Free library

Free library in a churchyard. Did not check the titles….

Mustang no sally

Mild experimentation with wide-angle capabilities.

Minor mysteries

Ghoul in tree

Not sure what to lead with…I choose the seasonal, emotional, and possibly artistic image. Ghoul I thought, rather than ghost. Not sure why. “Ghoul” is from a late 1700s Arabic word for “to seize” that shifted meaning a bit to refer to a desert demon/monster that desecrates graves to eat corpses. That’s specificity; a ghoul is no city-critter.

Feather azalea mystery

Now, switch to the merely mildly mysterious. I cannot figure out for sure how this feather got so deeply embedded in the azalea foliage. Wind?

Pattern day

Ivy strands

Ivy leaves. Strain selected for pale pigments (or whatever ivy has). This means reduced chlorophyll compared to the all-green relatives, and a greater risk of poor growth.

Ginger bud

Very green ginger bud. No chlorophyll problems.

Mortar joints

Artsy mortar joints. Not all grey is (pure) grey. No chlorophyll issues.


Kroger front

Yesterday our neighborhood Kroger re-opened. Or, at least, there was a Kroger here, but there’s a totally new building now, complete with two parking garages (one underground), and a high-rise apartment building. Far right is an old building on a different property. We made our first visit this morning. We passed on the Halloween swag, tasted a few of the offerings scattered throughout the store, and talked to several kindly and helpful employees. Two of three referred to a map to tell us where things were—Bob’s Red Mill dried-bean soup mix (one only, but not the one we like); organic fresh Italian sausage (none).

Beltline sign

They are trying for a new identifier. Locally this used to be called the Murder Kroger (after a parking lot event, if I have it right), or Wino Kroger by the Guru. One edge of the store is the Beltline, so: Beltline Kroger.

Beltline view

Here’s the view from the Beltline. Note the blue bow on the column, left.

Empty case

While most bins, shelves, and cases were nicely filled, with all items tidily aligned, this prepared-food section was empty. Someone decided that empty containers with post-its was better than totally empty. If the handwriting had been clearer, I could have browsed the offerings-to-be.

The checkout lady—we did serve yourself—was very helpful with corrections…five packages of 12-oz Starbucks coffee were supposed to be $5.99 each, but they rang up at the regular price ($7.99), not even the sale price (apiece)—$6.49. Plus, we were gifted some onions that weren’t in the menu at all.

We came out with assorted fresh veggies (salad stuff mostly), some uncured pancetta, and a few other grocs (e.g., coffee!!), plus their idea of a “Hawaiian” poké salad (fine, not exceptional; made for a more interesting lunch than we were going to have). We’ll go back….


Feet on bar

This morning I thought my day would be miscellaneous (dull, boring) chores, with the headliner being getting my hair done (D, B subject for a post…). [I’m so Midwest.]

Rain on news

Then I went for a walk and found these droplets spaced like a variation on a flat meniscus situation, and thought, well, that’d be a big improvement on hair salon tedium.

Dark photo

Just about rush hour, things turned topsy turvy. The Guru exercised his traffic mojo and we went “to the mall” Apple store and brought home a new phone for me. Lots of advertising focused (heh) on the three lenses, ignoring the one on the front for selfies. Now I have to study up on how to use all the lenses with technical intelligence and creativity. It was raining and getting darned dark when I made this photo (which would never win a prize of any sort). Still, the fancy algorithms produce an interesting image, no?

Homeward (no angel)

Southern States

Proof that we’re southbound. Also, proof that it was sunny early on.

Spitty rain

We drove into rain, and never out. Some stretches had incipient rain, but the perception was that rain would restart any moment.

Cow catcher

We made the NC transportation museum our big stop. It’s centered on a roundhouse, but I even saw a dugout canoe and motorcycles. My digital dictionary indicates cow-catcher is hyphenated; coulda fooled me.

Wagon hub

Wagon hub. Looks like a fancy locking pin.


Have no idea why forty men and eight horses.

Dusty car

Dusty, chrome-laden car.

Stone mtn

Aha! Stone Mountain.


Aha! Atlanta traffique.

Fog/not fog

Sun n fog

Played tag with the fog, as we did yesterday.

Fog n flag


Fog farm

Bright, but valley-fog persists.

Road construction

Sky clears, but impediments in the roadway.

VT capitol

Clear view of Vermont’s capitol. You’ve heard of tiny houses. This may qualify as a tiny capitol.

