Home, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

“Home”- where is it?  The question has been on my mind since selling the house where I lived for a couple of decades, the house I worked so hard to downsize.  Two trips to the Midwest over the holidays, and a recent post by blogger Mabel Kwong made me think even more about the concept of home.

little bitty Kansas City

I call this “little bitty Kansas City”

When I fly into Kansas City I like to get a seat on the right side of the plane, so I can see downtown. It doesn’t look like much from this altitude, but Kansas City was my home for a couple of decades too. I loved it, and only moved because I had to, to keep my job. Here are some variations on the road home to Kansas City.

Missouri river at Kansas City

Bridges over the Missouri River, a gloomy day just before Thanksgiving.

Here’s the “Big Muddy” — the Missouri River. Yes, Kansas City is in the state of Missouri. If you’re one of the people who asks me if I’m going to Kansas for the holidays, I forgive you.

Missouri River north of Kansas City

I love looking for patterns in the fields.

The river is not always so well behaved. The year we moved was a flood year. In one of those boxes I’ll find in my storage bin (someday, maybe) I have a trove of aerial photos of the river swollen in flood.

Snow after Christmas- Kansas City 2017

By Christmas, there were patterns in the snow.

Flying into Kansas City

Here’s a photo from back in October when it was still green…the first week of October is my favorite time to be in the country. The leaves are just starting to turn, the light is slanting, and the air is never clearer than on an October day.

I’m one of the few people left on the planet who’s still enthusiastic about looking down from an airplane, no matter where I’m going. The Midwest may still be one of the places that seems like home to me, but from the air, the whole Earth is home.

Where is home for you?

More on the Big Muddy

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

 

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Skylines, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

I’m from the midwest, so getting to see the Atlanta skyline every day now is a real treat for me. Why? Because now I can see the horizon, something I’ve missed in the years since moving here and living in a house beneath the tree canopy. But now the city is full of construction growth, and it looks like my chances for a horizon view could soon be gone. There’s still some space to the left of this view, but more new towers may be going up.

Atlanta forest of construction

If Atlanta is “a city in a forest”, right now it’s a forest of construction cranes, a big change from my now ex-house in the ‘burbs. This was a windy day, as you can see by the trees.

 Meanwhile, I’m having fun with the artifacts of growth…

Moon and red crane

The red crane is my favorite, so I keep trying to catch the moon in it

Then there’s waking up on a fogged-in white-out morning, with otherwise normal construction noises taking on an eerie quality, clacking and booming out of the nothing.

Atlanta white-out fog

‘The truth is out there’ and so are the people who are working.

The sunsets can be amazing…Sunset and Atlanta Biltmore

as can the street views. They’d stopped traffic for this next operation, and yes, I felt like I might not be parked in quite the most comfortable place.

Atlanta construction - street view

Next door to the new Whole Foods that’s going up on Spring Street.

Still, we’re small potatoes compared to “real” cities like New York. We don’t have that ultimate skyline view, our own iconic bridges, or the equivalent of the Chrysler Building.

Flying to New York March 2014

Flying in, March 2014. I always think of crystals growing upward.

Atlanta won’t be this dense anytime soon, so I may hold onto a little bit of skyline for a while yet.

What’s in your favorite view?

 

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

Lofts, Stairs, Castleberry Hill, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Ascend

One of the things I love about lofts is that they can be so, um, lofty. That means they have stairs, and in many and varied forms. Here are a couple of my favorites from an October outing to the Castleberry Hill Loft tour.

Castleberry Hill loft stair

The ascending view, with a spiral staircase, colorful art, and a fabulous gallery wall above.

Here’s the descending view. I’m always leery of tumbling down, so I like to lurk about until Sam goes first, then I stop, catch my balance, and take a photo of him. 
Spiral stair, Castleberry Hill loft

Here’s another staircase, from another elegant and art-filled space.
Castleberry Hill - Loft stair ascending

 

… and the descending view.
Loft stair from top - Castleberry Hill tour

In transit between homes, we encountered this chicken, who had just crossed the road.

Chicken in the road; Castleberry Hill

Chicken in the road: no word on why he crossed it….

Do some lofts have a view from the top? Well yes. On this rooftop, Sam pointed out that we could see the building where he lives… here, it’s a tiny spire in the distance.

Rooftop view, Castleberry Hill loft tour

Now in an up-and-down-again, there-and-back-again, across-the-road-again way, the next photo is Sam’s view back toward Castleberry Hill. The stadium building (with the Mercedes sign, on the left in the photo above) is barely visible on the horizon in the lower right, below. It’s just above the red V-for-Varsity sign.

View south from midtown Atlanta

View south from midtown Atlanta

So we’re back again and ready for next year’s Castleberry Hill loft tour.

Do you have a favorite local homes tour?

