Archive for March, 2012

Mountain Dreams

City Paint 2 – 27th Street Gallery

On the corner of 2700 South and West Temple, in Salt Lake City, one can find the 27th Street Gallery.  Their parking lot is separated from the neighborhood by a four to five foot wall that runs the entire length of the parking lot.  It appears that the gallery sponsored a street-art exhibition with the Univeristy of Utah in 2011 and donated their parking-lot wall to be used as the canvas.  I’m not an art historian, but my daughter-in-law has a degree in the subject and shared with me that these renderings are of renowned works…but with a little something missing…something left-out of the works, apparentl,y so as not to infringe upon copyright holdings…or something of the sort.  Or maybe it’s so that the murals can be back-drops for portraits, as you might notice a painted set of foot-prints near the bottom of several of the pictures…where one might stand to be the focus of the mural and have their photo taken…maybe.


City Paint 1 – 5 Monkeys Bar

I stumbled across this little bit of building art a couple of weeks ago.  It got me to thinking about all of the building and street art that I have noticed in our city over the past several months.  I’ve seen tagging and “normal” graffiti in other cities where I’ve lived, but the Salt Lake area has offered something new (to me, anyway), in that various businesses adorn their outer and street-facing walls with murals and tag-like art-work as advertising.  Having seen many examples of this particular art-form, I thought it might be interesting to share a little series of my findings.

My daily commute to work, my lunch-time wanderings near my down-town work location, and my Saturday morning explorations have become intentional scouting trips since my first serendipitous discovery of this unique building art on the back-side of the 5-Monkeys Bar in Murray, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

Far from Home

Snow Cones

Misty Morning

Brick Door and Window

Another door photo inspired by Mike and his look at life – with a twist….

This building is a couple blocks down the same road from the Church/Barn Door photo and appears to be from the same era.  It appears to be used for music instruction, as I have seen children of all ages arriving and leaving with their cased instruments at all times of the morning and afternoon…from a regular door on the front of the building.


Little One

Vintage Modified

This is another door inspired by Mike, from Mike’s Look at Life.  A novice door collector myself, I was looking for something that a connoisseur would approve of…and found this on the backside of a building on the industrial side of Salt Lake City.  The bricks were painted in a faded beige and the door was actually pretty and worn, but when I viewed it on the computer, it was too washed-out…and no matter how much I manipulated and processed the photo, it seemed to lack the vitality and old-school charm that it had in “real life.”  This pencil rendering is the most justice I could do for it…the texture is there and you can almost feel a splinter piercing the skin of your hands as you run them over the beautiful wood.  It appears that the lower portion of the door has been modified to allow the louver panel to be placed in the center, facilitating the exhaust or circulation of air when evaporative coolers are operating during the warmer months…you can see plywood sheets that have been cut and placed on each side of the louvers…very clearly not part of the original door.

3/21/12 1905hrs – SUPPLEMENTAL INFO:  It appears that my wording above may have been misleading or otherwise eaily misunderstood…the “pencil rendering” is not of my doing.  I did not draw the pencil sketch of the below door.  When I mentioned that I was trying to manipulate the photo to remove the washed-out and pale appearance, I used Picassa to add colors and shadows and other effects to the photo…none of them were satisfactory to me…so I ended-up using Picassa to turn the picture into a pencil sketch rendering of the second photo below.  Please forgive me if I led you to think otherwise.  I haven’t the skill to even begin to draw something as beautiful or detailed as this picture.

On second thought, maybe the original doesn’t look too bad…here’s the way it looks from the dock to the camera to the computer, and now to you…maybe I should leave well-enough alone….


Arizona Sunrise

Driving home from a visit to Phoenix last month, we had to stop the truck in a hurry to try to capture as much of this as possible.  We were still about 40 miles south of Flagstaff and the road was winding and dipping around and below trees and rocks…and after probably another half mile or so, I was finally able to find a relatively unobstructed view of this amazing sunrise.

Above Me

It wasn’t my intention, taking these pictures on the way to the park the other day, but I couldn’t resist them after spying the images up there as I was looking to see where the snow-clumps were falling from…as it warms up a bit, the gathered snow falls in gobs from the branches…making a nice cold mess of your glasses as you walk along, under the trees…minding your own business…on your lunch-time walk to the park…

And no, I wasn’t walking under these reeds, but I did have to look up to their 10-12 foot heights to capture the image….

I don’t know what kind of tree this is, but it’s pretty at this time of year, too…with the flower/seed heads covered with snow….


