The season for butterflies is just beginning here in Eastern Missouri. The thistle is starting to bloom, and the butterflies and bees love it. Even though this is just the beginning (so I am told)of the season, I was able to capture some shots I thought you might enjoy.
These photos were all taken in one shoot late last Friday afternoon. There are a number of different butterflies along with a bumblebee. Notice the golden pollen that gathers on their legs as they alight to drink the thistle's nectar. I'll try next time to catch some of these guys while they are in flight.
The gallery includes nine photos carefully edited by Linda. Remember to click on one of the photos to see them in full size. Enjoy!
As most of you know, we finally (it only took 50 years) became grandparents on May 3rd when April gave birth to twin boys, Jackson and Thomas. The boys were anxious to join the party and arrived about 2 months early. As a result, they spent 59 days in the hospital NICU before coming home at the end of June.
I haven't posted anything on the website as Jeremy created a blog that has been beautifully telling their story. You can see his blog here, and I encourage you to read it.
Now it is my turn. At the request or behest or, rather, the command of my sister, I am finally publishing some photos of these two fine boys. They are doing wonderfully well - from less than 4 pounds each at birth to over 9 pounds now. They are strong, healthy, and alert and ready to give their parents all they can handle.
Enjoy the Gallery
n.b. This is not the type of post you are accustomed to reading on Travels With Linda, but it is something I could not let go by, and I would appreciate it if you would read it through. - Don
The title of this post is a classic quote by Pogo the Possum. Pogo was the main character in a popular comic strip that ran from the 1950s through the mid-1970s. The strip - much like Doonesbury today - focused on social and political commentary and satire.
For the past six months or so we have heard a lot of ugly rhetoric in our country. Words I had hoped we were long finished hearing. This has created a distrust and intoleration that is casting a pall over our country. The past week was a very sad and bloody one for us, and yet the rhetoric continues.
Pogo's comment is no longer social satire, but social reality. The enemy is, indeed, us.
I was a teacher. I had the privilege of having kids of all backgrounds, cultures, and races in my classroom.
I have taught kids with surnames 2 letters long, some with names 20 letters long, and some with apostrophes in their names; boys with turbans and girls with hijabs; skin colors of all hues; those who are first generation Americans and those who are themselves immigrants. I have taught kids with more differences than you can imagine.
And I have learned from all of them. I have learned many things. But primarily what I have learned is that all these different kids from all these different cultures and ethnicities are really all the same. Despite all of their differences, they are all just young adults trying to learn; trying to cope with adolescence; trying to manage (or as they think of it - survive) their parents; trying to imagine their futures.
In other words there is no we or they, there is only us. Why be our own enemy?
All that has happened recently brought to mind a song - an important song, I think - from the famous musical, South Pacific, which opened on Broadway 67 years ago in 1949. I copied the lyrics below because I think they bear repeating - especially in today's climate.
All I can think is that here we are 67 years later, and we have yet to learn the lesson of this song.
You've Got to be Carefully Taught
You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!
from South Pacific by
Rogers & Hammerstein
This post is a celebration. Plain and simple. Our celebration.
We are celebrating that we - Linda, my partner, my buddy, my pal, my boon companion and I - have now been together for fifty years!
There will be no big party, no champagne, no fancy dinner - that's just not us. In fact, we plan to spend the day with April and Jeremy enjoying our new grandsons - celebrating new life. Later on we'll probably be back in the RV watching the TV.
But please don't let us stop you from raising a glass to us. You will enjoy the quaff, and we will feel your good thoughts.
How Did This All Happen?
In 1963 I met this absolutely beautiful young woman while at Ursinus College. For some strange reason she agreed to go out with me once, twice, three times! And then forever. Unbelievable!
I have no idea how this all managed to happen, but it did. Then I asked her to marry me, and she said, "Yes." Even more unbelievable.
My Own Roadside Nostalgia
In keeping with the website's Roadside Nostalgia theme for the summer, I thought I would write a few verses in the style of the old Burma-Shave jingles about my 50 years with Linda. Here are few pieces of verse that could have appeared along the roadside on Burma-Shave signs.
An Ode to Our Time Together
Please indulge me this. I have written a bit of verse for Linda. And even though she is a somewhat private person, this is where I choose to share it. It is very possible this doggerel will keep us from reaching Year 51.
OUR ROAD, OUR PARTY
Remember when we got married?
The big plans we had.
We thought life’s road,
Would be smooth and straight,
Without any bumps or twists or turns.
Who knew about the detours?
We thought life would be a party,
(Or at least a picnic with no ants).
Who knew about the baloney sandwiches?
Over the past many years,
We have had many ideas and thoughts.
Who knew we could sometimes be so wrong?
We have had our tough times - but never bad times
We could always make a baloney sandwich into a party,
And any old back road into a highway.
And we made it kid - fifty years!
