Saturday, July 06, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Pollinator coneflowers

Pollinator coneflowers

Pink coneflowers bloom in a native plant pollinator garden. A sign of the South!

East Decatur Greenway: City of Decatur, Georgia, USA. 1 June 2024.

Echinacea purpurea — commonly known as the eastern purple coneflower, purple coneflower, hedgehog coneflower, or echinacea— is a North American species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to parts of eastern North America. Its habitats include dry open woods, prairies, and barrens.

Many pollinators are attracted to E. purpurea flowers, such as bumblebees, sweat bees, honey bees, the sunflower leafcutter bee, and the mining bee, Andrena helianthiformis. Butterflies that visit include monarchs, swallowtail butterflies, and sulfur butterflies. Birds, particularly finches, eat and disperse the seeds through their droppings.
Wikipedia.


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Saturday, June 29, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Feed the Ducks

Feed the ducks

Come feed the little birds,
Show them you care.
And you'll be glad if you do.
Their young ones are hungry
Their nests are so bare.
All it takes is tuppence from you.
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag.

The birds in the water are a mother mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and her ducklings. On land, the larger, braver bird (feeding to the right) is a Moscovy duck (Cairina moschata), native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Small wild breeding populations have established themselves in the United States.

The photo is unposed. None of the participants knew they were being photographed.

Avondale Lake: City of Avondale Estates, Georgia, USA. 6 June 2024.

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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Percussionist in the green

Percussionist in the green

Percussionist Gaurav Malhotra performs during the Decatur Arts Festival. We don't see his face...but we can almost hear his all-important hands in action.

Decatur, Georgia, USA, on 4 May 2024.

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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Live. Laugh. Love.

Live.Laugh.Love

Just a happening-to-be-at-the-right-place-at-the-right-time moment.

The shot is unposed; I think this is a jewelry artist who had just finished using a mural as a product photo backdrop when she turned toward me. The pastel of her clothing seemed to complement the pastel of the mural; "Live. Laugh. Love" was the phrase on her hat. The image isn't askew; it's the city street that was on an incline!

Photo taken during the Decatur Arts Festival in the City of Decatur, Georgia, USA, on 4 May 2024.

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Saturday, June 08, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Creek chiaroscuro

Creek chiaroscuro
Creek chiaroscuro.
Suburban wilding.
Look and listen.

Rapids on Burnt Fork Creek in Mason Mill Park: DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 21 May 2024.


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Saturday, June 01, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Stay in your lane, buddy!

Stay in your lane, buddy! An eastern box turtle on the trail (literally).

Three Creeks Trail in Ira B. Melton Park: DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 21 May 2024.

Terrapene carolina carolina — commonly known as the the eastern box turtle— is native to the eastern United States. It is a subspecies within a group of hinge-shelled turtles normally called box turtles. While in the pond turtle family, Emydidae, and not a tortoise, the box turtle is largely terrestrial.

Eastern box turtles have a high, domelike carapace [upper body shell] which is normally brownish or black and accompanied by a yellowish or orangish radiating pattern of lines, spots, or blotches. Skin coloration, like that of the shell, is variable but is usually brown or black with some yellow, orange, red, or white spots or streaks. This coloration closely mimics that of the winter leaf of the tulip poplar tree.

Box turtles are slow crawlers, extremely long-lived, slow to mature, and have relatively few offspring per year. These characteristics, along with a propensity to get hit by cars and agricultural machinery, make all box turtle species particularly susceptible to anthropogenic, or human-induced, mortality. In 2011, citing 'a widespread persistent and ongoing gradual decline of Terrapene carolina that probably exceeds 32% over three generations,' the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) downgraded its conservation status from near threatened to vulnerable.
Wikipedia.


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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Lanceleaf coreopsis (sepals & petals)

Lanceleaf coreopsis (sepals & petals)

A native lanceleaf coreopsis wildflower blooms in May in the Trailhead Community Park of the East Decatur Greenway.

City of Decatur, Georgia, USA. 5 May 2024.
Coreopsis lanceolata —commonly known as lanceleaf coreopsis and lanceleaf tickseed— is a species of tickseed in the aster family (Asteraceae). It is native to the eastern and central parts of the United States, growing in open woodlands, prairies, plains, glades, meadows, and savannas.

