Word and Image


Photography: The story behind the image


Amish Biking


No gears! Huh? They use wheels. So where does technology begin and end. Where’s the bright line? No gears. So you use it like a scooter. They farm with horses. But the plow was forged metal. Oh well, there’s a book out there to explain. Meanwhile it’s fascinating to learn something new. The good news? You don’t have to tie up your knickers or your dress to ride.IMG_2523



I visited Amish country in Pennsylvania. This woman was on a mission. Mostly, Amish folks don’t like their picture taken. I tried not to intrude but did not heed propriety. In the public anyone is fair game as a photographic subject as long as it is not intended for commercial use. Read my writing without a picture? A picture is far more informative. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Feather and Spice are wary of “Marshall the dog.” He’s a mellow dog without any real bones about cats. Feather does not like Marshall at all. She hides away. After a few days it’s getting a bit better. Go figure. Spice will sleep on the high ground now. Feather stuck her paws from under the couch. How is that safe? So there must be peace talks proceeding slowly. So far no blood or fur has flown.

Just out of reach


Osprey. It is. I could be wrong. But, it’s not a vulture or a crow. It’s a raptor. It sat in the tree long enough for me to get a shot. I could not get closer. So, it’s a raptor and there are better shots by others But, this is my shot. It’s what I got up till now…

“It’s an adventure…”

It’s a short story – long. I had to rent a van. It wasn’t easy (pretty much impossible) to do on a Saturday afternoon near 5PM in rural Maryland.

We were at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. There is an auction tent where “umpteen” spinning wheels and looms are on display for inspection before being auctioned. The auction for weaving stuff begins in the afternoon at 1PM. It was cold and rainy (really cool and “drizzily” until it really rained). “We need a picker,” Colleen said to me. ??? “A what???” I replied. I should never have asked. There were two on auction. Retail, I had just seen one selling for $450 after I knew how to identify one reliably since I had never seen one before until the name was mentioned. It’s full of nails and nasty. Waterboarding would be a vacation if you threatened me with this device. Yeah, sharp nails!! The bidding began at $100 and soared upwards in $25 increments. I still had my hand up and to my utter surprise it sold to me at $250. Don’t ask. It was a bargain? It’s heavy but not too large to fit into the car. The other picker went later for $750.

The second story begins with a LeClerc loom that was auctioned later. Since I was not in the market, there is no picture. The bidding started at $200. No bidders, so the bidding started again at $100. The crowd was listless and the auctioneer admonished and cajoled the crowd. “This thing is worth at least $1500.” What the heck. I put up my hand. I intended to drop out before long. Meanwhile the thing sold to me at $200. A bargain? You bet! A bench was included. That alone retails new for $500. What did I know? Nothing, nada, innocent, naïve – that would be me. Colleen was dumbstruck. The auctioneer had only described the loom because it was to heavy to haul outside the tent. So I had bid and bought a loom, “sight unseen.” Yeah, and, we don’t need another loom.

“Ummm… how are you getting this thing home?” And then it occurred to me that it might be too large to fit into the car. There are no places to get a truck or van. Ah! … went online, got a Uhaul. Yay? Arghhh! It had to be returned to the same location. Darn! The silver lining was we got the loom home and went back the next day to do Day 2 of the festival. It’s still heavy and we had a heck of a time getting that thing inside and up the stairs. In the future, I’m keeping my hand in my pocket. Oh! Yes, the van rental was near the cost of the loom. But it was still a “bargain” according to list price, and, with a bench thrown into the deal. Note to self: stick with small objects that will fit into the car…or leap before you jump…


I don’t collect books. I collect books. I have an extensive library of neurosurgery reference books. They will have some value one day… or not. I saw a book on Lincoln displayed. 1896. That makes it officially old. I like the title. It’s about his early life and written a few decades after his death. “… many unpublished documents…” would be neat too. After all, it’s not like there are any more historically timely documents of Lincoln going forward. So, this book would be of historical relevance at the time and closer to the history time. Neat! I was tickled to hold a book more than one hundred years after its publish date. I don’t have many like this. I will likely not be tempted again…or maybe.

The Game

Value? It’s a game. You know. They know. Someone knows more. That is how the winner is determined. “He, who dies with the most toys, wins.” I passed by a yard sale. Low probability high value – that is to say there is a lot of junk mixed in with occasional gems. The most expensive thing was a pendulum Regulator clock. It ticks. That sucker sat in the back seat chiming gently in syncopated rhythm all day as I drove over hill and dale. I got a “New Age” serenade and was sorry to remove it from the car. The other treasure was a Chinese sewing basket. The beads and ring are decorative and essentially make the basket collectable. But there were “goodies” inside! Aha! Spools of thread, etc, it made the price a bargain!

Finally…there are levels – wooden – bubbles (three)… and then there are metal ones. The modern ones are made of metal. But… the Davis Company made levels in the early 1900’s. I looked them up after the fact to find out that I had astutely found another bargain. What to do? Open an antique shop… someday. Meanwhile, I was ahead on this day.

Don’t throw out nothin’


I admit I have been in a lot of antique stores lately. By definition the objects are older than 100 years. But, the category loosely refers to ‘old stuff.’ And, it has ’ high considerable value because of age.’ This display is an example that has been displayed more formal than the junk piles I usually see. There is all manner of junk. Junk? Yup. How about old containers. Empty! … as in spice containers, motor oil cans, cracker tins… you name it. The stuff boggles the mind. People save (and buy up…) old milk bottle tops (cardboard). Ok! You might be one to buy old bottle tops… but me? Nope. I just nod, tip my hat, and shake my head in utter amazement … that I ever threw anything out. There’s a buyer out there for all manner of trash?

Where have I been…


To quote Senator Susan Collins, Maine, “Can we have crisis free day. That’s all I’m asking.”

…I missed this little news item. An activist managed to project an image over the entrance of the Trump Hotel in Washington. To all of you folks who defend the man: what will it take and when will you wake up from your narcotized stupor to realize that you support a madman? As for him being a successful businessman, he’s not even good at the art of the lie.

Clean Up


Phragmites. It’s a marsh/wetlands weed grass – as defined as something you don’t want growing in your space – i.e. dandelions. It’s a tall grass that obscures (completely) my view of the pond behind our house. I previously posted about finding a bench beside the pond that we discovered two years after we moved into the house. There is an approved chemical herbicide. Cutting and burning does not work. But I am told you may cut it down to 24 inches height. Whatever. I don’t want chemicals. Yet. I got a hedge trimmer in the yard sale for $10. Yay! It mowed the grass/weed like a machine gun in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie.

And look! There are irises. Do you believe that? They are growing spontaneously in my wetland. Cool. They’re cheery and a welcome surprise. For now I have a trusty ‘old, used’ hedge trimmer and am prepared to cut down my phragmites as we go along.