Sunday, April 30, 2023



I've "tunneled" through about half of Mitchell's book now and I'm not about to quit before I'm done. Of course, the subject is of deep interest to me because of my own experiences passing back and forth across the Berlin Wall in the 1970s. Mentions of Checkpoint Charlie, FriederichstraƟe, VoPos, all bring back vivid and even life-changing moments for me, but I also appreciate the details Mitchell brings to light here surrounding how Easterners attempted and, in some cases, actually succeeded in escaping the GDR. Very much worth your reading, especially considering Vladimir Putin's attempt to drag us all into the past.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Friday, April 28, 2023

The Pox and the Covenant

Interesting conclusion to Williams' book: "The inoculation controversy shows us that we cannot blithely continue to make the simplistic and wrong assumption that religion has been an impediment to the progress of modern science and reason throughout the centuries. Moreover, the idea of a conflict between science and religion is a product of the dogmatic and shrill voices on both sides that demonize their opponents and garner media attention. Unexpectedly, an episode from Puritan Massachusetts helps us to debunk those who would pit science against religion."

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Climbing Rose?


I'm not sure what this is. A climbing rose, maybe?

Monday, April 24, 2023

Fringe Tree


A couple of different looks at the Fringe Tree captured just at peak bloom.

Sunday, April 23, 2023


As for me, one of the truest first signs of spring has to be when peonies begin to bloom. The one shown above was absolutely the first to shine in a whole garden devoted to them. I'm actually not sure I ever paid much attention to them, however, until I moved next door to a couple who grew them on a plot right next to my house so that I was able to watch them bloom all spring long as I hopped into my car each morning to go to work.  

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Friday, April 21, 2023

Live Oak

"The name live oak comes from the fact that evergreen oaks remain green and 'live' throughout winter, when other oaks are dormant and leafless. The name is used mainly in North America, where evergreen oaks are widespread in warmer areas along the Atlantic coast from southeast Virginia to Florida, west along the Gulf Coast to Louisiana and Mexico, and across the southwest to California." -- Wikipedia

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Wednesday, April 19, 2023



I'm keeping an eye out for the "smoke." :-) The flowers, it's said, are clustered in a large open terminal panicles with a fluffy grayish-buff appearance resembling a cloud of smoke over the plant, from which the name derives.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023



It can be tricky shooting photographs in a theater. I'm still thinking about what I could have done under the circumstances to account for the lights on stage as compared to the darkness in the auditorium. Not wanting to interfere with the recital, I only photographed the musicians as they made their entrances rather than during the recital itself, resulting in some blurring of the images. On the other hand, I sort of like the way that helps capture some of the energy that was in the room.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Sunday, April 16, 2023



Yesterday found me on my way over to the Peebles Theater on the Christopher Newport University's (CNU)  Newport News campus to attend the senior recital of a very talented friend.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Year That Broke America


Finished reading Rice's book. The cover actually describes the contents very well, showing how Rice weaves together several seemingly disparate stories into a single narrative, namely the year that broke America. That year being 2000. There is much here that any of us who lived through that period know very well: the Bush vs. Gore election and subsequent controversy, Trump's first forays into politics, plus events that frankly had receded into the dusty corners of my mind, namely Janet Reno's handling of the EliƔn Gonzalez case and, for instance, the sequence of events leading up to 9/11.

So, did all these events "break" America? Obviously not. Any country that can go through all of the above and still survive Covid is, in my opinion, doing well. Nevertheless, it serves us well to remember how we got to where we are and for that we can be grateful to authors like Andrew Rice for reminding us.

Friday, April 14, 2023

St. Francis


Judging just from the sheer number of St. Francis statues in and around town, one might think he was the patron saint of Williamsburg! So far as I know, there is no formal connection between the two. Still, I think St. Francis might have felt himself very much at home here. :-)

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Monday, April 10, 2023

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Saturday, April 8, 2023


This weekend we're back to cold, wet, and windy conditions. So it's refreshing to recall these scenes from earlier in the week.

Friday, April 7, 2023


Stopped to talk to these two fellows as they were preparing the soil for spring planting, 18th-century-style, in one of Colonial Williamsburg's gardens. It's a large garden next to the recently relocated windmill and will eventually raise crops that were known to be grown in this area during the 18th century, crops like corn, barley, cotton, and tobacco.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Rectangular Steps


Again, part of a study, which maybe partly explains these weird photographs of steps! :-)

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Round Steps


I took these photos as part of an informal study of approaches various people have taken with steps.

I have to say that I find these rounded steps particularly attractive and inviting. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 4, 2023



Just trying to keep up! Spring, it seems, is popping up everywhere now, all at once.

Monday, April 3, 2023




It's that season of the year again when lambs are beginning to appear. Just a day before this photograph was taken, I happened to run into one of the persons responsible for their care who was taking the newest addition to Colonial Williamsburg's flock, born literally moments before, with its mother to "the barn" where both were to be checked by a veterinarian before being returned to pasture. 

The sheep here, however, aren't just for show. Their wool is used for spinning locally. Also, unlike on some farms, these sheep are not destined for mutton. They are, instead, "retired" to local farmers who, I'm told, kindly look after them in their dotage.

Sunday, April 2, 2023



Dry-rotted and wearing thin, it was time again to replace my car tires. But which tires to get? And where to get them?

Those are the questions I faced on Thursday. Friday, I finally decided against simply asking my dealership to answer them. Instead, I went down to my friendly Goodyear Auto Service Center where, I think, I got a better deal. Better selection and better add-ons, like free wheel balancing and rotations as well as three years of free wheel alignments. The latter isn't so important, as I rarely need wheel alignments. Still, all of that came with maybe $100 off the price I probably would have paid at the dealership. So maybe it really does pay to shop around?

Saturday, April 1, 2023


This is no April fools joke! It's spring here in southeast Virginia and I'm definitely feeling it. My nose is stuffy and it feels like someone has wedged a ball of cotton between my ears! BUT, at least the scenery is nice and our local master gardeners are once again hard at work.