Final stop

Spent hours with good friends who live far away from our home-base(s), in this house behind three brilliant maples. We had a lovely time together, short yet powerful. 💖 💚 💓 🍀

A day in Québec City

Citadel electric

After a nice walk through the trees on a boardwalk high above the St. Laurence, we popped out by La Citadelle de Québec. We opted to look from the entry gate and not take the tour. You can’t wander around because this is still an active military base, plus it is the official residence of the Queen of Canada, who is also Queen of England, and I’m sure rarer than rarely visits, let alone stays in the Citadelle. Apparently electrification is important to the mini-moat around the exterior wall.

Childrens courtyard

This is known as the Children’s Courtyard, within the Petit Séminaire de Québec, a Roman Catholic secondary school. Turns out where I was standing was the goal. The young man (second from left) stopped just in front of me and extended his foot toward me, tapped his toe immediately in front of my feet (no fudging!), and quickly and simultaneously deftly turned to continue the game. I really felt like a darned tourist, right in the way of real life.

Maison montcalm

On the slope as we worked our way down from the heights, we found this door. It’s not on a straight wall, and is not flush with either wall, the dark or light one. Rather strange. It is 51 Rue des Remparts, and is for sale. Across the street are two cannons. Who wouldn’t want to live here? Plus the plaquette notes that this was the home of Louis-Joseph de St-Verán, Marquis de Montcalm. You may know him from Québec history from the phrase Wolfe and Montcalm, referring to the leaders at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham here in 1759—both died from wounds they received in that battle.

Demi lune

Of course, demi-lune means half-moon, literally. Maybe that’s what it means here. However, on the open highway, it indicates a place where a driver can make a 180 and reverse direction. This meaning doesn’t quite make sense here?

Demi-lune is one of my words for this trip. Another is vitesse. It’s another driving term. It means speed. Vroom-vroom.

Kitchen vent

Kitchens get hot. Kitchens in ancient buildings are retrofitted in awkward ways. Thus, they are often cramped, with poor ventilation. Apparently, that’s the case here. Not only is this portal a vent, it’s a storage area for a rack of bins of food. No lie. Without plastic wrap or any other dust/fly protection over the bins. We did not eat here.

CG Amundsen

Coast Guard ship Amundsen. Monitors fisheries, and perhaps does research. Dramatic late-day light.

Lower town

We ate in the lower town. Yum.

Maplesyrup liqueur

Nothing against the many fine foods and beverages I consumed today, but this was hand’s down the best: a maple syrup whiskey cream liqueur. A gift from our dinner waitress. The maple flavor was exquisite. I didn’t ask the brand, but a prominent one is Sortilège…with Canadian whiskey, of course. WikiPee says French Canadians call this miracle beverage eau de vie d’érable. Heaven in a glass.

Approaching the demi-lune

Under cloud bank

We started out under cloud cover, with a low line of light in the west that we drove toward. It wasn’t as dark as it looks here, even through my sunglasses.

Beaver house

See it’s clearing and brighter. We saw several ponds in low spots the glacier sculpted in the bedrock of the Canadian Shield sporting beaver houses, like this (left). The rock mostly dates to the long-ago and enduring Precambrian.

North Bay fountain church

We stopped in North Bay because it is used for many locations for “Cardinal,” a Canadian police detective from books by Giles Blunt, made into a TV series starring Billy Campbell as John Cardinal, also with the excellent Karine Vanasse.

Rapids of Upper Ottawa

This was historically known as the Rapids of the Upper Ottawa. The many rapids in this section of the Ottawa extending to the west made it time consuming to use this river route (through Lake Nipissing and into Georgian Bay) as a bypass to going all the way through Lake Erie, Lake St Clair, etc. This section was particularly troublesome, and many died in the rough waters. In 1950, these rapids were tamed by the dam at Rapides-des-Joachims some 30 miles downstream. They look placid now, ¿no?

Dusk halfmoon

With dusk, the half-moon is brilliant. Pardon. [Nous sommes au Québec maintenant.] La demi-lune est brillante.

Change of scenery

Flags on bridge

Puzzle of the day: parse the flags.

Fall color Canada

Here’s a clue: Canadian fall color [some spots were even more autumnal].

Marina gulls

Lake Huron gulls on a marina dock.

Buggy people

We saw many buggy-icon signs, and could see the shoulder was well-used (and, umhem, decorative road apples), and finally we spotted buggies. The first two each had a lone woman, wearing a large black tightly tied scarf. This one was a pair of beard-guys. The fourth was a solo beard-guy. No kids, but I’m guessing there were dozens at home! [Perhaps I exaggerate.]