Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Autumn: Observed Locally But From Multiple Angles

November in Northeastern Kansas

It seemed as if the drought we have been experiencing would prevent the trees from becoming as colorful as they have in the past. Beginning about mid-October, the leaves started to acquire shades of orange, yellow, and red. Clicking on any one picture will make it larger.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Recent Autumn Pictures

Each autumn my wife and I make a point of visiting a local farm in Missouri called Red Barn Farm. It's located across the river from where we live. We first discovered this place when we moved to the area in 1998 and didn't have much money but still wanted to do something outside with our four-year-old. Although our kid is now a teenager and prefers to do things with his friends, we still make a point of visiting this place once or twice in the autumn. We typically buy one or two pumpkins, locally grown apples, and a jar of strawberry rhubarb jam. It's a great place to spend a couple of hours on a sunny September afternoon. Some of the pictures from my recent visit appear below. Clicking on each one will make it larger. Other pictures taken at the Red Barn Farm in previous years can be found here and here .

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A Quiet Spot in Nature

My favorite place to walk remains flooded. When I was teaching across town, I used to make a point of walking by the Missouri River every day after class. Some of my best thinking was done sitting on one of the benches in the shade of a ginkgo tree as I watched the river flow south. I used to review my teaching and make plans for what I wanted to emphasize in the days ahead. Occasionally, now, I manage to get outside to one of the quieter parks nearby. The view isn’t as scenic, but it still has its own attraction.
More recently, I have found park benches located next to a hay field. It is a place that I need to revisit in the days ahead, once our recent bout of one hundred degree days come to an end. Judging from many of the pictures in this blog, it is difficult to imagine that the world population has nearly topped seven billion people. I suppose if I lived in a more crowded environment, it would be possible to think my own thoughts undisturbed once I got used to having many other people around. Likewise, I would find places where I like to walk, places that are removed from the concrete and the noise of the city. I know I probably belong in the city because of my interests and political views. Despite that knowledge, I have chosen to live closer to what I grew to love when I was attending high school on the Fens in England--openness, a natural environment, and weather that is often beautiful and unique. If you should happen to stumble across this blog, these pictures are an attempt to share a glimpse of what I find refreshing and spiritually rejuvenating. Enjoy!

Clicking on any one picture will make it larger.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Jazz Selections--Summer 2011

I am currently in the midst of listening to several different jazz albums, some a little older and others less so. Over the summer, I had the good fortune of winnning a free copy of Colin Vallon's Rruga in a contest held at AllAboutJazz. That album is one I have been listening to fairly frequently while working at home. All of these jazz albums are worth seeking out.

Reconstructed

This blog has now been reconstructed. Making the changes to this new template did not end up taking as long as I anticipated. I like some of the features of this new template, such as the addition of a picture in the heading and the changes to the fonts and the layout. It was great not having to hassle with HTML code once I figured out how to add links. I trust that anyone returning to this blog will like the changes and that anyone encountering this blog for the first time will find the blog visually appealing and worth returning to once in a while.

Current Jazz Selections

Instead of hunting out new jazz releases, I have been digging through some of those CDs stacked on my bookshelves. Currently, I have been listening to Dave Holland's quintet--that is, the work featured on Not for Nothin' and Critical Mass. I have been waking up to one and listening to the other one when driving across town to where I teach a face-to-face class. I have a bad habit of buying clothes or shoes and letting them sit in my closet for a few months or sometimes up to a year. The same problem exists with music, too, because I have purchased a few CDs that I have never listened to. Life is often hectic, particularly at the end of the semester, and sometimes my interests change or I return to what I know when I get a couple of weeks off at the end of the semester. These Dave Holland recordings are new discoveries for me, despite having had them for more than a year. A couple of other Dave Holland discoveries await my attention.