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Showing posts from 2018

December 2018 Sky On Fire

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Dear Henry,

In the depths of Winter. it is difficult to find a bit of color. 

Occasionally though, when the clouds are right, Winter skies can become so dramatic and colorful.

Sometimes it pays to get up early.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Fine Print

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Dear Henry,
There is a new "Tide Pod Challenge" in town.  Only this time, it isn't American teenagers participating.
The latest teenager antics appear to be coming from an unusual source - the Hawaiian Monk Seal.  Somehow (scientists aren't sure how the seals are managing to do this, as they are sans hands) the seals are sticking eels up their noses.
Why?  Again, no one knows for sure, but scientists suspect it to be teenage antics of the animal kingdom.
And while this particular trick can be dangerous to the seals (scientists have been having to remove the dead eels) the pictures on CNN are quite comical.
Apparently, teenagers are the same everywhere.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: - The Black Dahlia

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Dear Henry,
Have you ever looked at your horoscope and thought Really?  This is truly all you have for me?
Today I was told to slow down and reminded me that not everything needs to be done now, which is a fine piece of advice, we all do too much and need to practice mindfulness and then went on with a small lecture regarding the need to practice delayed gratification.
While the advice is not entire inapplicable (patience is certainly not one of my virtues), I have come to expect a little positivity from both horoscopes and fortune cookies.  I want to hear about the good things coming my way, not about the need to be patient.
Sigh.
Who actually believes their horoscope anyway.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Full Bloom Rose - Monochrome

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Dear Henry,
This was an unusual photograph for me, I don't normally create black and white photographs.
In this case, however, the color of the flower did not translate into a photograph at all, but the structure of the flower itself was worth being seen.
Despite this case, where the monochromatic look worked, I still prefer brilliant color.  I think this is why I am not a huge fan of Winter.  The entire world turns "monochrome".
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road - Snow on a Pine Needle

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Dear Henry,
I grew up around people who religiously read the newspaper and watched the local news at six and ten.  I familiar with what was going on around me in the world,  but almost every conversation with an adult began "In the news today...
I swore that wouldn't be me.  I would find different things to converse about then the "News"
Lately, I have realized that many of my conversations begin with "in the news today...."
I have become the adults who raised me, despite all of my rebellion.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Ice on Branch 2018

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Dear Henry, Of all the Founding Fathers, George Washington is perhaps the easiest to like. 
When reading about the Revolutionary War during school, I think we all got a picture of a rather civilized bit of fighting between the U.S. and Great Britain.  
The movie, The Patriot, while showing a bit more of the blood and gore, still managed to make the war look relatively benign, outside of a few battles.
The reality was much different, and the entire conflict (8 years!) was plagued with loss, illness, and starvation.  There was no money and oftentimes, American colonists didn't care who was in charge, they just wanted to farm and prosper.  Throughout the entire war, U.S. troops were unpaid, unclothed, and unfed.  I am always amazed that American independence was achieved, as revolutions generally fail, even if they well supplied, and the American Revolution was far from well supplied.
What largely held the Continental Army together was the charisma of George Washington. Although his…

A Note From the Road: The Flow

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Dear Henry,
Today is "National Roof Over Your Head Day".  It is a day to feel gratitude for having a place to live.
It isn't a bad day to be grateful for having a home.  The temperature has dropped and it has turned quite chilly, so I for one am very grateful for my home.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road:Bridal Veil Falls at Seven Falls

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Dear Henry,
I love stories where etiquette foils the enemy.  Like the Angels of Bataan and Corregidor, who forced the enemy guards to spend their entire inspection times bobbing up and down because they would stand just far enough apart that etiquette demanded a re-bow.
In these stories, I have found many heroes. And after reading about the WWII occupation of the British Isle of Sark, I have found a new hero in Dame Sibyl Hathaway.
The Isle of Sark is one of the channel islands, and therefore one of the first grabs of Nazi occupation.  Dame Sibyl Hathway did an admirable job of taking care of her subjects during the occupation of the island from 1941 to 1945. 

Almost all of the protection she offered was done by behaving like an aristocrat, demanding the occupying soldiers treat her like an aristocrat and adhere to that etiquette and style.
Dame Sibyl Hathaway, my new hero.
xoxo a.d.


