August 2013

Posted by Ellen

Last weekend, Hank, his climbing buddy Pat, and their other climbing buddy, the orange-footed yaller guy, summited Mount Gimli, a 9,000-foot spire of gneiss in the Valhalla Range of southeastern British Columbia.

Posted by Ellen

There are little chrome hooks affixed to the walls of the restroom stalls at New York City's American Girl Doll Store, and their specific purpose is to support the dolls by their little plastic armpits while real-life American girls use the facilities.

This doll is Saige, a 2013 American Girl doll of the year, who has been proudly claimed by Lily, an American girl here on Kater Street who's turning seven today. Lily now has a dress that matches Saige's, and Saige now has her own hairbrush, outfits, and dog.

Saige comes with a backstory, as detailed in a hundred-page biography–what the kids would call a chapter book. We can read about her life among the ponies and desert landscapes of the American Southwest during World War II. Yet truth be told, at least some of the issues Paige is dealing with are not so far-fetched in twenty-first-century Philadelphia; for example, her school is having budget problems and faces losing its art teacher. Will Saige be able to pull off her fund-raising project and save the day? We know a seven-year-old we can ask.

Posted by Ellen

Happily, it's a big year for weddings in this branch of the human family. And one of the best things about weddings is that the pictures are so many and so various and so thick with kisses and flowers and hopefulness. Indeed, every morning could be a Wonderfully Good Wedding Morning in this blog . . . if only Facebook didn't always have the jump on us.

Here today, however, are a couple of shots from Maggie and Colin's wedding back in June on Peaks Island, in Maine's Casco Bay. Above, the newlyweds focused on a joint engineering venture that went off almost without a hitch: as the sun went down, illuminated hot-air balloons soared up and away, floating into the future.

The first one rose and floated perfectly, above the island and out over the sea. The second one plopped down into the harbor. As did the third. The fourth balloon also looked doomed at first, but it somehow fought hard against gravity and wobbled skyward and . . . fell flaming into a patch of brush next to the island gas station.

Nothing bad came of it. The day and the night were far too gentle and elegant.

Posted by Ellen

Actually, it's a nesting Falcon. I do not pretend to know what this is all about, except that I understand the bird and almost certainly also the tree are Australian.

Go ahead. Laugh, all you kookaburras. Gay your life must be.

Posted by Ellen

Omar Little, at Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Posted by Ellen

A portrait shot and app-ified with a cellphone.

Posted by Ellen

But what's that car doing on the boardwalk?