Thursday, December 29, 2011


In response to the writing prompt: "Write a poem that incorporates the color purple" on Mama’s Losin it blog
Ode to Elmira College

When arriving at the dorm, 
you’ll know things aren’t quite the norm.
You’ll stop and stare, 
and become aware, 
that there’s purple, PURPLE, everywhere.

Perhaps college funds have been misspent
to paint a purple heating vent.
Groundskeepers wear their purple hats
utilizing purple carts that
create a purple habitat.

You’ll use purple-painted bathroom stalls
while purple salt prevents icey falls.
One walks on purple rugs and floors,
buys purple M&Ms at local stores
and purple paint covers all the doors.

Every fabric, printed or bare,
covers a purple sofa or chair.
Students awake to purple dawns
hearing purple mowers on campus lawns
and use purple-ized Port-a-Johns.

Does it make any sense
to have a purple chain-link fence?
Purple passions do enable
purple linens on dining tables
and purple print on bookstore labels.

In purple-tiled halls, co-eds waddle
sipping from purple water bottles.
Purple AV carts and screens
fill classrooms with purple-tinted scenes
causing troubling purple dreams.

Purple petals on purple flowers
bloom purple blossoms hour by hour.
Am I being a total jerk 
when I begin to eschew and shirk
Elmira’s unusual purple quirk?

I’m sorry, Elmira, but I can’t cope
with dispensers filled with purple soap.
Soon, I admit, I'm not a fan
of purple trash-filled refuse cans
and Elmira-purple minivans.

And who would make such a fuss
to demand a purple-painted bus?
Excessive purply room decor 
is just too much to ignore.
I may shun purple evermore.

It takes only a scant few days
to have your fill of this purple craze.
Purple will become a bore,
something you will soon abhor, 
and then you’ll shout, “No more! No more!”


This is all true. You can't make up this stuff, folks. To see more of my photos of Elmira purple, click HERE.

Monday, December 12, 2011


"Meeting of the Waters"
near Manaus, Brazil
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With a population of approximately 1.8 million, Manaus is the capital of the state of Amazonas. There is an unusual natural phenomena that occurs when the dark, warm water of the Rio Negro, which comes from the northern jungle area, meets the light, cold water of the Rio Solimões from the Andes to the south. The difference in temperatures and current speeds causes the waters to remain separated for several miles until they eventually mix to form the Amazon River.

The Rio Negro, which is on the Manaus side of the parallel rivers, is also very acidic, and thus doesn't support mosquito life.  Despite temperatures that reached 108 degrees while I was there, I had no problem with them. Dehydration, yes.  Mosquitos, no.

A popular tourist attraction is a 4-5 hour trip to see the "Meeting of the Waters" and travel through the rain forest. 

A Walk in the Rain Forest
Before stopping for lunch at a floating restaurant, we
took a short walk through the jungle on this boardwalk.
That's me, walking away from the camera.
(Photo: Eric Lifrak, used with permission)
Me, Erika, and Brunie
(Brunie and I worked together in Brazil over 40 years ago.)
After returning from our boat trip, Erika, the daughter of an
old friend (Nancides, now deceased) drove us to a lovely spot to
view the sun setting over the river.
Then we had wonderful Brazilian ice cream that comes in 

hundreds of exotic flavors: mango, tapioca, passion fruit, açaí,
coconut, coffee-chocolate-rum, pineapple. I wish I would
have had the time to sample them all.
(Photo by Brunie's husband Erik Lifrak, used with permission.)

Sunset On the Rio Negro

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden)
Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
August 30, 2011

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        I haven't contributed to Shadow Shot Sunday for a while.  I've been busy with other projects and some travel.  I had worked in Brazil 1967-69 as a Peace Corps Volunteer and finally had the opportunity to return this past August.  I got some great shadow shots, especially in the Botanical Garden in Rio.
        You can read about my return to my old Peace Corps site in Brazil this past August in RETURN TO GLÓRIA on my other blog.