Coreopsis lanceolata is a perennial plant sometimes attaining a height of over 2 feet (60 cm). April through June, it produces yellow flower heads singly at the top of a naked flowering stalk, each head containing both ray florets and disc florets. Each flower measures 2 to 3 inches across (5–8 cm).

The genus name 'Coreopsis' means 'bug-like'; it —as well as the common name, 'tickseed'— comes from the fact that the seeds are small and resemble ticks. The specific epithet 'lanceolata' refers to the shape of the leaves: narrow and lance-shaped.
Wikipedia.



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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: "Early Azalea" blossom

"Early Azalea" blossom

A native early azalea shrub blooms in the Trailhead Community Park, of the East Decatur Greenway: City of Decatur, Georgia, USA. 5 April 2024.
Rhododendron prinophyllum —commonly known as the early azalea, roseshell azalea, woolly azalea — is a rhododendron species in the heather family (Ericaceae), native to the eastern and southern United States, found in damp thickets, open woods, and along streams.

Rhododendron prinophyllum is a woody, spreading, deciduous shrub that grows 2 to 8 feet in height. The flowers, light pink to purplish in color, appear in early spring before the emergence of the foliage. The flowers have a pleasant, clove-like fragrance, and are up to 1½-inches long (4 cm), with protruding stamens and 4-5 petals occurring in large clusters. The foliage is smooth and blue-green, and turns purplish in fall.
Wikipedia.
North Carolina Cooperative Extension.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

And, as a bonus image, a bud of an early azalea, pre-bloom...

"Early Azalea" bud


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About the accompanying music

The tune is Up Jumped Spring, a jazz waltz composed by trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, performed on his album Backlash from 1966/67. Belying the the piece's 3/4 time, Hubbard's playing is crisp and driving, leavened with a joyful sense of dance and melody. Mix that with James Spaulding's sprightly flute, the left-hand comping and right-hand runs of pianist Albert Daily, and the powerful backbeat of bassist Bob Cunningham and drummer Otis Ray Appleton: it's a crystalline masterpiece (and, yes, appropriate to this week's image!). The tune has since become a standard in the jazz repertoire.


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Saturday, May 11, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Small Venus' looking-glass

Small Venus' looking-glass

Look down! It's a tiny, native 'weed' with a sublime name:
"Small Venus' Looking-Glass."

Seen blooming alongside a sidewalk in the City of Avondale Estates, Georgia, USA. 6 May 2024.
Triodanis perfoliata — commonly known as Clasping bellflower, Clasping bellwort, or Small Venus' looking-glass — is a small, annual flowering plant belonging to the bellflower family (Campanulaceae), native to North and South America (from Canada to Argentina). It grows in prairies, along the edges of woods and rocky outcrops, and in disturbed soil, such as roadsides [and sidewalks!].

Triodanis perfoliata grows to a height of 4-18 inches (10–46 cm). On the upper part of the stem, the plant produces bell-shaped five-petaled flowers, approximately ½ inch or less across (1.3 cm), that range in color from blue-violet to pink-purple to lavender, with a white center. There are also flowers on the lower part of the stem but they do not open. These are cleistogamous — automatic self-pollinators that produce seeds.
Wikipedia
North Carolina Cooperative Extension


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Saturday, May 04, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Winter red bud

Winter red bud

A native 'Rising Sun' eastern redbud tree, blooming on a lazy day in late winter. Or was it early spring?

The Trailhead Community Park of the East Decatur Greenway in the City of Decatur, Georgia, USA. 7 March 2024.

Cercis canadensis —commonly known as the eastern redbud tree— is a large deciduous shrub or small tree in the legume family (Fabaceae), native to eastern North America from southern Michigan south to central Mexico, and as far west as New Mexico. It generally has a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches.

The Rising Sun Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘JN2’) is a smaller variety of the more common Eastern Redbud, growing only to about 8-12 feet in height (2.5-3.5 m). In early spring, the tree bursts into bloom before the leaves appear, with tiny, sweet pea-like flowers of lavender-pink hue. This spectacle is followed by the emergence of heart-shaped leaves, which start as a vibrant shade of apricot-orange. As the season progresses, the leaves transition through shades of yellow, gold, and finally, a rich, deep green.
Wikipedia.
Nature is a Blessing.


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Saturday, April 27, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Vernal honesty

Vernal honesty

Pastel delights
Singing aubade
In vernal chorus, assembled.

Wildflowers called honesty(!), blooming in mid-spring morning light.

Dearborn Park: City of Decatur, Georgia, USA. 20 April 2024.

Lunaria annua —commonly known as annual honesty, dollar plant, honesty, lunaria, money plant, moneywort, moonwort, silver dollar— is a species of flowering plant in the cabbage and mustard family (Brassicaceae). It is native to southern Europe but is cultivated throughout the temperate world.

The plant grows up to 3 feet tall (90 cm). In spring and summer, it bears terminal racemes [short stalks] of white or violet flowers. The fruits appear in midsummer. They are paper-thin, flat, silver dollar-sized fruits, called siliques, that become white-translucent with age, resembling a full moon or coin, hence some of the common names of the plant. Another common name, 'honesty,' relates to the translucence of the plant's silique membranes, which 'truthfully' reveal their contents.
Wikipedia.
North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Silver dollars


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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Riparian ragwort

Riparian ragwort

In early spring, tall, yellow ragwort wildflowers were growing abundantly in the wetlands of Glenn Creek.

Ira B. Melton Park, in DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 22 March 2023.
Packera anonyma — commonly known as Small's Ragwort, Appalachian Ragwort, Southern Ragwort, Plain Ragwort — is a wildflower in the aster family (Asteraceae), native to much of the eastern United States, south of New England.

Small's Ragwort flourishes in habitats that are wet during the winter and dry in summer and is one of the first native flowers to bloom in abundance, beginning in March and continuing into June. The ray and disc flowers are bright yellow, 8-15 rays per flower. The plant grows up to 3 feet tall (1 m).
North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Seen alongside the Three Creeks Trail, a "labyrinth of soft-surfaced trails" in and around a 120-acre Piedmont forest in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. The trail connects Ira B. Melton Park to the larger Mason Mill Park. The three creeks of the trail's name are Glenn Creek, Burnt Fork Creek, and South Fork Peachtree Creek; the first two are tributaries of the much larger third.


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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Nitrogenated abbey

Nitrogenated abbey

Abt 12 is a 'quadrupel' abbey ale, brewed by Brouwerij St. Bernardus in Watou, West Flanders, Belgium.

Seen here, served, on draught in appropriate glassware, at My Parents' Basement —a combination pub and graphic novel/arcade game emporium— in Avondale Estates, Georgia, USA, on 6 March 2024.

Monks making beer? Why not? Beer —brewed from water, hops, yeast, and barley malt— is, after all, liquid bread. So, please give us this day our daily bread!

But, like any good story, there's more to it than meets the glass.


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St. Benedict and the Trappists

In 529 CE, an ascetic Christian monk, St. Benedict of Nursia, founded a monastery in Italy wholly centered on prayer, sacred contemplation, and manual labor (“ora et labora”). With the founding of several other monasteries, his group of followers became known as the Order of Saint Benedict or Benedictines.

In 1098, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (co-founder of the Knights Templar) believed that the original purpose of the Benedictines had become diluted. Desiring to more closely follow the Rule of St. Benedict, he founded a new 'reformed' order at Citeaux Abbey near Dijon, France. His followers became known as Cistercians.

So, we come to 1664, when yet another splinter goup of monks wished to further reform the Cistercians. Led by Armand Jean le Bouthillier de Rancé, the abbot of La Trappe Abbey in Normandy, France, they created the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, or, more commonly, the Trappists (officially becoming a religious order in 1892).

To this day, Trappist monasteries self-support themselves by producing and selling goods such as cheese, bread, fruit preserves — and beer (!)— in order not to make a profit but to simply sustain the necessities for life and prayer.
Let them not be discontented;
for then are they truly monastics
when they live by the labor of their hands,
as did our Fathers and the Apostles
Rule of St. Benedict (c. 530 CE).

