Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vizsla Viesta #5: A Perfect Ending

Vizsla Viesta 2008. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Floral Friday #9: Cloned Rose

Cloned from an old bush in my father's rose garden. It is as fragrant as it is beautiful.
Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Alphabet Wednesday: F is for Fishing

Smart and active dogs, Vizslas need to be challenged. Usually that means hunting … nose to the ground sniffing for anything new. SugarBelle can spend her entire day “fishing” … roaming around the water looking for movement and then jumping on it. This river has small fish and crayfish. So far she hasn’t caught a thing, but she gets enormous satisfaction from trying. In fact, “Fishing?” is one of a few questions guaranteed to get her off her bed and moving. The others: “Paper?” or “Wolf Blitzer, Situation Room?”

See other takes on Alphabet Wednesday by visiting Mrs. Nesbitt’s place.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Spotted! #2

Spotted through my windshield while stuck in traffic. Hey! We're the same age!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alphabet Wednesday: E is for Eileen

Eileen is the other sculpture by Philip Grausman currently on exhibit at the Katonah Museum of Art. The “sister” sculpture Susanna can be seen here. Rather than see Eileen as woman / dog. I tried to capture her as an alien. Her full photo is here.

Please visit the sites of the those participating in the third round of ABC Wednesday hosted at Mrs. Nesbitt's Place.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Sneakers soaking up sun after a river romp with red dogs.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Open Sesame

This is the gateway to my favorite “room” in our house, and, as you can see, the door is always open. The greenery is a grape vine I planted within the last three years. It actually weaves back and forth across the top of the trellis. This year the trellis was home to a bird’s nest, although I could never get close enough to see which species.

My father was instrumental in designing the patio. As long as I stared at the space, and drew plan after plan for laying out the stones, I came up empty handed. The day before a helper was to arrive to help me start construction, Dad made an emergency house call.

If you look closely, the outer ring forms a sunburst or circle, metaphorically welcoming guests. A similar sunburst lies at the foot of the stairs leading to the patio from the side door. Once the sunbursts were set, all of the other stones literally fell into place.

Oh, and I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say my dad and my husband spent two hot summer days putting every piece of slate where it belonged. I just had the idea.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Paris Wannabe #1: Ninos

For some reason this year, I have been struck by restaurants setting out bistro tables and chairs in the oddest locations.

This set is in front of a relatively new re-incarnation of a restaurant called “Ninos.” The table sits on a narrow sidewalk; it’s easy to imagine a passer-by’s jacket dragging through one’s soup. And there’s little to recommend the view: the parking lot for the Bedford Hills Post Office, and next to that the Bedford Hills train station. However, I guess if one were picking a friend up at the train station, one might arrive a little early and wait with a glass of wine.

Hmmmm. I might have to try it some day.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

There are Plastic People in my Yard

I shot this on my way back from "adult swim" at the pool a couple of Sunday's ago. For two blissful hours, no kids, and no "Marco Polo" water game. The athletes among us take to the lanes. Those who really want to veg out float around in the pool floats.

This came on the heels of my "Cow in the Yard" post, and guess I was just looking for examples of other odd thing people have in their yards. I really don't know what to make of it (and I don't have the time to ponder it further). It just caught my eye. Anyone want to weigh in with some thoughts?

Monday, August 4, 2008

One Head or Two?

This is one of two monumental sculptures by Philip Grausman currently on exhibit at the Katonah Museum of Art. Its solemnity and solidness is in dramatic contrast to Titan, Drew Klotz’ mecurical and mesmerizing sculpture which stood in approximately the same spot until the end of June.

This sculpture has been photographed a lot lately, almost always straight on. As I shot it today, I felt compelled to explore the side that no one else shot. Depending on how you look at it, it can look like a pony tail, or the snout of a dog, with barely defined eyes.

From my perspective, of course, it was a woman’s face, with her dog’s portrayed on the back of her head. Not, of course, what the artist intended, but an amusing speculation.

