Monday, October 31, 2011

Be Afraid ... Be Very Afraid

Beware ... 
the Night of the Zombie Puppies!
Spawn from the League of Cujo are out on the streets!
With their glassy-eyed stares of cuteness, 
they come to get you, tantalizing you with their 
incessant furry wiggles, happy tails and 
continual yelps of eerie joy. 
They know you will not be able to resist.
You must give in, you must and you will be trampled 
in their midst, run over as they make for their next victim. 
They will not stop, not even to give a brief lick from their tongues 
as they rampage through the night. Because ... 

The Zombie Puppies are out to avenge all those of their
species who've had to endure names like Cuddles, Sweet'ums, 
Sugar and made to wear costumes such as the ones below...

Borrowed from 
 Borrowed from

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pale Flowers, Dark Shadows

In the chilly autumn sunlight, the shadows seem much stronger, 
more defined than the pale yellow flowers which cast them. 

Their self-portraits, drawn in the concrete wall, 
tenderly, carefully recording their beauty
for only as long as the light might last.

Shadows fading into shadow,
as the night erases the day's careful work.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Because I Like Them

I've been waiting some time for a chance to use 
this picture of a solitary cardinal, his breast showing bright red 
against the gray sky. Since they are here year 'round, 
the fall weather seems appropriate to show him, foraging 
for food among the trees and seeds in the neighborhood.

When I took this picture of the kite eating mulberry tree, 
I was hoping its leaves would show a bit more gold 
in the afternoon light. They didn't, but I like it anyway.
I'll go back, and try again. The clouds in the sky won't be the same. 
Maybe it will be better.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Oooooo ...

This poor skeleton twists in the wind, his hands crossed over his crotch, 
fraught with his bony nekkidness. The jack o'lantern, 
comfortable on the swing, laughs at Bones' discomfiture.
It appears things are as they should be as All Hallows Eve approaches.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Macaron Deficiency

Behold the object of my quest, the delectable, sometimes chemically-hued macaroon macaron. I'd read about them and had at first thought the writers were referring to chewy, sweet coconut macaroons, just one of which can put you into a sugar-induced coma -- good as a sedative for getting through an afternoon of mindless cubicle-bound work, but not for the size of one's ass.

No, no, no! These treats are delicately flavored concoctions, made from egg whites, ground almonds and sugar, then filled with a mixture of egg whites, butter and sugar. I'd looked at recipes on-line, thinking that, just as I'd done in a quest to have madeleines, I'd have to make my own. However, I needed a point of reference, some idea of what a macaron was like in the real world, not just on-line.

I'd recently read an article about Circle City Sweets which included a picture of a young woman making what appeared to be pumpkin-spiced macarons. The bakery is located in Indianapolis City Market. Built in 1886, the Market is the last remaining public market building in Indianapolis. Then, as now, it provided the city with fresh meat, poultry, produce and baked goods.

When I first moved to Indy over thirty years ago, the building was full of food stands and small merchants offering various foods, as well as trinkets and crafts. In recent years, the place had fallen on hard times, maybe due to a lack of focus and has since been remodeled and revitalized; most of the "hippy-dippy" appearance I'd encountered years ago is vanished, replaced by a brighter, airier atmosphere.

But back to the macarons ...

While her husband made a roast beef sandwich for me at his stand, Circle City Soups, a few feet away, I chose five macarons -- two chocolate, two raspberry and one white chocolate. With my macarons carefully packed in my tote and my beautiful sandwich in hand, I stopped at Cath, Inc. for some coffee then headed for the mezzanine to eat my lunch. And to taste my first macaron.

Damn, that sandwich was good! When asked my preferences (wet or dry; hot or cold; spicy, sweet or plain), I chose hot, spicy and wet. I don't eat much meat anymore and this sandwich was a very nice break. Then the macarons, which were not cloying at all. I ate two of them then saved the rest for later. They seemed a little chewy on the inside, which I think was due to their having been in the freezer.

I brought them home, let them set out and had them with coffee after dinner. They were no longer chewy, having turned into the delicate treat I'd expected, sort of crispy and melty at the same time. I just wish the raspberry ones were colored something other than that evil merthiolate pink. Why can't they be a pretty mauve, more in keeping with the pretty raspberry jam inside?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn Sentry

I waited, I checked and I stalked the Sentry Tree in the IMS Coke Field, expecting that any day it would turn a nice bright red. So far, no luck. I've given in and decided to show this image from last year instead.

About a quarter mile down the road, this tree adorns 
the yard of an apartment complex. It is especially attractive 
during the fall, when it makes a curtain of variegated
colors, which sometimes are all shades of orange.
This year, the leaves began to fall before 
they could get to that stage. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Textured Tuesday: Creekview Redux

After last week's rains, I returned to the creek to see 
whether there were any interesting changes in the landscape.
While there was nothing dramatic to record of the 
surrounding trees and brush, the water level in the creek 
had risen, resulting in liquid crystal flowing over 
the jewel-colored leaves. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

"...No Mean City"

Shown above is a close-up of one of a pair of limestone eagles which guard the entrance of the old Indianapolis City Hall building, which was dedicated in 1909, the same year the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was opened. Carved by Alexander Sangernebo, the eagles fronted a building which, for the first time, had all the city offices under one roof. It remained that way until 1962, when the city government moved to a new high-rise building. 

The building stood vacant until 1967 when the Indiana State Museum took over the site, the first permanent headquarters the museum had enjoyed since it was established in 1862. Until that time, the Museum's collection had been shuffled around, in and out of musty rooms as if it were an eccentric uncle's collection of moth-eaten artifacts. 

