Sunday, January 31, 2010

Long And Winding Roads

A tall stack of old luggage caught my eye and my imagination the other day. Their stories could probably fill as many books as there are pieces.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Down By The Riverside

Our largest local river passes under the railroad trestle and disappears into shadows of the Coast Highway bridge just before it joins the Pacific Ocean.

For more shadow shots from around the world, you can visit Hey Harriet and our hostess, Tracy, in Australia.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yesterday Along The Seashore

After the storms we had last week and larger than normal waves, much of the sand along the beach has been swept away and reefs we haven't seen in 25 years are exposed. Walking at low tide yesterday, we came upon this stranded starfish, washed ashore and upside down. We moved it to a tide pool.

There were reefs in both directions, sandbars, cobblestones and clusters of sea shells.

The tides are extreme this time of the year, especially when the moon is coming full.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Out And About

Out and about on business earlier this month, we found ourselves in the company of metallic mannequins. The one above was especially intriguing, as the skirt was made entirely of folded newspapers.

Lady Liberty was fetching in gold.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Another Hand Me Down

When my great Aunt Dorothy passed away in Beloit, the relatives there picked things to be passed down to the relatives out West. They chose a collection of Indian arrowheads for my sister and this Civil war era family crazy quilt for me.

The quilt is hand pieced with scraps of velvets and satins, joined with embroidery. My favorite section is this embroidered bird in the star.

It's easy to date this quilt to the Civil War era, as this piece of hand work shows two people dancing in celebration of the end of slavery and says "Goodbye Dixie".

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Lure Of The Great West

This hand colored lithograph was made by Gaylord Watson in 1881, showing an idealized view of life in the West. Probably created to encourage immigration from the Midwest and East, the artist shows an idyllic life, with grazing cattle and sheep and people engaged in hunting, surveying and mining, served by railroads and riverboats. Panoramic vistas are framed by bountiful crops. The overall image was one many could not resist.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Everything's Coming Up Roses

We've been working on valentines and Easter projects, and some of our favorite traditional supplies are from Germany. The mosaic is made of closeups of some of the colorful lithographed paper scraps we've been using.

You can see more photographic mosaics from around the world at Little Red House.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

100 Years Ago In Mississippi

A scant 100 years ago, the sternwheeler Falls City docked at the levee along the Mississippi River in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hula Hooping For Fun & Profit

On a recent sunny winter afternoon, a professional hula hooper, equipped with a selection of hoops and a boom box, gave lessons to a beginner on the beach.

For other shadow oriented pictures from around the world, stop by Hey Harriet for the links.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Blowing In The Wind

It's been quite a week, weather wise. There was a rare tornado warning, coupled with two days of rain and high winds. When it blew like this last December, the vine blew off the front porch. Once we'd gotten it back up, we lashed it with ropes to the cross beams - problem solved!

Since the vine wasn't going anywhere, the wind blew the back fence down, instead. Between termite damage and wood rot, a lot of it just crumbled away. Once it hit the ground hard, it was apparent part of it was being held together by paint. But it's standing again, with so much rope holding it together, it looks more like a macrame project than a fence. Perhaps a new fence this spring...

In the meantime, hopefully the rain we've received will ease the drought and mandatory water rationing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Campers

Photographed in 1898, daredevil tourists at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park posed with the iconic Half Dome in the background. Glacier Point is almost a mile above the valley floor.

In 1902, these campers gathered round with Yosemite Falls in the distance.

Tourists arrived and departed Yosemite Valley by stagecoach in 1906.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Colors Of Winter In Our Garden

It doesn't get cold enough here to deter the flowers from blooming. On the contrary, some of them bloom the whole year through and actually prefer the cooler days to the heat of summer. Violas, above, are like that.

This nasturtium is a volunteer, growing along the edge of the driveway. These ramblers reseed so profusely that once you get a single plant growing, you'll have nasturtiums forever.

The tree mallow is a very easy shrub to grow. Its grayish green leaves are a good contrast to plants with greener leaves and it blooms profusely. Be prepared, though, to prune this plant back hard. Once established it grows quickly, both up and out.

This is the seed head of a gallardia, also known as blanket flower. It too reseeds with abandon and blooms all year. That's two of them blooming below, leaning into each other in the winter breeze.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Big Happy

One last look at our day trip last week to the largest city on our West Coast. From a distance, the skyline is pretty impressive and polished, but considerably less so at street level.

This mural was amazing - close to 15 feet tall and made of tens of thousands of individual mosaic pieces.

The street vendors seem to have staked out their turf and maintain a set of rules amongst themselves. This rig was spotless and swamped with customers. It's the same rig where, in October, on our last visit, the vendor had stepped away and customers started cooking their own food.

Not a fan of the dolls...

We'd been on the road since early morning and made it home right before dark. In this last picture, taken from the car, the sun sets into the Pacific as the San Luis Rey River meanders across Camp Pendleton where it joins the seashore.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Around The Neighborhood

Random scenes in our neighborhood.

For other photo mosaics from around the world, you can go to the Little Red House.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

100 Yeas Ago In Alaska

100 years ago in Alaska, an Inuit woman, with her baby in a papoose, posed in this studio portrait titled "Madonna Of The North".

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Along The Shore

The ridges in the sand left by the waves at low tide looked similar to a mountain range.

You can see more shadowy pictures from around the world at Hey Harriet.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Walk On The Wet Side

Getting a new water proof camera for Christmas and a week of sunny weather were the only excuses my daughter needed to get into the ocean the other day. Although the air has been warming up to the high 60s and low 70s, the water is still a chilly 54 degrees, which makes a full length wetsuit mandatory.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

100 Years Ago In Colorado

In 1906, a burro train near Ouray, Colorado, carried gold from the nearby mines.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Streets Of The City

On a chance trip to the 2nd largest city in the United States yesterday - an adventure and a perfect opportunity for people watching and picture taking. With January temperatures in the mid 70s, there was a lot of activity on the streets.

Downtown is gritty and noisy and the commerce spills out of the stores. It's not uncommon for people to set up makeshift stores along the sidewalk for as long as they can avoid the authorities. This lady was selling pomengranite seeds by the spoonful along with slices of watermelon and pineapple.

As is often the case when taking pictures from a moving car, the focus in these pictures isn't the sharpest.

Downtown is a cacophony of sights, smells and sounds.

These folks were passing the afternoon tossing coins while they waited for customers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fire In The Sky

The sunset was so intense last night, it looked like molten lava.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Many Faces Of Thomas

Thomas, the cat who comes to visit, has been stopping by more often now that winter is here. He makes himself at home and we never know just how long he intends to stay. The bowl of catnip we keep growing for him at the back door is pretty sparse this time of year, but we try to make up for it with his favorite kind of ham and a carton of half and half at the ready. In the five years he's been visiting us, he's trained us well.

For other photo mosaics from around the world, stop by the Little Red House blog.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

In The Swim

Beach going was a becoming a popular past time for young and old, rich and poor alike 100 years ago, and in New York, it brought a respite from the heat and grit of the city. These photographs are from the archives the the Detroit Publishing Co., circa 1900-1910, of Coney Island and Rockaway Beach.

The lifeguard, shown below, probably had his share of rescues, as the ladies' bathing garments of the day would have been heavy and cumbersome when wet.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Green And Blue

My favorite neighbor Kevin, drawing lines and throwing shadows and spray across a green wave in the blue sea.

For more shadow shots from around the world, click on Hey Harriet.