This is Susanna. The sculpture, crafted from fiberglass painted matte white, is 10 feet high; six feet wide and eight-and-one-half feet deep.Eileen, the second sculpture, was behind the closed gate. We will meet her later in the week. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Katonah Wormhole

I was pouring through newspapers this morning when I came across a very erudite article on wormholes.

In physics these are theoretical links between disparate spaces … tunnels through space-time. Wormholes were originally known as Einstein Rosen bridges. Albert Einstein, working from his theory of general relativity and with contributions by colleague Nathan Rosen, predicted that these things must exist.

This afternoon, I found my own Katonah wormhole in the first, almost-ripe tomato of the season.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sun Spots No. 1

The top half of this tree was recently shorn off. I don't think I noticed it until a spot of sun brought it to my attention.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

For Adults Only

When they first appeared a couple of years ago, at the Katonah pool, the inner tubes, targeted to the adults’ inner child, were eyed warily. They were for adults only. Who among us gray-haired and no longer lithe, would be the first to indulge in the childhood memory / dream / ambition of floating along the water in an inner tube? First one of us, then the other, recaptured the childhood delight of playtime in the pool. At first we felt foolish. Then, we felt fun.

Sunday, from 10 to noon, adult swim is our time to be children or be without them. No kids allowed, just adults hangin' at the pool. This year there’s been a sea-change. The inner tubes lie stacked against the equipment shed. Today, only a few dared to languish in the sun, even though it was an opportunity to soak up vitamin D and strengthen bones. For the rest, it was into the lap lanes.

You’d have found me in an inner tube. Strengthening my bones, of course.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Red Sky at Night

This was the sky looking west from my front porch last night. My husband spotted the shot. For better or worse, I took it. I’m sure many of you have heard the phrase “red sky at night sailors’ delight.” Here, according to the website: Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress is why.

In order to understand why “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning” can predict the weather, we must understand more about weather and the colors in the sky.

Usually, weather moves from west to east, blown by the westerly trade winds. This means storm systems generally move in from the West.

The colors we see in the sky are due to the rays of sunlight being split into colors of the spectrum as they pass through the atmosphere and ricochet off the water vapor and particles in the atmosphere. The amounts of water vapor and dust particles in the atmosphere are good indicators of weather conditions. They also determine which colors we will see in the sky.

During sunrise and sunset the sun is low in the sky, and it transmits light through the thickest part of the atmosphere. A red sky suggests an atmosphere loaded with dust and moisture particles. We see the red, because red wavelengths (the longest in the color spectrum) are breaking through the atmosphere. The shorter wavelengths, such as blue, are scattered and broken up.

Red sky at night, sailors delight.
When we see a red sky at night, this means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Basically good weather will follow.

Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.
A red sunrise reflects the dust particles of a system that has just passed from the west. This indicates that a storm system may be moving to the east. If the morning sky is a deep fiery red, it means a high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain is on its way.

About that weather report. It’s sunny now with chance of storm predicted for later in the day. It’s been a recent pattern. Hot, sultry days, then big storm, which sends the dog crouching into my lap at night.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Garden Tools

One is never too young to learn the fine art of gardening. Year after year, my father has turned the same 10 x 15 foot plot into bushels of vegetables. This year, my parents' aide, Letty, has assumed the task, and when the last tomato has been picked, she may have given dad a run for his money!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Katonah Fireman’s Parade #3: Painted Lady

One of the things that attracted us to Katonah is the fact that it has a “center of town,” probably not more than a mile long, which has a variety of stores and a handful of small restaurants. Katonah Avenue is our “Main Street.” Bedford Road runs parallel behind Katonah Avenue and is the center of the “downtown” residential district, comprised mostly of Victorian-era homes. This is an historical district; almost all of the homes are lovingly cared for and painted in colors appropriate to their architecture. This home, along the parade route, and appropriately “decked out,” is on the Parkway which connects Bedford Road and Katonah Avenue. Many of the homes in this area were literally moved to their current location moved when the reservoir system was built in the 1800’s. We will visit that story and some of those homes in later posts.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Katonah Fireman’s Parade #2: Junior Fireman

