Pilot John Gillespie Magee, Jr. wrote this sonnet three months before he was killed at age 19, when his Spitfire collided with another plane on 11 December 1941.
Today when I was flying home from Panama City Florida to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (via Baltimore), I remembered we had to memorize and recite this poem in Mrs. Stewart’s Sixth Grade at Morris Plains Borough School 1963.
True, I wasn’t the pilot but man’s ability to fly is astounding to me.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
First image shot with iPhone The rest shot with a Canon 50D
It was a great day to fly.
Above the fruited plain……..
Drama where you find it.
Rule one. Get out of car to compose better shot.
Such a great light and I was lazy. Sitting in the driver’s seat. Had to turn around because Larimer Avenue was in the process of being blocked off for some kind of light up night festivity last Saturday afternoon.
Why oh why did I not get out and take more than these two shots? The white on these roofs was so nice.
and in case you are wondering rooves is obsolete I thought about it. Plural of roof. Like hoof. Hooves. But rooves is now deemed obsolete.
The white on the roofs of these outhouses caught my eye. And the sky. And the eerie wind blowing as if some storm was brewing close by.
When my sister and I came out to the car in the restaurant parking lot …..
As I was driving to school, crossing the Liberty Bridge, I decided to make a right turn up McArdle Roadway to Mt. Washington and shoot the city from the Duquesne Incline Platform. Traffic didn’t seem too thick. I knew I could do it.
Time tight, the light so nice and the next Opening Day would be a year away. You saw the view from inside the park on yesterday’s post.
A decision, a moment, you know you’re a photographer.
And as I was standing there I realized I’m witnessing the sun rising, coming up behind the buildings. It didn’t take too long.
I had to wait to shoot the sun as it peeked through. Not exactly Stonehenge in NYC but a thrill just the same!
PNC Park was a happy place as the Pittsburgh Pirates won in the 10th Inning. (sorry Chicago John) You can see the Ballpark lights glowing on the left hand side of the photos.
and the iPhone shot
Anyone bored with weather reports? It’s so much lighter for the morning drive to school.
I actually saw a robin in a tree down on East Liberty Boulevard. He was shivering.
This tree is in my front yard.
Photographed on Tuesday. I swear I heard bird song.
Sunlight through lace curtain onto hardwood.
Street Parking Space Savers- revisiting Snowmageddon 2010. Many people are experiencing more snow right now. So is it a Pittsburgh thing? You see all kinds of chairs reserving parking spaces all around the city after someone has shoveled out their space, planning to return to it, later.
I’ve seen a port-a-crib to reserve a parking space!
Reblogged from Feb 2010 Snowmageddon. German Shepherd and Biker.
When I look at the comments from four years ago, I see Deb saw a snow heart in the tree. Happy Valentine’s. We’ve had lots of snow this year but never all at once like 2010.
Here’s today’s guest blog-
This afternoon I received this photo from blog follower Jack. His son Joe took this “Central Park- South East corner…there is a small pond that is iced over and covered with snow…it looks really peaceful”
I wrote to Joe (who also follows the blog and he was happy to contribute today’s post- Thanks Joe!)
He gave me permission to share his picture. And thanks Jack for sending Joe’s Central Park Snow Scene.
Groundhog’s Day 2014-
We were there to see Phil the Groundhog rousted out of his slumber, and taken out from his cozy stump to see his shadow amidst the brotherhood of the Inner Circle of Gobbler’s Knob. The men were all dressed in top hats and formal attire.
Twenty four years ago (before the 1993 movie) my sister Mary and I drove in the middle of a foggy night to see the groundhog. I can tell you that it was a much different this trip. Last time we just parked on the side of the road and walked up the hill to Gobbler’s Knob. The whole event was well orchestrated and incredibly efficient, especially with the number of people coming to town. Lots of dedicated people making a concerted effort to insure everyone’s safe and happy experience! Everyone pleasant and a festive atmosphere. We had fun and were really glad it was rain rain and more rain instead of ice and snow snow snow!
Laura thought she’d like to go last year since it was on a weekend but it was super cold and I had an photography show opening that weekend and it didn’t work out. “Next year”, I said. “Next year.” Laura wanted to cross it off her Bucket List.
Mary came out from NYC on the train Thursday night and Laura drove in Saturday morning from Columbus OH.
We went to bed at 8:30 PM Saturday night and got up at 2:40 AM.
Pulled out of the driveway around 3:20AM and drove the 74 miles to Punxsutawney PA. Not to0 much traffic but when we got there the Wal-Mart parking lot was already filled up. We were able to find a spot behind the County Market in Groundhog Plaza and walked two blocks to a McDonald’s where we got $5 round trip tickets for the bus to Gobbler’s Knob.