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Trappist breweries

By the mid 20th-century, six Trappist monasteries were producing beer, world-wide:
  1. Scourmont Abbey (producing Chimay)
  2. Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Orval (Orval)
  3. Abbey of Notre-Dame de Saint-Rémy (Rochefort)
  4. Brouwerij der Trappisten van Westmalle (Westmalle)
  5. Saint Sixtus (Westvleteren)
  6. Koningshoeven Abbey (La Trappe).
And, not really world-wide, but Beneluxian: the first five are established in Belgium, the last in the Netherlands.

Fast-forward to 2024. There are three more added to the register:
  1. Brouwerij Abdij Maria Toevlucht (brewing Zundert) in the Netherlands
  2. Abbey of Saints Vincent and Anastasius (Tre Fontane) in Italy
  3. Mount St. Bernard Abbey (Tynt Meadow) in the UK.
Since the 1990s, a few other Trappist monasteries also have opened breweries, only to close them for various reasons —including one in the United States.

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Trappist trademark

Even before Word War II, Trappist monasteries had begun to take legal action against non-monastic businesses which made use of the name “Trappist” for their products. In 1985, the Commercial Court (now, Commerical Tribunal) in Brussels made this protection even more explicit:
It is now common knowledge that customers attribute special standards of quality to products made by monastic communities, and this is especially true of Trappist monasteries.

And, in 1997, the International Trappist Association (ITA) was established, creating standards and a trademark of “Authentic Trappist Products.”
Our label guarantees the monastic origin of the products as well as the fact that they measure up to the quality and traditional standards rooted in the monastic life of a real Trappist community. Even though this label can be used on other products, at present it is only used on beer, liqueur, cheese, bread, biscuits and chocolates.
Imagine receiving a cease-and-desist letter from a legal agent for God!

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Abbey beers and St. Bernardus

Per Wikipedia:
In 1945, the Belgian Trappist monastery, St. Sixtus essentially stopped selling its Westvleteren beer, brewing only for themselves (but with some sales at the monastery and local taverns). The monks gave a license to a local cheese factory to brew Saint Sixtus beers for outside sales and Brewery St. Bernard was founded. The brew master from Westvleteren, Mathieu Szafranski, became a partner in the brewery and brought along the recipes, the know-how, and the St. Sixtus yeast strain. Since 1992, these beers brewed in Watou, West Flanders, Belgium, have been sold under the brand name St. Bernardus.


So, St. Bernardus, although not brewed in Trappist monastery and not ITA-approved, does have an easily traceable Trappist provenance. Beers such as these — and others brewed to resemble the taste and appearance of Trappist beers or simply pay homage to them— are commonly refered to as “Abbey” or “Abbey-style” beers, without any strict legal standard.


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St. Bernardus Abt 12

As an old brewmaster once growled: “That's all well and good, but how does the beer taste?”

Generally speaking, the Trappist monks (and their imitators) brew their ales with distinctive yeasts (producing spicy, fruity, and estery/phenolic character), with extra ingredients, such as candi sugar (disdained by the Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law), and often high in alcohol (even though that's not always the case).

The ales often are given the appellations of Singel, Dubbel, Tripel, and Quadrupel. These designations are ordinal numbers, indicating a ranking (1,2,3,4) of the brewery's beers in order of alcohol content, from less than 6% to more than 10% (by volume). They are NOT cardinal numbers; they do NOT imply double, triple, or quadruple anything.

So, St. Bernardus Abt 12 —a 'strong' Abbey-style ale of 10% alcohol— is designated a 'quadrupel.' It pours a dark reddish-brown but, unlike today's 'hazy' beers, if you hold the beer up to the light, you can see through it. The body is lush and somewhat unctious. After aromas of raisins, caramel apples and sweet cooking spice, the flavors are bittersweet chocolate, dark stone fruit, coconut, and malted milk balls. And finally, the finish is warming, with a smooth burn.


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Conclusion and the trouble with quibbles

One more thing, though. And, it's a quibble.

