Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Just About Tripped Over Him, I Did

Just as my bus crossed over the bridge 
at the Broad Ripple Canal, I looked over to see 
this heron standing beside towpath to the canal. 
I got off the bus a few feet further on 
and found the bird had not been startled away. 
I got my camera out of my backpack and was able 
to get a few pictures of the heron.
He was only about twenty-five feet away.
Generally, they seem to be very shy creatures 
flying away at the first appearance of a human
(this one, anyway), so I count myself lucky 
to have gotten this shot of a bit of
Indy's urban wildlife. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Zip Code Tour: In My Backyard

In the fifty years of their careers, I'd never seen either 
the Rolling Stones or any of the Beatles perform. 
When the Stones announced that they'd be playing 
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 
I knew I could not pass it up; instead of being in 
some distant city, the band was going to be
 at what is practically my backyard.

When I went to the IMS ticket office on Friday,
I was told by the saleswoman that, while Mick would
be very small, there would be two large video screens 
that would project the concert. I was at least able to get
a spot front and center to the stage, after I arrived at the
track infield Saturday afternoon. Generally used for parking,
the area was covered in white rock. I wondered just how
my "Bronze" area was better than that of the "Silver"
area on the other side of the barrier. 
How were their white rocks an improvement 
over my own patch of gravel?
Other than proximity to the stage, there really was 
no difference. I put my blanket down, 
followed by my bum, and settled in for the duration.
I was glad I'd come early to claim a spot
because the areas became increasingly filled with spectators 
as the time for the Stones' appearance grew closer.

After two bands, Saint Valory and Rascal Flatts 
performed, the Rolling Stones took the stage to a burst 
of red fireworks, working the stage for
two hours, a performance that would have
been tiring for much younger men.
(There are no fat Stones, only flat ones.)
I've been to performances of other musicians
who basically could have mailed in their work.
Not so the Rolling Stones, who sang, played, danced,
and riffed their way through their set list.

Yeah, Mick and the boys were teeny, tiny 
figures from my viewpoint, but the music was grand.
IMS will listen to the grousing from the fans
 to make improvements for future concerts.

As for myself, I was satisfied.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dunno ...

This solitary stem is growing in a patch of 
black mulch near a downtown bus stop.
It has a homely character all its own: scraggly
fronds reaching skyward give it an
odd beauty, a summer version of Charlie Brown's
little Christmas tree standing proudly in
the otherwise vacant bit of earth.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Summer Morning

In between the hot humid days that have hung in the air 
this month, we have seen quite a bit of rain. 
The storms that have flooded other parts of the country, 
such as Texas and Missouri, have wended 
their way into Indiana. As I look out my window 
to the south, the sky is bright blue above 
a curtain of gray clouds; southern Indiana is 
experiencing storms, accompanied by the real threat
of tornadoes.

I like to get up early in the morning,
sometimes leaving early to walk around downtown
to take pictures, Here, about a month ago, the sun
bounced brightly off the glass of an office building, and
cast its aura through the pale, pink blooms
on the trees outside the Federal Court Building.

These walks often make me think that we have
quite another storm brewing in our midst at street level.
Here, the beauty of the morning is sucked
away by the reality of homeless men sleeping
on the sidewalks. I am not afraid at these times.
Instead, I feel embarrassed, as though I've walked
into someone's home, unwittingly crossing 
an invisible wall, one that exists on 
the sidewalk just outside a hotel.
The number of these folk is increasing;
people caught in a void of no job, no home,
little food. Snared by some
vortex of bad luck and/or poor choices,
 they are the stormfront, warning us of future
upheavals. Every day, I tell myself,
There but for fortune go I,
and one of these days, it could just as
easily be me or any number of my friends.
The chasm is growing.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A Certain Order

The waning ends of storm fronts that wreaked havoc
on other parts of the country, have made their presence 
known here. The river is a bit out of its banks
and the days are cloudy, promising more storms.
But out of the heat and rain, a certain order has appeared,
a blessing. I swam under gray skies tonight,
peppered by a light shower, and was happier than
I had been in weeks.
 Even though I have been unhappy with my 
progress of late, niggling aches and pains 
melted away with the harder work.
I got out of the pool, not even realizing I was
bleeding from an earlier encounter
with another swimmer's hand paddle,
(Just a little flesh wound honey! It's nothing!)
feeling both a bit tired and re-energized.

There's no accounting for the pleasure
just looking at you brings me.
Your broad shoulders and strong hands
speak of the power to protect and
of a thousand tender caresses.
You watch the younger women with
taut, firm bodies and curves,
inviting you to explore their secrets.
I am older, with secrets of my own to give,
shrouded in a body worn by the years,
and pale skin showing the map
to my heart. 
This heart, whose beat is strong and low,
quietly stoking a constant fire
 feeds a secret of its own --
I love you.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Stylin': A Gazillion Billion Million ...

Oh ... crickey (or words to that effect),
I completely forgot about the June Theme Day.
Well, no matter.
After all, nothing's more stylish than
three thousand or so bikers, all gathered 
to ride around Indy for a charitable event, 
the 22nd Annual Miracle Ride.

While this incarnation of the event began in 1994,
I remember other Miracle Ride gatherings in the 1980s.
Made up of motorcycle enthusiasts from a startling array 
of backgrounds, the volunteers raise money for
Riley Hospital for Children. The money is intended to treat
children with a wide array of illnesses and injuries.

This year, the cyclists met on Speedway's Main Street,
where the parked machines occupied over a half mile, from
16th Street down to 10th Street. Their owners attended
a party in a big tent, while others visited nearby 
restaurants and breweries.

As for the "stylin'" part, 
there definitely is a particular look:
Black leather and nylon, decorated with studs, 
zippers, and some fringe made up the
dominant theme, while sunglasses and bandanas
completed many ensembles.
There's no telling how many professional
folk have adopted this look,
but there could easily have been
at least one ex-governor among them.
(It's rumored that his little boot-clad
feet don't even touch the ground
when his 'cycle stops at intersections.)

To see how other members of 
the City Daily Photo world-wide 
community have interpreted today's theme, 
just click on the above link 
or the on CDP badge 
to the right of this post.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Day Before

Early Saturday morning, I went on-line to order
my ticket for the Indy 500. I could have printed it at home,
but I wanted a "real" ticket, one imprinted with
a picture of last year's winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay.
There weren't many good seats available,
but that wasn't a problem: I wanted general
admission so I could just find a nice place sitting
on one of the grassy mounds inside Turn Two.

People were lined up outside the IMS corporate
offices waiting to pick up their tickets.
While there, I heard one of the officials say
that over 100,000 folks attended Friday's
Carb Day, that included final shake-down runs
for the thirty-three starters of the '500,'
an Indy Lights race, as well as a rock concert.

All over town, people were in the midst
of their own preparations for the race.
The manager of the mattress store was inflating
a display character at the front of his business.
Oddly, the mattress was having a bit of difficulty
achieving the appropriate erect position.
There appeared to be some kink in his system
that prevented him from becoming
firm enough to, uh, stand.

A couple blocks from the Speedway, 
a man got ready for his race party, lining up
at least a half dozen coolers, four propane tanks,
and a grill to prepare food for his guests.

Back at the Speedway Shopping Center,
the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile and 
the Mr. Peanut Mobile were introduced at
the entrance to Kroger, where they would share
billing for the grocery's promotions.

I thought the Mr. Peanut van resembled 
a character from Star Trek. A Worf?
At any rate, the Weinermobile's license plate
read as YUMMY, while Mr. Peanut's
I kept reading it as "Nut Mumbles."
Go figure.