Thursday, March 5, 2015

Robins Ate the Berries

On Tuesday, I posted a couple pictures of robins 
perched in a berry-laden tree.
It is my contention that this tree is able to hold
its fruit all fall and winter because it's
meant as a late winter feast for the robins.
I've seen trees at other locations, their bases surrounded
by robins sitting in the snow, so gorged
on berries that they could not fly.
There were about a half dozen birds around this tree
when I returned Wednesday afternoon.
The berries are very nearly gone.
The only birds eating them are robins.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Robins and Berries

We got several inches of snow in Indy 
this past weekend. Monday afternoon, while waiting 
for the bus, I looked up in a nearby tree 
where I saw robins. They seemed almost tame, 
but I guess it was the berries and, perhaps, a mating thing, 
that kept them in the tree while I prowled underneath, 
looking for a decent shot.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Theme Day: Ageing (Where the Winner of the Inaugural Wyoming Award Gets Tested)

Several weeks ago, I enrolled in "Bee School," 
a day-long seminar presented by the Indiana Beekeepers
Association. In addition to displays brought in
by professional apiaries and suppliers, there were lectures
for advanced beekeepers, beginning beekeepers,
and people interested in keeping bees.
I fall into the latter category.

Since I needed to take a bus to the site of the event,
I checked the location on Google maps that displayed an
intersection near the end of the bus route from which
I would walk about a half mile to the high school
campus. "No problem," I said to myself, as I set off
to learn how to become a willing servant to those
little pollinators of our food supply.

The bus ride Saturday morning was non-eventful, 
winding through neighborhoods I'd never seen before,
taking me into the southwestern section of the city.
I got off the bus in an area that could only be described
as light industrial to rural. The only buildings in
evidence were warehouses that are transfer points
for cargo shipped to and from the nearby
Indianapolis International Airport, a regional hub 
for FedEx and UPS. I walked a quarter mile north, 
near the entrance to a warehouse serving a lot of FedEx 
semis - and saw nothing on the horizon but more warehouses.
I walked back to the intersection where I walked west along 
a two-lane paved road. At the top of the rise all I saw
was fallow ground bordered by barren trees.
It crossed my mind that me, a sixty-something woman
might become likely prey for a serial killer
long-haul truck driver. I'd never be heard from again.
Instead of getting scared wandering the roads, I got pissed.
 The Google map did not show the bus stop
on Kentucky Avenue where I could have just crossed
the street to arrive at my location. Instead, it had me 
walking a half mile from some isolated spot, 
nowhere near the school.

That's where I saw this speed limit sign, smothered 
in brush beside a long-abandoned road.
Back at the intersection, I was able to board the next
bus along that route. I asked the driver the location
of Decatur Central High School and was told it was just
about a mile from where the earlier driver
had dropped me off, across the street from where we'd
 first entered the development of apartments, 
a small specialty hospital, with the warehouses 
just beyond that. He told me he would let me off
right in front of the campus, and he did.

An hour late, I made it to Bee School. I'd expected 
a few hundred people to attend. Instead, I saw a 
couple thousand folks; the auditorium was full and the 
lectures I attended for beginning beekeepers
were standing room only. People of all ages bunched 
around the manufacturers' displays, including teen-agers
trying on coveralls and veils. I think I could get 
started on this part of my life odyssey for about $500.00, 
including my first package of bees.

And what has all this to do with today's CDP theme?
During one of the lectures, the beekeeper spoke about
the die-off of some of his bees during the winters.
He said that bees need to leave the hive every several
days to, well, take a shit. They do not want to dirty
their hive, so briefly fly outside then return to the warmth 
of their cluster. Some bees go outside to die
for the same reason. He used to work very hard
to save them only to find they would again leave the hive,
where he'd find their little bodies in the snow.
Eventually, the beekeeper learned it was a part 
of the natural processthat they knew better 
than he when their role was done.
Me? I am nowhere near ready to be found in some
isolated snow bank, curled up and down for the count. 
I have too many adventures ahead.

To see how other members of the City Daily Photo 
portal have interpreted today's theme, "Ageing," 
either click on the above link or on the CDP badge
to the right of this post.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Divided Light

Every so often the sun filters through the slats 
that screen the interior of the Natatorium parking garage 
from public view, creating a warp and woof pattern 
at the entryway, where the sunlight 
is reflected onto the concrete.

Monday, February 23, 2015

S'no Relief

I know. I know. It's all relative.
I went out for a bit yesterday and mounds of snow,
scooped to the curbs by plows, had patches 
and puddles of melted water 
seeping from beneath their massed bottoms.
That water froze overnight, turning my
tiny bit of the universe into a slip'n'slide.
Today's temperatures are 32 degrees colder
than average for this time in February.
My mind and body are preparing to swim
later this afternoon, but my skin is
protesting. In spite of my diligent efforts, 
the dry air whisks the moisture from my skin.
It itches. It itches.
Please, winter, go away.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Monster Slobber

Man, talk about desperate!
I could have gone into my archives for
a photo, but I just wasn't inclined
to do it. All I've wanted to do is curl up
under my blankies and watch movies, 
the more sappy and romantic, the better;
it's cold outside and I can't get warm.
I finally made it out of the house to go to
the store. Of course, I had my little camera with
me, so could record the appearance of
the downspout ogre, its slobber frozen, with
a tiny dribble of ice hanging just so.
I didn't want to risk breaking it off to see
whether it was clinging by a slender filament - 
the ogre might have come to life.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Maître Tom, le nageur du Nat

When I watch Tom and Victoria practice, 
I don't notice anything odd about their appearance 
in the water; I take the distortion for granted.
But when I tried to draw Tom, I found the distortions 
needed explanation: No, his arms aren't really 
all weenified, his legs and body aren't that thick; it's just 
the way the light is reflected by the moving water.

While working on the drawing, I was reminded 
of Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon
the painting that inspired the artist's development
of Cubism. The debut of this painting in 1907
marked the birth of modern art. From my art history
classes, I understood that Cubism was, in part,
an effort by the artists to flatten perspective and
to keep the viewer's eye moving continually
around the composition. I didn't try to "flatten"
the perpective at all, but the distortions made by 
the water certainly force one to keep looking
around the picture, making it move.