Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kristen, left, and Jesse are just off a 16-hour plane ride. This is their first day in Nairobi, where the photographer-writer, multimedia team will spend the next two years as correspondents working out of Kenya.

Fighting sleep and setting up their internet access take priorities with a wish for a restful night tonight.

I love these little chameleons and their ability to swivel their eyes independently of each other 360 degrees. I waited for this one to turn green, but he knew where he was heading required a deeper hue as he shuffled off into the shade.

Life is incomplete without a mid-morning cappaccino at the Java House coffee shop in Nairobi, following a fresh brewed pot of Dorman's to start the morning. Kenya has some spectacular coffees.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Matt Jones with his daughter Sophie at their home in Eastcote outside London.
Nelson Trent's encounter with one of the Queen's Horse Guards. Nelson said something about: You bite me and you'll be sorry. Evidently, the horse took him seriously.

The Horse Guards still stand duty. Their is nearly a mile from the palace. Between here and there was once the palace grounds. It is now St. James Park.

This and the next frame: Changing of the guard.

A touch of Old London ... and the new.

Nelson Trent and Wahokia ... two children of the '60s ....

My friend Mike Collingdon will comment on my going all the way to London and taking photographs of a goose and a squirrel.

I hope this makes up for the pear, Mike.

The back gate of Buckingham Palace. This area was filled with flowers following the death of Princess Diana.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Laura Jones leads students from Newnham Infant School on a field trip to explore the High Street. Her son Jack holds her right hand.

A serendipitous encounter with Katie at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. She became a TSA agent at the airport after graduation from VCU. We flew from there to Detroit before crossing to London.

The tunnel between Terminals C and A at the Detroit airport. The glass walls change color in tempo to the music being played.

Nelson Trent — my traveling companion to Nairobi — settles into his seat. Next stop London.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sadie, Tobie and Dianne watch me pack for London and Nairobi.

Visitors to the Kugel on Monument Avenue in West End Richmond point to the location of Korea on the giant globe.

Monday, September 22, 2008

One of my favorite writers lives in Nashville. Leisa is a storyteller, lecturer, book author and advocate for those who are physically and mentally challenged. We worked together years ago. She has since become like the persons she once wrote about. This is a park near her home and a favorite place to walk.

Phillips Crab House now has a presence in the Charlotte airport, as well as other places, I'm sure. When I was growing up it was a shack along the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, and a favorite with my parents on holiday.

This guy came flying by: "I love this place too," he said, "take my picture." "What's your name?" I called after him. "Crab eater!" he replied, and then was gone.

The James River at Dutch Gap and Hopewell, Virginia, seen on approach to the Richmond airport.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Arts Around the Lake

Since 1979, the University of Richmond has sponsored a juried art show on the banks of the lake in the center of campus. Two of my friends exhibited this year. I first met Ole Giese, above, 14 years ago when we both exhibited at the same coffee shop. Ole was born in Denmark, worked in Southeast Asia and Africa before retiring from Media General in Richmond and becoming serious about his art. We were part of an informal group that met every morning for coffee and conversation for a number of years. The clerks at the shop jokingly called us "The Board of Directors."

Chris Mize, above left, displays one of his paintings to a potential customer. The law books in the upper right hand corner of the painting belonged to his uncle. His uncle also played all the musical instruments pictured in the painting. Chris did a portrait of our grandson which appeared on this blog several weeks ago.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I wonder how much longer we will see sights like this along Church Road. For 14 years I have watched geese cross here between a small pond hidden in the woods on the right and lawns leading down to Lake Loraine on the left. I have counted more than 100 of them backing up traffic as much as 20 cars deep in either direction. But the new interchange with John Rolfe Parkway is just over the hill. It promises to disrupt the long-held, micro migration along this stretch of the old road.

Sam and I enlist Dianne and Allison in a personal joke with Mike Colligon, one of our favorite photographers who exhibits at Crossroads Art Center in the West End.

