Monday, December 28, 2009

St. Augustine FL

I spent 12/27 in St. Augustine with daughter Maggie and our dear friend Deborah.  We had great fun in the cold wintry weather.  One highlight was eating hot borscht with pirogies, spinach/feta pie, and a greek salad, served up at a little mom and pop place on Aviles St.

Dooryard sculpture and wrought iron.

An old doorway arched in coquina blocks.

Old window with hurricane shutters.

Stained glass window, Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine.

Castillo San Marcos

Old arcade piece

Maggie and her doting father at the old carousel in St. Augustine.  Only $1 per ride!

Maggie and Deborah on the carousel.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yuletide - The Winter Solstice

Today is the Winter Solstice - Yuletide - the shortest day and longest night of the year. Take the bright lights of the season into your heart and together with your own inner light go out and do some good in the world.

(Payette Lake, McCall, Idaho)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Visions of Sugar-Plums

I made sugar-plums this afternoon, loosely following this recipe.  For dried fruits I used dried plums, apricots and cranberries, and added some walnuts as well.  All ingredients were chopped fine and mixed in a food processor.  Not wanting to use sugar, I dredged the formed sugar-plums in pecan meal, which has its own sweetness.  This being Florida, I used orange blossom honey to sweeten the mixture.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Banjo - Fairbanks Imperial

Photos of my A.C. Fairbanks & Co. "Imperial". Serial number suggests it was made around 1894.  I purchased it from Jim Bollman's "Music Emporium" in Lexington MA several years ago.

I love the signature prow-shaped "boat heel" at the base of Fairbanks banjo necks. The neck is mahogany; fingerboard is ebony.  The centerline of the neck also is slightly keeled like a boat, and is very comfortable to hold and finger.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Local Color - Florida

Winter hasn't quite arrived in Florida.  A cool snap during the last couple of weeks has brought out the colors of Fall.  Hickories and elms have turned yellow.  Sweet gums range from bronze to maroon to a decent orange color.  In this photo of an upland tupelo (Nyssa sulvatica) one sees a pleasing medley of hues.  This is one of my favorite Florida trees.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Bearing The Cold

A cold front plunged south into Florida and has turned everything chilly.  The low clouds drifting into the area are a sign of the rain that is expected over the weekend.  Gray skies this afternoon.  Typing by the light of my flatscreen monitor in the office today (I only use natural light from the window -- by choice -- not by necessity).  [bronze sculpture, McCall, Idaho]

Friday, December 04, 2009

Seeking a Troll

Wouldn't want to meet this guy crossing a bridge. (Riggins, Idaho)

It's Reddy Kilowatt!

Reddy Kilowatt - the logo/mascot of Idaho Power Company for at least the last 50 years.  Nostalgic for me to see this happy guy again!  Did Reddy have a nemesis? Click over to and see this matchbook cover featuring Willie Wirehand from Minnesota.

More Signs of the Times

Signs of the Times

There's a certain message here someone is trying to make very clear.

The Snake River looking downstream from Swan Falls Dam, southwest of Boise, Idaho.