Sunday, September 30, 2012

Newly Planted

During my walk to the grocery Saturday morning, 
I noticed that an assortment of flowers, grasses, trees and shrubs
have been planted alongside the newly configured and
repaved Crawfordsville Road. The plants have a natural look
and, once grown, will serve to hide the ugly fast-food
buildings, as well as provide a buffer for traffic noise.

The plants are also getting their
 own irrigation system.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall Crystals

I particularly enjoy the mornings when I get out 
to find that the dew hasn't yet baked off the flowers.
These were taken along the Central Canal.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Standpipes Wrapped by Cristo

Well ... not really, but I couldn't resist.
The building was being remodeled and the
plasterers covered the pipes so they
wouldn't get covered in plaster and paint.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gray Days

I've been trying to locate a photo for my book. 
I found it, now I need to get permission to use it.
I waited all day to get a return call to speak
with the person who has access to the photo, the one
who can release it. I stayed in because it was gray
and rainy, but I should have gone for a walk, to check
the creek, to see if there are any herons hiding
in the weeds and wildflowers

Today was flat gray from morning to night, with not 
even a bit of golden sun to liven the atmosphere.
Showers are expected tomorrow. Unless it's
just pouring, I don't plan on waiting for the phone call
because I need to get out of the house.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dark to Light

The day started off gloomy, 
but the sun came out later 
to add even more brilliance 
to the geraniums' hot pink display.
Later that afternoon, a cold wind 
swept through, pulling limbs 
from the trees, with a hail storm 
so heavy the ground looked as 
though the season's first 
snowfall had occurred.
Now, the temperatures have 
returned to the 70s, but the trees
are beginning to change color,
and the geraniums' petals
were beaten to the ground.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Textured Tuesday: Circle in a Square

I have got to go back to this intersection, 
where the street painters carefully laid down 
a straight-sided notch around the water company's 
access cover. What is this place, where
 the painters are taught to make only straight 
back-and-forth motions with their rollers, and do not 
fill in around the edges of the steel cover?

Monday, September 24, 2012


I made this picture several years ago. 
Some friends were getting ready to go to a Christmas party 
(it was the middle of November) and asked me to
take their picture before they left.
 After they had gone, I returned to the boat 
where I saw the moon rising in the east, pink and
lavender clouds in the sky and reflected in the river's
surface. Of course, I had to make a painting of the scene.
The usual intention is to cover the entire canvas 
with color, but when I got this far, I figured I'd told
my story: There they were - the moon, the clouds, 
the reflections, the white boats against the
dark green shadows.
I loved that place, that time.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

From the Coffee Shop

Wednesday afternoon, I was sitting in a coffee shop on the Circle, 
watching as people finally were able to go around town 
without looking as though they were in a broiler.
I was nibbling on a snickerdoodle, waiting for my latte
to cool, contemplating what my next writing project might be.
I've got a good idea, but it will be involved.

I'd never written a book before and the one I just finished
would be a chapter in length compared to what 
I have in mind; I was surprised at how much work and
commitment it required and now I wanna do the
research and prepare a larger one.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Last Day of Summer

Friday, the last full day of summer, began prettily enough, 
casting its rays on this Speedway patio, then was banished by 
a cold front that brought chilly winds, torrential rain,
and enough hail that it looked like 3 inches of
snow stacked outside my back door.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Autumn Equinox

I like ornamental grasses. During the spring and summer 
they create a nice, natural fence. On rainy days
the rain hangs like baubles from the slender leaves. 
Now that the summer has ended, the grasses 
curl in sinuous spirals, like long hair 
gone all frizzy with the humidity.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Big Damn Leaf

I am so fucked up.
I remember the first time Carl told me that.
I was describing something I saw that was 
kinda off the wall, when he got this
funny smile on his face, his head kinda
cocked to the side as he listened to my tale --
"Chief, you are so fucked up."
I responded, of course, with a look of
my own, puzzled dismay.

"No, no," he said, "I don't mean you're *fucked up,* I mean 
that you just see that differently than I ever would have."
Oh, okay, I thought and moved on. I just don't think I'm at 
all unusual. On the creativity scale, I'm about a 6; 
there are so many other people who see and 
make such beautiful things, I'll envy them forever.
And so, there I was this afternoon, standing under the big leaves
of the plants on Monument Circle, looking at the way
the sun shone through the leaves, the way they overlapped
and made neat shapes, just a fucked up old lady
with a camera, who's buried herself in the leaves.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

For the Want of a Nail ...

Harry's memorial cross became a paint stirrer.

And who knows how many
garage sales, lost kitties, wandering dogs,
homes for sale, missing people,
wedding showers, birthday parties,
manicure salons, and lemonade stands
have been promoted over the years?
For these, only the nails remain.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Textured Tuesday: Speedway Street Maintenance Artists ... at It Again

These pictures were taken within a few feet of each other, 
where the street department workers were cutting out the asphalt
at the street corners to install new curbing and slanted
walkways. The spot of color above looks like the center of
the flame that burned all summer, but it makes the black
sealant look all the more rich.

Here the new asphalt contrasts with the older bit of road, 
while cut marks from the concrete saw offset the older cracks
in the pavement surface. The rust accents in the cut
lines relieve the gray with welcome color.
And I'm typing comments about the street workers' efforts 
as though they knew what they were doing. Humph.

Actually, this work has been going on all over Speedway for 
the past couple years. The town is making a real effort 
to improve itself; knocking down derelict buildings
and erecting new businesses along Main Street,
the streets have been trenched, then repaved, for new 
sewage lines all over town. This began in about 2009 and,
while the redevelopment was long planned, the sewage
and sidewalk construction seem particularly intense,
as though the town had received a gift from above.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ol' Pollen Butt and Late Summer Orange

It's about one week to the beginning of Autumn.
The temperatures are beginning to cool and,
even as the weather is finally reasonable, 
the plants that remain are on their own schedule,
one that seems written in their DNA.
They'll give us one last burst of color,
then fade and wither in compliance
to Nature's plan.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bees and Buckeyes

I see these pink flowers planted everywhere from 
front yards to highway medians.
I don't know what they are, but I love the delicate
florets, grouped in bunches so the bees and butterflies* 
may stand on them more easily.

And their coloration, while not bright, excites
my eyes with their fragile transitions 
from light to deeper pink and their compliment,
 a really sweet pale green.

*Corrected copy due to information received
from blogger who knows butterflies from moths.
I wasn't sure what it was, but thank you to 
Shantaram, who did.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pale Pink and Gray

I was struck by the delicacy of the pink flowers 
contrasted with the rough gray of the tree.
And the lone bee harvesting the pollen
on the late summer day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cloudy Reflection

When I stood on the little bridge at the Coke Field, 
I saw this cloud admiring its reflection 
in the creek. It was a bright sunny day, made
even more surprising by the contrast between the
clouds and sky and the ground below. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Not Too Hot Sunny Day

After enduring a summer of drought, 
last week we finally got the cooler temperatures 
and rain we so badly needed. 
Flowers that had not bloomed, 
or that had bloomed and died from the heat, 
seemed to have blossomed again, in time 
for one riotous burst of color before fall.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Place in the Park

On a sunny day, when the park was full of kids 
on the playground, and the grown-ups 
were at the Farmers' Market, this couple was able 
to find a quiet moment for themselves.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Happy Gnome

Not to be outdone by a mere cloud (see here), 
this garden gnome will be happy 
to show you his large, purple friend.
My only concern is why the little fella 
hasn't fainted because of all 
the blood rushing from his head.
Oh, yeah, he's plaster. Doh!

See "truth in media"
disclaimer shown above,
or I'd be relegated to the tabloid 
category in no time.

Textured Tuesday: Franz Kline in Speedway

Er, downtown near Christ Church Cathedral, actually.
It cracks me up. I'm walking along, minding my own business, 
when I catch sight of something out the corner of my eye.
This time it was the sidewalk. As a repair job,
it's pretty crappy, but as texture, color, shapes and line
it's pretty interesting. 

Hey, all you cee-mint
repairmen and cutters out there, whatever it is
you're drinking or eating, don't stop.

Painting, 1952. Franz Kline. Oil on Canvas.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I Could Not Resist Their Lure

This pair of standpipes are attached to the outside of 
an attorneys' office on East Market Street.
Polished and gleaming, yet pitted and oxidized with
their red end-caps setting off their shine,
they await a duty it is hoped they never need
to perform.