This young man was unmissable with his fireman’s slicker and hat. Note his transmogrified boots, and the eleven cents in his pocket. When I asked to photograph him, his mother told him to say “cheese.” He promptly scowled, said “popcorn,” and then broke into a smile. Not only a show of spirit, Fireman’s Parades in the US, at least, are actually competitions. More on that later when we meet one of the judges.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Floral Friday #4

Pink Iris found in a garden in Katonah while scouting for Fireman's Parade photos. Parade photos begin tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Katonah Fireman's Parade and Carnival

The back-end statistics at Stat Counter tell me that people searching for information on the Katonah Fireman's parade end up on my site, since it was mentioned in an earlier blog. So, as a public service to those wishing to visit our hamlet for the Parade and /or Carnival which follows on Thursday, the Parade is tomorrow, Wednesday evening, at 7:00 p.m. thanks to Joe, who will be marching from Millwood. I I took this picture at the Memorial Day Parade. You never know when a rogue shot will come in handy. And, it is supposed to rain!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Theme Day: Favorite Local Shops: Katonah Yarn Company

When I was a kid, I tried and tried to knit, but just couldn’t turn out a proper garment. Too big. Too Small. A dropped stitch here … or there. But today, because of the Katonah Yarn Company, I knit (and purl) again.

Stop in any time of day, and the shop is swarming with “Knitting Doulas,” giving a class, fixing an oops. Helping a knitter find her gauge. Tuesday evenings is open knitting, the chance to sit, knit, and just hang out; but in reality, as long as the doors are open, you can almost always find at least one person sitting around the table or in one of the upholstered chairs, open knitting. One day I heard Jane say … “The good thing about our location (which, as a stand-alone store, makes its own corner in the A&P shopping lot) is that if you stay too long, you can run next door to the A&P and grab supper.”

There are lots of fun, quirky shops in Katonah and the surrounding villages. The Katonah Knitting Company Inc. bills itself as Westchester County’s most comfortable knitting shop, and though the shop owners, Jane Lee and Jenn and their staff often help us laugh at ourselves, being friendly and helpful is one thing they take very seriously. It’s a place, where whatever your knitting level, you just feel good!

There are currently 174 shopping opportunities today. Click here for the thumbnails, and please visit.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Floral Friday #3

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Stanley Stomps

This was a perfect picture of a lovely cloud captured in a still blue lake. Until a certain red dog came along and stomped into the water. See his reflection?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Said “Pace” not “Race”

The other day as we were walking the red dogs, a very official looking rider clip-clopped past us, scowling at dogs off the leash, but dogs who, nonetheless, “stayed” when instructed. Yesterday I understood the whole scene.

Yesterday was the Spring “Pace” sponsored by the Bedford Riding Lanes Association (BRLA), mentioned Heavenly Route. I don’t know many of the “horsey” people in town and until yesterday never understood the sport. As I was shooting, I met a lovely couple, Amy and Raymond McCarthy; Amy, a one-time pacer herself, gave me the lowdown. (You will meet Amy and Raymond later in the week).

I’d always thought the competition had something to do with making it over the jumps and finishing in record time. As it turns out, after eleven miles, the challenge is to arrive at the finish line as close as possible to the time officially declared the “pace’” for your riding skill and age group.

There are four categories of competition: Hunter (more leisurely); Junior, Jumper, and (perish the thought in Westchester County) Western. The pace time is a secret. It’s a two- or three-member team sport. You must finish with your teammate(s). You don’t have to jump, but you may. You must wear a helmet. You must rest your horse at the check point.

I wasn’t too confident of my ability to photograph these riders, and I’m not one to check every shot, digital camera or not. But I’m encouraged enough with this effort to try again in the fall to capture the joy of riding one of these beautiful animals.

This is one of two posts to compensate for no photos yesterday. But there was much to see and the glorious weather seduced me into the garden.