Don't bother asking Sam or me what the joke is. We won't tell you. Like I said, it's personal. You had to be there. (Photo by Dianne)

But here's to you, Mike, a toast from Sam — Mr. Daily Grind —  while checking out the competition.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This evening there was a gathering of supporters of the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association at the Daily Grind. Supporters bought stuffed bears for their children ... 

... turned in sponsorship pledges for a diabetes walk that will be held next weekend ... 

... and listened to the music of Susan Hayes and Dave Brown — all to raise funds for the association. Sarah, one of the servers at the coffee shop, donated her time for the eveing. Sam, the owner, donated a portion of the proceeds from sales during the evening and held a silent auction of photographic prints donated by photographers who frequent the Grind.

One of my photographs sold at auction. It was taken a week after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, when hummingbirds began returning to the Gulf coast.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Henna on Marie and Kristi. The plant extract has been used for body art since the Bronze Age. Jews, Muslims, Christians and Zoroastrians have used it for wedding celebrations, often decorating both the bride and groom.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One of our daughters thinks it is a sick sense of humor that led us to take Dianne's Australian cousins to dinner at Outback Steak House. Left to right: Jon, Jess, Jim (from Brisbane) with Dianne and Michael, who is Jim's brother and Dianne's cousin from Richmond. Jon is a performance major in guitar, Jess is taking a gap year and plans to study recreation education next year and Jim is a pastor. Jon and Jess roared with laughter every time a waitress said, "Chocolate Thunder from Down Under."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Plants encountered along a forest path in Ripon Landing.

Pokeweed is poisonous to mammals, though birds tolerate the berries as evidenced by residue left on cars. The Amish in Pennsylvania boil them three times to reduce the toxin in them and make salads with the leaves and pies with the berries. Elvis Presley sang a song called "Poke Salad Annie."

A delicate little shelf fungus.

Bush Honeysuckle.

Sadie at the end of our walk.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Guests line up to have their faces painted by a clown during Janine Jarrar's sixth birthday party at the Daily Grind.

Janine reacts after seeing her now painted face in a mirror. The "princess" design she chose quickly became the favorite of the afternoon.

A couple is simultaneously baptized in the James River at Robious Landing Park on the South bank of the river. The park is the site of Manakintowne, an early Huegenot settlement west of Richmond. They built their colony on the site of an abandoned Manocan Indian village. The Manocans were Souix from the Great Plains, having first migrated into the Ohio River Valley before crossing the mountains into Virginia. It was thought they numbered between 6,000 and10,000 when the early settlers arrived.

Sterling Martin waits his turn for baptism. Bon Air church baptizes in the river a couple of times a year. Members often wait to be baptized until one of these river baptisms is scheduled.

A full moon over the north bank of the James River marks the end of our anniversary day.

The artwork we purchased to commemorate our 40th anniversary.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

On our 40th wedding anniversary trip to Williamsburg, Dianne pretends to assist Thomas Jefferson with writing the Declaration of Independence.

Tourists stroll past the Public Hospital of 1773. The thunderhead to the south in the distance is over land my ancestors settled on in 1641.

It is so peaceful strolling through this restored 18th Century village, it is easy to forget this is not merely a pastoral scene. It is a reminder of a day when people kept their food alive until they needed to eat it, killing some and salting it some to make it through the winter. There was a much stronger connection to the land and web of life than most of us have today.

Backyards in the heart of the village were not places of ease. The animals need for survival were kept there. Sheep provided not only food, but wool for clothing.

During our anniversary celebration in Christina Campbell's Tavern, a reenactor portraying the 18th Century tavern owner reminded us that single women and widows in Colonial America could own property. But once a woman married, ownership of her property transfered to her husband.

A fiddle player in costume entertains us with Scottish tunes from the 18th Century.

Dancers in costume gather to reenact a candlelight ball at the Colonial Capitol building.

Tourists walk the streets of the historic district under a full moon. Forty years ago, Dianne and I were headed here on our honeymoon. We never made it. Instead  we stopped on an Atlantic coastal island and stayed there. Tonight, four decades later we complete that journey.

The colonial magazine and guardhouse lit by sentry fires and a full moon mark an excellent end to a memorable day.