Friday, March 31, 2017


It all started innocently enough. Just an idea. A desire to take more seriously something I'd done haphazardly and generally enjoyed. Way before it got OC, I christened it "My year of living theatrically". Every decent project needs a theme, right? You also know how much I love creating graphics and looking at data. This image was bound to happen! So here is my entire year laid out. It covers a wide range of events from Plays and Musicals to Gallery Nights, Symphonies, Operas, and Poetry Readings. The only glaring omission is a Ballet... Hmmm. The 50 events have taken me into the arms of 22 different companies and venues here in the Metro DC region and beyond--from Philadelphia to Norfolk. The span of this "year went from September 2016 to July 2017 and so 18 events remain to be experienced, though tickets have been purchased. In two cases, so far, I was unable to attend, and so even though 50 events were planned, in the end only as many as 48 will have been experienced. Still a 96% completion rate is very good. At some point, I will take time to think more fully about the implications of this project--seems like it ought to amount to something greater than the sum of its parts... But even if it doesn't, I'm enjoying it on every level.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Who Is More Powerful Than Trump?

Does it matter how sanity is preserved?  How tyranny is slapped down?  I wonder...

Virginia Bluebells

My next discovery was an ever spreading and robust compliment of Virginia Bluebells, Mertensis virginica. My first attempt at growing this plant goes back nearly 20 years. The initial plantings survived into the next season and then disappeared. I was very disappointed. If you've ever seem this plant in thick glorious patches in the wild, you'll understand. Then about 12 years ago, I decided after increasing success with some other perennials, and years of building up the soil with both organic compost and "clay busting" soil/compost, to try again. I introduced three plants on the outer edge of the circle garden near to the bird bath. To my delight they came back the next year. The following year again, but much weaker... I was certain they were on their last round. But, no. They arrived again in years 4 and 5 rather lack-lusterly--but there! And then in the sixth year, something happened and suddenly there were more of them and they looked really good. The following year one suddenly joined them in the lower woodland fern gardens far away from this colony. The year after I completely transformed the circle garden into the circles garden, a couple of plants also showed up there! Now, I have three separate colonies and the plants all look robust. The pics here show on in the woodland fern garden, and then two there and finally the three that have presented this year. There an image from one of the clusters in the Circles Garden, and finally a couple of pics of the first of the original second planting. They've just begun to emerge, I'm certain to share more pics as they mature into their primacy.

Garden is the sport of patience and persistence. And then comes joy!

Wild Ginger

Is a rare gift in the woodland area of my gardens.  It shows up suddenly.  Blooms for scarcely a week.  Is easily missed if I am distracted or my hunt's timing for its delicate white blossom and unfurling leaves is off by even a few days.  I introduced it 15 years ago, and wondered for sometime where it went--doubtless due to a single bloom or two escaping my attention.  Now, in a colony of a dozen or more rhizomes, it is easier to catch... to enjoy!

Romeo's Conundrum

Ah, to go out or not to go out, that is the question...
Are you crazy?  Of course, I'm going out!  My name is Romeo, not Hamlet!

Cream of Asparagus & Wild Mushroom Soup

Today it only got up to 50˚ with high humidity and a thick blanket of clouds that made every chilly feeling at best.  Something for dinner more appropriate for early spring.  Combined with the idea that I've felt Sunday evenings was a time for a simple meal.

Pulled Pork Sloppy Joe and Creamed Spinach-Mushroom Alfredo

Saturday if felt like summer, 77˚ and sunny warm!  So a summer sort of meal was in order complete with a class of iced tea.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Chicken Pasta Spinach Alfredo Bake

Yayoi Kunama @ the Hirshhorn

My original intent was to get in to the Yayoi Kusama exhibit, but not a chance!

 I guess this pumpkin was a sort of consolation prize.


 Discovered this sculpture in an alcove on the north side of the Hirshhorn Museum.  It's called "Antipodes" and it's by Jim Sanborn (American, 1947 - ).  It's made of copper and petrified wood.

Exterior: National Museum of the American Indian

My recent visit to The Mall took me past one of my favorite buildings.

Designed to evoke a western canyon rising up with cliffs along a meandering river, the organic qualities of the building give it a regal sensibility.

 The entrance is among the grandest of any structure in the world, in my opinion!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

National Garden @ the United States Botanical Gardens and Conservatory

First Stop on my consolation prize visit to The Mall was the National Garden at the United States Botanical Gardens and Conservatory. When I first moved to Metro DC, this was just a grassy plot of land adjacent to the main build and glass conservatory. It was used for spill over parking and temporary logics site when big events took place on The Mall, and little else. In 2006, it was officailly opened to the public as the National Garden, although there were elements still in progress like the Amphitheater. 

Yet you can really see the tremendous transformation of the little piece of land from the before and after aerial images. This visit is of a late winter/early spring garden with little happening yet, but you can still appreciate the beauty of the design. I was also delighted to find the little contemplation loggia completed. It is the latest and final major addition to the park.