Memorial Day, 2008

I took more than 100 photos of the small Memorial Day remembrance in our town yesterday. But this is the photo that I think most represents the spirit of Katonah: a family flying the flag for its country. This has been my 21st Memorial Day in Katonah, and only the first in which I have attended the ceremony. Now, I’m sorry about that as it was quite touching with Boy Scout, Brownie, and Cub Scout Troops, our hope for tomorrow, marching along with the Katonah Fire Department, a handful of military veterans, the police chief, and our town supervisor, the very impressive, Ms. Lee Roberts. After the parade, two small-town rituals: ice cream for the kids at the Fire House and a family barbecue of hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone.

This is one of two posts to compensate for no photos yesterday. But there was much to see and the glorious weather seduced me into the garden.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Floral Friday #2

This is one of the first roses to bloom from my parents' garden. It is from a bush that is as old as I can remember. Although I don't have the scientific evidence to prove it, I believe that today's hybrids are bred for one characteristic or another. They either look great or smell great or last long. But, in recent years, I have found the co-existence of all three qualities to be elusive at best. This rose is an exception to my unscientific belief. Last year, using mayonnaise jars as greenhouses, my dad created a few new bushes from this rose for my garden. I am waiting for it to bloom. Happy Long Weekend.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Sections of entry included: the “Elixer of Life,” “Portkey,” “Obliviate,” and “Goblet of Fire,” as The Ninth District of the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc., (AKA regional garden clubs) presented its annual flower show this weekend themed to the Hogwart’s Express.

Like flowers, flower shows have their own complicated structure including Division; Section, Class, and finally Entry. This entry is from Division 1 Design: “Spells and Charms;” Section A: “Incendio,” Class 2, “Obliviate,” in which the design had to include “some components to be viewed through others.”

Other sections included “Reducio,” miniatures ranging from three to eight inches in height, and “Stupefy” featuring “Elixir of Life,” “Underwater Wizardry” and “Three Broomsticks.” Division 2, Horticulture, had eleven sections ranging from herbs to single stems and cut specimens, and some of the most delicious looking asparagus I’d seen in a long time.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Heavenly Route?

It is if you are a horse rider in Katonah, Bedford, Bedford Hills, or the surrounding towns.

The Bedford Riding Lanes Association (BRLA) is a publicly supported non-profit organization originally established as the Private Lanes Association to protect and maintain a system of country lanes so equestrians could circumvent paved roads and cars. Nominal annual dues get you an access tag.

There are approximately 200 miles of lanes running through woods and nature preserves with approximately 80% of the trails passing through private land. Walking the red dogs on one of these trails one Saturday morning, I ran into Richard Gere, who was astride his horse.

Approval to ride trails on private property is by informal agreement. When homes change title, the new owners are asked to grant permission and usually do. Initially, two prominent Bedford residents: Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren did not. Several years ago, when she bought the property, Ms. Stewart was asked if she would open her land to riders and she reportedly said: “When Ralph does, I will.” I have been told that since then both have. In fairness, before she left for prison in 2005, The New York Times reported that she participated in Trail Cleanup Day. The BRLA sponsors two paces each year. This year’s pace will be held May 30, and we’ll be there for City Daily Photo.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

From My Garden

Thank you to all our French friends for the story of Muget! After several failed attempts, my own Lilly of the Valley Garden is now established. Next year I hope to start the May 1 Muget tradition here. There are many people to whom I am thankful. This photo combines my Muget with Muscari Aramecium, which have been in my garden for many years. It is from a small bouquet on my desk. If you expand the photo, there's a little something interesting in the background, captured, for this photo quite unwittingly, but in real life, with intent. I hope you enjoy the shot.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Lilly Pads 1

I "found" this picture when my dog barked away the goose I was trying to photograph. He was twisted into a Bikram yoga pose. But he hangs out here regularly and tomorrow is another day requiring another daily photo!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Skunked - 2

During a beautiful afternoon walk in the woodlands the other day, I found this Skunk Cabbage in its unfolded glory. Once the trees are in full leaf and the forest floor in shadow, I believe this plant will die back. But, in the fall it will issue a seed pod. I’ll keep a (Panasonic) eye on it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wildflower Meets Record Label

The Marsh Marigold, Caltha palustris, a wildflower which blooms from March through June, is native to temperate regions of North America. It seems to appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. The generic name derives from the Greek calathos (a cup or goblet for the shape of its flowers); its specific name is from the Latin palus (a marsh).

This plant was found along a stream bed at the Marion Yarrow Nature Preserve. As a member of the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family (along with Pasque Flowers, anemones), the “cowslip” is considered poisonous. Nonetheless, it also has medicinal uses including as a cure for warts. Some sources say the leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach, and that a well-diluted tincture made from the whole plant while in flower, may be useful against anemia.

In Hamburg, Germany, the Marsh Marigold is a record label. Click here to hear what’s playing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Poster Bunny

There are almost always two sure shot days for rain in Katonah, during the annual tag sale at the Presbyterian Church and for the Fireman’s Carnival in June.

Each year, the tag sale becomes more and more organized. Donations are made on Sunday afternoon with curbside drop-offs. Volunteers then sort donations by categories.

The “Poster Bunny” once was ours, part of the décor for our forsythia Easter Basket. I didn’t stay long because of the rain, but the biggest category seemed to be children’s toys. The rain did not stop shoppers who arrived early for the best selection. One woman drove away with the back of an SUV almost entirely full, more-or-less equal to what we donated yesterday. More tomorrow when, hopefully, the weather improves. Perhaps, then, we will spot “black cat.”

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I took this photo of one of my peonies to give credit to its secret helper, the ant. (Click photo to enlarge.) Until I researched this posting, I (along with perhaps half of the rest of the world) believed that ants tracking through the gooey residue of these buds are essential for pollination. Not so. A peony’s ability to bloom is directly related to its root stock. So if you are very generous and divide your larger bushes to share with friends, none of you is likely to have flowers for several years, unless care is taken that every divided plant has at least five “eyes.”

Ants do serve two other purposes, according to my research. They eliminate other insects and are actually helpful in opening the dense double-flower buds found in many peonies. I have two varieties in my garden, both given to me by my father who divided them from some given to him. When it blooms, this bud will be magenta and visually exquisitely beautiful, but without a scent. I have two stands of a light pink variety. While it will not be as pretty, it will have the most heavenly fragrance you can imagine.

I find this often happens with roses, too. The most exquisitely beautiful, frequently don’t have a strong scent, while the strongly scented ones are not necessarily the most gorgeous. Has anyone else had this experience?

Oh … and if you have peonies, stand them upside down in water before you bring them into the house and you will rid them of the ants. We will visit this plant, and its paler sister mid- to late-May when they bloom.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"N" is for Narcissus: Don't tell the Deer!

There’s little as disillusioning as waking up on a spring morning to find that your tulips have been “mown” overnight by the local deer, or that the rosebuds, which were just about open, had been pinched by the same perps. For that reason, and because they are poisonous, narcissi, the botanical name for the more commonly called daffodil, are generously planted in our gardens.

This photo includes one of every variety in my yard. In the 20 years we have lived here, I would say I’ve easily planted more than 1,000 bulbs, which have not necessarily multiplied as promised. A posting at the American Daffodil Society provides 13 possible things I might have done wrong; for starters, I think I’ll try feeding them.

There are also 13 different descriptive divisions of daffodils; miniatures share these same descriptive divisions but simply have smaller blooms. Pictured are examples of nine of these divisions: trumpet, large cupped, small cupped, double, cyclamineus (it looks like it’s facing a cyclone), jonquilla and poeticus (both of which are usually fragrant), split cupped, and wild. Missing are triandrus; tazetta (paperwhites), bulbocodium, and miscellaneous.

I’m interested in learning what others have to say about narcissus. Do you call them daffodils? Or Narcissus? And how to you pluralize the word?

Oh, and about the deer. Only the bulb and leaves are poisonous. But, please, let it be our secret!

