Looking Back: Serene Advent

2017 Dec 16 St. Andrews Cathedral Advent Wreath FB WP copy

In the old school keeping of time, it is not only New Years Eve but the Seventh Day of Christmas as well. This was during the 3rd week of Advent.

The soul was willing to up load but I’m just now finding the bandwidth. This was during a concert at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.


Edit: Huh, when you think you see a redundant punctuation mark but it’s really an indication you need to clean your computer screen.




Goodbye, 2017


This is the Lake Michigan side of the tall dune that protects our home. You can see a glimpse of The Lake in the mid-ground, here she is thinking of icing up. In the distance is the dark blue cloud cover of the ever present Lake Effect Snow Machine.



Life, packed with obligation and delights, kept me from WP. I found a moment to get to the beach before the road was closed.


More Chicago Holiday Parade

Here is some more of that Holiday ‘happy dance’ infectious joy that so many parade participants shared. They brought so much light and energy.

By the way, this is just more Thanksgiving Parade shots and I’m late posting because, well, it’s holiday season and life speeds up. The parade had marvelous elements of the coming Christmas season so it’s all good.

2017 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade D7 Fun Holiday Dance Troup copy

This group from Indianapolis was serenely lovely.

DSC_4714 copy

They were a large group and a float with children brought up the rear:

DSC_4719 copy

The Mandela Asian Performing Arts Group were spectacular:

2017 Chicago Thanksgiving D7 Mandala S Asian Perf Arts1 copy

The Tapei Cultural Office was there:

2017 Chicago Thanksgiving D7 Tapeii Cultural Office1 copy

I stood with a woman whose daughter was with this unit. They came from Alabama and they represent the Mobile Azalea Trail. These young women win a spot in this parade group through scholarship. They are bright, indeed.

2017 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade D7 Mobile Azalea Trail Maids WP copy
One of the splashiest horse units was the magnificent troupe from Midieval Times.

2017 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade D7 Midieval Times Dinner1 copy

I love this last shot. It’s another mounted unit, this time the Chicago PD. What I did not show was the large amount of police and other protection to keep marchers and audience safe. Large salt trucks, full to absorb impact from any explosions, blocked off the side streets. There was a large police presence on foot and bike and, as below, on horse. I love the look on the cops face top left. Everyone else marching was all about the joy of the holiday, but these guys were here not just for PR, but for business as well. They could be called to protect and serve at any moment. You can see it in his face.

2017 Chicago Thanksgiving Parade D7 Chicago Mounted Police WP copy

I hope I’m caught up. I have lovely snow covered beach shots waiting in the wings.

Every Day Beauty; Hoar Frost on Suburban Lawn

This was December 2nd. It’s all under snow now.

DSC_5157 2017 Dec 2nd Hoar Frost Lawn

“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



Chicago Thanksgiving Parade

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!


IMG_5223 copy

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.)


Blow, Winds and Crack Cheeks

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!

Golden Guardians

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.

DSC_0197 2014 Poplars of Oceana Post This

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.

Poplar of Oceana for WP Post This

I have posted photos of these Poplar wind breaks before:



* Oh, lordie, those dark, darker, darkened skies of late fall.

Self Portrait: Artist

Experimental Selfie copy

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.


%d bloggers like this: