September 2013

Posted by Ellen

On one of these cranes in the sky above Bethesda, Maryland, is a "Now Selling" sign, urging people to go ahead and put their money down for new condos currently under construction.

Odds are, however, that nobody's buying the condos–or much of anything else–in Bethesda or elsewhere in the Washington area this week. An estimated 700,000 people anticipate being furloughed for an unknown length of time, and hundreds of thousands more will be expected to do their work as usual except without any guarantee of a paycheck.

This is how we roll nowadays, in the greatest country on earth. . . .

The cranes will likely keep on craning, like other non-governmental operations, at least until the reduced level of spending in the regional economy pushes businesspeople to furlough even more employees.

Posted by Ellen

Paganini the little poodle sits up in bed.

Posted by Ellen

Among this year's winners of genius grants announced last week by the MacArthur Foundation is photographer Carrie Mae Weems. These self-portraits are from her 1990 project, Kitchen Table Series.

Posted by Ellen

Seems this bird is in intensive care at BWI airport.

Posted by Ellen

We're told the egg may hatch soon. Watch this space for updates.

Posted by Ellen

Small-town grackle.

Posted by Ellen

Gull with a spare tire.

Posted by Ellen

Photographer Frank Dobbs titled this picture with the old saw about the unexamined life, but we see the story here as likely involving mosquitoes or gnats.

Posted by Ellen

By the summer of 1942, the American war effort was in such high gear that many agricultural regions were experiencing a severe labor shortage. All the young men were serving in the military, almost everybody else was working in war industries, and nobody was left to pick the nation's peas and beans.

As part of a program designated "Food for Victory," this specially chartered train brought more than three hundred high school boys and girls from the coal-mining town of Richwood, West Virginia, to the farming district around Batavia in upstate New York, where they would pick peaches, apples, tomatoes, and other crops. The program also brought in teenagers from other non-farming places, including Brooklyn, New York, where one of the high schoolers who signed on to help with the harvest upstate was the young Helen Ruskin, Norman's mother.