Saturday, March 31, 2012

Violets and Mickey D's

The back yard of the home where I grew up had, 
at its stingy best, only sparse patches of grass. On the 
right hand side of the yard little patches of these
violets would bloom every year in the shadow of
 a big maple tree.  When I saw this small expanse
of purple flowers, I was immediately reminded
of my old yard - a few purple flowers surrounded
by bare dog paths.

About a quarter-mile from here, in the Speedway 
Shopping Center, is the MCL Cafeteria, an establishment
known for its edible food. I said edible, not
remarkable or outstanding. It is known in the 
vernacular of the area as the MediCare Lounge
because of the age range of many customers.

Sometimes, I enjoy stopping in at McDonald's 
for a cup of coffee, where I've found the
morning customer base to be elderly men, gathering
with their cohorts to share tales and gossip over
an Egg McMuffin and hot coffee.
Could this be the MCD? MediCare Depot? 

Friday, March 30, 2012

April Theme Day: Cobblestones

As a member of the City Daily Photo blog community, 
each month I look forward to sharing a picture
based on an assigned theme. 
Unfortunately, that portal was hacked and some
of the CDP members set up a website where
we might post pictures of our April theme,
Cobblestones. However, I can't recall
where I last saw cobblestones in Indianapolis,
so was happy to find this nicely bricked
alley-way just off the downtown area, 
along Massachusetts Avenue.

To see contributions to this theme by other 
CDP participants, click here.
Hooray! The City Daily Photo portal
has been restored. To see contributions  
on the CDP portal 
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Pink Arbor

I'd been waiting for the redbud trees to bloom
and, when I stood beneath this tree I smiled,
not wanting to leave the pink arbor
created by a tree that looks as though it is
welcoming spring by wearing 
a fuzzy pink sweater.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


A long, long time ago, on a steamy summer day, 
someone made some swashes and swirls
as they spread tar on their driveway.
Instead of seeing it as an act of overheated
boredom, I prefer to think of it as 
strokes of pure, burning minimalist insight,
black on black, with little bits of red stems 
and the edge of the sidewalk for added genius.

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it, 
so to speak.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dogwood Light

When I was out for my walk yesterday afternoon, 
I passed this dogwood tree, its pink flowers just glowing 
from the sunlight shining through their petals.
For some reason, the resulting pictures remind me of 
Tiffany lampshades, perhaps because the 
black branches seemed to give 
the impression of leaded glass.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Textured Tuesday: Spring Mattress

There was something really inviting about the green plants, 
all cushiony and comfy looking, yet with the dried stalks 
from last year's planting protruding from their midst, 
it's not likely that anyone will be resting 
on their laurels in this garden.

Yeah, well, I know they're not laurels, 
but it was there, ya know?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Morning on the River

The sharp, musty smell of the river in spring
makes me tipsy with plans for trips 
and long, slow rides along the river's banks 
where the trees hang low, their leaves
teasing me with sensuous strokes of my face
as the boat drifts in their shade.

I lean on the boat's rail and take in 
the morning fog, so dense 
I can't see the bank where we are tied. 
The fog hangs idly at the water's surface, suspended,
until the sun rises from behind the hills.
It swirls around me as I sweep the deck,
wrapping me in a veil of clouds
where I stand, unseen, to watch
the shadowed forms of geese as they fly upriver.
The beating of their wings buffets the air
as they pass, murmuring among themselves,
telling goose stories, instructing - who knows?
They tilt their wings, drop their feet and
land, Boosh! in the water,
their webbed black feet acting as brakes,
to create little crystal wakes.
They dip their heads in the water, 
bobbing warily as they paddle around then, 
at some unseen signal, are off again
disappearing into the fog as if erased
by an unseen hand.

I take my camera and sit at the end
of the dock, near Belle's sternwheel,
to watch the sun rise over the hills,
casting its bright rays into the purple 
shadows along the banks.
The fog rises from the river, 
a bright pink and gold mist, 
as across the way Nancy Ann
gleams white against the tree line.
The sun breaks through the trees nearby,
making a pool of golden light. 
Just beyond a heron dives for food, then 
making an awkward ascent, 
wings and legs akimbo and streaming water, 
he leaves the river with his catch.

Sounds of vehicles on the road
a hundred yards away F150s, 
their tires thrumming on the asphalt, 
begin to break through the quiet.
The aroma of fresh coffee wafts 
from the boat, and I go inside
to begin another dream.

Happy Birthday, Kid!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

To Dream ... Perchance? Pour Moi?

Ha! Like ... hell!