A Note From the Road: Coneflowers 2018

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Dear Henry,
This morning in the New York Times there was an article related to the ongoing  "Sixth Extinction", this time related to the world of insects. 
The article discusses an almost 80% decrease in insect populations worldwide, and while most of us recognize the well-publicized decline in the honey bee population, I don't think all of us realized that this population decline was occurring to all insects (at least I didn't). Bees, as pollinators also get most of the public's attention because their decline will impact our food growth and production, but the often ignored earthworm, ant, and beetle populations are also declining, and without these insects, we will end up wallowing in our own decay.  Insects are also an important source of food for birds and fish, so a decline in the insect populations will begin to cascade up the food chain.
The article taught me a new term, "functional extinction".  This term is being used to describe the ecologic…

A Note From the Road: Pink Rose Detail 2018

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Dear Henry,
Don't you hate solving the world's problems at 3am?  My 3am problem was trying to figure out how whales make friends.
It began after viewing a Twitter post from the British show Quite Interesting about the "loneliest whale".  There is a whale that sings off-key.  Just one.  Most whales sing between 10 to 30 Hz.  This whale sings at 52 Hz.  The poor whale has been dubbed the "loneliest whale" ever since its discovery by the US Navy around 1989.
I felt really bad for the poor whale but after further research, I found out the story is not as sad as it originally sounds. Whale experts said that other whales can still hear this whale and so it would still be able to communicate and make friends.
And scientists do think it made friends.  Recently, they have heard something they think is another whale, who also sings at 52 Hz, meaning they think this off-key whale may have had a baby.
xoxo a.d.



A Note From the Road: Dahlia in the Rain

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Dear Henry,

I am a big fan of surrealist artist Frida Kahlo.

I didn't discover her work until I was an adult and had left school (although I did hear of her husband Diego Rivera).

Somehow, I had stumbled upon her painting "The Broken Column" and it spoke to me.  Loudly.

Several years later, while reading Rebecca Wests "Survivors in Mexico" did I learn anything about Frida Kahlo.

Briefly, Frida Kahlo suffered a near-fatal accident and spent the rest of her life trying to live with the aftermath of not dying. Her paintings express that.  She had an amazing talent for making her pain beautiful.

If you are unfamiliar with Frida Kahlo's works, I suggest you take a look here. La Casa Azul is a bucket list destination of mine.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Cascade Detail, Tanyard Creek 2018

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Dear Henry,
It is Advent Calendar season in the next couple of days.  I haven't gotten one yet.
When I was younger, I used to have one every year, but then I grew up and the practice fell out of favor. My childhood Advent Calendar was nothing special,  just a large square of cardboard, with multiple perforated windows, each containing a square of waxy, grainy, chocolate.
Now, however, the standard Advent Calendar no longer exists.  Instead, you can get one with craft chocolate, exotic fruits, wine, and now, I just saw a whiskey advent calendar.
That one may be worth investing in.  Christmas planning would go so much better if it involved a daily shot of whiskey.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Autumn Leaves on Tanyard Creek 2018

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Dear Henry,

I was reading in the Washington Post this morning about a dog grooming convention and the booming pet care industry.
I know feel as if I have been a neglectful pet parent.  Although no one expects the cats (Pookie, Slinky, and Gracie) to be fluffed and blown dry,  I don't take the dog Ziggy to get groomed either.  He just gets a bath.
Ziggy doesn't even have a dog sweater.  He did once. He ate it.
I hadn't realized the demand for and the artistry required for some of these dog hair creations.  They are cute but seem to require an extreme amount of patience from both the groomer and the dog.
Ziggy doesn't have much patience either.  
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Tanyard Creek Cascade 2018

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Dear Henry,
Much is made about waterfalls and while they are truly pretty things, I think that the focus on waterfalls means that we ignore other parts of the river. Some of them just as beautiful as a waterfall.
Tanyard Creek Falls is amazing, but a few feet down the river are some cascades that will take your breath away.
Particularly now, with the Fall colors.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road:Tanyard Creek Falls 2018

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Dear Henry, The tabloids are aghast. It is a Royal tradition to weigh guests before and after the holiday feast to make sure that they were well fed.
I love food. I love gluttony.  So I love this tradition.  
I read a biography of Queen Elizabeth  - she spends so much time making sure everything is just so.  She would practice speeches, practice wearing the crown (which is terribly heavy), and practice traditions.  She devotes so much time in making sure that the Royal family remains relevant to modern times yet still maintains the mythology of "royalty".  The biography detailed how much one must "give up" to be Queen, and while she has a handsome salary, she has to work very hard for it.  I would loathe the job.
She is a servant of her people and apparently a servant of her dinner guests.  Even if you have to quit eating when she does, Queen Elizabeth still makes sure you are stuffed full.
xoxo a.d. 

