Alligator Bubbles

Everywhere in Florida there are Beware of Alligators warning signs but after several trips to Florida with no ‘gator sightings, I was despondent. So the family took us to a long walkway inserted into the Everglades, and I saw this alligator – dive below the surface. See him? Right where those rings are.

Alligator evidence.

Alligator evidence.

Note to other travelers: we visited the Everglades in late summer. Mosquito season. Not recommended. (With three applications of bug spray, wearing long sleeves and pants, we got away easy with only a few thousand bites. Each.)

(Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.)

Insight From a Meat Pan

Posting about the time religion wrang my doorbell reminded me of this (true) anecdote.

There was a woman who always cooked ham for holiday feasts, and as part of the preparations, she always cut both ends off the ham before she put it in the oven. This was how her mother had taught her. She believed it helped to get the seasonings absorbed.

After many years, her children began to question the method. Mom, why do you cut off the ends? It makes the ham dry out.

Suddenly she realized she didn’t know why. Later that day when her mother arrived for dinner, she inquired, and the reply taught her much about unquestioned assumptions. Oh that’s right I forgot we used to do that. We had to cut the ends because the pan we had back then was too short for the ham to fit.

Too Close? Or Just Close Enough?

Summer in Chicago. The sculpture is Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor.

When you get close enough to this

When you get close enough to this…

The same view, under scrutiny…


… it looks like this!

See me? I’m in the middle of the bright bottommost triangle, head titled to my right. To my left is a tall person with a camera. That’s my daughter, who took this spectacular shot.

(Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.)

And Then The Doorbell Rang…

doorbell-button-replacement-136 I have spent my adult life deeply agnostic and religion-avoidant, with two exceptions.

My first summer in college, I went through dark times, and at some point decided it would help if I had faith. I would intermittently pray, along the lines of God if you’re there I know I’m supposed to take you on faith but I can’t so if you could please just give me a sign, I will take it from there.  One day, a few minutes after I finished such a prayer, the doorbell rang.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting – But the City Remains

My favorite hike takes me through the chaparral-covered hills of Griffith Park but maintains a view (smog allowing) of downtown Los Angeles in the valley below. The weather and the seasons change but from this distance the city looks constant.


A fall afternoon.


Moonset at sunrise.


Early spring wildflowers.

(Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge.)