Sunday, May 28, 2017

Music Sunday - On the Front Lines

Today, in the United States, the air waves are full of tributes to singer/songwriter Gregg Allman, who died yesterday(possibly from complications of liver cancer), at the age of 69.  It has been such a tragic week for music and music fans, starting with the bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England (more on that later in this post).

Allman was one of many who were so creative, and also so self-destructive.  I constantly wonder about this combination, and why (in my view) it exists.

As tomorrow is Memorial Day in the United States, I am moving my Music Monday to today.

I will let Allman's music speak for itself.  What else can I add? 

Whipping Post.

Mellissa, such a sweet song.

And, a hit song on his own; "I'm No Angel".  He wasn't.

Rockers reacted in the modern way, on Twitter.

Meanwhile, in England, nearly a week after a terrorist bombing at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, the singer beloved by so many teens and preteens (and even their parents) announced a benefit concert with proceeds going to the victims' families.  She announced this with a moving letter to her fans.

In honor of all those at that concert, here is a video of Dangerous Woman.

Meanwhile, Grande's mother has been placed under heavy security.

We live in sobering times, and depend on those in the entertainment business to help us cope with sorrow and uncertainty.  Now, after Bataclan, and Manchester, entertainers are now on the front lines. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Local Saturday - The One Thing Missing

On this Memorial Day weekend, unlike many Americans, we are staying local.
The rhododendrons are blooming, and I want to start you off with a picture of one of mine.  One thing is missing out of this picture, though - can you guess what it is?

While you think, here are some other pictures of our day.
We started our day at the local farmers market in Binghamton, in upstate New York.  The mushroom vendor we were hoping to buy from did not come today, but there were plenty of eggs to choose from.

Even more eggs - how's this for a selection?

A favorite vendor in the market for many is a Peruvian bakery, perhaps from the cookies she samples each week.  Once you taste, you just have to buy a package.  She's branched out into other foods, and they don't last long.  She is such a hard worker, she deserves all her success

After a short trip to our community garden (worth its own blog post), we planted some plants at the house.  Here is some basil now in our front yard.

I want to leave you with one thought today, after showing you this delicious food.  Remember the picture of the rhododendron flower at the top of my post. I told you there was one thing missing.

I am sorry to say I had no problems taking this picture.  And it makes me sad.

In past years, this bush would have been swarming by bees.  But, in the past few years, there have been fewer and fewer bees feeding off the blooms.

This year, I haven't seen one bee on this bush.

One small thing, perhaps, but other people I know are reporting the same thing.   This video explains some what is going on - entertaining, perhaps, but also frightening.

Are you noticing fewer bees where you live?

Friday, May 26, 2017

Storm Sunset #SkywatchFriday

We have been having a stormy spring here in upstate New York.

Last Thursday, stormclouds gathered just around sunset. The color of the sky was golden, reflecting off the stormclouds.  I only was able to capture a fraction of the color.

The stormclouds gather.

The sunset as seen through a Norway Maple facing west.

And more stormclouds.

Join other bloggers at #skywatchfriday and see skies from all over the world.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Golden Rain #ThursdayTreeLove

Part of my love of trees, and growing plants in general, is finding plants growing that are out of the ordinary.

Where I live, in upstate New York, some trees are common - maples and oaks, for example.  Some may be endangered, such as the ash, and will (sadly) become uncommon in years to come.

Others are not common at all.  Today, I want to show you a tree not common to my part of New York State.

Recently, an Indian bloger, Shalini Baiswala, posted a picture on Instagram (something I recently joined) of what we call a Golden Rain Tree here in the states.  I didn't think they grew where I live.
Binghamton May 21
Ok, I admit it.  I was wrong.

Because I don't trespass onto peoples' property when I take pictures I wasn't able to enjoy the scent of this tree.

This find made my day. I hope the golden rain of this tree makes you happy, too.

If you want to check out (or participate in) other #Thursdaytreelove posts, join me, Parul, and other bloggers and show your love for the trees we share this world with.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Spring Things - First Rose and More

I've been saving some nice flower photos for today, just for you, my readers.
Sunday, I saw my first roses, on a traffic divider where I walk for exercise in Binghamton, New York.  These roses have such a heavenly fragrance.  Too bad they don't bloom all summer.  (Note, none of these flowers are mine.)
Alas, the last of the lilacs are blooming.

The azaleas are in full bloom.  Here is a closeup of white flowers.

Bachelor Button, one of the few blue flowers.

And finally, some beautiful dianthus to round out a late spring walk in Binghamton.

Anything blooming where you live?

Linking today with Write Tribe and #writingwednesdays

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

At Times Like This

This is not the post I wanted to post today.

I am looking at a picture.  It's a professional photo, so I don't have the rights to post it, but it's a precious photo for me.  It shows me, my spouse, and my son with another father and son, in a whitewater raft (the only time I've done white water) on a river in Pennsylvania, as we shot out the gate and into our wild adventure. 

It was taken on July 7, 2005, minutes after we had found out about the London bombings now known as the "7/7 bombings".


The Manchester bombings of (for us in Eastern Time in the United States) early last night will now join the ranks of the millions of atrocities we humans have inflicted on ourselves, all over our world.  This wasn't just any bombing, it was quickly obvious, but one that targeted teens and children trying to have a good time with a suicide bomb full of nails.  It was timed to occur just as the concert ended, as the bomber knew well people would be crowding together to leave.

There are many other incidents, of course, that never even reach the media, people suffering as the world never knows (or, in some instances, cares).

In some ways that picture of my family and another poised on the edge of of churning water is a metaphor of our world.  The white rapids come, and they come, and they come.  All the kindness of the world doesn't seem to matter at times like this, even as Manchester mobilizes to shield the living victims and give them shelter, medical treatment, and comfort.

Now, the cycle of hate will continue.  So all we can do is voice our condemnation, and try to continue to live our lives as normally as we can.  It won't be easy.

But we must, or those forces would have won.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Music Monday - Middle Aged Suicide

When my husband, a  Soundgarden and Audioslave fan, heard the news of rocker Chris Cornell's death, he couldn't believe it.

Soundgarden, the band Chris Cornell was the lead vocalist for at the time of his death, was participating in a Rock on the Range tour.  He had finished a live concert in Detroit, and must have been feeling the love of his fans.  Other concerts were on his schedule.
Cornell's last song is above (it's about 13 minutes long) if you care to see him hours before his death.

Why did he take his life?  Why? Why? Why?  How many times have we asked ourselves that in recent years?  His family says the suicide wasn't intentional; it may have been caused by a side effect of prescription medication.  But Cornell suffered from depression from a lot of his life, and life has not been easy for him (or anyone else who suffers from this variety of illness).

Meantime, I found this sobering statistic:  middle aged men between 45 and 65 (Cornell was 52) have the highest rate of suicide of any age group.  These men suffer in silence.  They don't reach out for help.  They must be reached in non-traditional ways.

As anyone who has had a suicide in their family knows, the impact is huge.  This pain is public, but so many go through this pain privately.

Will Cornell's death change the suicide statistics? Will we pay more attention to the issue? That remains to be seen.

I've had an earworm with  the hit song "Black Hole Sun" for the last couple of days.  So, instead of that, I'm featuring three other songs from Soundgarden, hoping they will chase the earworm away.

"Fell on Black Days" is a product of Cornell's struggles with depression.

Spoonman is a song I enjoy - in some ways it reminds me of Led Zepplin.

I will end with another song called Outshined, a personal favorite.

Another great talent gone too young.  I can't say much more.