A Note From the Road: The Golem

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Dear Henry, Our hike yesterday brought out some unusual sights.  There was a small channel cut into the limestone that had an interesting water flow that I wanted to capture.  It wasn't until I was processing the image that I noticed the hand.
The Ozarks are a very "hobbity" place, so I do imagine there may be trolls.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Autumn Leaf at Pinion Hollow

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Dear Henry,
I am not participating in Black Friday.   I like REI's philosophy #OptOutside.  
I know that Christmas spending is what drives yearly profit, but, I detest that the first "official" act of Christmas is trampling each other for a bargain.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Thanksgiving

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Dear Henry,
It is Thanksgiving today.  A day to be grateful for all that we have and to eat. A lot.
It is good to be grateful.  Thankfulness has many benefits besides creating optimism.
Grateful thinking can increase your immunity, reduce symptoms of physical pain, and lower blood pressure.
Thankful thinking also encourages generosity and compassion - something the world needs much more of.
While taking a moment today to list all of the things you are thankful for is a great start, establishing a daily practice of acknowledging the good will bring even more cumulative benefits to your health and your outlook.  
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Orchids In Wine

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Dear Henry, 
Everything is coming together for tomorrow, we just need to pick up the wine.  Over the course of the years, we have had many wine recommendations. Only one has stuck.
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel seem to be everyone's favorite, but, I would like to suggest a Reisling.
Years ago I was looking for a new turkey preparation and decided to trust Martha Stewart  - I mean why not? - She is fabulous.  Martha created a wonderful looking turkey that was basted in Reisling and I decided to give it a go and also bought Reisling for dinner. It was a big hit and, for many years, became a tradition.
This year, we are smoking the turkey and Reisling doesn't sound as good.  I checked with the fine people at Food and Wine and they offered a couple of additional suggestions.
One of which, Viognier, I have never tried before, but the description sounds interesting.
The other is already a favorite.  Champagne.  I am really leaning toward Champagne this year.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Pink Geranium 2018

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Dear Henry,

I love the smell of the Sweet Geranium - it reminds me of my grandmother - she used "something" that carried the scent and even now when I smell it, I think of her.
Another thing that reminds me of my grandmother is apple pie.  She had a gnarled apple tree that grew her apples.  They were the perfect sweet / tart for apple pie.  
I miss my grandmother.
I loved her apple pie.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Red Lily 2018

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Dear Henry,

It is time for the Thanksgiving preparations to begin in earnest.   There are so many things that need to be done this week (including a good housecleaning!).
I look forward to the 4 day weekend though - since I don't do Black Friday, the Thanksgiving holiday is a period of food and family and rest.
But first, pies!
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Devil's Canyon

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Dear Henry,  There is a stretch along I-70 in Utah of about 100 miles between Green River Utah and Salina Utah that goes through the San Rafael Swell and several canyons.  The drive is surreal, gorgeous, and completely devoid of service stations.  I truly recommend filling up in Green River or Salina before starting out, as it is a long walk of shame to a gas station.
When do you think you should feel the gas tank?  When the tank gauge shows 1/4 full or when the fuel light comes on?
I always get anxious when the gas levels drop and will almost always refill prior to 1/4 empty. Fish, on the other hand, likes to see how far the car will get after the fuel light comes on. 
According to the internet, I am right.  Going below 1/4 tank dredges up all the sediment and goo in the gas tank and puts it into your engine.  Fish needs to refill sooner.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Daisy 2018

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Dear Henry,

A fun daisy for the morning.

Did you know?  It is believed that daisy plants will deter lightning. Other plant-based lightning deterrents are mistletoe and holly.  An acorn in the window should also do the trick.

As a photographer, one would think I would love lightning storms, and I do, I love to watch them.  I just don't have the patience to try and photograph the storms (maybe someday I will give it another go).

I can photograph daisies for days though.

With the new flower beds, I am thinking I need to make room for some daisies.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Alpine Sunflower

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Dear Henry: Happy Friday!  We are to warm up a bit here today and the skies are supposed to be clear and sunny. I feel like spending the day outside raking leaves or something (I probably won't).
We get so excited for the weekend, yet, did you know it was a recent thing? It wasn't until 1938 that the weekend even became a thing, prior to that, you would only get Sunday off of work (if you were lucky).
And now, the 40-hour workweek is being challenged.  Perhaps soon a 32-hour workweek will become the norm.
It would be good to spend more time outdoors.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Dead Horse Creek

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Dear Henry,

One of the most fun, more challenging, but totally worth it hikes in Colorado is the trail to Hanging Lake.  
The hike is quite steep, and, toward the top, rather scary.  But it is gorgeous and the lake is a sight you can't miss.
The creek, named Dead Horse Creek,  that feeds the lake and runs alongside the trail is also quite lovely (despite its name).
There is a large parking lot and generally several people on the trail.  Bring a lot of water, it is a thirsty hike.
xoxo a.d.

Note From The Road: The Lama

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Dear Henry,
When the Concinero and I went to the Redwoods we found this fallen log next to the trail.  
We thought it looked like a lama. 
I always love it when I find things like this.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From The Road: Giant's Foot

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Dear Henry,
I realized something as I took Ziggy out this morning for his 3AM potty. 
 The stars are always so much crisper after a snowstorm.  Nothing clears the air like a snow.
It was also very cold.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Natural Falls

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Dear Henry,
The snowstorm has taken all of my motivation, it snows so rarely here that I have spent much of the day just watching the snow, through the window.
Of course, I am warm, safe and not trying to drive, which has provided a relatively stress-free day. 
 According to the news, the roads are terrible.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Backlit Red

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Dear Henry,
The "storm" has begun.  Right now it is just rain, but it is expected to turn to snow.  I am watching the storm with some amusement.  Growing up in the Rocky Mountains, I have seen a lot of snow and generally didn't consider anything less than 3 or 4 inches a true snow storm.
This incoming storm promises to bring in about 1/2" and is causing concern for everyone.  
I plan on staying in the house.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Uncertain Orange

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Dear Henry,

I have no idea what these flowers are.  I didn't write it down. But I love them and think they are pretty.
It has been pretty hard to publish the picture without a proper name.
I had to let it go and forced myself to realize that it is ok that I don't know the flowers name, their photo is still worth seeing.
I am also sure that someone will tell me as soon as I publish.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Red Rabbit Rock

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Dear Henry,

It got COLD last night.  In the 20's cold.
And as I sit here with my coffee, I am still cold, although the sun is starting to emerge and melt off the frost.
It is hard to be productive when the temperature drops.  I just want to huddle in blankets and read.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Maxwell Creek

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Dear Henry, 
Today marks the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  
Such a great moment in history and such a positive one.
I love happy endings.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Red Gladiolus Detail

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Dear Henry,
This morning, at the grocery store, I discovered Pumpkin Spice Flavored Twinkies.
I really think the Pumpkin Spice trend has gone too far.
While many things can be enhanced with a little Pumpkin Spice, certain things are sacrosanct.
The cream filling of Twinkies is one of those things.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Glory Hole Falls

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Dear Henry,

I had just done a review on Just Kids by Patti Smith and I realized (again) how much dedication well-known people have to their art. 
I mean, even Kim Kardashian spends two hours a day working out, several hours putting together hair/makeup/wardrobe, and several thousands of dollars to look like Kim Kardashian.
I struggle to stay up past my bedtime and refuse to go hungry (although if offered the choice between anchovies and hunger, I may go with hunger).
In any case, I feel like I need to work a bit harder.
xoxo a.d.





A Note From the Road: Geraniums 2018

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Dear Henry,
We are in for a chilly next few days.  The Winter rain storms have begun and by this weekend, we may even have snow.
I, personally, am not quite ready for Winter weather.  I like sitting on my porch in shorts and flipflops entirely too much.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Autumn on the Pacific

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Dear Henry -  While bread has been around the last 30,000 years or so, toast is a recent invention.
Toast starts showing up in literature around the 1400's and was traditionally used in drinks or soup. It wasn't until even more recently (the last couple hundred or so years) that it became a stand-alone treat.
I am of the lightly-toasted school of toast and generally prefer butter only.  Occasionally though I like to splurge with blackberry jam.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: White Camellia

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Dear Henry,

There has been such a different dynamic in the news this morning.  Elections are over, no more campaigning, no more debate topics and for at least a couple of months a less venom filled newspaper.
It will be relaxing.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From The Road: American Ivy

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Dear Henry,

I am taking a moment off from the continuous venom of the political debate and enjoying some nature.
That people get so angry is sad.
Just breathe!
xoxo a.d.