Just like Shuey had told us (he went last year in the bitter cold, driving his MOTORCYCLE from Niceville, Florida) it was “easy peasy.” The crowd was estimated at 30,000 and yes, it rained on us the entire time but the temp was about 37 so no ice, no snow and none of us felt cold or miserable. I’d wrapped the camera in a couple of plastic bags and rubber bands on the end of the lens. At one point we were asked to all pull out our cell phones an light the place like a concert with a lighter. A fellow art teacher plays the bass fiddle in a band The Beagle Brothers and they played a few sets starting at 3AM. Oh, the Star Spangled Banner, too.
We stopped in at County Market to buy a couple of magnets and use their nice restroom. The clerk had been there since the night before at 10:30 and her shift ended at 6AM.
School buses lined up to take Groundhog Fans to Gobbler’s Knob
Laura at Gobbler’s Knob
Cell phones light Gobbler’s Knob
Thirty minutes of Zambelli Fireworks in the woods was an unexpected delight.
The Beagle Brothers band
The Beagle Brothers played a few sets and the National Anthem. Fellow art teacher Kyle on the Bass Fiddle. Nice job!
Uh oh. He saw his shadow. SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER!!!
A fellow groundhog fan took our photo on Gobbler’s Knob
Josh (dogmatic liveart) painted Groundhog Day right on the spot!
Groundhog fans checking their photos and messages.
Headed for the buses at Gobbler’s Knob
Groundhog Fan with Groundhog Hat
Photographer on Gobbler’s Knob
After the Prognostication
Getting on the bus for downtown
Kids playing on piles of dirty snow
Groundhog Statues all over town!
Mr. Tom Uberti shook my hand and welcomed me to Punxsutawney. AKA Big Windmaker. He graciously allowed me to “shoot him.”
Although the sun was shining, the thermometer dipped enough to cause schools to be closed today. In fact, they were calling it Arctic Blast. We weren’t in as bad shape as Atlanta, though. What a mess.
A friend picked me up, drove me down the hill to Park Bruges Café where I ordered the Lemon Cheesecake for dessert, serious comfort food. We used to work together but don’t see each other often so it was fun catching up. You can see how the sunlight streamed into the window where we sat.
Forty years ago my sister gave me a set of Farberware Pans. They have seen a LOT of use.
Mary’s coming to visit for the weekend and I was trying to get the dark burned- on grease off the bottom of the pan. I only noticed it as it hung on the rack, thinking about how she keeps her Revere Pans’ copper so shiny as it hangs over her stove in NYC. I solved the problem of not being able to get it all off. Tried some internet remedy with vinegar but it didn’t quite work so this is what I did so the bottom didn’t show. What I should post is a photograph of the bottom so you could be horrified but the idea is to camouflage the undesirable pan bottom.
It was quite dramatic.
iPhone captures today.
ABBA II Used Cars in McKees Rocks Pennsylvania- Nobody Walks? But where are the cars? Seems a lot of people aren’t getting the ABBA connection either. So I am editing and leaving these questions for the viewer. No one noticed the lot was empty although it was apparent to me when I took the shot and it made me laugh.
1/28/14 Tuesday Afternoon
Hope the dripping faucets keep the pipe flowing, too.
Rob, good to hear it’s 81 in Florida today.
Check out the flip flops in the photo above. A few more months. Unless you are Rob!
So what to do on a snowy Sunday afternoon?
Shovel shovel shovel, scrape the concrete with a metal edge.
Make a path.
Sweep clean, if possible. Repeat. Salt a bit.
Listen to the radio for a two hour delay. Hear an interview with a Canadian Astronaut.
Plan to leave early enough so you can wend your way to work, precariously.
Wool socks, a shawl, tea, an afghan, a book turns into a Sunday afternoon nap. Knit a bit.
Heat leftover chili with beans. Write out a birthday card, find a stamp.
Hear from dear friends in Florida, worried your pipes are frozen, or you’re driving on I-70 from Ohio. They saw it on TV. Polar vortex and all.
Steve feeds the feral cats. Their coats so thick.
No snowplows clear my street yet. My friend saw a squall. I just looked out my window before bed. Wondering what morning surprise I’ll find.
Intersection in Bloomfield at a red light
Can’t stop the snow. The wind. Or the mercury dropping to zero and way below.
Distract oneself from the fact that it’s winter and
watch Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield sing David Bowie on the International Space Station
like 20 million other people have watched and listened
and wait for Spring.
I haven’t written a lot about the weather on the blog. Some blog readers live in a different hemisphere are enjoying summer temperatures and swimming. I heard from K that it got up to 44, even if Florida. Deb wrote that we’ve got ice on the rivers.
Storms, low temps, windchill? I know two people who had to get a new furnace.
Weather? You see it on the news. The computer. Experience it first hand. Shovel your driveway or your walks. Listen for two hour delays or school closures.
Tying to not feel down like the snowman, but hey, it’s WINTER!
Weatherman’s prediction is start at 4 AM and snow until 5 PM. Dress warmly.
My sister had 11 inches of snow in New York City. What are you experiencing?
A few years ago this Mary statue was a curbside alert through the neighborhood listserve so I walked up to Winterton St. to save her from the trash.
