All tree. No ground.

Trees. One of my favorite things in all of life. This one was remarkable because it just extended up and up and up. It is no optical trick.

A strange thing has happened to me on the way to pictures. And, other stuff.

I’m slowing down.

I don’t mean the speed at which I walk, which is slow enough these days. I do mean the speed at which I work. That could mean anything from making pictures, to writing Storyteller, to cooking a meal.

It’s not a bad thing since I realized when this started occurring. Right around January 20. You know. The arrival of a new president.

I guess that I started relaxing. I don’t feel frantic now. Time is still short. We have a lot to do. I have a lot to do. But, it seems that I’m living an old Chinese saying. “Work slower, go farther.”

I seem to be doing more work in four hours than I was doing in 10 hours because I’m not having to fix my Speed induced mistakes because there aren’t very many. I’d like to say that I’m making no mistakes, but you know. That perfection thing and angels.

I still haven’t made time to start the Jefferson project, but I will. I can tell. I’m getting antsy. I may postpone it a little because I want to do some Mardi Gras work even though we aren’t parading.

We are, however, Yardi Grasing. That means we are decorating our houses to look like floats. People will drive by throughout the next two weeks. If we are home and outside we’ll toss them beads even if it means having to dig up the potholes that I filled with them.

Meanwhile, in downtown selfishness reigns. People who aren’t from here head to Bourbon Street. They drink. They don’t mask. And, social distancing is a foreign concept.

That mayor is at wits end. The city council is talking about closing The French Quarter during Mardi Gras.

The mayor isn’t much help. A lot of the city sees her as a hypocrite. There are plenty of pictures of her at various events not wearing a mask and standing way too close to other people. She isn’t taken seriously.

If I had my way the city council and the police department would take the lead. They would aggressively enforce the CoVid-19 rules. They would arrest people and put them in jail over a weekend when the courts aren’t in session. They’d fine them.

I’m not trying to hurt anybody, but I reckon that if people knew this was happening they’d think twice. This might help.

On the other hand, so many people still partying are tourists. They might not even know. When people return home from New Orleans they usually rave about the city to anyone who will listen.

Imagine this. A friend asks how was New Orleans and the wannabe partier says, “They put me in jail.”

That would work.

Winter is ending. Everything is starting to bloom.

I know. If you live in the east, southeast or midwest you are buried under tons of snow. More is coming.

That rodent in Pennsylvania predicts six more weeks of cold stuff.

He doesn’t live down here.

The nights, early mornings and after dusk are cold. The rest of the day is pleasant.

So, things are starting to grow. Gardens will go into the ground in the next two weeks. Summer crops will be plentiful.

Hopefully, we’ll actually get to eat some strawberries this year. Oh, they grow just fine but those little jerks we call dogs smell them ripening and eat them off the bush.

I hate to say this, but it may be time for barbed wire.

So.

The picture. You thought that I forgot. I didn’t.

The all seeing dog and I were sitting on a park bench when I happened to look up and saw a picture.

So, I made it.

Even though I said that the height of the tree was not an optical illusion, I did crop it in a way that it made the tree look like is was reaching for the stars.

Welcome to Ray’s technical tricks that do not require editing.

This trick is more about leading your eye to a place where I want it to go. That’s why I often crop vertical pictures so long and deep.

It’s just another way to help you see what I saw, to feel what I felt.

Stay safe. Stay powerful. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Look at all the new blooms. (If you live in the south.)