All Trappist ales and most
Abbey
ales — including St. Bernardus — traditionally have been carboanated. However, the kegged Abt 12 I drank at the pub pictured above had been nitrogenated — that is, infused with nitrogen gas— at the brewery.

The bubbles of beer come from carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas naturally produced by yeast during fermentation. Yes, many, if not most, beers today are fermented flat — that is, the carbon dioxide is allowed to escape during fermentation and, then, when the beer is packaged (be that in keg, bottle, or can), carbon dioxide is reinjected, under pressure, to create beloved beer bubbles.

But, the fact remains, those bubbles produced by carbon dioxide are part of the natural character of beer. They add, shall we say, 'life' to a beer, a satiating texture (as opposed to a 'flat,' uncarbonated beer).

The bubbles literally transport volatile beer aromatics to the human nose; simply put, without those bubbles, there's less aroma in your beer. Furthermore, the bubbles impart a tactile sharp yang to the yin of beer's residual malt sweetness. And, in the human mouth, some of those CO2 bubbles are even converted enzymatically into carbonic acid, adding more balancing 'bite.'

As to nitrogen gas in beer: it's artificially added. It's produced nowhere in the beer fermentation process. Nitrogen does not waft aromas to your nose; it adds no balancing bite to the finished beer. It doesn't even dissolve into the beer well; in fact, the beer under that creamy nitro-head is essentially flat! Nitrogen bubbles just sit there and look pretty. And, I guess that's the point. Creaminess, gentleness, and dimunition of aroma.

So, even though I prefer the get-at-you carbonated, cellar-ageable, and traditional bottled version...how did the nitrogenated draught St. Bernardus Abt 12 taste? Like a comfortable, boozy, pretty, malted milkshake. And that's not a bad thing!


A series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits).
No scores; only descriptions.

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Saturday, April 06, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Diamorpha in bloom

Diamorpha in bloom

In late winter and early spring, tiny red diamorpha succulents grow white blossoms atop Arabia Mountain, a 955-foot high granitic monadnock in southeastern DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 27 March 2024.

Also called elf orpine, diamorpha —a rare plant endemic to the southeast United States— appears, during during winter and spring, as a vibrant red covering patches of Arabia Mountain in shallow solution pit pools. In March and early April, the diamorpha flowers, growing delicate white blooms. The blooms do not last long – they will soon begin to fade as the diamorpha prepare for the hot summer months.

Diamorpha are dormant in the summer due to the extreme heat of the bare rock face. During the warmer parts of the year, these hardy plants look like little more than brown twigs sticking up out of patches of soil on the monadnock. This stage of the diamorphas’ life cycle is critical: during the summer, they hold their seeds above the ground, conserving energy until the fall (seeds that fall to the ground in summer burn and die in the hot sun). Then, in the autumn, the seeds drop to the ground and begin to germinate. The process starts again around December. Now, in April, this complicated life story is at its most vibrant stage.
Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

This photo is a 'macro' closeup. The diamorpha, at most 2 inches tall, appear much larger in the image than they did in 'real' life.

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Saturday, March 30, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Chapel at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit

Chapel at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit

The chapel is quiet, awaiting the entrance of Trappist monks for their sext * prayers at noon.

Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit: Rockdale County (Conyers), Georgia, USA. 3 February 2024.
The Monastery of the Holy Spirit was founded on March 21, 1944, by twenty Trappist monks from the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky, USA. The Archdiocese of Atlanta and silent film star Colleen Moore donated 1,400 acres (5.7 km2) of land on which the monks hand-built the monastery, a concrete structure complete with a retreat house, cloister, and chapel.

As of 2022, the monastery is home to a community of twenty-eight monks who are self-sustaining. A prior abbot (ecclesiastical leader) was Basil Pennington, a founder of the contemplative "centering prayer" movement. The primary work of the monks at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit is prayer.

The monastery and grounds are a part of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and also serves as the southernmost point on the Arabia Mountain Path.
Wikipedia

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Saturday, March 23, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Double sonata

Double sonata

Framed in a window,
Boccherini, as the sun fell,
Dreaming a double sonata.