The Museum's Foucault Pendulum hung suspended from the Hall's rotunda, swaying gently above the terrazzo floor where previously the movers and shakers of the city's government had trod and made deals. It remained there until a new building was erected in White River State Park, opening in May, 2002.  

Again the building stood empty until The Marion County Public Library needed an interim site until construction of a new addition was completed. Old City Hall was again adapted for reuse and served as the main library from 2001- 2007. Unfortunately, it once again stands empty, as the eagles maintain a sort of sad majesty, awaiting another opportunity to prove useful. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Victory Reigns

"Victory" debuted her new look last Friday, October 21, 
when the scaffolding surrounding her was completely removed. 
Her makeover complete, and finally released from bondage, 
she once again reigns over the city.

Polished and proud, her golden torch gleaming in the sun,
Victory has resumed her vigil amid the surrounding buildings,
even if the air does seem to be a tad nippy up there,
285 feet above her loving subjects.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Psychedelic, Man!

Around here, the oak trees generally just turn brown in the fall.
This year, this tree got the message for the edges of its leaves
to stop getting chlorophyll, but the inner parts are still a bit green. 
The result is this fiery oak, looking like it was dressed by Peter Max.
Wooo hoo! After a week of rain and gloom, we get a tree party!

And it's dressed for outdoor work --
safety orange and safety yellow.
Do your eyes hurt yet?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kandinsky in Speedway

"Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, 
the soul is the piano with many strings. 
The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, 
to cause the vibrations in the soul."
-Wassily Kandinsky

I dunno, there's something about these pictures 
that remind me of Kandinsky's paintings. 
Whether it's the splashes of color 
intersected with bold streaks of black, 
or just the above quote, I can't say.
All I know is that as I wander around, looking up at the trees, 
I am filled with an almost giddy delight.
Music for the eyes. 
That's good enough for me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Day in the Park

Last Sunday afternoon, just before the rains came, 
the neighborhood park was full of people,
 spending time with the kids.

It was a happy time as toddlers, their parents and grandparents
all laughed and smiled, enjoying the thrill of the swings, 
three generations bonding in the afternoon sun.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Color for a Gray Day

These pictures are only about a week old, 
taken on a sunny day when the temperatures were in the high 70s.
Umph. Not any more. We're being treated to about four days 
of showers and the accompanying gloom and chill. 
It's gray: unbleached, undyed and achromatic. I am just thrilled.

Most of summer was too hot to be outside for long and 
we didn't get enough rain. I rarely went without wearing a hat and sunscreen. 
Now, I'll go out wearing a hat and a nice cream to keep my skin
from drying out altogether -- from swoon to prune within a week's time.

I hate being cold and am already anticipating the winter solstice, 
after which the days again start to lengthen towards spring.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Textured Tuesday: Rubber Bondage

Nailed, tagged, branded and trussed. 
Somebody must've thought this telephone pole might try to escape. 
It's not as though it hasn't been doing it's job; not only has it
been supporting the wires and cables to carry thousands 
of messages, but it's served as a community bulletin board, 
holding signs for everything from yard sales and lost pets
to posters for missing children.

Oh, yeah, I forgot about this.


Monday, October 17, 2011

'Tis the Season

The neighborhood is beginning to break out in Halloween decorations.
In this yard, St. Francis, the protector of little animals, looks to be a mite
 pissed that his caretakers have dressed him in a pumpkin suit.
Ol' Frank looks like he wants nuthin' better than to chunk that punkin'
and get back to pettin' bunnies and comforting doves.

The little bird whispering in his ear is telling Frank he's a real saint
for putting up with that orange strait jacket. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Port de Bras

My favorite tree lives in the RV parking lot. 
It's twisted and gnarled from years of reaching towards 
the light and bending with the wind.
Over the years, I've gotten into the habit of paying it a visit
whenever I walked that direction 
to make sure it's still standing. 

This summer, the Speedway's
maintenance people decided to trim the tree's
most twisted limb, one that it held like a dancer
twirling across the floor. While necessary, I was nonetheless 
sad to see it go because it gave the tree an expression of 
grace that is only acquired through experience. 

This little collection of birdhouses
lives on a neighborhood porch that the 
homeowner has given the feel of an outdoor living room.
While one side has been curtained for privacy it doesn't
close off the world. The curtain both softens 
the afternoon light and catches the breezes

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gettin' Nekkid

Last week the trees were still wearing their leaves. 
A few of them had begun doing a slow strip tease,
their golden leaves floating through the air, 
scattering like feathers from a dancer's boa.
They bobbed and dipped in the sun, 
one last number before the intermission, 
when autumn sets the stage for winter.

This morning, the trees were bare, standing nekkid 
for all to see, their leaves in matted swirls on the ground.
The walnut tree across the street still has bits of
gold and green and feeds the happy squirrels 
that live in the tree next door.

I can't believe this squirrel let me get so close. 
I suppose it's because he was too involved in his
mast. Even the tree was kind enough to not throw a
walnut THONK! onto my head as I tried to take their pictures.
They sure did hit the ground
 around me hard, though.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where the Big Tree Lives

This is where the Big Tree reigns. Standing sentry 
over its section of the Coke Lot field, it is beginning 
to change into its fall reds and oranges; last fall it was a brilliant 
red-orange all over, the only tree on the street to do so. 
Behind it is the grove of trees that border the creek,
bisecting the field.
During the racing season at the Speedway, 
the field is used for parking and camping by racegoers
and looks like this ...


But for the rest of the year, it is the place 
where I go to look for turtles, 
take pictures of the moss and mud in the creek and 
of the little red berries growing on the shrubs.