Just underneath, there is a third outlet,
a common garden-variety spigot 
that receives more use, 
cleaning the sidewalk 
and watering the plants.
No polish, no chrome has ever
seen its humble exterior.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Art vs. Art

Saturday morning, I went downtown to participate in 
"Art vs. Art"a competition in which paintings are pitted
in a winner-take-all format. The winning artist will receive
$4 thousand, and the losing paintings will be ground
to dust if buyers can't be found who are willing 
to pay a minimum $50 for each painting.

The vast majority of the competitors looked young 
enough to be my children. A few even brought children
of their own. The young woman next to me brought 
her young daughter, who sat patiently 
playing video games on her mom's cell phone.
The painting "arena," was the mezzanine 
of the City Market. The entrants were dispersed 
all over the area,which had been draped 
in plastic for the occasion.  

Artists were only allowed to use materials supplied 
by the organizer:an 18" x 24" canvas panel; 
four paintbrushes of varying sizes; five colors of 
acrylic paint - red, yellow, blue, black, and white.
Once each canvas was numbered and signed in, artists had
four hours in which to create their masterpieces.

 I worked quietly, trying to be good because
all the plastic made me feel as though I was working on
a class project. When I turned in the results of my efforts,
I had a bit of separation anxiety, not knowing whether
"Too Many Suns: SPF 50" will find a new home, 
or be ground into dust.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Night Thunder

This evening, we finally got one of those summer storms , 
the kind that break up the season to make the heat tolerable. 
We've had so little rain I had to go back to March 
to find pictures to illustrate the weather.

When I looked outside, I saw raindrops making 
little bits of watery shrapnel as they hit the sidewalk,'
and long, streaming rivulets pouring down 
the sides of cars. 

As the thunder rolled through Speedway,
and the lightning crackled, my shy and nervous
cat came to lie beside me, even noticing 
the flickering of the lights and TV screen
when the power went out. Her big, green eyes
may as well have had question marks for
pupils as she tried to understand 
why the noise outside made the change 
to her little indoor world.
I could almost see little sparks flash
between her ears as the synapses fired,
a little kitty intellectual storm raging within,
as she contemplated the event.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Colorful Confusion ...

Finally, we got rain. The grass has quickly turned green, 
and the reservoirs are filling up. It's less than
three weeks to the end of summer and we're finally
getting the balmy evenings we generally
associate with the season.

But some of the plants are a bit confused.
This little tree has fruit for the birds, its leaves
are anticipating the fall a few weeks from now,
as well as trying to bloom as if it's spring.

All the colors look beautiful, though,
in their colorful confusion.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Touching Base ... Not

Not far from where families were enjoying 
their picnics and playing ball, 
this man lay stretched on
a picnic table, a tube of Pringles and 
an "athletic drink" beside him.
It made me wonder about the nature
of being a solitary soul, with no one to 
whom one is responsible, no one who expects
to hear from you at some point during the
day, or within the week.
No one to miss you.
Every day or so, I check in with
my sister, and she with me.
I have friends I call on a pretty consistent 
schedule, "Is everything OK?"
"How are you?"
The little girl in yesterday's pictures
was learning to "touch base" while playing
with her family. Later on, it will extend
to relationships with other people.
The man above, by himself in the park, 
with no family or friends around,
made me wonder whether there is 
someone to whom he is responsible.
Who wonders where he is,
whether he is OK,
with whom he touches base.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

He-e-ey, Batta-Batta-Batta!

On Sunday, our bit of Isaac had blown through, 
bringing much-needed rain and cooler temperatures.
It was the Labor Day weekend and families had 
taken advantage of the cooler temperatures to enjoy
a relaxing time in the park.

The park's shelter was full of people having 
a picnic gathering, while a group of young men 
were using one of the soccer fields 
for a game of flag football.

The baseball diamond was being used by a family 
to play a little softball game. I wished I had a different
lens because the group, made up of parents and 
three girls, was teaching the youngest
to play the game. She picked up the ball, she tagged
her sister out, and she threw the ball ... sort of.
When her turn came, her big sister took 
her by the hand to run the bases. 
And Dad taught her the chant,
designed to annoy generations of 
batters ... 

He-e-y, batta-batta-batta!