This was December 2nd. It’s all under snow now.
“I’m pretty lost in becoming all this frost. Bitter, like Winter. Strung-out like a string of pearls.”
~ Ashley Lorenza
“But frost, like the crystallized dreams of autumn, began to coat the clearing with its sugar glaze.”
~ Victoria Steele Logue, Redemption
I love small town parades, from HomeComing or Asparagus Queens in convertibles, to the local volunteer fire department, to kids on bikes, people love marching in the parade as much as people love gathering and watching their friends march.
I thought about that a lot during Chicago’s Thanksgiving Parade last week. A couple of us photographer friends gathered before the parade and then had a photo feast. For me it very much had a small town parade feel. The difference, of course, all the ‘units’ were bigger, splashier and more extravagantly dressed, and yet it retained the simple joy of this most curious brand of interactive entertainment.
There were bands.
There were balloons, kind of like Macy’s but Chicago balloons have to march UNDER the El tracks which is problematic and so in lieu of soaring above the city they ride in carts. What Chicago lacked in outsized balloons it more than makes up for with its outsized personalities and stunning costumes,
and oh the joyous dancers, so many dance groups. Below is the Punjab Cultural Society,
and these young dancers below were from the Indianapolis Chinese Performers.
There were so many young people in the parade.
And Beauty Queens! Chicago had those too, here the current and past Miss Illinois pause for a selfie:
I have never been to a parade with so many Equestrian Clubs in it, and all of them with lavish costumes and tack for the horses. It was a delight. I’m not sure where this group was from.
The best part of the Equestrian Units were the clean up Units that followed each group. These poop-scooping volunteer street cleaning units come from near and far and join in the spirt by dressing up for Holiday fun.
I took hundreds, add my friends my friends and we took thousands of shots. We later met up with other friends for Peking Duck and Par Pei Duck at Sun Wah BBQ on Argyle. After that fine feast we all went back downtown to our hotel room for movies, noshes (Oh, the desserts and left over duck!), drinks and photo reviews.
It was a great time and I’ll post more photos later. I hope your feast day of the holiday season was as joyous as ours!
This was from an installation at the Water Plant during last year’s Art Prize.
(Apologies, I tried to look up the artist but Art Prize tends to reset all the info every year. They do not maintain old files.)
The gale is winding down but it was going full blast on Monday night:
I made this a wee bit larger so you could see a bit more wave dance.
I’m back. Thanksgiving in Chicago was awesome. Of course I have photos. I hope you had a satisfying feast!
The abundant orchards to the north of our dune home are lined with massive windbreaks of poplars that tower over their charges; the silent ranks of cherry, apple and peach trees below. They serve to lessen the arctic blasts for their little friends. (Yes, I anthropomorphize plants.)
For a very brief time in autumn the effect is of magnificent enormous outdoor rooms formed of golden walls that reach to and brighten the darkened skies of late fall*. Lordie, is it fleeting.
As the poplars drop their leaves a fragrant potpourri of dried out leaves, rain and damp soil is created. The life of that potpourri is even shorter than the golden walls themselves. As you can see, once on the ground the gold is quickly muted to the colors of the earth. And so it goes. Too soon.
I have posted photos of these Poplar wind breaks before:
* Oh, lordie, those dark, darker, darkened skies of late fall.
I am not absent minded, I’m taken with all the things that catch my eye, from repititious leading lines, arresting grass, mower guy, to how my hair mirrors the clouds.
There is so much, a feast for the eyes.
“Nom nom nom, Bzzzzz, Bzzzzz, nom.”
This little bee is chowing down on my New England Aster. I give these plants for free to neighbors. In early Autumn the asters drip with bees and butterflies. For this reason I do not feed birds in summer. When butterfly season is well past the bird feeders come out again.
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.”
~ Emily Dickensen
I wanted to post more about the loss of bees and I should. Another day, I’m…. my body has chosen to attack my eyes again. I’m feeling…defeated. Despair is not my nature but I have to pause and process and gather my strength around me. These past two weeks I’ve had trouble focusing the camera but sometime’s I’m so enrapt in shooting I’m not paying attention. It never occurred to me I was sick.
Autumn in Michigan is a sweet season and the only thing that makes the end of summer bearable. I’ll post some more fall shots that are already loaded in the queue this week. I had planned to get back to everyone’s blog but I need to rest my eyes. That defiant Irish imp, lodged near my soul and dripping with dark humor, when it heard the news wisecracked, “Think of the money you’ll save on camera equipment!” That tough imp is the one who raises it’s fists and challenges the Universe to bring it on. It’s carried me through harder times than this.
Enjoy your fall, please, re-consider any chemicals you are planning to use on your lawn. Consider the bees. Thanks!
Late October and, for the diehards, earliest November is the season for putting sailboats up ‘on the hard’. This makes for lovely, inverted forests of boats and masts.