Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sumer Is Icumen In

Sumer is icumen in, lhude sing cuccu. That's a traditional English folk song to welcome in the summer season. (Poet Ezra Pound wrote a wickedly rude parody of this titled "Ancient Music"... but I digress.) I'm enjoying a walk outside before it gets too hot and humid.
Tomorrow is theme day, and good lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll remember to post a photo of my local corner shop.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Memento Mori

Since May 30th was the original Memorial Day in the U.S., I thought I'd show you an interesting historical monument from Knoxville's National Cemetery, where many Civil War veterans are buried. This is a rather large marble monument to soldiers from Tennessee who served in the Union Army. Tennessee was the last of the Southern states to join the Confederacy, but East Tennessee remained strongly pro-Union, which is why you can find this monument in Knoxville.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ghost Dog

I saw him - just barely - in an apartment window. And then he vanished.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Look out, pedestrians - it's Cowzilla, and she doesn't look very amused at being on Market Square today! Run for your very lives!
Oh, wait.
Here's the whole picture: it's the Mayfield Dairy cow on the square, looking a lot less fierce, for a "Drink Milk" promotion.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Song of the Open Road

This looks like a little country road in the middle of nowhere, doesn't it? But don't be fooled by appearances - it's part of the City of Knoxville. What I find interesting about Knoxville is this mix of built environments like downtown, and rural environments like this Northwest neighborhood on Pleasant Ridge Road. When I look at this scene, I also know it's the beginning of the summer season.  How? By the line of construction barrels, the unofficial state flower of the State of Tennessee, signaling the summer road construction season. How's road construction progressing (or not) in your area?

Monday, May 26, 2008

These Honored Dead

I can only say "thank you," but President Lincoln was much more eloquent in his Gettysburg Address:

"...that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion."

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Have you ever heard of an omnium? I hadn't until today. It's a bike race with multiple competitions, and the scores for each race are not cumulative; each race and score is independent of the others. Downtown Knoxville hosted an omnium this afternoon. These cyclists are racing down Union Avenue, and are just leaning into the turn onto Gay Street.  

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spiral Steps

These spiral steps lead to side entrances of the YWCA downtown. The building was built in the 1920s, and they just don't make stairs curve quite like these anymore.

Friday, May 23, 2008


This is a portrait of my friend Hao. She is first and foremost a luminous human being, a talented artist, and a bartender extraordinaire. She looks at the world with  creative artistic eyes, and I can see some small fraction of that world when I look creatively through my camera's lens.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Preservation Pub on Market Square is one of the best places to enjoy free concerts on the square  - especially if you get the seat by the door. Just sayin'. Do you have an outdoor concert venue in your town?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Koi Lounge

The Koi Lounge puts on a weird light show when it opens at night. I wish I had a video to show you - this green light oozes up and down the window like an amoeba after a few too many martinis. And I sit out on the square and watch, contemplating the mysteries of amoebas and martinis.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Objects in Mirror

Every time I see this phrase on a mirror, I think of that scene in Jurassic Park where they see the tyrannosaurus in their rear view mirror, and it's gaining on them, and then I just start to giggle.  Not to worry, the only things to see in this mirror are some blurry trees on Market Square. 

Monday, May 19, 2008

Barbed Wire Sky

There's a section of the Lakeshore Greenway along the river that's fenced off, presumably so joggers don't tumble into the river. I often wonder about the barbed wire, though. Perhaps it's a leftover from the days before the park, when it was the grounds of Lakeshore Mental Health Facility (which still exists on the grounds, but is a much smaller facility now). This is why I never get anywhere: I was so intrigued and distracted by the contrast of forbidding wire and cheerful sky that I had to stop and take a photo.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Here's one more picture from the vintage motorcycle show yesterday. This was the only Vespa on display. I couldn't get a shot that I liked of the whole scooter, so I'm showing you a close up again. I like the lettering of the Vespa logo, and the faint reflection of the TVA towers underneath the logo.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Vintage Reflection

The Time Warp Vintage Motorcycle Club of Knoxville had a great display on Market Square today. There were 50s, 60s, and 70s models of Ducati, Triumph, Harley Davidson, and Suzuki cycles (plus one lone baby blue Vespa). I took lots of shots, but I like this close-up: a reflection in shiny chrome of mom showing her toddler the finer points of motorcycles.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Jazz Portrait

Last week at 4620 jazz club, pianist Donald Brown was kind enough to allow me to snap his photo. Unfortunately, my battery died after this shot, so what you see is what you get. Good thing Mr Brown is photogenic. I don't have much experience shooting portraits, but if you want to see some exquisite portraiture, hop on over to Olivier's daily photo blog. I couldn't aspire to anything higher.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Have a seat at the Brehm Animal Science building's indoor arena on the agriculture campus of the University of Tennessee while you can; I hear the building is going to be renovated this summer. I didn't photoshop this - the colors are from the natural light of the overhead spotlights, which always look a bit orange. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Swing Dancers

