Killdeers are common on campus at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and by nature are ground nesters. The local populations seem to be partial to nesting in what seem to be the most vulnerable places. This one chose to nest in mulch next to a parking lot curb.
However, don’t under estimate the fierceness of mama birds. They can quickly become mama grizzlies if you get too close. This killdeer mother was not afraid to protect her brood of three from the Friday Ride Day group that met just feet away.
Spring weather has come early to Arkansas this year, bringing everything along with it, including the annual crested iris outburst. In 2010 and 2011, these beauties came along around the second week of April. This year, their ethereal lavender-blue standards and falls graced our woods before the end of March.
In years past, the irises seemed to prefer to be alone or in pairs. This year, there are crowds in the leaf litter. Some are live on the sheer edge of the road cut, while others seem to cling to the crumbling shale by their fingerling rhizomes.
Passover is coming. Growing up outside New York City in a town where most everyone was Catholic (Irish or Italian) or Jewish, the coming of Holy Week also meant the coming of Passover. We all had a week off school to mark the holidays. We all had just enough Sunday school or Hebrew school to make our parents happy. Not theologians by any stretch of the imagination, but we had a pretty good idea of the basics and what went on in each church or synagogue.
But even if you’re not immersed in the movement of the liturgical seasons, popular culture, particularly commercial retail, throws some pretty good clues. Hard to miss the chocolate bunnies, pastel Peeps, egg coloring kits and brightly colored baskets that signal Easter. In Arkansas,it seems finding evidence of Passover is a little tougher. Most years, the major tip off can be found in a tiny corner of the “international foods” section. It’s that empty space in the shelf where the matzos were.
As the church marked the fifth and final Sunday of Lent 2012, couldn’t help but meditate on the image borne in the glass and lead of one of the north windows, a large Star of David. An odd thing in a Catholic church? As Christians come to celebrate salvation, it’s a good reminder of where it all began.
Pinhole photography has always fascinated us. With the passing of film*, we wondered whether it could be done mechanically using a digital camera rather than using the software version that’s available on some cameras. After a little experimentation with shutter and aperture settings, a black piece of cardboard with pinhole in it, and a little (cringe) tape, we think we got it working, or some reasonable approximation, with no digital monkeying.
*We don’t really believe film is dead. Just taking a little nap.
So, our second weekly challenge entry is through a pinhole. (and below, more weekly challenge entries to love!)
A beautiful Sunday with highs in the 80s and bright overcast. Perfect day to take the hard top off the roadster and enjoy a, well, Sunday drive. Today’s road trip took us to Caddo Valley, Arkadelphia, Mountain Pine, the Ouachita National Forest and Hot Springs. It was a great time to try out the new compact digital, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5, a replacement for the well-loved, but flash-dead Sony.
Heading south and east on U.S. 165 toward Stuttgart (the rice and ducks capital), the western Delta was shrouded in mist as the Arkansas River shed vapor into the cool air, as did the ditches and dikes of the fields soon to be planted in rice, soybeans, cotton and milo.