Visit Mrs. Nesbitt's blog to see the work of other Alphabet Wednesday Participants.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Worm Food

In celebration of Earth Day, first observed 38 years ago today, I submit my photo entitled “Worm Food,” three meals worth of organic refuse headed for the composed heap and photographed specifically for this day’s posting. Growing up as the child of parents who lived through the Depression, I have always had the “use and re-use” mentality. It has taken longer for my husband to come to the table. He was forced to change earlier this year when our county (Westchester) mandated (rather than suggested) recycling and threatened to mark trespassers’ garbage with big yellow stickers. Here’s the difference focused recycling has made in our home: in one week’s time, we now have less than one full-bag of trash.

Each year I freshen my (very) small garden with compost from last year’s pile, but I have yet to become a “power” composter … generating the kind of rot that creates an exothermic process with enough heat to steam in the winter. (See yesterday’s post on Symplocarpus foetidus, “skunk cabbage,” for a somewhat related story.) And for sure, I will never become as good as the Megapodes (mound-building birds) found in eastern Indonesia, New Guinea, and Australia. These fowl-sized birds incubate their eggs in nests nestled within huge compost heaps. To keep the incubation temperatures exact, the birds add and remove leaves from the pile. But I will keep on trying.

Follow these links for exhaustive information on Earth Day and composting. And to learn about another “Banner Day” occurring in 1970, visit Kate’s blog from yesterday.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Although Katonah is still without the envious spring blossoms already prevalent in more temperate climates, we do have a regional native plant existing only within a small part of the world.

Once it unfolds in the swampy forest, the Symplocarpus foetidus, the “skunk cabbage” is merely another bit of greenery, but when it first emerges, its purple and green coloring and striking shape make it a standout in the otherwise still-brown woods. The plant is native to eastern North America. It can be found from Canada south through Tennessee where it is regarded as an endangered plant. But, according to this USDA map, it mysteriously jumps over Kentucky. Its western boundary is Minnesota. Varieties can also be found in eastern Siberia, northeastern China, and Japan. It is apparently not readily found in Europe.

I have not had the courage to try it myself, but as its name implies, the plant emits a pungent odor when its leaves are torn or bruised, this to attract flies and other carrion feeding insects which help it pollinate. It is also among a small group of plants exhibiting germogenesis: the skunk cabbage can produce heat ranging from 59 – 95° Fahrenheit (15-35° centigrade) above air temperature, allowing it to literally melt its way through snow. Some varieties appear to be poisonous, although several sites cite medicinal uses for the plant. For the most extensive description I’ve found, click here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Like a Chicken with my Head Cut Off

“Running Men” on display at the Neuberger Museum, at Pace University in Purchase, New York is the perfect illustration of why I haven’t posted a photo blog since Alphabet (K) Wednesday.

I’ve been running around like the proverbial chicken without a head, which, as it turns out, is not so proverbial!

Mike, the Headless Chicken, a five-and-one-half pound Wyandotte rooster, lived for 18 months after his owner, Lloyd Olsen, not-so-carefully chopped off his head on September 10, 1945, with a goal of presenting a generous neck bone to his visiting mother-in-law for dinner. After the beheading, the rooster literally shook the whole thing off and continued to “act like a chicken” … pecking for food, scratching and grooming himself. The next morning, Olsen found the bird asleep with his “head” tucked under his feathers, and was so impressed with the its determination to live, that he began feeding him, by eyedropper, a mixture of milk and water and occasionally a small grain of corn. When Mike began choking on mucus, his handlers would clear it with the eyedropper.

An over-night sensation, Mike was written up in Life and Time Magazine and recorded in Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and the Guinness Book of World Records. His movie “Chick Flick” is available on Amazon, and, yes, he even has his own MySpace page. Mike spent his last months touring side shows with manager, Hope Wade. At the peak of his popularity, and with an admission charge of only .25, he was earning $4,500 per month, (approximately $50,000 in 2005 dollars). Despite public out-cries of cruelty, examinations by officers of several humane societies declared him to be free from suffering.

Ultimately, Mike reportedly choked on a piece of corn in an Arizona hotel room, on his way home from a trip. His handlers had forgotten his eyedropper at the sideshow and were unable to resuscitate him. The bird had lived because Olsen’s chop missed the bird’s jugular, and most of the bird’s brain stem, which largely controls a chicken’s reflex actions. A clot had also formed and prevented Mike from bleeding to death.

