Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Reflective Moment

This past weekend, I worked as a timer for 
the 2016 SwimFest, the long course championships 
for age group swimmers from clubs all over
the state of Indiana.
It is frenetic, crowded and noisy
with the shouts of family and friends
drowning out the sounds of the swimmers' 
rhythmic splashing as they swim
the length of the Natatorium's 50-meter pool.
Their slim, fit bodies belie the image
we get of the obese, couch-bound teenager;
these kids are fit, confident, and motivated. 
I am pleased to be able to help them
with my time because they also
serve to keep me motivated --
you have no idea how embarrassing 
it is to know that a 12-year-old can swim
any of their events in one-half the time
it would take me to do the same.

This pictures were taken after the meet Saturday night.
I was waiting for the bus as the sun set, 
and was able to catch the reflections of the fading light 
in the windows of the IUPUI Student Union 
building across the way.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Bit of Macadam Plaid

Earlier this year, the street department worked 
to repave New York Street, just outside the Natatorium.
They made islands, installed new lighting, and
reoriented the stripes in some parking areas.
Of course, this has resulted in an area of nice gray
tweed, interspersed with a pattern of black and yellow
bars at right angles.It makes a fine clan tartan
for the families of all street workers,
spiritual descendants of John McAdam,
inventor of the method of paving
that led to the asphalt surfaces that now
cover our streets and highways.

Friday, July 1, 2016

July Theme Day: Look Down

The street maintenance department of Indianapolis
may not be so great at making sweet, 
tidy repairs, but they somehow manage 
to be sublime street artists 
in the Abstract Expressionist manner. 
Compositions such as these exist all over the city; 
I've taken enough of these sorts of photos 
to be able to mount a large exhibition. 
Consequently, today's theme, Look Down 
was right up my alley, so to speak.

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Awww ... Urban Wildlife Watching

A couple years ago, construction workers converted 
a ditch near work into a marshy retention pond.
It's meant to hold overflow rainwater from surrounding
neighborhoods, preventing homes from flooding.
Last summer it seemed to be a wasted effort
because we had so little rain, but this year 
the reeds and cattails are happily standing in water, 
providing shelter for redwing blackbirds,
mallard ducks, and Canada geese.

A couple weeks ago, I noticed this goose roosting 
on a spot not ten feet from the road.
Last week I took another look and saw that
she had little bits of yellow fluff peeping from
beneath her own gray feathers.
Babies! She'd hatched her little goslings!
I could only see four.

A few days later, I saw she had gone.
I figured she's taken her babies to another, safer spot,
away from the dangers and distractions of human
intervention and annoyances.
Another coworker went closer to the nest 
and saw there were eggs.
Would she have just abandoned her eggs
or had she realized they weren't going to hatch
and taken her little family to a new home?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Dunno ... I Just Dunno

It rained all day Saturday.
When I first saw a group of these
guys walking down Pennsylvania Street
towards Monument Circle to ... who knows where?
I at first thought they had wrapped themselves in towels 
because they lost their clothes as participants
in some sort of mud fest

There were hundreds of them clad in various
styles of frocks from faded chiffon concoctions and
sequined mini dresses to "little" black dresses.
I laughed and shook my head; after all,
there is something disconcerting about a frilly tulle
skirt wafting around above a pair of stocky,
hairy calves. Every one of them needed instruction
in the niceties of wearing a gown. They reminded
 me of Vincent D'Onofrio as Edgar the bug
from Men In Black, who tries to master the actions
and mien of the human whose body
he had just taken over. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Theme Day: Smell

The Theme for the first day of May is "Smell."
I posted another image of this same tree some weeks
ago showing its tiny buds against a background
of brown stucco. Since then, the flowers have come
and gone, too soon. All around, bunches of pansies
 have been planted in beds, against a background
of black mulch. Tulips have opened their
crowns to the sun and fallen away.
Today, hidden among the branches of its bush,
I saw the first rose opening, its aroma 
a promise still hidden amid the folds
of its petals. 
But I have smelled the rain,
those "April Showers" that bring
all the delicate colors I love so much.
And the scent of just-mowed grass
has wafted through the neighborhoods
in recent days as homeowners
wage a battle to keep their lawns from
turning into little jungles.