I think too much

Fence posing

Are these pickets meant to be anthropomorphic? Or is it me?

Squash blossom verge

Squash blossoms…. Of the milpa plants—maize, beans and squash—I have long felt that maize and beans are…obvious, complacent plants, while squash is the one with pizzazz. Yeah, another projection….

Old news

Tax free weekend

Back-to-school tax-free weekend…not sure why a wedding-dress shop is advertising this…. Pretty sure wedding dresses, trains, and tiaras are not tax-free…. Did hear that umbrellas (?) remain taxed.

NYT snail

Found this (oops; out-of-focus) snail catching up on her/his reading…an old issue of the NYT.

Free shipping, part two

Walmart pkg duo

Indeed, #walmart package number two showed up today. Shorter wiper blade, smaller package. Still, overkill packaging….

However, unlike our recent shipping experience in the Upper Peninsula, both were delivered to the front door.


Dawnsky again

Eye drawn to the sky again….

Celtic cross ATL

Still managed to spot this modern “Celtic cross.” Seemed sidelined in this location, side-yard, beneath porch windows.

You get both

Sprinkler yellow rabbit

I couldn’t choose.

I rather like the “life” in the sprinkler-cement-rabbit shot. I also like the starkness and angularity of the patio area of the closed burger place.

Open overnight yeah burger

Touring southbound

Youthful pickle cuke

Seems like the common theme today was rain cells. We went through three different storm fronts, with varying degrees of raininess and storminess.

In one case, we got little of the storminess as we were following the orange/red zone…and everywhere in the fading drippiness we saw leaves and sticks and branches and trees. And hillsides with temporary waterfalls, ditches full of running beige water, and water crossing the road a few places.

We were lucky that that our route just happened to avoid the worst.

We began our day with a little garden tour from MzCarol (including teensy pickle-dukes). She also gave us several dozen fresh, healthy, handmade Carol-love-muffins. Mmm. If you’re nice, we’ll share!

UM Alumni show

Next, we dropped in on the UM alumni art show, to see a SeeingMind piece…which was hung behind the square history-painting past the title-cube-column. Sorry, additional photos are on a different camera, and its cables are in the car across a rainy parking lot…. (Say: lazy?)

Fostoria tracks crossing

Drifting farther south, we stopped in Fostoria, just ahead of another line of rain-cells. This welder was fixing something at the track-crossing. He had a watch-buddy, who actively looked for trains, first this way, then that…with a hand held up to protect his eyes from the welding-brilliance.

Now, we’re taking refuge in an historic hotel, and see that there’s another (different) line of storms over ATL…I work at not becoming panicky.

We WERE cozy

No no no

Inviting via the negative. Indeed, we encountered neither insect, heat, nor humidity.

Also, good use of chalk colors on signage…. Here’s a decorated century-old chalkboard in the news today…. Pretty cool.

Random London…


Thames view

We went out on one last bridge to look at the River Thames. Tide out somewhat. Water murky. All active boats were tourist vessels.

Caution horses crossing

From the upper deck of a two-level bus, we learned that passing horses trump pedestrian regulations…and have the power to STOP vehicular traffic. Have a great ride!

Seven Dials symbol

This is the symbol for the Seven Dials neighborhood. A quick G**gle search and I find no explanation.

The Seven Dials part is easy. When platted in the 1690s, to get the maximum street frontage thus increasing the value of lots, the owner opted for a radial street pattern from a point, where a sundial monument was installed. There were/are seven streets, but only six sundials–with the seventh the pillar they are mounted on!

Cool Apple plug

We continued our practice of visiting Apple Stores in foreign capitals and large cities. The Guru asked about the new Apple adapter that has folding prongs and fits UK electrical plugs. The kindly Apple-lady said she hadn’t touched one, and opened a brand new package (was it £30? £25? I forget…pricy), so she and we could see/feel the smooth mechanism. The twin prongs move in the opposite direction from the third one, very solid mechanism. Lovely design. Points to Jony Ive, I understand. Thanks to our Apple-lady for modeling! (No points to me for OOF* image.)

* OOF = out-of-focus

Moving on…

B coach

Turns out we are B people; turns out B on this train is the quiet car…nice! The train-cars on this long-distance route (London–Edinburgh, I think) have alphabetical designations A through F, plus K and I forget what else. The Guru found mid-day, off-time tix for us for £13 apiece each way, London–York—a great deal!

While northbound our car, and I think the train in general, was lightly occupied; southbound, today, there were only a few empty seats. We got lucky, and only had companions at our table for about a half-hour of the ride, an older couple en route to visit their daughter in Sardinia for a month….

Henri Moore arch

The Henry Moore Arch, with a display-management strategy that imitates Stonehenge, where the hoi palloi are kept at bay by fences. Rabbits, however, at least here, were dining by the half-dozen on the edge of the fenced-off greensward. (Would not normally use that word, but it fits here in London….)

We’re staying in a “new” neighborhood, near Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. They are one contiguous green on my smartphone map with two named zones, confusing…plus I found this on an official website: “Kensington Gardens covers 242 acres and was originally part of Hyde Park.”* We strolled in both, after an early dinner….

Queen vic relief

We started at the Italian Gardens, where we began to discover heavy use across the park at this hour by Iranian(?) couples and small groups. The women tended to accent black with florescent or bright orange, e.g., in sneakers. Is this some kind of nationalism? A signal of availability? Mystery….

This Royal Park celebrates many royals, including this relief of Queen Victoria in the Italian zone. The quoted price of making the stone sculptures in the Italian Garden was around £200, if I remember correctly. Not sure what that is in modern £s.

Prince Albert in gold

Check out this giant installation honoring a gold-crusted Prince Albert. He’s seated in a style we saw the Romans use, and I assume they borrowed/imitated from the Greeks. For the Romans anyway, seated on a special chair was a big deal for the leaders. I don’t know if it carried more status than seated on a horse, or if it was a different connotation entirely (e.g., referring to non-military leadership?).

Anyway, the sheer extent of this park in such a populous city is amazing. After all the cities we visited in Scotland, almost all with a castle on a high point, London’s layout, on comparatively flat ground, feels quite different.

* Apparently, in 1536 good ol’ Henry VIII created the park as a private/crown hunting ground. It was opened to proper members of “the public” (thus, only the few) in 1637.

Last hurrah in the English countryside

Castlerigg standing stones

We started our morning—look at that glorious sky!—at our last standing stone circle of the trip. This one is on a high hill surrounded by much higher mountains. I learned absolutely nothing about the ritual landscape…other stones, where settlements were, other architectural elements…. Sigh. I bucked up, though, and on we went!

Cud chewing

We motored up a hill, and discovered even the cattle enjoy lake-views…

Lake view

…and watching sailboats….

Topiary England

Remember, this is the Lake District, and people here tend to be flush and indulge their notions…can these be considered garden follies?

Yorkshire Dales view

We motored along winding roads into the nearby Yorkshire Dales, which we found stunning, yet rather sere in comparison, with rock outcrops and different land-use patterns.

Gypsy wagon stone barn Winsome sheep

With last weekend, we realized we had hit the summer festival season. I think this apparent gypsy wagon is advertising one.

That stone barn…there were lots of these in the valleys and often not very far apart, although each was in a different stone-fenced paddock. I pondered this quite a while, and eventually postulated that they were part of a transhumance pattern, with summer graze on the heights of the ridges, and wintering near these barns, which always had some height and at least two stories, I assume for storing winter fodder. Just a theory, though….

I doubt I’ll see any sheep close-up during the rest of the trip so one last sheep photo…and isn’t this a darned winsome sheep?