Blog

Brief observations on the road, in the garden and at home.
Things don’t always go according to plans. That’s when I learn a lot about myself in how I handle situations.

Sailing Through Isle of Capri’s Faraglioni Rocks

One of three rocks off the Isle of Capri in the Bay of Naples, the trio are faraglioni, or sea stacks, coastal and oceanic formations eroded over centuries by wind and water. Waves bored a giant hole through the center of mezzo, large enough so that modest-sized pleasure crafts can sail through safely.

Read More
santiago de cuba photo

A Chance Encounter in
Santiago de Cuba Rewards Me

I get up early and leave the casa particular (a Cuban version of Air B&B) in Santiago de Cuba on the island’s east end to sit in the Parque Cespedes to write in my journal. The bright sun already begins to heat up the humid mid-summer air. In a short while, three of us will embark on a weeklong cross-country road trip to Havana with our hired driver Umberto at the wheel in his late model Toyota.

Read More

Mount Vesuvius: Italy’s Sleeping God of Fire

After an eye-opening visit to the incredibly preserved ruins of Pompeii in southern Italy’s Campania region, we decide to climb that city’s destroyer five miles away, Mount Vesuvius. A popular activity for tourists and locals alike, hundreds of climbers make the trek daily to peer into the volcano’s caldera.

Read More
photograph of naples spanish quarter church

An Italian Coastal Town Commands Sweeping Views

Every year I make a calendar with my favorite photos from a recent trip, and 2022’s subject is Southern Italy–the Amalfi Coast, City of Naples, Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius. January features the church dome and spire of the town of Vico Equense’s Chiesa dei Santi Ciro e Giovanni.

Read More
Sikh men Golden Temple Amritsar India Sikhism

Traveling from Here to There:
March of the Sikhs

November 2021 “Down with Air India! Down with Air India!” The crowd of forty outraged, frustrated, turbaned men chant loudly as they march up and down the otherwise empty domestic terminal concourse of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Hundreds of wives, children, and other men cheer them on. Everyone looks weary from waiting hours for a plane to take them home to the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, in northwest India’s Punjab. Tomorrow is India’s Republic Day (think USA’s Fourth of July), with traditional parades and festivals across the country. Standing on the edge of the crowd, I chat with

Read More
Milyo Miljo bronze statue Plovdiv Bulgaria

A Bulgarian Statue Celebrates Eccentricity

“Why does he have his hand jammed into his pocket,” I ask our guide Georgi. I stare at the bronze statue of Milyo, perched on a low wall in the center of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Behind him, large, blocky, metal letters in primary colors announce “TOGETHER––Plovdiv 2019 European Capital of Culture.” Every year, the European Union selects a city that will serve this role five years in the future. Plovdiv is preparing to show off its best to visitors in two years.

Read More
photograph of deer

Varmints Are the Unwanted Garden Perennials

January 2021 Gardeners are patient people. We can’t really hurry nature, so we learn to orchestrate the selection and placement of plants to best suit their needs for light, soil conditions, and climate tolerance. At the same time, we arrange plants to achieve our desired overall look and feel of the garden––texture, color, height, movement (grasses sway in the breeze). We attempt to have that coveted succession of bloom, with several beauties showing off at any point in the growing season. Nature demands we march to her circadian rhythm. We know who’s boss. I’m fairly adept physically and mentally to

Read More
crocosmias monbretias Lucifer

These Showstoppers Dazzle and Sway

Ahh! Crocosmias. A stand of crocosmias in full bloom can stop cars. Bicyclists make U-turns, and pedestrians cross streets to get a closer look. Admirers drop their jaws and want to know, “What are those?” Sometimes called montbretias, crocosmias (krō-KOZ-me-uh) recently finished their dazzling display as the graceful stars of my mid-summer garden. Their elegant architecture thrills me, and I eagerly anticipate the style they bring to the plant beds each year. My garden hosts the appropriately named variety ‘Lucifer,’ brashly displaying the brightest, boldest scarlet red you can imagine.  Hints of yellow and orange brush the throats of the

Read More

Sailing Through Isle of Capri’s Faraglioni Rocks

One of three rocks off the Isle of Capri in the Bay of Naples, the trio are faraglioni, or sea stacks, coastal and oceanic formations eroded over centuries by wind and water. Waves bored a giant hole through the center of mezzo, large enough so that modest-sized pleasure crafts can sail through safely.

Read More
santiago de cuba photo

A Chance Encounter in
Santiago de Cuba Rewards Me

I get up early and leave the casa particular (a Cuban version of Air B&B) in Santiago de Cuba on the island’s east end to sit in the Parque Cespedes to write in my journal. The bright sun already begins to heat up the humid mid-summer air. In a short while, three of us will embark on a weeklong cross-country road trip to Havana with our hired driver Umberto at the wheel in his late model Toyota.

Read More

Mount Vesuvius: Italy’s Sleeping God of Fire

After an eye-opening visit to the incredibly preserved ruins of Pompeii in southern Italy’s Campania region, we decide to climb that city’s destroyer five miles away, Mount Vesuvius. A popular activity for tourists and locals alike, hundreds of climbers make the trek daily to peer into the volcano’s caldera.

Read More
photograph of naples spanish quarter church

An Italian Coastal Town Commands Sweeping Views

Every year I make a calendar with my favorite photos from a recent trip, and 2022’s subject is Southern Italy–the Amalfi Coast, City of Naples, Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius. January features the church dome and spire of the town of Vico Equense’s Chiesa dei Santi Ciro e Giovanni.

Read More
Sikh men Golden Temple Amritsar India Sikhism

Traveling from Here to There:
March of the Sikhs

November 2021 “Down with Air India! Down with Air India!” The crowd of forty outraged, frustrated, turbaned men chant loudly as they march up and down the otherwise empty domestic terminal concourse of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Hundreds of wives, children, and other men cheer them on. Everyone looks weary from waiting hours for a plane to take them home to the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, in northwest

Read More
Milyo Miljo bronze statue Plovdiv Bulgaria

A Bulgarian Statue Celebrates Eccentricity

“Why does he have his hand jammed into his pocket,” I ask our guide Georgi. I stare at the bronze statue of Milyo, perched on a low wall in the center of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Behind him, large, blocky, metal letters in primary colors announce “TOGETHER––Plovdiv 2019 European Capital of Culture.” Every year, the European Union selects a city that will serve this role five years in the future. Plovdiv is preparing to show off its best to visitors in two years.

Read More
photograph of deer

Varmints Are the Unwanted Garden Perennials

January 2021 Gardeners are patient people. We can’t really hurry nature, so we learn to orchestrate the selection and placement of plants to best suit their needs for light, soil conditions, and climate tolerance. At the same time, we arrange plants to achieve our desired overall look and feel of the garden––texture, color, height, movement (grasses sway in the breeze). We attempt to have that coveted succession of bloom, with

Read More
crocosmias monbretias Lucifer

These Showstoppers Dazzle and Sway

Ahh! Crocosmias. A stand of crocosmias in full bloom can stop cars. Bicyclists make U-turns, and pedestrians cross streets to get a closer look. