Thursday, September 30, 2010

In The Window

Scenes in a window display, vignettes of a then modern baby nursery in the late 1920s. Whether the air of the macabre was intentional or not is anyone's guess.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Great Depression In Color

A farm auction in Derby, Connecticut in September, 1940 drew people from all walks of life. Photographed 70 years ago by Jack Delano for the Farm Services Administration, documenting country life during the Great Depression.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Imposter

Our yard is a crossroads of sorts, with various neighborhood cats using it as a shortcut to their hunting grounds in the field next door. One such feline is the Imposter, so named because on a moonlit night, he looks ever so much like Thomas, our most favored visitor. The Imposter has never warmed up to us and growls and moans at our approach. We've tried to be friends, but he's not having it.

Until recently... Most of the cats stop by the patio to partake of several clumps of catnip. Usually the sound of the patio door opening is enough to send the Imposter running. It must have been the warm autumn evening combined with catnip induced lethargy. He stuck around long enough to eat a pinch of nip and pose for a picture.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

On The Edge Of Town

Driving home from errands, it was too beautiful out not to pull over and spend a few minutes down along the shore.

Our beaches are almost deserted now that schools are back in session and tourists have gone home.

Standing on the jetty, above the water, gives an even better view of the myriad of liquid colors. Looking south, the point is where our town begins.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

American Old West Saloons - #7 In a Series

On West Alameda Street in Denver, Colorado in 1910, you could load up on homemade chili and beer was a nickel.

Photo courtesy of the Denver Public Library.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Autumn Plumeria

The plumeria are blooming late this year, but they're making up for it with abundant blossoms.

Known as frangipani in Hawaii, its fragrance is one of the sweetest. If your weather is mild enough, you can grow this tree easily. All you have to do is break off a branch, stick it in the soil and give it regular water and either a southern or westerly exposure.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Along The Coast

Just north of us, the Coast Highway runs right along the ocean. At this time of year, we're a good five months past any decent rainfall, so the native coastal plants are brown and crisp. We parked on the bluffs above the water recently, with hamburgers and french fries.

There were a few brave souls with bogey boards, but not many, as the water is back in the 50s and the summer tourist season is over.

It didn't take long for this little fellow to smell the french fries.

He seemed to weigh his options - either hold his ground and pose for pictures or surrender his bounty to the crows. He opted for the fries.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Great Depression In Color

This Brockton, Massachusetts family gathered outside their tenement building in December, 1940 to pose for Jack Delano, a photographer for the Farm Services Administration. The Works Progress Administration had hired scores of photographers to document life across the United States during the Great Depression.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The West In 1866

In 1866, in Virginia City, Nevada, a crowd had gathered in front of the Wells, Fargo Express Office as the stagecoach was loaded with goods and passengers, ready to depart.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Last Days Of Summer

The ginkgo tree in the backyard marks the last few days of summer as it transitions into a new season.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

American Old West Saloons - #6 In a Series

No clue where this saloon was located. This picture caught my interest because of the unusual paddle fans suspended from the ceiling and drying cloths hanging on the bar for the patrons. Probably circa 1910.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Same Window, Next Night

The setting sun seemed to radiate ripples of clouds across the sky.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Out The Kitchen Window

Another quiet summer day ends with a beautiful sky.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Great Depression In Color

In a scene reminiscent of a Winslow Homer painting, children gathered shoreside in Stonington, Connecticut in November, 1940. At that point, the Great Depression had ground on for 10 long years. The photograph is from the Library of Congress and made by Jack Delano for the Farm Services Administration.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cardiff Kook Redux

Since our town's long suffering public art installation was surrounded by a large papier mache shark, it has received national coverage in the Wall Street Journal. The pranks continue and as you can see, above, the statue makes a perfect Zorro. On guard!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

American Old West Saloons - #5 In a Series

Here's an 1897 interior shot of the Toll Gate Saloon in Black Hawk, Colorado. Notice the large cast iron stove in the left foreground. This building stood until it was razed in 1958.

Photo is courtesy of the Denver Public Library.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yesterday On The Beach

Yesterday the weatherman called for gray skies and possible drizzle but he couldn't have been more wrong. It was clear and warm, a glorious morning with more shades of blue than there are words to describe.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Where You Are

If you have a blog and you've never checked out the analytics feature, you may want to give it a look. It shows where your readers are, what they've read (or given a glance), how long they stayed and how they got to your blog. A great many of my readers come via the blogs of a poetess/farmer's wife in the English countryside, a long distance bike riding school teacher in Canada, a novelist in New Zealand, an antiques dealer in Iowa and a furniture builder/philosopher/father in Maine.

Welcome to new visitors from Bulgaria, Greece, Chile, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Columbia, Senegal, Oman, Slovenia, Croatia, Ecuador, Iceland, Dominica, Uruguay and Lithuania. Thanks for stopping by.

The picture of the Bahamas is courtesy of NASA.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Great Depression In Color

Old beyond their years, Faro and Doris Caudill were homesteaders in Pie Town, New Mexico in October, 1940, when this color photograph was made by Russell Lee for the Farm Services Administration. Pie Town was inhabited by farmers driven out of Oklahoma and Texas by the Dust Bowl and desperate times of the Great Depression. Below, they gathered with their children for the evening meal.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Summer Skies

The sun is setting noticeably to the south now that another summer is drawing to a close.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Saga Continues

The ongoing yard transformation is moving forward by leaps and bounds. Uprooted 20 foot queen palm trees are being cut down to (moveable) size with determination and a Sawzall.

Another section of stone wall around the raised flower bed is nearing completion.

As the old lawn is dug up, all the soil is being put through a double layer screen to filter out roots and break clods into fine soil.

Below, a mound of perfect, reclaimed top soil, ready to be raked out.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

American Old West Saloons - #4 In a Series

Lansing, Michigan has never been considered the Old West, but this picture was too good to exclude. The year was 1900 and the women's temperance leagues were getting more and more active. This saloon employed a curtain, visible rolled up just below the ceiling, that could be dropped when it became necessary to shield the drinkers from the overly judgemental.

The photograph is courtesy of the Archives of Michigan.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Country Honk

My best friend Susan joined me for a walk in the neighborhood earlier this week. With most local schools back in session, the streets have quieted down and cars were few and far between. The majority of noise came from these three geese, who sent up a cacophony of sound the minute we rounded their corner.

Less conspicuous was a lone dandelion, which had found enough soil along the concrete curb to take root, blossom and go to seed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

An Oasis In The Making

My favorite neighbors (my daughter and Kevin) have been hard at work transforming their yard into an outdoor room. They've been working for over a month now, relocating palm trees, building a wall for raised flower beds, getting ready to lay a flagstone patio and creating two different levels for the lawn.

The flat area in front of the wall will be the patio.

This plan involved removing three 20 foot tall queen palm trees - not easy. The pictures above and below show the palm trees' stumps and root balls they dug up.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Great Depression In Color

Two more photographs from Jack Delano for the Farm Services Administration, made in June, 1941, outside White Plains in Greene County, Georgia. Above, tending to the cotton fields was a hot and dusty job. While below, a trip into town on a Saturday afternoon was one of the highlights of the week.