Seen in the upper windows of a violin shop in Avondale Estates, Georgia, USA, on the afternoon of 21 February 2024.


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Saturday, March 16, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Winter speedwell

Winter speedwell

Look down! Tiny blue winter speedwell blossoms have popped up, low down, in large numbers, seemingly overnight. So small, so unassuming, and, yes, some might say, so weedy.

Lanier Gardens Park: Avondale Estates, Georgia, USA. 24 February 2022.

I've so often walked by over ubiquitous winter speedwell, paying no heed, until one winter afternoon, when I felt the need to get down on the ground and look at them on their level.

My clothes became muddied; I probably received bemused glances from motorists passing close by this tiny strip of streetside greenspace. But there I lay, taken aback by these blossoms' miniature elegance: flowers for a fairy's garden.
Veronica persica —commonly known as birdeye speedwell, common field-speedwell, Persian speedwell, large field speedwell, bird's-eye, or winter speedwell— is a flowering plant in the plantain family (Plantaginaceae). It is native to Eurasia and is widespread as an introduced species elsewhere, including North America. The short-stalked leaves are broadly ovate with coarsely serrated margins, and measure one to two centimeters (0.4 to 0.8 inches) long. The flowers are roughly one centimeter (0.4 inches) wide and are sky-blue in color with dark stripes and white centers.
Wikipedia.


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Saturday, March 09, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Laurel Creek waterfall

Laurel Creek waterfall

Evergreen mountain laurel trees ring small Laurel Creek as it cascades into the (slightly) larger Stephenson Creek.

Seen alongside (that is, clambered down from) the Flat Rock spur of the Arabia Mountain PATH trail in the Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve: DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 27 February 2024.

Note to self: Return in spring, when the mountain laurel is blooming.

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Saturday, March 02, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Winter's spring fling

Winter's spring fling

In a winter garden,
It teases
Of a spring fling.

Northlake, Georgia, USA.
11 February 2024.

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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Trees can look spectacular without leaves

Trees can look spectacular without leaves

Winter trees can sing even without their leaves...and joyfully in black-and-white.

Rockdale River Trail: Rockdale County (Stockbridge), Georgia, USA. 2 February 2024.

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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Mirror'd Morning

Mirror'd morning

Mirror'd morning on Beaver Pond...but not a rodent in sight!

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve: DeKalb County, Georgia, USA. 6 February 2024.

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Saturday, February 10, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Holy hellebore

Holy hellebore

"Listen with the ear of your heart.
— Prologue, Rule of St. Benedict (c. 530 CE).

A Lenten rose (hellebore) blooms in mid-winter.

A small garden on the grounds of Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit in Rockdale County, Georgia, USA. 3 February 2024.


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Saturday, February 03, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Winter Sky

Winter sky

A winter storm blows away in late afternoon.

Avondale Estates, Georgia, USA. 9 January 2024.

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Saturday, January 27, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Verdant fungus

Verdant fungus

"A rolling stone gathers no moss" ... but a polypore mushroom can!

Briarlake Forest Park: DeKalb County, Georgia, USA.
7 January 2024.
Trametes versicolor is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world. Meaning 'of several colors', versicolor accurately describes this fungus that displays a unique blend of markings. Additionally, owing to its shape being similar to that of a wild turkey's tail feathers, T. versicolor is most commonly referred to as turkey tail. The top surface of the cap shows typical concentric zones of different colors, and the margin is always the lightest. Older specimens [such as the one pictured] can have zones with green algae [or moss] growing on them, thus appearing green. It commonly grows in rows on logs and stumps of deciduous trees, and is common in North America.
Wikipedia.

This is a closeup. The polypore appears much larger in the image than it did in 'real' life.

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Saturday, January 20, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Arboreal chaconne

Arboreal jig

Looking for shapes (and imagined motion) in the winter woodland. An arboreal chaconne in Seminary Wood.

Legacy Park: City of Decatur, Georgia, USA. 27 December 2023.


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Saturday, January 13, 2024

Pic(k) of the Week: Jogging in the fog

Jogging in the fog

When both the dew point and the temperature are 9 °C (48 °F), a jogger disappears into a fog bank.