Who else is there…

…when we look at ourselves?  This curious moment of novelty and playful egocentrism in taking a self-portrait happened to also capture images of my daughter and her two children…resulting in a rendering of three generations of our family, something that I didn’t notice until viewing the photo while processing it for this post, some several weeks later.  The content of the photograph prompted me think about who is really there when we look at ourselves…who else are we seeing…who had an influence in forming us into the people we have become…and who have we likewise influenced in forming them into the people that they have become…?

the orchard is empty

the orchard is empty and the fruit is all down and the trucks have driven away and left only their tire tracks in the grass and the delicate lingering fumes of their exhaust as a fine mist in the treetops, a filigree of vapor and chemical rind that leaves slowly and at the whim of the breeze.  we put the ladders away, back in the barn where they will collect the seasons’ dust and cobwebs as they long for the touch of our hands and the trod of boots on their rungs in the night of the year

a quiet has returned to the place where the buzzing of bees and bird-song are the loudest sounds we hear and a fox peers tentatively from under the fence in the far west end and a man I know steps lightly on the morning stairs, down and down from the ancient painted house and into the yard as the newling morning sun peeks over the distant mountains and the crisp in yesterday’s air left in the evening breeze behind warm currents that lofted lazily into the yard and scooted the leaves yon and away.  the quiet will be here for a long while and the trees will settle for their slumber and life abides and kindles a slow flame like a warm and hiding light…and the orchard is empty and the fruit is all down as we pray to our gods for a gentle winter and wet

Wind and Water

Running Red Lights

Tokens of Appreciation

I have recently been honored by some of my friends in our blogging world with certain tokens of appreciation. Four of my fellow bloggers have generously given me the Awesome Blog Content (ABC) Blog Award, the Kreative Blogger Award, and the One Lovely Blog Award.  I am nearly lost for words as I consider the weight of their kindness.

A couple weeks ago, Sharon of Figments and Imagination presented me with my first ABC Blog Award.  A few days later, George of She Kept a Parrot honored me with the second.  

And then, shortly after that, Strawberry Indigo touched me with the Kreative Blogger award, and finally, Dovesgold of Season’s Light added to the blessings by giving me the One Lovely Blog award.

Thank you, Friends, each one of you, for your kindness and generosity in sharing your nice words and sentiments.  I cherish your appreciation of my little blog with its pictures and stories….  Your continued visiting of my site, your supportive comments, and now your bestowed honors…all contribute to my enjoyment of working/playing with my blog and encourage me to do better.  Thank you…and thank you.  🙂

If you don’t know Sharon, George, Strawberry Indigo, and Dovesgold, I encourage to visit their sites and take a browse through their work.  Sharon is involved with relief work and seems to take photos and write poetry to maintain a sense of balance in her life.  Visiting with George is like sitting at her kitchen table from late afternoon until early morning, looking at photos and sharing in the history of her life.  Strawberry Indigo has beautiful photography and observations of life…and walking with Dovesgold through her sometimes dark and worrisome poetry can be compelling, as well as validating of our own experiences.

As many of you might already know, most blog awards come with rules or stipulations that accompany accepting them.  The ABC Blog Award asks that you thank the person who gave you the award (along with providing a link to their site), describe yourself with the letters of the alphabet, and then pass the award along to other bloggers whose work you admire.

I don’t do very well at describing myself, so I asked my wife and adult children to help with this part:

A – I’m an acquired taste; B – Book lover; C – Cormac McCarthy is my favorite author; D – Diligent; E – Eloquent; F – Feminist, father, mostly fair, sometimes funny; G – I like Gonorrhea and other STDs; H – Hiker; I – Introvert; J – Jaded?  Jovial – not really, but I like the word; K – Kind; L – Loyal; M – Mindful; N – Neat, naturalist; O – Open-minded; P – Pragmatic; Q – Questioning, quiet; R – Reflective; S – Skeptic, sometimes stubborn; T – Taciturn; U – Unpretentious, unapologetic, unadoptable, unbelieving; V – Venereal disease – see Gonorrhea; W – Writer; X – Like in algebra…unknown variable? Y – Yesterday, the content of most of my writing; Z – Zoetic (from the Greek, pertaining to living, full of life).

There are two of my blog-friends with whom I will share this award – Bonnie of The Iris and the Lilly, and Chillbrook of Cornwall – A Photographic Journey. I think Bonnie knows the name of every flower and tree in her garden and for miles around her lovely home.  She shares her photos and insights and never fails to brighten my day with her posts.  Chillbrook is an early retiree whose life was touched by the children he taught in inner-city schools in London.  He uses his camera now to explore the beauty in his new/old countryside that is his home in Cornwall, England.  Both of these blogs are chock-full of beautiful photos and compelling commentary.

As a recipient of the Kreative Blogger Award, the rules obligate/encourage me to thank the person who gave me the award, with a link to their site, list seven things about myself that other people might enjoy knowing about me, and then share the award with another select group of bloggers whose sites I admire.

