Monday, May 31, 2010

The poppies always bloom around Memorial Day...

...hence the symbolism. Tho I think that also has to do with WW I. I found this special poppy plant as a "newbie" flower gardener, about 1984. I simply purchased one red poppy plant from the perennial section at a local hardware store. I had no idea the plant would send up such tall stems--about 5 ft. tall. It's difficult to photograph the flowers without cutting them; I hate to do that. So, the plant is 26 years old now--older than my youngest kid (the blonde guy in CA). If we move, I'll have to leave the plant, since poppies seem to have a tap root; once that is broken, it's curtains. Another of life's pleasures which must be savored at each moment.

The Red Poppy bloomed today...


Friday, May 28, 2010

Random shot taken while in search of dinner....

...in Anderson, IN. I wonder how long it's been since Lee's Drug Store was closed? I like to photograph those fading old ads painted on the sides of brick buildings.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to pretty l'il pearl!!!

...another one of the "bridal fitting" candids from a couple of years ago. She hasn't aged a bit!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tomorrow is a Special Day at Barbbblog...

...l'il pearl will be celebrating her birthday. It's strange having the kids so far away on their birthdays; it was so delightful to visit her and the blonde fellow only a few weeks ago. She's such a cutie-pie. oh, and sweetie, the card is in the mail....

Iris blooming season in Central Indiana...

...strong, hardy "farm flowers"; iris flowers are often spectacular in bloom. There seemed to be lots of interesting gold, red and purple combinations around the farms of Indiana. For any child--like me--who was a toddler around blooming irises, you never forget the sweet, floral spicey fragrance; every sniff of an iris is a trip back in time, in a way. Aroma therapy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The best sight on our sight-seeing trip...

...once upon a time, there were many round barns in Indiana. Now there are few. This one was visible from the bike trail, tho I had to ride down a quiet country lane about a quarter mile to get this shot. What makes this one nearly unique is that it is still being used on an active farm, by descendants of the original builder. This kind of vista is a good example of why I like to get out on the RailTrails all day and see the countryside.

"Another Perspective" he calls this.

Since it was Hubs' photo, I gave him the challenge of naming the picture. Click in the image and see the valiant guardian of the bridge standing on the middle support; the goose sat there the entire time we were resting and photographing the bridge. Must be a retired goose.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hubsy's turn....

....anything with a railroad in it, he's right there. So we rode this trail in the area of Muncie, IN this past weekend. This photo does not depict the actual trail, of course. The old bridge was to one side of the trail; a very sturdy piece of early 20th Century infrastructure, rusting gracefully in the rain. The Cardinal Greenway is about 26 miles long and nicely paved the entire way. Not the prettiest trail we've ever ridden, but certainly worth doing; it made for a good 50+ miles weekend for me.

One more on the subject of the driveway re-coat...

...see what I mean? Our technician was a very good sport!! Good "action/portrait series", as well.

Next series will cover our weekend bike trip to east-central Indiana to ride the Cardinal Greenway between Gaston and Losantville, directly through Muncie. This was probably our first longer ride of the season; overdue.


Making it look easy...

...the surface smooth and the edges precise.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I am a "process" person....

...so I enjoyed taking a few minutes (and that's all it took) the other day to observe the annual ritual of having our driveway sealed. My neighbor did the same thing; this amounted to a couple of soon-to-be geazers standing around and pestering the daylights out of the industrious young man who did the two driveways, singlehanded! Fortunately, the temperature was in the 70's rather than the 90's. He had the process down to a system: a place for everything, everything in it's place and everything that was there had tar on it--since there was no way to escape it. However, the technician was easily able to keep the tar in it's place as he applied it to the asphalt.

It was a like Fred Astair dancing around with a long-handled squeegee devise, while moving around in gooey, tacky hot tar. Tho he moved fast, the tar only ended up where he wanted it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Basking 2.0...Vanessa Atalanta...

or, the Red Admiral. I learned something: I thought when I first saw this that it was a Painted Lady. As it turns out, I'm glad I did the research. In this photo, he may be sitting there waiting for a female to fly by. Also, they are territorial little beasts: they patrol their chosen area (my yard, lately) and shoo out any other males. They are considered "sociable" as they will fly near or light on humans; I have noticed the buttlerfy tends to hang around me when I'm out weeding.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ah, yes...the elusive house finch....

...actually, they are all over the place. They appeared in our yead in the mid-1980's and darn near took over for all the other birds. Lately, the others (like chickadees) are making a comeback. Maybe West Nile was involved. But do you think I could get a picture of one of these on the feeder this spring? Not likely--camera-shy critters, apparently.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Peggy's Purple Columbine....

