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A cloudy Tuesday

Dragonfly in the meadow.

What is the meaning of life? That was all – a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one.

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

The simple things in life.

Hello!  How are you?  It’s been a while again, eh?  I hope all is well in your world.  Mine has been a tad bit busy again.  If you follow me on Instagram, you know that M and I took a quick trip to Baltimore over the weekend.  He was there on business.  I went along for the fun of it.

Silhouettes against a fiery sky.

I didn’t take many photographs while I was in Charm City (the nickname for Baltimore, one that came about in 1975 as an attempt to improve the city’s reputation).  I didn’t feel like carrying around the camera.  I already felt weighed down by the heaviness of the weather which is best described as oppressive.  It was hot and the air was hazy and thick.

View from our hotel room window as a storm was moving in.

I liked Baltimore the last time we were there.  Not so much this time around.  There was an angry feel to the city, and not much charm in Charm City.  I kept waiting for all hell to break loose.  This past weekend was “Nobody Kill Anybody Weekend.”  I hope they managed it.

Seven Foot Knoll Light, the oldest screw-pile lighthouse in Maryland.

The anger was almost as palpable as the humidity.  Drivers in traffic honking like they’re ready to get out of the car and kill the person in front of them.  Angry groups of young men in wife-beaters clustered in groups near the Inner Harbor parks, some smoking pot, some shouting about whatever.  One guy was violently punching the air and screaming at the guys he was with, going on and on with things like “I TOLD you.  I TOLD you.  He’s gonna run to the f***ing POE-leese now!”  Sure enough, somebody had.  As we walked away from the group we saw two police officers headed their way.

Sunbeams above the Inner Harbor.

There was an overweight, sloppy, white guy smoking in a truck parked in front of the Afghani restaurant where we had our dinner on Thursday evening.  There didn’t appear to be any reason for him to be there other than to upset the Muslim folks, but maybe I was reading too much into it.  The truck had a large picture of nearly nude women and men along the side of it, an advertisement for a strip club.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards. We had a good view of it from our hotel.  The Orioles were playing the Detroit Tigers and there was a long rain delay on Thursday night.

A homeless woman followed us on our last night there, haranguing us because we didn’t give her the money she requested.  I can’t say for sure she was homeless.  She told us she was.  She also looked like she was high as a kite.  I could write about other examples of how the hot weather was affecting people, but you get the idea.  Lots of colorful language, arguments, people chasing other people demanding something from them, homeless folks sleeping wherever they could find a shady spot.  Summer in Baltimore.

That was the tone of Charm City.  Or maybe it was me, and my own mood based on how society seems to me since the past election.

Rolling up the tarp.

Ahh but… in all fairness… there was the cool and laid-back vibe at Peace and a Cup of Joe where we had breakfast one morning.  Regulars coming in and greeting each other (and us), wishing each other (and us) a good day.  There were friendly folks at the Afghani and Thai restaurants where we had our dinners.  The Elks members who were in town for a convention were all warm, friendly and having a great time.  It was the the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World (IBPOEW), not the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the United States of America (BPOE).  The BPOE, according to an Afro article I read (who got their information from Notable Kentucky African American Database), “was less than “benevolent” and “protective” when it came to Black people in their organization.”  (Side note:  They still segregate some of the clubs here on the Eastern Shore.  I won’t name them.  But they do.)

So, in all fairness to the city and to the people, there were probably just as many friendly and polite folks as there were angry and rude but the angry stood out (as the negative often does).

We can’t leave the car parked outside of the garage. Or, if we do, we have to cover the side mirrors. I’ll show you why.

Back here at the ranch, things are quiet.  The fruits and vegetables of summer continue to ripen.  It’s slowed down a little for now, but things will probably pick up again soon when the Roma tomatoes are ready for picking.  I’m hoping to get to one of the local farms soon to see what they have brought in lately.  There have been a number of recent newspaper articles about food rotting in the fields due to the shortage of agricultural workers.  It feels like food will soon be getting expensive.

Is he admiring himself in the mirror?

Today has been a little like being in a Disney movie.  Little Doe and her twins have been visiting the front yard while three male bluebirds were winging their way around the roses.  A hummingbird came by as well.  Since we had a rainbow yesterday, I figured a unicorn might appear at any moment.  Alas, it didn’t.  But there were some butterflies.

Nope. This nutter is trying to attack the other bird in the mirror. Crazy Bluebird.

I reckon that’s about it from me and from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope to get back into a regular blogging rhythm soon.  In the meantime, let’s go down to the Point this evening to see what kind of show Nature is going to put on for us.  It’s been cloudy all day.  We had some storms move through yesterday and early today, bringing with them about an inch or so of rain and a tornado that touched down north of us.  Sometimes the sunsets can be pretty spectacular after storms have moved through.  Sunset this evening is scheduled for 8:04 PM.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Yesterday’s rainbow.

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  241) Watching the young bluebirds.  242)  Little Doe and her twin fawns.  243)  Meditation on the back porch this morning.  Blissful!  244)  Chamomile tea.  245)  The slow adjustment to a new lifestyle.  It’s always an adventure.

An almost egg-shaped moon from last week.


Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

26 thoughts on “A cloudy Tuesday

  1. When my daughter was in college in Baltimore, she fell in love with the city, yet when she graduated, she said she had to cone back to the west coast because she was afraid she would get killed if she stayed, either in a car accident because drivers are notoriously bad there, or by some violent act. But we do love the city for short visits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a nice city for short visits, Corina, especially if you stay in the tourist areas (Inner Harbor and Federal Hill). I wish someone would come up with some good solutions to deal with crime and anger in the cities (and everywhere else, for that matter).


