Thursday, April 30, 2009


The Daily Photo bloggers are posting on the theme of “shadow” for the new month. So I’ll join them.

And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!
--Mark Twain

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

City scenes

Looking down Capitol Boulevard at the state capitol. Although the State Legislature is in session, they are not in the capitol; the building is in the midst of a massive renovation. They are usually finished by now, but this year there has been a lot of wrangling about the state budget. [I’m not going to get on a soapbox here, but just say that the political stances in this extremely conservative state are almost always the opposite of mine...]

On the right is the City Hall plaza. And as you can see on the left, we still have snow in the mountains.

Looking down Main Street. The red brick building down the street is the Idanha Hotel, a historic building (I’ll get a closer shot of it sometime soon).

In Rome you long for the country; in the country - oh inconstant! - you praise the distant city to the stars.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pottery fantasy

A mural on the wall of Ceramica, where they supply the pottery, glaze, and design ideas, and you paint your pieces however you’d like. A fun thing to do with family or friends.
(And I love this mural!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Basque Block

This is the Leku Ona Hotel, a Basque hotel and restaurant, located in The Basque Block in downtown Boise. Although I’ve eaten Basque food, I haven’t tried this restaurant, but the menu looks inviting.

The Basque Block includes the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, the Basque Market, and several restaurants. It’s a favorite spot especially during summer evenings. I’ve caught the scene early, before the restaurants have opened.

Boise has a Basque population of about 15,000. They came to Idaho from the Basque country in Spain during the 1800s and early 1900s. Many were sheepherders, and they came to Boise during the off-season and often stayed in one of the several Basque boarding houses. Like many immigrant groups, they prospered, and greatly enriched the growing city of Boise.

I love the Basque Center’s red tile roof, which is in the style of the Old Country. The center is used for performances, annual celebrations, events, gatherings.

Adiskide onekin, orduak labur.
"Time flies when you are among friends."
[with a good friend, the hours short]

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Egyptian

This is one of downtown Boise’s treasures.

The Egyptian opened in 1927 and featured “The Mighty Robert Morton Theatre Pipe Organ,” a grand stage, and plush seating. The proscenium over the stage is amazing. It is a series of reproductions of Egyptian art, and includes scenes of the Pharaoh, the Sun god, Osiris and other deities, and scenes from the Book of the Dead.

The theater was almost a victim of the wrecking ball. But a group of people pulled together to save and restore it. It is now on the National Register of Historic Places, and events include movies, concerts, and other performances. As you can see by the sign, it can also be rented by private groups :>)

For more info about this "grande dame", check out their website.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Potential fruit

Just a quick post -- it's been hectic for me lately. So I'll give you apple blossoms...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's in the stars

Star flowers enjoying a warm Sunday.

For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
~ Vincent Van Gogh

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Out and about

The Saturday Farmers Market opened today. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, which brought people out in droves.

Live performances are always part of the market. I happened to catch The Boise Highlanders in action at the main staging area.

The Highlanders have been around since 1961 and have performed at many local fairs and celebrations throughout the years.

Speaking of performances: We saw Aché Brasil last night. They were awesome! They combine music, dance, and Capoeira into excellent high octane performances. They had us on our feet, dancing, clapping, singing, and cheering. Photography was not allowed, so I’ve included a link to their website instead, where you can see photos of them and learn more about Capoeira.

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
~ Thomas Merton

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In the looking glass

This goose seems to be admiring its reflection. It’s mating season; perhaps it thinks it’s scoping out a potential hot date. Of course, it could also be watching for some hors d’oeuvres to come floating by.

It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
~Oscar Wilde

On a final note: Check out the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. It is inspirational and totally awesome! They performed last night at Carnegie Hall.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Also known as bulrush, punks, or corndog grass.

“Corndog grass” :>) Imagine a summer breeze rippling through a field of corndogs…

Many parts of cattail are edible (or so they say; I haven’t tried any. Maybe that's where the corndogs come in). The seeds are fluffy, like cotton, and birds often use them to line their nests. They have also been used to stuff clothing, pillows, and life vests.