...quaking in a good stiff breeze the other day. The front yard is full of these now. I plan to capture most of the seeds before they fall and sprinkle them elsewhere---like some bike trail or some sad looking place that needs to brighten up!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

...the columbines were in bloom when we returned; it's so cool and damp around here that they are still in good shape after almost 2 weeks. Mostly, I just scatter a packet or two of commercial seed around my partially sunny front yard as per instructions from my garden-guru next door. This seems to work fine. Also, I rescued some large plants with robust purple blooms which were in the path of a landscaping project. That was several years ago; the plants came back the next year very well and have re-seeded vigorously. Columbines, virginia bluebells and ferns give the front yard a deep-woodsy, wild feel that I love.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I liked the vertical column of hats, that's all...

...almost done with the massive inventory of California pictures; not too much is happening here. Tho I should add that last night I went to the city with my older son's fiancee (who doesn't have a blog name yet) to see an opera called Three Decembers. The star performer, Frederica von Stade is retiring soon, I'm told. I'll try most things once, and this was my third opera since the fall. It was a modern opera--like a play set to music. Funny how we got the tickets: the kids went to a benefit for the opera and my son WON tickets to a series of performances. Well, he was nearly as thrilled as if he'd won twelve crochet lessons!! But he's had a work commitment and was not able to go to the last two.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My little niece hasn't figured out this angle yet....



...an event at the American Girl Store in the Grove brought out little girls with their dolls and their matching outfits. I have mixed feelings about the craze...glad for now, not to confront them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I didn't intend to show CA pictures for so long....

...but I have a lot of them. And now, it's freezing outside and pouring down icy rain. Who wants to go out in that? Besides, you don't want to miss this beguiling image: the tiny child is confused by the water feature; she wants the statue of the other little girl to give her a drink, too. Can't believe I caught the shot! It was taken at the Grove in the LeBrea area. Full of wacky people watching...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Classic California...

..Hubs took this one, after my comment about the terracotta colors, part of the LeBrea residential complex near where our blonde fellow works at the Grove. Our dear l'il daughter-in-law kept us company one day; we visited the tar pit Museum at LeBrea; and I am reminded of other restaurants we liked: Urth, Local and a special Hollywood feeling place called Hugo. And let's not forget the cute little coffee house called Novel in the Factory District near her school! With all that enjoyment I was shocked that I actually lost 2 lbs. on our short trip!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

One more from the fashion District....

...from here, we walked back up the hill in Search Of Food! We discovered the Central Market and shared a pupusa --just cheese, please. Thus fortified, we extended the adventure to ChinaTown and finally stumbled into Philippe's without realizing it is a landmark restaurant in LA. Hubs had a dipped pork sandwich and I got an egg custard, both of which we shared. Old Peoples' Travels. The next evening, we took l'il pearl and that nice young man of her's to Canter's Deli for dinner--Those were the dining high points, in my opinion. Oh, and I learned I must try to make a pizza with spinach and fontinella cheese sometime.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Colors of California...

...even in the parts of the city that aren't so fancy, you are reminded this is no ordinary place: a big old warehouse might be painted pink or other fruit-salad colors. I love the terra cotta or golden tones against the deep blue skies.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Turquoise Terracotta: this looks yummy...

...the building is so beautiful I just snapped the picture. The Eastern Columbia Building, put up just before the Depression. Now housing elegant condos.

Ten Miles on Foot...

...it was fun. We walked from the Factory District to the top of Bunker Hill; enjoyed the Angel Flight ride and this interesting fountain---er, water feature as they say nowadays--covered most of the Districts except for Flowers....

Why does the CVS Pharmacy have the creepy clown over the door?

....could this be Southern California? We spent the first day walking with Blonde Guy around Santa Monica.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wonderful West Coast School of Architecture....

...not really---that's the "blog name for l'il pearl's grad school. Walking in front of me: pearl, hubs and the blonde guy at the right. We toured her school, which is located in an old railway warehouse in the Factory District of LA. Pearl explained that the colored cellophane effect at the upper left is called an "installation": each freshman class at the school works as a team to alter the space somehow.

Slices 1.2: Still trotting around on the Wild Side...

...looking northeast from that 6th Street Bridge, I found a bit of the LA River, with scenic color contrast and so on. This was our last adventure--but don't worry, I'll post some prettier photos as the day goes on...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Barbb tries to take a walk on the wild side...

above is the better picture..
...pearl and the blonde guy live in the "loftified" Factory District of Los Angeles. These were taken from the Sixth St. Bridge over the Los Angeles River and many Railroad tracks, so you know that Hubs was the instigator of this walk and was just a few steps away. Minus the railyard, this is very similar to the view from the kids' west window. More photos to follow...

Haha--another kind of mask

One of our home grown potatoes seemed to smile at me as it was readied for cook pot.