In 1999, inspired by the resiliency of their native “son,” the town of Fruita, Colorado began honoring Mike during Colorado Heritage Week. This year, the two-day festival, is May 17 and 18. It includes activities such as: the Chicken Dance Contest; the Run Like a Chicken with your Head Cut Off 5K; the Chicken Olympics, and the Hike for Mike at McInnis Canyons.

In 2000, Fruita installed a four-foot, 300-pound sculpture of Mike. The artist, Lyle Nichols, grew up in Fruita and was a friend of Mr. Olsen. Fittingly, the sculpture consists of ax heads, hay-rake teeth, sickle blades and other cutting objects. “I made him proud and cocky,” Nichols said in an Associated Press interview.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

K is for Kombination: Katonah Museum of Art and Drew Klotz

This was posted yesterday, Alphabet Wednesday, but somehow became stuck as a "draft," so I'll try again.

“K” day almost passed me by, (thanks Marie of Montpellier, flagged as a favorite) for the shot which woke me up.

Of course K could be for Katonah, but at five in the afternoon, the Katonah Museum of Art seemed a more manageable topic. The museum was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, a well-known architect (1915 -2004), who, if memory serves me correctly, actually lived for a time in Katonah.

“Titan,” by Drew Klotz was installed while I was in France last month.. I’d heard about it, even flew by it on my daily errands. But until I stood in its shadow, I had know idea just how wonderful it would be.

I can’t find a website for David Klotz, he appears to live near Westport Connecticut and is connected with the Westport Arts Center. According to the Museum, “The wind driven sculpture is in constant motion; its red circular forms hypnotically swivel in multiple directions. The 20-foot high aluminum sculpture combines mechanical genius with artistic flair to welcome visitors to the Katonah Museum.”

Last night the wind howled through the trees, leaving us to start the day without power (or computers). While I was shooting this afternoon, the wind, which you can hear on the video, was cold and biting; but it was just what the sculpture needed in order to dance. The museum website says it will be on exhibit until June 2007. I hope they mean June, 2009. It would be lovely to see the sculpture during all four seasons.

I tried to add a video but it was apparently too big. I'll try again another time ... only because it's good for lowering blood pressure.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Theme Day: Slurp!

This is a photo of a nearby reservoir. The dam for the reservoir was begun in June, 1905 and finished in November, 1907. The foundation begins 37.7 feet below the riverbed; not including the foundation, it is 170 feet tall. At the base it is 116.3 feet wide and at the top, 23 feet. The reservoir holds 10,308 million gallons of water.

This was taken after quite a rain and the water is spilling off into a holding area. From there, it will cascade down from a height of 326.4 feet and begin its journey into someone’s home or business. I find it quite amazing to think that the water photographed here more than a week ago has probably already been used to bathe a baby, cook some pasta, or wash a car.

It is so interesting and so much fun to see how different “eyes” capture water all around the world. One hundred seventy eight opportunities follow.

Visions of Water Around the World

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Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by Digger, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Paja, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix - Bostonscapes, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Cypress (TX), USA by Riniroo, Dallas/Fort Worth (TX), USA by A Wandering Soul, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Evry, France by Olivier, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jakarta, Indonesia by Santy, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jogjakarta, Indonesia by Jogja Portrait, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lake Forest Park (WA), USA by Azure, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Mo, London, UK by Ham, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Marseille, France by Alex, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minsk, Belarus by Olga, Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montego Bay, Jamaica by Ann, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Nancy, France by yoshi, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norman (OK), USA by Chad & LaCresha, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Odense, Denmark by ania odense, Omsk, Russia by Nataly, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Oslo, Norway by Lothiane, Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen, Paris, France by Gordio, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Pont-à-Mousson, France by Tintin-j, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portland (OR), USA by NWgal, Portland (ME), USA by Corey, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Eponabri, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Shanghai, China by Jing, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Nathalie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Toruń, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Turin, Italy by Livio, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by Rachel, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,

Monday, March 31, 2008

For Dith Pran

This post was originally to be part of my "Looking for Summer Theme." The temperature was actually below freezing yesterday morning when I photographed this sculpture at the Katonah Museum of Art so his appreciation of the sun seemed very appropriate.

