Weekly Photo Challenge: WARMTH

Warmth! A wonderful quality, whether it radiates from someone’s smile, from a fireplace, or from a hot cup of cocoa. There’s the warmth and  smell of freshly fried zeppoles, maybe. And the markers that tell us it’s warm outside — like cold soup and salad on a hot summer’s day. From a cold New England winter, here’s a salute to WARMTH!


Posted in Summer | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: YELLOW

What’s yellow?

Mexico is yellow! So many things that were beautiful, eye-catching, interesting, different about San Miguel de Allende, a colonial city in central Mexico, happened to be yellow. Here are some.

Our casita on Calle 28 de abril was always cheerful to come home to:

Door, 28 de abril

The library, thanks to the colony of American expats, had plenty of English-language books for those long, lazy days. But it was tempting just to sit outside instead in the cobbled entrance area and enjoy the bugambilia and the blue sky and the yellow facade:

The Biblioteca

Another facade. This bell tower looks centuries old — but was in fact brand new, especially constructed for a new “old” albergo:

New "old" Bell Tower

And then there were simply the old walls of San Miguel themselves, sometimes flaking and falling to pieces, but so picturesquely!

Fragmentos, Yellow

So striking were the yellows everywhere — and the reds and rust and copper and hot pinks — that I told my art teacher I wanted to switch my classical chiaroscuro still life palette from gloomy darks to BRIGHT; with this result:

Lemons in Mexico

I like living in New England, but it’s so — pastel. I miss vivid Mexican yellows!





Posted in Art, Color, Light, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: TWINKLE

Twinkle twinkle little pond —

Twinkling Lake, Acadia National Park

In Acadia National Park, on a brilliant summer’s day, the diamonds of this small pond twinkled in three bands, each on a different frequency. Acadia itself is a jewel in the crown of the State of Maine, The Way Life Should Be.


Have you ever visited Maine? If so, what is your favorite place? If not, do you have a favorite national park in the US? Elsewhere?

Posted in Personal Essay | 9 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

And who could forget it? A picnic in the Saguaro Desert in Tucson, Arizona, at sunset. Dear friends, dear friends of dear friends, icy margaritas, saguaro cactus all around, and a majestic spectacle we felt was put on just for us:

The Margaritas

The margaritas —-

Some of the Nibbles

Some of the nibbles —

The Majesty

The majesty —

And to think that it happens every day!

Posted in Desert, Memories, Nature, Photography, Plants, Sunset, West | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: CONVERGE

When day impinges upon night each morning —

When night overtakes day each evening —

A zone of convergence is created. Here is blackness giving way to first light in Tucson, when the morning meets the mountain:

The morning meets the mountains ---

And again in the evening, a Western sunset:

Western Sunset

But to tell the truth, the immediate association that springs to my mind when I think of the concept Converge — is my own book, my second book, the memoir that relates what I have experienced as astounding convergence in my own life:

My Books

Posted in Books, Desert, Nature, Photography, Sunset, West | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: ANGULAR

This corridor in the Yale University Art Gallery is nothing BUT angles:

Yale Art Gallery Corridor

while this tray of Indonesian skewers looks delicious — if you can get to it. It’s a little off-putting, with all those bristling angles:

Indonesian Satés

Posted in Art, Color, Cooking, Food, Museums, Photography | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: ACHIEVEMENT

Funny you should mention achievement, Photo Challenge people —

This morning I achieved something I almost never manage to do. So rare an accomplishment is it that I posted about it just this minute on my sister blog Touch2Touch!

Here’s another photo of it, but to understand the full extent of what this achievement is, you’ll need to click through to T2T here:

The Sun Also Rises


Posted in Nature | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: MINIMALIST


Flower in the Crannied Wall ---

Flower in the crannied wall,

I pluck you out of the crannies,

I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,

Little flower — but if I could understand

What you are, root and all, and all in all,

I should know what God and man is.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Crossing the BarThe Charge of the Light Brigade) is hardly my favorite poet. But something certainly struck a chord in my mind with this one. 

The opening line of this poem was echoing in my mind even while I was originally snapping the photo. Now, discovering the rest of the poem and a little perplexed about its interpretation, that same line echoes as urgently still: Flower in the crannied wall.

In what may be true minimalist fashion, both photo and line seem to me to say everything about, well, everything. And so I may have stumbled after all upon what the poet meant with his last line.

The weekly photo challenge, while always stimulating, rarely challenges me quite so deeply. What does the challenge mean for you?

Posted in Flowers, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: DESCENT


The English language is often ambiguous/indeterminate, and DESCENT proves to be no exception.

Here are some stairs to descend at the New Century Theater at Smith College, Northampton:

Descending the Stairs

And here is the snow descending upon us — gently, for once! — last winter (not yet this year, fingers crossed):

Snow, descending

And here is a fine specimen from whom Darwin traced our human descent:

Grandpa at the Cologne Zoo

(Photo is taken at the Cologne Zoo by The Hub).

And I’ll wind up with the  magnificent spectacle in the Arizona desert when the sun makes its nightly descent:

When the Sun Goes Down

(Makes you feel like applauding, doesn’t it? Well done, God!)

Posted in Desert, Nature, Photography, Sunset, Winter, Words | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments


Okay, if I were to write a third book, here’s an image that might grace its cover:

Letters, Letters ---

Because what I’d be using to write the book is letters, which are ever-changing from word to word. And because it would be fun to imagine writing a book called A Book of Letters. Maybe even be fun enough to block out writer’s block!

Then again, it would be fun to take my once and future favorite books of all time, Alice in Wonderland and Adventures Through the Looking Glass, and update them. Where would they take place? Why, at the Apple Store, of course, which is a wonderland all by itself!

So here we glimpse Alice among the iPads, part of a book cover for a projected Alice’s Adventures in Appleland:

Alice among the iPads

Posted in Art, Books, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments