Photographs. Anecdotes. And observations on Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I-Phone panoramic project.

Greenville, South Carolina. July 2010. Sweating in the heat and humidity. Photo by C. Degroot.

Live and Dead.

Live. Dead. A tree is a tree. I'll take them however...Live Redwoods. Big Sur, California. October 2009.

Oxford, UK. May 2010. Tree death #1.

Oxford, UK. May 2010. Tree death #2.
All photos by M.C.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Have an Ice-Cream

Diary excerpt. Istanbul, Turkey. 2007

...Our tour guide did very well promoting peace and commerce in the city. He kept pressing the fact that Istanbul (and Turkey in general) was welcoming to all religions except, oddly enough, "Satanists." Women had the choice to cover their heads, if not, it wasn't odd...We went to the Hagia Sofia first which was enormous: a good mix of Islam and Christianity. Outside, I took a photo of a soldier wielding a rifle, a dagger, and an Ice-Cream cone."

The Mediterranean Ocean, June 2007

An Isolated Scene

Waves sweeping diagonal
A crystal blue, translucent and hashing
The reflections of the sky
And you feel God.

An outcrop like a crown
The eternal fog like (ghosts)
Hide excrement of branded sheep
And it makes you want God.

The lights of a helicopter
Its blades compress sound
Suffering the foundation and
(for the survivors sake)
You hope to God.

To grab a rusted steel hinge
That imprisoned a living being
To hold it in your hand
And to let go
Makes you pray to God.

But to stare into the Sea,
To lay on a warm fault of stone,
Or be enveloped into the night,
Draws you away, and for a moment
You feel Nothing.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Definition: "Hungry Bum"


The influx of unreadable emails I receive is simply amazing. Is it because we are in the age of the text message where communication has to be curtailed to fill only 160 figures (including marks of punctuation). Outside of texting, will it be possible for future generations to manually complete a sentence, finish a statement, or ask a comprehensible question. Is our language de-evolving?

"...In the next 40 years, there's going to be a larger demand than ever for people who can communicate with the written word, whatever format it takes. I don't think there's ever been a greater need for people to be able to write at a functional level, whether they're tapping on their computer keyboard or on their I-phone."

-Carl Hiaasen (Smithsonian Issue July/August 2010)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dirt never smelled so good.

Ten days in the UK is never enough. Even with "English Weather," that whole, tiny little island remains one of the most beautiful places I've traveled to. This photo was taken on the only sunny day during our trip. Loughborough: rolling hills, crumbling stone abodes from who knows how many hundreds of years ago, and plot after plot of bright yellow rapeseed fields so bright it blinded you.
Behind this spot where we stood, I took a stroll through the maze of vegetation. The sun warmed me just enough, insects flew in and out of flowers too busy to be bothered, and at just the right spot I laid, face down, into the soil. There I took a deep breath. Dirt never smelled so good.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Unexpected Trio

Owls never cease to amaze me. Their human-like eyes. Feathers built for silent flight. And their elusive, nocturnal profession that stigmatized their species throughout ancient history: Owls were the bearers of the deceased soul as it traveled from one world to the next.
I can count on one hand how many I've seen in the wild--out of sheer luck, three of those five fingers were raised this past weekend. Hanging together lazily in an oak in Clearwater (Florida), a family of Screech owls (one of only five species of owl found in Florida) let us get close enough to document them between siestas.
Photo by Nick Lamastra.

Monday, July 5, 2010

How did Bill Bryson miss this one?

"There are a few streets that sound like medical complaints, a few that sound like names on an anatomical chart, a few that sound vaguely unsavory, and a few that are pleasantly ridiculous (Coldbath Square, Hamshades Close, Cactus Walk, Nutter Lane, The Butts), but there is very little that could be called truly arresting."

-Bill Bryson, excerpt from "Notes from a Small Island."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Augusta, Georgia. June, 2010.

My connecting flight from Charlotte to Augusta took exactly 29 minutes. While staring out the window, I overheard these lines of conversation:

A man announces to the entire plane: "Anyone want any onion rings?"

A man to a random woman: "It's ok to eat food from a stranger at an airport."

The same man to another randon male passenger: "Is that an I-pad? I need to get one of those mother fuckers."

First Post....

In 1998, I stumbled upon this poem. For me, it is quite possibly the best two stanzas ever written. Thank you Mr. Stevens...Let be be finale of seem.

The Emperor of Ice-Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

-Wallace Stevens