When I think of a challenge I intend it to be as broad and as specific as possible. This time the theme is NATURAL – it can be nature in general, human nature or anything in between.
What an interesting challenge from Paula!
I have a variety of pictures, taken during the winter when snow-covered the ground, that are practically speaking, black and white. Naturally monochrome. That is the way the world actually looks in winter.
It is beautiful, but it should be no surprise that we are all very grateful when the flowers return and there is color in the world again.
None of these pictures were stripped of color using software. This is the way the world looked at the time. This is winter in New England.
Songs that came blowing in, Rich Paschall
The old clock on the wall and the calendar on my desk inform me that it is time for another of my personal top ten lists. Last year at this time we brought you the top Songs of Summer as given by the musical genius, Brian Wilson. Those may have been songs that evoked thoughts of summer for Brian, but some were a real stretch of the imagination to me. I promise you songs that are actually about summer.
Summertime by George Gershwin is one of the most covered songs of all time. Versions from Billie Holiday to Janis Joplin are certainly well-remembered and regarded. It was written by Gershwin for the 1935 “modern-day” opera, Porgy and Bess. Rock stars and opera stars alike have recorded the song. You have certainly heard it and there is likely to be a version you remember fondly.
When The Beach Boys put out a new album for their 50th anniversary, they served up a perfect piece of nostalgia with “Summer’s Gone.” The song was written by Brian Wilson and he took the lead on the record and in performance. Unfortunately, they did not do it throughout the anniversary tour and there is only one fan video from the last stop that I can find. Therefore, this tribute through old and new pictures will have to do:
This leads us to the countdown:
10. Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer, Nat King Cole, 1963. If I heard it once, I heard it a million times (as the saying goes) as I grew up. I guess we must have really liked this one. Cole was still alive then and would turn up on variety shows and perform this. Unfortunately, variety shows have gone away.
9. A Summer Song, Chad and Jeremy, 1964
8. Summer Nights, from the play and movie, Grease. It was the word for John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. If you can look past all the people who killed this song in karaoke, it may still be a favorite.
7. In the Summertime, Mungo Jerry, 1970 The song filled with odd sounds and rhythms was a mega-hit for the British group.
6. Hot Fun In The Summertime, Sly and the Family Stone This one was at the top of the Brian Wilson list.
5. Surfer Girl, The Beach Boys The early Beach Boys hit remained a fan favorite over the years. Almost 50 years after recording it, they could still perform the harmonies with ease. If not with ease, then with a lot of coaching by Brian:
4. Summer Rain, Johnny Rivers, 1968 It didn’t make it to the top of the charts, but it is one of those songs that keeps getting played. Now in his 70s, Rivers is still performing his many hits.
3. Summer Wind, Frank Sinatra, 1966 Wayne Newton first recorded the song in 1965, but it is Sinatra who had a hit the following year.
2. Summer Breeze, Seals & Crofts, 1972 Written and performed by Jim Seals and Dash Crofts.
1. Summer in the City, The Lovin’ Spoonful, 1966 Released in July 1966, by August it was number 1. The overplayed summer anthem included a car horn and jack hammer sounds to let you know you were in the city.
What are your summer favorites?
Crisp days and chilly nights. Glowing trees and amber light in the evening. Baseball playoffs, pumpkins, and leaves crunching underfoot.
Everyone and everything looks more beautiful in the fall.
Winter is my off-season, but it isn’t really off-season if, for example, you love skiing or ice skating. Summer — not my favorite season — is very popular. Picnics, barbecue, swimming, and hanging on the beach. To me, beach equals sun-stroke and third degree burns, with sand in unmentionable places.
Autumn is New England in its full glory. If we have an “in” season, autumn is it. So … what’s left?
March and April. After the snow is gone, but before the leaves and flowers appear.
Late November and usually December. When the bright leaves are gone, but the snow hasn’t arrived.
Otherwise, New England and our valley are always in season.
The rules are simple. Every month, each of us posts pictures of the same area where we live that shows the seasons as they change. It’s June and spring has truly sprung. Everything is blooming.
The waterways are full. The wind is gentle and warm. To think, less than two months ago, we were up to our hips in snow and ice.
I went a little farther afield and included a picture of the harbor at Quincy, about 25 miles away. Otherwise, these are all within 3 miles of home. A few of them are Garry’s. Look at the signature for appropriate attribution.
The world turns and each season comes, to be replaced by the next. I got a couple of new lenses, so you’re going to say long shots and macros. Because what’s the point of a new lens if you don’t use it, right?
Most of the flowers in our garden are technically wildflowers. I planted a lot of “real” flowers in the beginning, but most of them haven’t survived the wicked winters.
Rather than fight a losing battle, I’ve preferred to let the hardier species take over the space.
One of my favorites is the Solomon’s Seal. It’s a native wildflower that lives all over the world. It was endangered for a while in this area but has made a nice comeback.
Solomon’s Seal grows almost everywhere in the temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Twenty of the more than 60 species are native to China. It is edible and (so they say) tasty, though I’ve never eaten it. If the price of veggies keeps going up, I’ll give it a try!
Spring has well and truly sprung. A month ago, it was winter. Now, it’s summer. Air-conditioning and all. Oh, and did I mention the pollen? The pollen is in hyper-drive. Everything is coated in green, from the cars to the windows. Everyone is sneezing. Runny eyes. Coughs. Congestion.
That’s way spring arrives in New England. It seems like it will never come … then it bursts, full bore and everything blooms at the same time.
Today was so beautiful. A perfect spring day with just the beginnings of leaves on the trees.