She was peeling paint and looking a bit worn. Somehow it didn’t seem right to have her picked up by the garbage truck. So I put her in my side “garden” and called her Our Lady of the Weeds (due to my lack of gardening effort)
About the same time I hired a friend of a friend to come and do some master gardening, get rid of the weeds, plant something decent. And the skilled gardener took the Mary statue home with her and she was gone a couple of months. The gardener is an excellent puppeteer and brightened up the statue with new paint. In fact, when she was returned it took awhile to get used to her brightness and revitalization.
Then my neighbor restored the bird bath bowl my father gave me when I bought the house.
One day I came home and the Mary statue was perched in the now repaired bird bath.
It’s been a team effort to get me spiffed up around here.
This Spring I’ll take a new photo with the plantings and green surrounding her.
Knock knock knock. What is that noise?
Can’t say I blame him wanting to be sure I heard him as it was still snowing outside.
Once he was in and dried off, I got a quick photo by the tree
Second of a series. Beanie Weenies was (were?) the first.
Comfort food as the days get shorter and the temp outside dipped down to 12.
Our systems are still adjusting to the cold and urge to crawl into a cave and hibernate.
My kitchen back door window looked like this after I made a cup of tea.
so I boiled some noodles
Buttered a retro baking dish I bought at a thrift shop in Wisconsin one summer
I crumbled some saltines and cut in some butter and put the mixture to the side
and then I opened some cans
Yes, a new low point in the culinary department around here.
Tuna Noodle Casserole coming up! Comfort food series part two.
Freshly ground pepper will give it some zip!
BTW, you just mix the drained noodles into the soup mixture combined with an almost- can of milk oh and add the tuna.
Here it is baking in the oven.
Thanks to Steve there was a head of ICEBERG lettuce. Oil and vinegar just didn’t fit
Found an almost empty jar of mayo and added some ketchup and chopped up bread and butter pickles and served a slug of lettuce on a glass plate, topped with dressing.
The casserole browned nicely.
I miss you Mom.
What I saw when I got to my car after school-
Photographed in the school parking lot.
All I did was change the angle of my phone camera within a few seconds of the first shot.
Two photos are un-retouched
I won the tickets. We parked on the North Side for free and walked to Heinz Field. We didn’t buy anything at the game. Not a hotdog or a foam finger or even a plastic tray of nachos. Nada! A frugal effort to say the least. We slipped and slid to the field on the untreated walks. We got to the game and I had a purse with my camera. NOPE, even if it were empty, it could not enter the stadium.
Had to be see through plastic or a 4.5 x 6″ clutch. YIKES. We walked half way back to the car and Steve put in in the V of a tree in the park. It was to far to walk all the way back. It was leather and I carry my camera in it and couldn’t just pitch it in the giant dumpster provided for such bags. I don’t go to football games and didn’t realize the restrictions on bags. PNC Park never banned my camera/purse.
On to the snow (the very wet snow) and the cold and the damp and the loss. Yep. The loss.
A high scoring, exciting game, though. And disappointing.
We left before we could see the dismal end, the “almost greatest play ever” they said on the radio as we scraped the windshield and warmed up the car. Came home for soup and tea and a hot shower and I was STILL cold! But we had fun as best we could given the circumstances ie. weather.
Thanks random Steelers fan for photographing us! Nice.
Can you see Fort Pitt Bridge arch on the right? The city skyline was totally obliterated by fog and snow when we first arrived. If you stare you can see ghosts of the buildings.
Snow on the drums
Snow on Condiments
TV camera crew in the snow (taken with the iPhone)
Santa on his cell phone.
Discarded Terrible Towel. Sacrilege! (Sorry to post this photo, Myron- RIP)
What the city looked like later
Serious Tailgaters Equipment
More serious tailgaters personal equipment in a pick-up
The tree holding my purse until after the game when we retrieved it.
Pittsburgh Steel Man , Yoda and Bandito let me take their picture
We’re holing up.
Waiting for the predicted snow.
Not quite a burrow but definitely staying close to home.
It’s probably going to impact Thanksgiving travel plans for many in this neck of the woods.
I’m avoiding all stores with crowds- as everyone rushes to get milk and the last roll of T.P.
There’s urgent hype on the car radio as I drove home from school and I hear from a friend that reports on TV are insistent.
Came home and baked the dozen in some vodka sauce from the pantry (don’t ask) for 45 minutes and pretty soon there was a meal worthy of a winter night that feels like February instead of November.
In the dining room. What made the meal though?
The grater was in service again tonight. This time for the Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese. Steve added the beer and we had spinach salad. The candles made it seem warmer.
Woke up this morning to the first snow.
After school there wasn’t much left in the school parking lot, except for these few leaves.
Curb medley of autumn leaves with icy accents.
Steve was driving in quite a few of these and the others I pulled over. Can you tell which are shot with the Canon 5D and which are shot with the iPhone?
After school, I was knitting at Ann’s again.
Her hydrangeas contrast with the turned leaves caught my eye as I left to go to my car. A balmy temperature and a gorgeous Autumn light. Unseasonably warm November afternoon.