But we knew all along that we could do it.
We are winding down now,
There is no doubt of that.
But we’re not done yet,
There is plenty more for us to do.
And remember this, my love,
Our road will go on forever,
And our party will never end.
Still travelin' the road...
According my internet research, the jingles started in 1926 and the signs were removed in 1963 when the company was sold to Philip Morris. Burma-Shave and its signs were victims of the times - electric razors and interstate highways.
Anyway, our road trip this summer will be spent mainly in one place as we get a chance to be grandmom and grandpop with our daughter's new twins. So, since travel photos will be less than frequent, I thought it might be fun to take a quick trip back in time and resurrect the grand old Burma-Shave jingles. I'll post a new one each week along with the weekly photo.
There will still be occasional posts, but there will definitely be a weekly photo and a new Burma-Shave verse every Monday. We'll start with the one you see at the right. This first one comes direct from my memory as it was along Highway 213 in Maryland, a few miles below Chesapeake City. We would see it every time we drove down to our summer cottage.
So close your eyes and pretend. It's the 1950s, and everyone is squeezed in the family Buick for the annual road trip. It's July and it's hot, all the windows are down, and the highhway is busy. Suddenly the familiar red signs pop up along the side of the road. Dad reads each one out loud, one-after-the-other, and the whole family gets a good chuckle just when one is needed. You could always depend on Burma-Shave. That's the way it was. Enjoy the trip!
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
The actual number of homes that have water in front of them is very small. Our block, for example, is perfectly dry except for the intersection at one end. In fact, yesterday the neighbor boys were enjoying the lack of traffic and playing ball in the street.
But since there is no through-traffic, there is a semi-barricade at our end to keep traffic localized. This is enough to prevent our stalwart postal couriers from the swift (or any other kind of) completion of their appointed rounds.
There are probably no more than a handful of homes that would require the mail carrier to get out of the truck and walk to deliver the mail. But that is just not going to happen.
So with no notification of any kind (HOA e-mail network, social media, news release to broadcasters, etc), mail delivery has been suspended for any street in the city that has any kind of a barricade. If we want our mail, we have to go to the post office and pick it up.
It just doesn't take much to stay these couriers in today's world.
While you are here, please check out the new Weekly Photo feature - one new photo every Monday. Just click this link or use the menu at the top of the page.
We had a wonderful and very busy time this past week at FeatherFest, the annual spring birding festival in Galveston.
Linda learned how birds are banded, and I learned how to crawl on my belly to take pictures at ground level. In between we went on buses and boats to a variety of birding spots, sat in workshops, and just had a grand old time getting up at 4:30 in the morning day after day.
One Good Tern...
I'm sorry, Linda won't allow me to finish that phrase (you know the one, "One good tern deserves another."). I think she's a little tired of my joke.
Anyhow while on my belly in the sand, I watched one tern climb upon anther's back. Then along came a guy with a fish to join the group. Not long after, a third tern tried to land to make it a three level stack. It looked like we were going to have a cheerleader tower. Alas, after only one try he flew off. The guy on top is a Caspian Tern while the others are Royal Terns.
A Potpourri of Photos
Here's a collection of photos with no particular theme or story.
The photos below were all taken at the same time of one singular bird. I was at an event where we were learning to take pictures from ground level (on our bellies in the wet sand). The avocets at the top of the page are from the same shoot.
At one time this crazy bird scrooched down to go under a cable between two pilings. We were all fascinated because he's a bird and he can fly, and a hop over the cable would have been much easier.
Port of Galveston
While Port of Houston (busiest port in the U.S.) is the port on the Gulf Coast, there is still quite a bit happening in Galveston's own port. It is home to "jack-up" oil rigs and many other offshore vessels. Along with oil drilling, the port is involved with several other types of cargo including containers, dry and liquid bulk, RO-RO, and refrigerated cargoes. It even has its own railroad.
Finally I'll finish this post with three monochrome photos that I particularly like. I hope they catch your eye.
Thanks for visiting!
Some Flowers Around the Yard and Around Town
The Birds are Also Busy
Enjoy the little gallery of birds below. The Waxwings, the Mockingbird, and the Carolina Wren are from the backyard. All of the rest were taken in Florida a few weeks ago.
Remember the "Teddy Bears' Picnic" Song?
Well the other week up on the lake we may have experienced a picinic with cormorants - thousands of cormorants. More cormorants than you ever need to see. I can only assume that it was the day for their spring picnic.
I hope you have enjoyed the photos and have forgiven me for my silliness with old song lyrics.
Thanks for visiting.
Roadside Nostalgia 8
To change a flat
Protect your life –
No spare for that!
You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead
McCartney & Lennon
one state at a time
"On the road again,
Goin' places that we've never been,
Seein' things that we may never see again,
And we can't wait to get on the road again."
Written & Performed by