Into the purples.

Friday flowers.

There. Maybe I’ll start something.

Spring is really upon us. You know how I know? My daily viewers have dropped by half. Rather than think y’all were mad at me, I poked around. A lot of the blogs that I read have a much lower readership as we crossed into May.

So.

It’s either better weather and people aren’t staying inside as much. All good.

Or, along with removing spell check, WordPress is messing with the math again, making it harder to find some blogs. Very bad.

This is typical with all social media. A while back, before people really started to distrust Facebook, they admitted to changing certain search parameters. They admitted that they were experimenting with us.

Social media has become ubiquitous. Most of us need it for something. To show artistic work. To keep  in touch with friends. To find long lost friends. The list goes on and on.

It may be worse than we think. In a long piece written in The New York Times, the former co-founder of Facebook admits that all sorts of staff can read our PMs. Ever wonder how something you wrote in confidence ends up being in an advertisement on Facebook, or worse being in an ad someplace completely unrelated? That’s your answer.

I have no reply. The co-founder suggests breaking up Facebook. I’m not sure what that’ll really do. Sheesh. There are rumours of some kind of penalty for Facebook. A fine. $5 billion dollar fine. That’s a drop in the bucket for them. I suggest something a little stronger. Prison terms for the people who want to make us their products and make money from us. Five to ten years for starters. No possibility of parole. No digital devices. Oh yeah. General population. No fancy federal country clubs.

If I sound angry, I’m not. I’m resolute. It’s time to take back our lives. From everybody who seeks to control us. The real problem is simple. We gotten used to these easy ways to communicate. How do we replace them?

The picture. Photograph it. Process it. Carve it up in post production by removing as much of the mid-tones as possible and see what happens.

I’m excited. I was able to get back to the old abandoned railroad cars that I once photographed along while back. There are more of them now. Some old Southern Railroad steel passenger cars have been added to the mix. The baby Leica got a workout in the light rain. The camera and I had fun.


About changes.

A little Friday art.

Pure art. The picture is as I saw it. Very little post production on this one. It’s meant to be soft and gentle. It’s meant to be a break from real life. A little peace. A little quiet.

I could stop right here and wish you happy Friday.

You know me. Lately, that hasn’t been my way. Lately, I have the need to talk, er, write.

This is about joy. Joy from anywhere. I started thinking about this after watching and Amazon show called, “The Grand Tour.” It was created after the original Top Gear team left the BBC. It stars Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. Last nights show was the final episode, not of the series, but of the entire thing.

History. Clarkson got fired from the BBC for punching a crew member. Over a sandwich, I think. The other two realized that two without one didn’t add up to much, so they asked to be released from their BBC contracts. Clarkson went through some behavior modification counseling and the three of them joined Amazon. The new name reflects what tours of the world used to be in the 1800s. They were called a grand tour and used to last for months.

The original version was Clarkson’s brainchild. Prior to the arrival of Top Gear, car shows were boring. I like cars, but I never watched them. Once I saw Top Gear during its first year I was hooked. Comedy reigned supreme. Things crashed. Things blew up. Things burned. Richard Hammond almost got killed (for real). Only his short height saved him from losing his head.

Last night they said goodbye. Clarkson, who can be a giant knob as Richard May would say, fought back tears during their entire announcement. They played some highlights, some of which were borrowed from the BBC, to the tune of the original ending of Eric Clapton’s “Layla.” For me, that has always been a leaving song, especially the end  piece with Eric Clapton and the late Duane Allman playing intertwined guitars over a piano.

I was in tears.

They’ve done this for 17 years. I’ve seen every episode. Think about that. I’m 65 now. I started with them when I was 48 years old. They’ve made me laugh and laugh some more, even during the dark days immediately following Hurricane Katrina. When I say laugh, I mean laughing out loud, rolling on the floor.

The audience was crying. They talked about their favorite shows.

Then.

Finally, the three of them made another announcement. The talk show, the in studio work and their local race track scenes were ending. The show as we knew it was ending.

But, they love Amazon and Amazon loves them. So, Clarkson claims. Instead of thirteen weeks every year, we were going to see what they do best. Long treks in some foreign country with either junkmobiles or the best of the high-end Lamborghini, Maserati and Porsche cars. Those are the episodes that to me, and I’m pretty sure, most of us liked best. We won’t have to wait a year to see new work. It’ll be released as Amazon continuing series.

My heart jumped. I immediately felt better.

One more thing for you to know.

Anyway.

I borrowed that from them. Since they really drive the cars, catch on fire and get in crashes, they decided how to move on if one of them was killed. They would briefly tell the studio audience what happened and would immediately move on with…

Anyway.


Morning light and red.
Morning light and red.

I took these picture a few days ago.

While most of you are describing glorious fall scenes and worrying about the winter and snow, down here in the Gulf Coast we are having our second spring.

What can I say? This is one of the benefits of living in a hot, humid swamp. While you are freezing your behind off and grumbling about shoveling snow (Some of you, anyway), we’ll have a fairly mild winter. And a very nice autumn. For instance, yesterday was almost perfect. Mid- 70s during the day. Low 60s in the evening.

Of course, you can remind me about this bragging later. When I grumble about Mardi Gras Day having sleet and freezing rain like it did a few years ago.  When I tell you that the temperature never rose above freezing. That I worked all day in it.

Oh, the stories you can tell.

The pictures. Saw them. Shot them. Didn’t do much to them after the fact. I had what I’m starting to call pseudo winter light. The light is lower and a little more golden. Like winter in the Northern Hemisphere. But, the temperatures don’t match the light. If I was a conspiracy person, I’d say this must be some kind of government plot. Yes, that’s what some people believe hurricanes are, these days. Instead, I just think this is just one more sign of global climate change.

There. I said it.

One more thing. See the picture directly below? If the pods match some of the already opened flowers around them, they are Sunflowers. They’ll bloom in November. Imagine that. Sunflowers. In November.

New pre-blooms.
New pre-blooms.
New growth and rust.
New growth and rust.


Well, I’m looking back. But, not so far back given that March just ended yesterday. Please take a look at my small collection of pictures from what appears to be my never-ending project called, PAD, or picture a day. I started this thing four years ago. Every time that I reach the end of one year, I stop the project thinking, “that’s enough.” A strange thing happens. After a few days, or a week or a month, I started to miss it and so back to the project I go. Usually I try to set some kind of semi-important date. My birthday. My other birthday. The New Year. The Lunar New Year. Something like that.

Anyway.

Here are my images for March. Some of you have seen some of them as I tend to post some of the better images as I produce them.