But a few moments ago, when I heard about the death of Dith Pran, photographer and Khmer Rouge survivor, activist, and historian, I knew this photo had a better meaning.

The story about Pran's life, "The Killing Fields," was one of the most touching movies I've ever seen. Once rescued, Pran became a reporter for The New York Times, and I always searched out his work, so much did he seem like a personal acquaintance thanks to the movie.

Today, this photograph is a tribute to Dith Pran: his courage, his fight for justice, and his inspiration for a kinder world.

Friday, March 28, 2008

History in a Bird's Nest

My father has the amazing ability to “whittle” recognizable shapes out of virtually any straggly bush and one day decided that the out-of-control forsythia in my front yard was actually a basket. Soon after, he arrived with a piece of rebar and his hedge clippers and set to work. A couple of years later, it became an Easter Basket. The year after that, as I was getting the front garden ready to plant, I found this bird’s nest on the ground. The green strands are some of the synthetic grass we used to line the Easter basket; the black is some of the deer netting we had used to protect our vulnerable plantings the previous winter. We’ve preserved this nest for twelve years now, although I managed to over-prune the basket out of existence.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Passion for the Pasque Flower

I only learned about anemones once we moved from the city and I started to garden. I think I love them as much for their beauty as for the melodious pronunciation of their name “a NEM o nee.” This picture was taken at the market in Menton, France last Saturday on a day of site-seeing after a business trip to Cannes.

Anemones are also commonly known as pasque (from pasch or paschal, Easter) flowers, due to their habit of flowering between late March and early June, an odd attribution for me, since I equate them with the summer. But in South Dakota, often peaking through the snow, they are the first sign that spring has arrived. By summer, when they are blooming in New York, their Great Plains’ region lifecycle is complete. Not surprisingly, the anemone is South Dakota’s state flower.

Along with clematis, buttercups, columbines, delphiniums, and poppies, all varieties I happen to favor, they are part of the ranunculaceae family. Quite accidentally I caught some ranunculi in the top right corner of this photo.

Here are some links for additional information on this plant, its family, and relationship to South Dakota. Happy Spring

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Letter in a Box

It’s supposed to work the other way around. By following “clues” posted on the web, you are supposed to find the letterbox, stamp it with your own personal stamp, then re-hide the box for someone else to find. As the dogs and I were walking along the Beaver Dam River in Bedford Hills, NY, searching for a “water” picture for next month’s theme, this box floated up to me.

Until we “met” I had no idea that “letterboxing” even existed, yet there is apparently an entire community seeking these hidden boxes. To learn more, here is a link related to letterboxing in North America; here is the link to Dartmoor Letterboxing where it all began, and here’s the Wikipedia write-up. And yes … as soon as my stamp is carved I’ll be joining the “club,” a great excuse to find new places to walk my dog(s)! Through some detective work and luck I have actually found its rightful home, and it shall be returned tomorrow.

Any Letterboxers among CDP’ers?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Shamrocks from the Heart

On a dare, exactly eleven years ago today, Tommy, the veteran bartender at The Blazer in Purdy’s, New York sold his trousers for $30 and donated the money to charity; a tradition was immediately born. The proceeds have grown annually, topping $6,000 in 2007. Funds accrue from both the sale of shamrocks which help decorate the pub and proceeds of an auction, the items for which are donated by the community. Items have typically included facials from a local spa, handmade pillows crafted by students from an area middle school, football and hockey tickets, gift baskets, sets of children’s golf clubs, and too many more to mention. The items are never solicited; they simply appear at the restaurant. In recent years, the money has been contributed to Friends of Karen, a charity headquartered in Purdy’s and dedicated to providing emotional, financial, and advocacy support to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. “The most important thing I can say,” Tommy said, “is that we are just facilitators. It’s the local community that makes it all happen.” (Inset photo Tommy, and Blazer owner, Alice).