Folks, I've had a long day at work today, and I'm kinda beat, so I'm posting a picture that lifts my spirits. This is from the Rossini Festival last month. I love to watch the swing dancers, listen to the East Tennessee Jazz Orchestra playing big band tunes, and I just love that little girl doing her own dance. G'night, Internet. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mystery Truckload

While driving to work, I got behind this truck at the stoplight. I just can't figure out what the cargo is - plastic fencing? wire? I have not a clue. Anyone care to speculate? It sure made for a psychedelic image; glad I had my camera along for the ride.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Swirling Clouds

Tennessee had some very nasty weather yesterday all across the state. Here in Knoxville, we had 45 mph winds that blew down trees and power lines, leaving 16,000 people in the area without electric power for quite some time.  Some of the trees smashed the cars that were parked underneath. Luckily, no one was in those cars.  When I saw these clouds swirling above the Holston Building downtown, I got very nervous, but they broke apart and hurtled eastward.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Play Ball

If it's spring, it must be the start of baseball season. Here's a Little League game at one of the ballfields at Lakeshore Park in West Knoxville. This is also one of my favorite viewspots on the Lakeshore Greenway, the two mile (3.2 kilometer) path that encircles the park, with the green of the trees and the blue of the river, and the Great Smoky Mountains meeting the clouds in the distance. 

Saturday, May 10, 2008


The South Knoxville Arts and Heritage Center holds a festival every year in the little community of Vestal in South Knoxville to raise money to restore the beautiful and historic Candoro Marble Company office building for use as a community arts center. Vestival is a fun way to hear great local music and contribute to a good cause. I took some photos of the inside of Candoro, as well as the ruins of the adjacent marble factory that I'll share with you soon. Candoro Marble Works was once the nation's largest producer of pink marble. You can see this marble in many buildings and monuments in Washington D.C. and around the U.S.
This photo shows the Johnson Swing Quartet playing some Django Reinhardt gypsy jazz tunes in the portico of the Candoro building. 

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jazz Night

Last night I went to one of my favorite jazz clubs in town, 4620, to hear the Donald Brown quintet. You can just barely see Donald on piano back in the shadows. He teaches in the jazz program at the university, and is one of the nicest people I know. But if you missed the show last night, don't worry - you can see him at the Paris Jazz Festival this summer. 
Oh, and that's my companion, Jack Daniels, in the foreground.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

And Liberty She Pirouette

The Liberty Building downtown has fallen on hard times. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blustery Day

The Market Square farmer's market has started up for the season again on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. I've been looking forward to buying the locally grown fresh meats and vegetables, plus enjoying the craft booths. (It's been a long winter, y'all.) Today was beautifully sunny, but with a strong north wind blowing down the square - oh, pity the poor umbrellas.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Groundhog Day

I was wandering around the waterfront and spied this groundhog peeking out of a hole in a retaining wall. Not being a total fool, I used my optical zoom lens to capture the moment, as the groundhog didn't seem to appreciate the pleasure of my company. 

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Eyes Have It

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I'm showing you one of the things I like best about our rapidly growing Hispanic community here in Knoxville. That's right, I'm all about the food. This is La Flor, a little panaderia (bakery) in Bearden. The proprietor, who speaks English so much better than I speak Spanish, recommended I try the pastry you see before you, a flaky delight with a banana-flavored merangue in the middle. They're called ojos (eyes) and they are muy delicioso. What are your favorite Latino foods?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Patio Dog

I saw this little guy sitting with his owner on a patio downtown, and he just looked so mellow and patient. I think this photo would work better if there was less chair and railing clutter, however. What do you think? 

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Golden Green Power

This is my belated offering of numbers for theme day. These Mason jars do not hold moonshine, no siree. The liquid in question is biodiesel. B20 is a blend of 20% biodiesel (organically derived from soybean oil, microalgae, or used vegetable oil) and conventional diesel (petroleum-derived). B100 is 100% biodiesel. Please do not be alarmed by the unfortunately worded sign behind the jars. All they really mean to say is biodiesel is growing in use in East Tennessee. This display was part of a "green power" fair held yesterday in the Krutch Park Extension sponsored by our local utilities provider, Knoxville Utilities Board.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Great Blue

This great blue heron was kind enough to hold still long enough for me to focus and shoot. These birds are quite abundant in East Tennessee waterways and can often be spotted along the riverbanks. I also like the way the water looks. (kind of like the Stargate - come on, sci-fi fans, don't make me do this alone).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Counting Trees

I didn't remember to sign up for the monthly theme, so I have no numbers for you. But you can count the trees along the footpath by the river at Sequoyah Park if you'd like.