A Place for the Tired

During my walk along Massachusetts Avenue, I passed a nice park bench 
outside a neighborhood pub. Painted glossy black, it had the 
distinction of being "upholstered," with arms and backrest,
made from sections of tires. At first, I thought the tires were from old
automobiles, turned inside out. That is, I did until I realized I could read the
manufacturers' names along the rims. This being Indy, 
maybe they're used racing tires: Decorated with streaks
of white paint and glamed up with some large rhinestones,
 they have no tread, making them useless for anything
more stressful than decorative cushions.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


I've been wanting a cupcake since the beginning of the year,
but, for one reason or another, had to wait until today
to get my treat. I went downtown, then walked a mile or so
to the Flying Cupcake on Massachusetts Avenue.
Rainy as it was, I found pictures that needed to be taken
so enjoyed the stroll along the storefronts that line
the street - boutiques, pubs, art galleries, a bakery for 
dog treats as well as a couple for human goodies.

I chose the designated "birthday cupcake,"
yellow vanilla cake with buttercream frosting and - 
need I say it - Sprinkles! Wrapped in tissue and 
placed in its very own pink box, I put the
treat in my tote, then returned downtown.
I went to the coffee shop to enjoy
a latte and the cupcake, savoring every bit
while I watched passersby in the rain. 

Returning home, the weather brightened for a bit, 
then dark clouds came into the area. This evening,
much of the state is under a series of severe thunderstorm warnings, as well as tornado watches and warnings. 
Given the warmer than usual winter we enjoyed, 
it's inevitable that the warm fronts and cooler temps 
brought by the rain would cause a trepidation of 
storms when they meet. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Laying Brick

A few days ago, I saw a couple men working to replace 
the brick facing on one of the light stanchions 
that line the Crawfordsville Road entry into Speedway. 
The road is being widened to accommodate 
additional traffic from the new exits 
being constructed just beyond, at I-74 and I-465.

The men doing the work are mature. 
This must be an easy job for them, but I'm happy 
to see that grown men have a job, and that 
their skills are appreciated.

Here, an earlier shot shows a crew dismantling 
one of the original lights. They saved the original 
stanchions and the medallions from the centers 
of the bases, as well as some of the rebar.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flannel Shirt

I'd never seen cotton bolls before a trip we took to Houston.
On our way home we stopped at the edge of this field,
where Carl cut some stalks for me. I still have them, in a vase.

Going through a closet, 
I found one of Carl's old flannel shirts
hanging among my jackets. 
Its subdued plaid - tan, 
dark red and olive green, 
reflected the outdoor style of the man.

The soft folds hold memories,
smells from his work, of smoke from bonfires, 
and sawdust, or oil from an engine.
I held it against my face, then
wrapped myself in the nubby fabric 
and lay on the bed for a while, 
his scattered pheronomes 
enveloping me one more time 
in his strong embrace
where I'd often sought shelter,
safe from the toxic cunts 
who ruled my office 
and made my work such hell.

I got up, folded the shirt, and
returned it to the dark drawer, 
where it lay, a carapace of the man
who protected me, who gave me courage. 
A reminder of the love not gone,
just in another place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Just Damn Pretty

When I go for my walks, I am supposed to go at a pace 
of fifteen to sixteen minutes per mile. Yeah, sure.
I can do it if I don't look at anything or stop to take
pictures. I know there are long stretches
where I don't expect to see much, so I concentrate
on my pace, look straight ahead, trying to not trip
over cracks in the sidewalk. But I get so bored!
And then, just when I least expect it, a pretty white 
flower shows up on the side of a tree - Poof!
So what am I supposed to do? Ignore it?
Not likely. So here are the white flowers,
with their little bits of delicate pink 
and green accents.

Late last week, the magnolias had just begun to bloom.
The next night there was a big storm. Of course, the petals had begun to fall, others were stained and damaged.
Above is a photo of the same tree from

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Textured Tuesday: Fuzzies with Yellow Tips

These are flowering pussy-willows, which I found intriguing 
because I'd never seen them at this stage before. 
The plants bordered the driveway of a Speedway home. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Bright, Sunny Day

When I was a girl, one of the first indications of spring 
were the arrangements of forsythia and pussy-willow 
my elementary school teachers brought into the class room. 
Now, so many years later it is the first memory 
I recall when I look outside my window 
to see the forsythia in bloom. 
It could still be cold, but the sight of the bright 
yellow bush is sunlight itself, 
captured in a small yellow flower.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Redbud and Guitars

While the magnolia trees are showing their magnificent blooms, 
the redbuds' color is just beginning to appear. 
In a week or so, they'll be covered 
in their beautifully colored, tiny florets. 
How do they do that, and why?

I was messing around, looking for something else on YouTube, when I found this video clip. I believe it's from 1990,
just before Stevie Ray Vaughn was killed in a helicopter
crash after a performance. Here he is playing with
Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughn
and Buddy Guy. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

They're Here! They're Here!

I think I saw my first magnolia tree when I moved to Indy in 1978. I managed then to take a nice picture of one of its blooms, 
but haven't gotten any other decent ones since.
They seem like hearty flowers, but quickly get tattered, 
torn, and bruised with rusty edges when the first spring
cold snap and rains come through, as they always do.

