Heat Rash

We’re pushing record June highs in this Mid-Atlantic heatwave, and the accompanying delirium is setting in. People are stumbling though parking lots, staggering into big-box stores and sucking in the AC like suffocating Hoover uprights.

I yearn for something cooler and sweeter and gentler to take hold and oust this humid mess; send it back into the maw of whatever swampy creature it came from. Give us heat, sure — I understand that it’s summer, after all. But please take away this sweltering blanket of of pollen and must.

I’m daydreaming…daydreaming of an outdoor shower that opens up at the top to the sky, its sides lined in brilliant blue tarp nailed to plywood and two-by-fours, a shower head that shines from above, ready to offer a freezing blast of water on tanned-to-toast skin. It’ll shock and sting at first, but body-heat and water-cold will quickly mix and I’ll sigh long and deep as the tension sluices away with the sweat and dirt, and I’ll think, “How fantastic to be alive.”

What are you wishing for in this heatwave? If you want to play along, post a picture or a story or a song — whatever you like — onto your blog. Link back to this post and let’s see if the collective power of desire can’t cool things down a bit, at least in our imaginations, if nowhere else.

More Graves Mountain Pics

I have a few more pictures from the weekend at the Graves Mountain Festival of Music that I thought I’d throw onto the screen for you. In other music-making news, I’m working on “the chop” and lamenting that I did not inherit my mother’s long fingers.

These folks had the right idea. The stream ran right past the stage and the most clever of the bunch just put their chairs right into the water, while the rest of us baked on the lawn.

Continue reading

If Spring Won’t Come to Me…

I’ve lived in this general southern Mid-Atlantic region my entire life, and therefore I’m well aware that March is a piteous month. Indecisively running hot and cold in 24-hour increments, it’s the petulant 14-year-old of the annual calendar. My volunteer daffodils might have boldly bloomed yesterday, but it’s too cold today to bother going outside to cut them. And even more annoying, this year the Easter eggs, pastel dresses and chocolate bunnies are smack in the middle of this fickle-fest!

Where is the spring that late I wished would have sprung?

But rather than get too down about the lack of sun on my face and flowers in my hair, I decided to create my own “place-holder spring” until the real one gets its act together. I’ve pulled together pictures from a trip I took with my family last May to Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, BC, wherein we were swallowed whole by so many pansies and tulips and mums that I didn’t even know where to begin pointing my camera. This is evident when you check out the shots, as there is very little self-editing going on with the album.

Check it out, if you need a dose of sunshine for this Easter weekend: (click the image)

(Extra points if you actually know the names of the flowers in the pictures and would like to comment and help me caption!)

Mummers Day, 2007

This New Year’s Day found me in dropped in Philadelphia, barricaded by yellow police twine and overwhelmed by 15,000 glittered, spangled, painted and drunken fancies, plus a clutch of nu-new-wave punks for a dash of color. The scene: 102nd Mummers Parade, dubbed the oldest and most sincere of folk festivals in the country. I’d been once before, back on a cheek-burning, frigid New Year’s Day in 1996 with my aunt and uncle. Twelve years later, it was a similar scene in milder weather with a different perspective. But no less fun.

As I claim to be a “sometime photographer”– and pictures tell this story best — here are some snaps from my prime locale between Lombard and South streets along Broad, just south of City Hall.

I took these picture with a smoky, hot, salty street pretzel in one hand and my brand new Canon Rebel XTi in the other. (Thank you Frank, Jean and Casey.) Continue reading