 

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Ascend

And, some information on next year’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour

Water, Swans, Loess Bluffs, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

Funny, there’s one thing so many serene images have in common: water. Doesn’t everyone long for a lakeside/seaside/brookside view? Is it because we are 60% water, born swimming, and all little mermaids at heart? Perhaps it’s because that’s where we came from, historically speaking (you know, crawling out of the primordial soup and all)?

Here are some somewhat-serene swans at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri last week —

Swans - Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, Mound City MO

Swan silhouettes in the evening light.

Swans - Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, Mound City MO

Getting nibbley…

Swans - Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, Mound City MO

Swans - Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, Mound City MO

Still, sometimes there’s trouble in paradise.

Vacation trips are so much more enjoyable now that I don’t have to worry about my house. Water is not so peaceful and serene if it is leaking in the basement, for example.

Swans - Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, Mound City MO

I kept trying for ‘seven swans a-swimming’ but six is the best I could do.

Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge, Mound City MO

Look closely at the sky. Your screen isn’t dirty – there are geese flying in for the evening.

But back to the primordial soup — I’ve always thought it would be fun to come up with a recipe, something to have for dinner when feeling primeval or dining in a single cell. Pasta in little amoeba shapes would be tasty, oh, and spiralized vegetables, and maybe some asparagus for its weird look.

What would you put in your primordial soup?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Serene

More on the Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge (aka Squaw Creek)

More Buttons, More MAD, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Rounded

It’s hard to get more rounded than a button, so I’ll take this excuse to post yet another kind of button collection —

Assorted buttons...

Assorted buttons… mostly rounded.

Not that this is a conscious collection, it’s a group of ‘found’ buttons I put together when I came across them while packing up. Some must have been Bob’s (Politically Incorrect). Later I found political buttons old enough to have been his father’s, but by now they’re packed up again. They may show up in a later post.

Here’s a button collection from a display at MAD’s (the Museum of Art and Design) Counter Couture show last March.  It’s a time-capsule, an interesting aside to the exhibition, and a flashback if you remember the Sixties (but as the saying goes, if you remember the Sixties you weren’t really there). It was a big time for buttons, so someone got a little humor out of the ‘Ban Buttons’ button —

The Sixties: Buttons at MAD Counter Couture

A Historical View: Sixties Buttons at MAD’s Counter Couture

While we’re at MAD,  here’s a view of a gorgeous and eye-popping crocheted wrap and bathing suit with rounded patterns. Curves may have been synonymous with groovy there for a while. —

Birgitta Bjerke - Red Hands bathing suit , 1968

Birgitta Bjerke – Red Hands bathing suit (wool), and on the wall, Heather Daltrey coat , 1968 (wool)  Wait, what — wool bathing suit?

As for the Sixties, here’s a test: “Remember what the dormouse said?”

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Rounded

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Why I love October, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Glow

I was hoping the pineapple sage would bloom before I closed on my house. I was in luck —

Bee on pineapple sage

Iphonography: one of the last photos I took before moving.

Now there’s pineapple sage and bee synchronicity with this week’s photo challenge — I see that someone else loves October for the same reasons I do.

There’s nothing like a clear blue October day for glowing light. This one’s from yesterday afternoon at Squaw Creek (now Loess Hills National Wildlife Preserve near Mound City MO) —

A Pile of Pelicans

A pile of pelicans

It’s not just October, I love September too — and was happy to get to see my toad lilies bloom one more time. Toad Lily bloom

Plus, this year for the first time there were babies, hundreds of them! They made a carpet of little plants around the mother plant, and bloomed – each one just a leaf with a bloom.

But remember the pineapple sage? Hummingbirds like it too – though they are not so obliging as to hold still for their photo op.

Hummingbird on pineapple sage

How do you love October?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Glow

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Castleberry Hill, Bonsai, Downsizing, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

Saturday’s Castleberry Hill Loft tour reminded me that I didn’t get a chance to share these photos from last year’s tour. This year’s tour stops were all interiors, but last year’s tour included a garden.  Here’s a bonsai for scale —

Bonsai garden: 2016 Castleberry Hill Loft tour

Tiny tree, complicated roots…

Downsizing trees — this might be one way to have a personal forest for people who (like me as of October 6) don’t have a yard. This one was a paradise, and perfect viewing for a clear blue October day —

Bonsai garden: 2016 Castleberry Hill Loft tour

Bonsai garden: 2016 Castleberry Hill Loft tourAnd, backing up for an overview —

Bonsai garden: 2016 Castleberry Hill Loft tour

There’s Sam in the background under the awning, “getting his 500 words in”, talking to the gardener.

An aside on downsizing — after all this time I’m still not quite downsized enough to be Hoarder Came Clean. Moving day arrived too quickly for me to finish, and I still have a storage bin (or two) to empty.

Wish me luck on that?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale