Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: The Grand Bazaar

Istanbul's grand bazaar dates back to 1481.  It is huge.  I didn't buy a thing.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Obelisk at the Hippodrome

 The Obelisk of Theodosius was created from a single piece of red granite from Aswan, near Luxor in Egypt around 1500 BC.   The Roman emperor Constantius II had it transported to Constantinople and erected in the Hippodrome in 357 AD.  It was originally 30 meters high, but in transportation the bottom was damaged and lost.  Today the obelisk is about 20 meters high.

The Hippodrome was built for horse racing in the third century AD.  The stands held 100,000 spectators.  It was the scene of fierce rivalries, which sometimes culminated in riots.  In a riot in 532, 30,000 people were killed and the nearby Hagia Sophia was burned down.  The one you see today was built afterwards.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Hagia Sophia again


More from the Hagia Sophia.

I like looking up and looking down.

  Looking up was rewarded with lovely views, though it would benefit from some restoration.  

Looking down was nothing.  When it was reclassified to a mosque in 2020, the floors were covered with boring green carpeting. 

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Out of the Jurisdiction: Hagia Sophia

  Hello from Istanbul.  This is the Hagia Sophia, which was constructed in 537 under Justinian I as the state church of the Roman Empire.  It was a Christian church until the fall of Constantinople and the start of the Ottoman Empire in 1453, when Mehmed the Conqueror converted it to a mosque.

When the sultans were ousted and the Republic of Turkey was declared under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1931, Hagia Sophia was closed for four years and then reopened in 1935 as a museum.  Two years ago the current Turkish regime reclassified it as a mosque, a change that met strong international criticism.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Canada Geese


A gaggle of geese.

I have seen some in flight, looking like they are starting to migrate, though many stay here year-round.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Burrowing Owl

At the Norwalk Aquarium.

Why is an owl at an aquarium?  I don't know.  You will have to ask them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Prairie Dogs

 Prairie dogs were definitely near the top of the granddaughters' list of favorite animals at Beardsley Zoo.

Visitors went into tunnels with five or six pop-ups, that put kids' eyes at the level of the animals.

There might have been 30 to 40 prairie dogs in the pen.

The prairie dogs dug their own tunnels all over the pen.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Sea Otters

 We went to the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.  

A pair of two sea otters were among the granddaughters' favorite animals. 

Monday, August 22, 2022

Thank You!

 The City of Hartford put photos of front line workers in the windows of abandoned buildings in the North End that are scheduled for major expansions and renovations.

Shared with Monday Mural.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Dave Brubeck

Among the people buried in Redding's Umpawaug Cemetery are jazz pianist Dave Brubeck and his wife.  I remember seeing their home in Wilton on the real estate market a year or two ago.

I subsequently learned that Mary Travers of Peter Paul and Mary is also buried here.  Next time.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Umpawaug Cemetery

 A man I met last year used to live in Redding, Connecticut, a town immediately east of my new town of Ridgefield.  He told me that he is a widower and that his artist wife died two years ago.

Last week I drove through Redding.  I came across a cemetery where I saw this interesting gravestone.  Googling the woman, I discovered that she was a noted ceramicist and my new friend's late wife.

Thursday, August 18, 2022


 I remember seeing some serpentine brick walls at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

This one is just off the main street in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

A Simple Beauty

A nice but not overly fancy house.  New owners bought it last year.   

It has been repainted, reroofed, and cleaned up.  A white fence and arbor were added.  

Now it looks great.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Children's Rooms

 The entrance to Ridgefield Library's children's rooms showcases an aquarium, a pair of movie characters, and a wall of bookcases displaying picture books and plush toys.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Sunday, August 14, 2022

DeForest Cemetery

DeForest Road cuts through the rural part of Wilton on the way to New Canaan, Connecticut, and Westchester County, New York.  

I found a small family cemetery with gravestones for DeForest relatives from the 1700s to recent.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Out in the Country

 I was driving in a rural part of Wilton, Connecticut, when I came across a fine old house and barn.

A colorful planter on a stone wall relieved the scene's monochrome feeling.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Doe, a Deer, a Female Deer

A lovely young lady often grazes on a lawn near the camp where I pick up the granddaughters after camp.  She sometimes poses for a moment.

Then she dashes away.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022


 Driving in South Salem, New York, I braked hard when I came across a flock of turkeys.

Very well behaved.  They didn't leave their yard.  An "Invisible Fence"?

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Broad-winged hawk


I like knowing that a hawk regularly visits my Ridgefield yard.

Monday, August 8, 2022

"Just Grow"

 Connecticut's tallest mural, reaching over 100 ft tall, was painted by Hartford artist and muralist Corey Pane.  This mural in downtown Hartford was funded in partnership with Hartford Business Improvement District and Goodwin Square Partnership.  The mural is on a wall of the Goodwin parking garage.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

I usually position myself to minimize visual clutter like utility poles, traffic lights, signs and wires. 

But, standing on the corner and waiting for the light to change so I could cross, this scene seemed to illustrate the complexity and confusion of modern life.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Friday, August 5, 2022

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson, the great baseball player who broke the color barrier in major league baseball, lived in Stamford, Connecticut, in his last 17 years.  His statue is in a park on the west side of the city.

Temporary signs with information about Robinson and his baseball and subsequent careers ring the walkway.  The foundation that oversees the park is raising money to replace them with permanent signs.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Red Barn

Down a road in Wilton, an old red barn wears a heart-modified American flag and a Ukrainian flag.

A zig zag split rail fence leads the eye to the barn.