Category Archives: In the new neighborhood

Flying weather

Happy Spring!

The really nice breezes blow through my body and into my soul. ~Astrid Alauda

There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind. ~Annie Dillard

Forget not that the earth likes to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Kahlil Gibran

I listen to the wind, the wind of my soul. ~Cat Stevens

The sky and the strong wind have moved the spirit inside me till I am carried away trembling with joy. ~ Uvavnuk

The next IATB

IATB #119 is here next week sometime… the 18th to be exact.


I need to get a handle on this, I think.

(mild panicking)

THE bird blog carnival is coming to Somewhere in NJ.

(deep breath)

I’ve studiously avoided it for years, but it’s my turn, now.

(another deep breath)

If I’ve not contacted you directly to ask for a submission, it’s only because I don’t have an email addy for you. So I’ll make it easy… send me something wonderful and birdy (by 2/16) at


I’d like something vaguely poetic or literary or rambling…

(typical of what you mind find here)


The current edition of IATB, # 118, is up at Ben Cruachan’s Blog.

Have a look and thanks.



“Hi. I’m Laura. Can I ask a favor?”

“Sure. What?”

This photograph was the favor I’d asked.
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I love people-watching. It’s easy.

Approaching a stranger to ask for their photo is not.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
I’d been pacing up and down the boardwalk for nearly an hour, trying to get up the nerve to approach someone and ask. That in itself was a fun exercise… looking into people’s faces for something interesting… imagining the stories one might tell if I worked up the courage to talk to them.

Most wouldn’t even make eye contact.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
He’d said no the first time I asked. I smiled and thanked him, but didn’t back away. We talked for a bit and eventually, I asked again. He agreed, reluctantly, wanting to remain anonymous. He relaxed enough to tell me about his street art; after thirty minutes or so I felt okay about taking out my camera. He never once froze, or smiled stiffly at me, or stopped talking. It felt kinda like magic, this thing that my camera let happen…
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
How would you feel if a stranger approached you for a photo? What might make it enjoyable for you, or not?

So tell me… could you do it? Does the thought of photographing 100 strangers terrify you the way it does me?

It scares me. A lot. I’m shy! That’s kinda how I know it’s the right thing to do, the right direction to head in to stretch myself in unpredictable and meaningful ways. Once a week I’ll try it. It’s about photo-making yes, but more about stepping outside my own box and what feels comfortable to me. Maybe I’ll get a good photo once in a while. Certainly I’ll meet some interesting people who I never would otherwise. A camera is as good an excuse as any, I think.

The best season ever

Dear Summer,

For a few weeks after Labor Day I pretend you won’t leave me. I stroll along the empty beach and wade, alone, in the still-warm water. Trees somewhere else might be screaming with color and light, but here at the shore, the sky is higher and the sea darker. Tiny sanderlings dart from the waves at my feet. I close my eyes and breathe you in, thinking you’re the best season and I will love you forever.

Then, with a quick sweep of goldenrod over the dunes, you’re gone.

I’ll admit to having feelings for Fall, but left as I am, now, with earlying evenings and doles of rain, I’m tempted to flee south and pursue you elsewhere. It’s nothing serious, yet, but there will be apple orchards and pumpkin farms to visit and cranberries ripening in the Pine Barrens. I think you should know that Autumn will tempt my heart away if you’re not generous enough with sunny days.

Icy arrows are pointing the way. Egrets and plovers and laughing gulls blend feathers with sky and are gone with you.

I want to go, too.

I want your misty dawns and searing afternoons, your shimmering lakes and dusks freckled with fireflies. I want sun-warmed tomatoes and fresh strawberries.


Missing you already,


The Clearwater Festival is an annual event; the state’s largest and oldest environmental music festival. I usually always find an excuse to go, even if it’s just for an hour or so to stroll among the vendors or listen to the music at the circle of song (pictured here).

I first remember going when I was in high school and back then the festival took place at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, right along the bay. A much nicer setting than where it is now, I think.

Anyway… there’s always an interesting mix of people to make for fun people-watching: hippie-types straight out of the sixties, kids with their faces painted like butterflies or flowers, today I even saw a young couple, multiple tattoos and body-piercings among them, strolling along with a rather large and vocal parrot on the woman’s wrist.