But I managed to get some decent pictures today, 
the first without the rusty windblown edges.
The trees are popular in the neighborhood, 
so I can probably assume that other people
like them as much as I do.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Freshly Green

There are four of these trees, a pair of each posted 
at the front corners of the Federal Court House. 
While I love the undulating lines of their trunks,
I don't generally take their pictures because
of the busy-ness taking place in the background.
However, the late afternoon sunlight
reflected so beautifully off the trunks, I had
to make an exception.

Fresh leaves have started to open, adding their 
verdant strokes of color to the branches.
In a few weeks, the trees will be full of pale 
pink flowers which will eventually shower 
the surrounding grounds and passersby
with their tiny petals.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


 A Muskingum Thanksgiving, 2002. Painting by Sara Wright,
looking from the Dresden Belle across the river to Nancy Ann.

In winter, we would go to the boat for quiet weekends
uninterrupted by the noise of daily routine.
The crisp breeze turned the river's ripples into sharp crescents
as the cold air nicked my face with little pins.
I dipped my bucket into the river,
drawing up water almost crystal clear,
the summer's clay having sunk to the bottom
taking with it the season's secrets.

In summer I loved to fish off the boat, 
pulling out sleek gray catfish.
I liked to look at them, to feel their rough mouths
and check their gills as I avoided 
the sting of their sharp barbels,
the whiskers that gave the fish its name.
Their black eyes stared back at me, their captor,
and I always felt ashamed, afraid
I'd done them irreparable harm.
I marveled at their sleek, shiny skin
that held a thousand million scent organs
to pick up the river's stories from miles around.

The catfish heard the furtive footfalls on the deck, 
the loud, unhappy voices weaving lies that curled
into the night air as the bonfire's sparks 
reached toward the galaxy of stars.
They swam in the fetid odor of nicotine
and alcohol sweat washed into the river from the boat,
swept to the murky depths where the secrets lay
before the cold came and, for another brief season,
the water seemed crystal clear, 
inverting lies with false clarity.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's in the Air!

On Sunday, the sun was warm, flowers were blooming 
and the buds on the trees were beginning to open.
This morning, budding branches framed the moon
as the morning sun reflected off its surface.
The Spring Equinox will be a week from today, March 20,
and it seems that living creatures all around
are planning a rousing welcome to the season.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Textured Tuesday: One Brick

Imbedded in the sidewalk, this one brick emphasized 
both the gritty texture of the sidewalk and its own burnt
clay surface.

UPDATE: During my walk this afternoon, 
I happened to meet the property owner where this brick lives.
When I asked him its significance, he told me it was one 
of the bricks that originally paved the Speedway.
- Slw, March16, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012


On Sunday, it had been seven weeks and three days since 
Mr. Groundhog had been out to forecast for spring.
I wore a vest over my T-shirt this afternoon only to have 
pockets for my wallet and camera. Spring has surely
arrived because so many people were out raking 
their flower plots, cleaning garages, and walking their dogs.
This family was preparing their car for future
automobile shows. The engine has been removed
for an overhaul and the garage was being tidied prior to 
the car being returned to its shelter.

There were three people involved in this activity, 
I believe - father, son and granddaughter, each of whom has
their own vehicle to drive around the neighborhood.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Purple and Gold

For years, I've seen the crocuses blooming in a neighborhood garden 
every March. Until this year. I don't know whether there are new people 
living in the house, but this spring, for all intents, there are no flowers. 
I saw one white crocus trying to emerge from under the leaves, 
but it didn't make it. The plant couldn't get past all the detritus 
to reach the sun in time. This year, the little plot remains winter brown.
So far. I keep hoping that spring will, once again, rise from
beneath winter's brown to reach the sun.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dunno ...

The day was somewhat overcast when I took these photos 
just a bit over a year ago. I was walking 
near the Speedway when I looked up the block 
and saw this tree, its chartreuse color 
almost glowing against the gray surroundings.
I looked for a better angle, but didn't find one
that still showed the beautiful color.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Orange Barrels

Back at the intersection, where I-465 and I-74 
are being reconfigured and constructed, 
drivers are daily confronted with a maze of barriers, 
cones, barrels and signs to help them navigate the area. 
Of course, the planners did not take into consideration 
the occasional pedestrian who may need to cross the road. 
As usual, the safest place to cross is not *at the light,*
but further down, near the McDonald's, 
where there is a long, flat area where one can 
easily see on-coming traffic.

Here are more of the building materials 
to be used on the road's drainage system -
stacks of concrete and PVC pipe. All of it stacked 
very near some of the machinery 
used to move and to place it.

Here's a bit of track made in the gravel by the backhoe.

And here is Todd Yohn's "Orange Barrels,"
a song that reflects the irritation and frustration
we all feel when we encounter a construction zone.