Freedom Park, in the Candler Park neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 3 December 2017.
Freedom Park is is the largest public park in Atlanta, Georgia, comprising 210 acres of linear green space and six miles of hiker/biker trails. The park was created in 1992 from condemned land which originally was to be the Stone Mountain Freeway, a multi-lane divided-highway that would have bisected nine historic neighborhoods and destroyed a string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
Freedom Park and Parkway.


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Monday, January 08, 2024

The 52 'Pic(k)s of the Week' of 2023.

Since 2006, I have uploaded 25,043 photographs and images to the website Flickr. Every Saturday since 29 August 2009, I have culled through those images and selected one as my Pic(k) of the Week.

Here's a retrospective collage of the fifty-two images I selected for 2023. Clicking on the thumbnail will take you to the full image.

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2023

January
Vernal dreaming Full Wolf Moon Light as storm passes Ephemeral rapids
February
Arabia buzzards Tynt Meadow English Trappist Ale Thicket tunnel Peachtree rapids & riffles
March
Nature contemplation Sylvan grotto Little Sweet Betsy in bloom! Mayapple blooms in March
April
Pear tree in winter Bayou morning Goose going Postal Vernal rising Yellow-crowned Night Heron
May
Mood (white) indigo How green was my valley Rothaus Tannenzäpfle Pils, on draught Open road, in town
June
Hops? Nope! Hazy sunrise over Arabia Mountain, Georgia Winking hawk Mockingbird on stop sign
July
May dragonfly Wild garlic on the trail Red Rover, Red Rover, send Red Clover right over! Turtle, surfacing Paddleboard morningtide
August
St. Augustine Lighthouse, at morning Castillo de San Marcos Independent fermentation room Against traffic
September
Heron in morning pond Avondale reverie Wary weather watcher Squirrel at edge of forest Arabia Mountain 'daisy'
October
The Final Out Tree at summit of Arabia Mountain Into the Privet woodland Wasted Potential trombone
November
Tree in morning marsh South River at base of Panola Mountain Verboten off-piste Washington W. King Covered Bridge
December
October(fest) beer discussions Fallen Beneath Stone Mountain Stille Nacht Outlier No. 19 Helms Deep Bierschnaps


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DATA

☞ Of my fifty-two selections in 2023:
  • 21 images (40 %) were landscapes: intimate, grand, or tangentially.
  • 15 (28 %) were of trees, flowers, or plants.
  • 9 (17 %) were of birds or other animals.
  • 7 (13 %) were new-topographical (i.e., structures, objects, vehicles, or signs).
  • 7 (13 %) were street-photography or focused on people, primarily or tangentially.
  • 5 (9 %) were images of the sky or astronomy-related.
  • 6 (11 %) were fermentably related.
  • 2 (3 %) were of art, music, or culture in one form or another.
  • No images were in black-and-white.

  • (The percentage total is greater than 100 %, as categories overlap.)

☞ Those data compare to 2022, when:
  • 29 images (56%) were of 'nature.'
  • 10 (19%) were of structures, objects, vehicles, or signs (not including breweries).
  • 10 (19%) were focused on people, primarily or tangentially.
  • 7 (13%) were of art or culture in one form or another.
  • 7 (13%) were fermentably related.
  • 6 (11%) were in black-and-white (but none were beer-related).

☞ Here are links to the ten image retrospectives for the years 2014 through 2022. (There is none for 2021, because I didn't do one that year.)

☞ Examining those ten years of Pic(k)s of the Week, the trend has been away from 'fermentable'-related photography toward a potpourri consisting principally of nature, landscape, and 'new topographic' photography.

20232022202120202019 20182017201620152014
Beer 3 2n/a 12 10 1228343426
Brewery/Pub 1 3n/a 8 12 58162034
Cask ale 0 0n/a 1 1 250108
Wine/Winery 0 1n/a 0 1 01034
Whiskey/Liquor/Distillery 2 2n/a 0 0 10021
Food/Restaurant 0 0n/a 1 2 34855

(As above, the figures don't reflect a sum, as a category may be a subset of another: such as breweries also appearing under beer, food also under brewpub/brewery, etc.)

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