  2. I was in Baltimore only once several years ago and then only briefly. There are a few large cities I think I would avoid in our current climate. Sad, this downward slide.


    1. Yes, very sad, Carol. But I saw a reminder on Twitter today, from John Pavlovitz (“pastor of the resistance”):
      “Reminder: There are far more people working for justice, equality, and diversity than opposing them. Don’t let hopelessness trend in your head.”
      I’m trying to head that advice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes you’re having a bad day and sometimes you’re seeing reality. Charm City is visually lovely–all those old buildings with corbelled brickwork and Italianate designs. Still, I don’t go there often, mostly because it’s too far for the distance in our traffic and because I’ve had those visits like you did. Ws there really a ‘let’s not have a murder’ weekend? Yeesh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Lisa. I love the architecture there, and it would be a wonderful place to wander around in if it were safe to do so. Yes, they really did have a “nobody kill anybody” weekend (and really called it that). Unfortunately, two people were murdered so it wasn’t a success. The mayor made a big announcement on Wednesday about a plan to help reduce violence (including free community college and increased police presence with help from the federal DOJ). On the same day, a 97-year-old WWII veteran was murdered in his home during a burglary. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh. That’s…just bizarre. And awful to get to 97 and be murdered by a thug. Baltimore also used to have more cases of syphilis than anyplace in the U.S. I think it was an adjunct to the HIV and drug epidemics, but still…


    1. Thank you, Lisa (DM). 🙂 After the storms we had that day, the rainbow was quite a treat. The young bluebirds are funny to watch, especially around reflections. I do worry they’ll hurt themselves trying to attack the bird in the mirror, but it hasn’t happened yet so I guess they know what they’re doing.


  4. Oh how I love Baltimore and how I ache for all of the pain it has been in for so long. I worked in the city years ago and so enjoyed it. I’m an Orioles fan. I cried when it melted down a few years ago. Now I feel my heart ache for our country. What a meaningful post. I appreciate the descriptive journey through Baltimore and I enjoyed that bluebird! 😊


    1. Thank you so much, Carrie. 🙂 I loved Baltimore when I’d been there years and years ago (my youngest son was probably 9 or 10 years old at the time, he’s 32 now). And even just a year or so ago, I enjoyed the city. The weather was cooler and there were fewer people around so maybe that was a factor. The Orioles didn’t do too well against the Detroit Tigers. The first game must have been played well into the night after a long rain delay. Hopefully things will pick up for them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We were in Baltimore a year or maybe two ago and loved it. Maybe we only saw the good stuff down by the harbor. You know that tower you saw from your hotel window is the Bromoselzer tower, right? (I think…) It houses artists in studios We got a private tour because we walked up there to see what it was and the museum director saw us standing in the rain looking at it and invited us in. It was pretty interesting.

    Love the bluebird! 🙂 And, of course, the rainbow!


    1. Thank you, Dawn. 🙂
      I loved Baltimore a year or so ago, too. I had a wonderful time and there was none of that almost palpable anger infusing the atmosphere that I experienced this time around. And yes, that’s the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower. 🙂 How wonderful that you got a private tour! I haven’t been in it yet. Maybe next time.


  6. Loving the dragonfly with the clipped wing ~ I’ve never seen one with a damaged wing before. Love the bluebird learning about reflections ~ how puzzling the world must be to him. I feel the same uneasiness being in big cities…


    1. Thank you, Barbara. 🙂 I wondered if anyone would notice that about the dragonfly. My son recently sent me a picture of the Little Wookie (my grandson) making faces in the mirror. It seems the young all like to play with their reflections in their efforts to figure out who that is in the mirror. 🙂


  7. So much in this post, Robin–the angry city and the bird looking in the sideview window –and the rainbow.
    Afghani and Thai food, friendly coffee places, and views of baseball–sound like bright sparks amidst the anger.
    We had rain and cloudy skies Friday and part of Saturday, rain all day Monday, clouds part of yesterday. It was oppressive. But it’s beautiful today, and hopefully tempers will improve.

    Beautiful photos! 🙂


    1. Thank you so much, Merril. 🙂 Yes, a lot in this post. A lot in life these days. We’ve had some beautiful weather, too. I woke up to fog and sunbeams and the sparkle of dew in the meadow. It was a lovely way to start the day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Contrast always heightens appreciation. 🙂
    Do you know Brenda at Olddognewtruck? She has the same aggressive bluebird problem and has to cover their car mirrors (and wash bird poop off the sides) all summer.
    Love the rainbow!


    1. I love your new Gravatar picture, Eliza! 🙂
      I don’t know Brenda but will have to check her out. My husband uses cut plastic water jugs (gallon size) to cover the mirrors. He has extras for when we have guests here since we can only get one car in our two-car garage (the bicycles and kayak and a myriad of tools and other things take up the other side). Even with the mirrors covered, the bluebirds sit in a nearby tree tweeting and chirping at the car. Silly birds. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, the situation in Baltimore doesn’t seem to be getting any better soon… I hope it does…

    And it’s nice you got some really nice pictures in the meantime… 🙂 Have a lovely weekend, Robin…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sudipto. 🙂 The mayor made a big announcement about things they will be doing to try to curb the violence. Maybe it will help. Maybe it won’t. We’ll have to wait and see.


  10. The rainbow pic is beautiful. Love the silly little bird! Sorry Baltimore was such a downer. So glad you stopped and brought me lunch!
    Has felt fall-like yesterday morning and today. Do you think we might have an early fall? This is the nicest August weather I can ever remember – when it’s not raining!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane! We enjoyed seeing you again. Hopefully we’ll do it again soon. 🙂 It still feels very summer-like here although the light (sun) has a more autumn slant to it. I’m looking forward to fall.


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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