Sunday, August 27, 2023

Scary Fair Ride

 Along with the corn dogs and competition tomatoes, rides are an essential part of state and county fairs. Many visitors come for the scary rides. I am NOT among those who elect to be strapped into the Brute. The glowing arms slowly rise up into the sky and begin to swing back and forth while the claw-like seats rotate. Back and forth, round and round, swooping down way too close to the crowds gathered around the base. We heard screams of actual pure terror from some of the riders. And yet, the line to ride the Brute is always the longest line at the fair.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Pipevine Swallowtail

 They fluttered all over, in and around the Smoky Mountains, wings beating so fast it was difficult to really see their markings. Darting from flower to flower then stopping for a mineral fuel-up from puddles on the swimming pool’s concrete, I marveled at the flamboyance of the pipevine swallowtails. Those brilliant spots are a warning. Early life as caterpillars feeding on pipe vines makes them unappetizing or even toxic to predators. So they go about their business and, once in a while open their wings to reveal a swath of gorgeous iridescent blue. Then they are off to sample the next flower.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Ault Park In Late Summer

 Every spring, the famous weeping cherries draw crowds to Cincinnati's Ault Park. In early summer, roses add color to the green slopes and lawns. Right now, the gardens are full of annuals and perennials that draw pollinators. As beautiful as the flowers are, can anything ever compete with the brilliant blue and white patterns of a calico sky? 

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Indigo Day

 Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria offers indigo dyeing classes during the summer months. All methods of dyeing require a warm temperature to help colors develop and set. Indigo is unique. Oxygen is a critical component. Fabric goes into the deep blue vats. Dyers carefully lift it out---and the fabric is a confusingly bright shade of chartreuse. Air meets indigo and the fabric changes from green to green-blue and finally to the color of a pair of new jeans. Dip and lift. Dip and lift. We open our carefully stitched, folded or  wrapped bundles, each one a surprise package. They rest on the bushes and bloomed-out daylilies where we all admire them and marvel at the magic that is a pot of indigo.