I have already thanked and introduced Strawberry Indigo, so I will now identify seven things about myself…that may or may not be interesting: 1) I lived in Germany for over 10 years, 2) I still have my stamp collection from when I was a child, 3) I worked at one job for nine years, my next job for ten years, my next job for 11 years, and only have ten and a half years left to make it to 12 years at my current job! 4) I am still married to my high-school sweetheart, 5) My high-school sweetheart still mostly likes me after more than 30 years as my companion, 6)  I was a veterinary technician years and years ago, 7) and I used to draw blood from people in alleyways, abandoned buildings, and crack-houses to see if they had syphilis.

The two people I have selected to award the Kreative Blogger Award are Dreams and Zeros and Tania Jessica Smith.  Dreams and Zeros shares beautiful words and photos that represent her “daily dreamscape.”  And Tania provides us with looks into her life as she has traveled the world and taken photo-evidence of its magnificence.

And finally, with regard to the One Lovely Blog Award, there are no rules, nothing that must be done…it is simply a gift of appreciation for a blog’s content.  The award comes with a beautiful badge/button that I can pass along to other bloggers whenever I choose…just to let them know that I really admire their blog.  Thank you, again, Dovesgold, for this beautiful badge that I have at the bottom of my blog.  As this post has become long enough, I will pass that award along to select bloggers at other times.

Thank you, again, Sharon, George, Strawberry Indigo, and Dovesgold for the little treasures you have shared with me.  I will and do cherish them.


As she lay sleeping

From one day…so many years ago….

“The sun’s light has faded and gone with its setting more than two hours ago.  The star of stars ended its daily cycle behind our valley’s western mountains as it has done every evening now for what must be the past several million years.  Now, left in the twilight created by the nearly concealed bathroom light around the corner from where I sit, my eyes perceive this bedroom-world in hues of light and dark.  Only gray, black, and lighter gray can be divined by my night-adjusted eyes.  In focusing upon the slowly closing eyes of my little loved-one, they disappear with my concentration, but if I look to either side, I can see them clearly, rather, as clearly as the suffused light will allow.  My baby’s purple dinosaur pajamas are only a darker gray than the blackened, navy sweat-shorts that I am wearing.  She is singing ‘I love you’ in her fifteen-month-old’s dialect as she fights the valiant efforts of the Sandman.  Holding her on my lap, I can smell the fragrance of her baby-shampooed hair, just as she, maybe, can smell the scent of ground weeds and back-yard vegetation that lingers on my hands as I caress her ever soft cheeks and jaw line.  The contest is finished, and that enchanter of sleep, Mr. Sandman, is victor yet again.  His wooings are too much for the protestations of my little one.  She has succumbed to the calling of sleep, where, hopefully, she will rest the night through – so that my bride and I can do the same.  Good night, Fair One.  Sleep well and know that you are loved.”

And from another….

“The Angel sleeps in the lighted room, peacefully unaware that the sun is as bright here as it was in the out-of-doors where she spent the afternoon playing.  Looking at her sleep, I am captured by the essence of a baby completely at rest.  The tiny curls at the back of her neck are slightly wet and somewhat darker than the rest of her not so long crowning glory.  Lying on her belly with the two middle fingers of her left hand motionless now, still from their suckling, she is oblivious to my presence and adoring eyes.  Her feet are bare, thanks to her own playfulness; you know she is proud that she removed the socks, smiling with her eyes almost closed to slits…she sleeps.  Tousled hair and tiny ears adorn her face and perfectly shaped head.  Her right arm is thrown forward and up where it rests on her favorite blanket; miniature lungs cause her little back to rise and fall with sustaining breath; sleep my Little One.  Rest safely for another day.  Sleep at your ease.  When she is gone, my chest will be empty where my heart now beats.  I never knew I could love like this.  I never cherished holding a tiny form as I do now when I hold her.  I was reborn too late.  My soul is miserable for not knowing how to love my own then, as I do her, now.  Those ticks of the clock have ceased even their echoing.  I hope they will forgive me.”


This is a Favorite re-post from March, 2010.

Church/Barn Door…?

The image was collected on inspiration by Mike and his look at life…doors being a recurrent theme in his blog.  I’ve been walking past this door and its building for over a year on my lunch-time walks…and have been wondering at the building for the entire time.  It is located in a central city neighborhood in Salt Lake City and appears to have been built in the very early part of the last century.  The whole structure reminds me of barns that I used to see when I lived in Germany, but there are windows on the side of the building (on the right side and perpendicular to the side viewed in this photo) that are rather tall and arching…as would be found on a church.  Regardless of what the building was in its former usefulness, it now appears to be only a relic of that former time and used to house assorted junk and other items that simply have not been hauled-away yet.

Tibble Fork Reservoir