A Note From The Road: Pink Bananas

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Dear Henry,

Today is Election Day.  It is time to get out there and make a decision.
Despite early voting availability, I haven't voted yet. Fish and I always make Election Day a date.  It is a tradition that began when we were very young and very broke.  
Babysitters were hard to come by and money was tight, so any excuse to spend 5 minutes alone together was a "date" and now, many years later, it still is.
Maybe we will even go to dinner after we vote.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Orchids In Purple

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Dear Henry,

I don't know if I mentioned it, but I love orchids.

They are such bossy looking flowers.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Wailuku River, Hawaii

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For Dear Henry,
The sun came out this weekend and it was lovely.
So lovely that I didn't do anything productive.  Instead, I sat on the porch in the sun and read a book.  It was nice to do.
Sometimes, downtime is important.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Coneflowers - Bella Vista Arkansas

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It is such a lovely Saturday Henry,

I will be taking advantage of the sun today and I will be hitting the road shortly.

At least I will be after breakfast.

xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Passion Flower - Bella Vista, Arkansas

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Dear Henry,

Now that the furnace is working and the house is toasty, it is almost tropical in the house.

Keeping with the theme, here is a macro of a passion flower I found in Florida.

They, like orchids, are such interesting and fun flowers.

I love flowers.

xoxo a.d.


A Note From the Road: Boulder Falls, Boulder, Colorado.

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Dear Henry,

Warmth in the house!  Our furnace has been broken for a little bit now -  Like everyone else, the minute the temperature dips, the furnace goes on and like everyone else, when the furnace didn't come on we called in for repairs.
HVAC workers have been swamped in NW Arkansas and parts have to be ordered.
Every year I tell myself that I will call in early, prior to actually needing a furnace, to get it cleaned and serviced so that I am not scrambling with everyone else during the first major temperature drop.
Fortunately, we have a fireplace and were not as cold as others, but, nothing replaces central heating.
I love my comforts.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: Trillium Falls, Orick California

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Dear Henry,

Today is the 80th anniversary of the War of the Worlds broadcast. I had heard there was mass panic, with the citizens of the U.S. absolutely sure we were currently getting invaded by aliens.

It seems crazy to me that there was a panic (at least enough to swamp the radio station and prompt the station to send a message to the police, telling them it was just a show). According to Slate,  about 2%  of the population (roughly 2.5 million people) were listening to this particular radio program and all of those seemed to miss the two "this is just fiction" announcements.

It was an amazing piece of publicity for Orson Welles  - despite having to apologize, this radio broadcast certainly got his name out.

I wonder though, is the world any different today?  How many "stories" have gone viral and caused a panic?

xoxo a.d.


A Note From the Road: Cortez Overlook, Cortez Colorado.

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Dear Henry,

I love the trees on Mesa Verde (don't be jealous you will always have my heart).

It is windy here and the trees are mostly juniper and pinyon, so the trees are very twisted and contorted.  They make good foreground props.

The Ruins around Mesa Verde aren't bad photo props either.

xoxo a.d.


A Note From the Road: Autumn Rose 2018 - Bella Vista, Arkansas

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Dear Henry,

My roses aren't quite ready to wind down for the year.  Although we haven't had a freeze yet, it has gotten cold at night.
My roses don't seem to care and are outdoing themselves bloom wise.  It is nice to have flowers in the yard this late in the year.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road - A Break in the Clouds at Hilo Bay - Hilo, Hawaii

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Dear Henry,
From "Quite Interesting (@Qikipedia)", I learned a new great word.  Tyromancy - which is the divination by cheese.
Interesting.
I hadn't realized that there was so much beyond tarot reading.
Did you know there are like 500 different ways to peer into the future?  Divination by cheese isn't even close to the most unique either.
There is also cromniomancy - divination by onion sprouts.
Skatharomancy - divination by beetle tracks.
and what I think is my personal favorite  - urticariaomancy - divination by itches.
xoxo a.d.

A Note From the Road: The Queen Kaahumanu, Hawaii

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Dear Henry,
I love the mornings - or rather I love them when I have gotten enough sleep and, especially after the Fall equinox, tend to get up before the sun.
I love that pre-dawn period of quiet, the world is never so still at any other time.
What is your favorite time of day?
xoxo a.d.

A Note from the Road: South Boulder Creek in Eldorado Canyon State Park, Colorado.

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Dear Henry,

Today is #NationalBostonCreamPie day.  
I love holidays for food.  They are ridiculous holidays but still, any reason to eat a Boston Cream Pie is a day.
After doing a quick Pinterest search, I will not actually be making one - they take about 3 hours to create.  A bakery visit is in order.
I love food.
xoxo a.d.