As you can see, these are from last year. Battered, worn, but still spreading their seeds in the ongoing rite of spring.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Today, it's yellow

Yellow has many connotations. Some are negative, such as cowardly, “yellow-bellied”, porn movies (in China), jaundiced, “old and yellowed”, and “yellow journalism.” Others are positive, referring to sunshine, colors of birds and blossoms, cheerfulness, school buses, taxicabs, lemons. And the rich color of this daffodil.

There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.
~ Pablo Picasso

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In the pink

I think these are magnolia blossoms; one of the varieties that can tolerate the climate here.

While researching magnolias I learned these interesting tidbits: They are thought to have originated in eastern Asia, and they are ancient – they evolved before bees came along. Their flowers were “made” to be pollinated by beetles. As a result, the blossoms are tough and resilient to withstand “beetle behavior”.

I also found that magnolia bark has an ingredient which deters cavities, dental plaque, and periodontal disease. I recall seeing mints and chewing gum at my dentist’s office that were advertised as reducing cavities and plaque (and were much more expensive than what you’d find at the supermarket). So, they must contain the magic ingredient from the ancient magnolia tree -- to keep your teeth healthy, and your gums in the pink...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring Saturday

Amazing clouds today. I’ve always been fascinated by the “3-D” appearance of cumulus and cumulonimbus. And the way they shapeshift so quickly in the wind.

It wouldn’t be spring without bunnies. We came across this in front of a house in the n’hood, just in time for Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

In the window... usual, just doing my job
even tho right now, there’s nothing new
to report

maybe I'll think of new ways
to re-design the blinds

Thursday, April 09, 2009


Tulips enjoying the sun.

Although we associate them with The Netherlands, tulips are native to Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, and other parts of central Asia. It is thought that tulips were first brought to Europe during the 1500s. A Flemish botanist, Charles de L'Ecluse, wrote about them during the 1600s and tulips became immensely popular, particularly in The Netherlands where they were treated like a form of currency for a while.

Imagine if tulip bulbs were still a form of currency…

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Iris's path

With all the rain we’ve been having lately, there’s bound to be a rainbow every so often.

The Greeks thought rainbows were paths between heaven and earth, and were made by Iris, the messenger of the gods. They believed Iris linked the gods to humankind.

Irises aren’t blooming here yet – but in a few weeks they will be unfurling their rainbow colors in yards, parks, and fields. In warmer places, such as New Orleans, they already are...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Flowers of glass

This reminds me of a flower blooming; appropriate for spring, don’t you think?

It finally feels like spring here; in the 70s today. Maybe winter is finally mellowing.

And this one’s for Katie, who does wonderful mosaics. :>) I posted a close-up of this window a little while back; so here’s the whole thing.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Lots of unsettled weather here lately. Makes me think of songs about rain. Feel free to add to the list…

A hard rain's a-gonna fall.

I wish it would rain…

Let it rain, let it rain

Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head

I’m singin’ in the rain

Who’ll stop the rain

Purple rain, purple rain

Here comes the rain again

And I think it’s gonna rain today

It’s a rainy night in Georgia…I feel like it’s rainin’ all over the world…

May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow. May the soft winds freshen your spirit. May the sunshine brighten your heart. May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you, and may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.
-Irish blessing

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Tonight we saw a short concert by a ukulele master – and I’m not talking about typical ukulele music (conjuring dancing girls in hula skirts). While Jake Shimabukuro is indeed from Hawaii, the music he creates on the uku takes it far beyond what you’d imagine. In his hands, the ukulele sings, dances, and weeps. He does “rhythm raps,” fast, energetic strumming, and “pushes” the strings to get unusual effects, as well as caressing them gently, sweetly.

Shimabukuro performed pieces from his new CD, "Live", including Piano-Forte, Me & Shirley T, and Blue Roses Falling, which are his own excellent compositions. He also did a fantastic cover of George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps. (Hear him perform it here) In fact, this song helped catapult him into “musical fame”. At an outdoor concert several years ago, someone videoed him performing this piece and put it on YouTube. And people began contacting him...

The concert was at The Record Exchange, our local record/CD store. The crowd was much larger than anyone expected, and so most of us were standing in the aisles of CDs, and around the counters, straining to see him between those in front of us. As a result, my photos aren’t great, but it gives you a feel for the concert.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Potted plants?

Who knew you could grow a mailbox? :>)