a long recovery. 

They are important to the ecology of your property, eating rodents, slugs and other pests.  Somehow knowing that does not alleviate my fears, but I believe in sparing their life. 

I just ask Mother Nature that they don't come a callin' at my front door anymore! Please stay out in the fields!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

IMMORTALITY



If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a tree or the ways of a vulture


that is immortality enough for me. 


And as much as anyone deserves.


~ ~ Edward Abbey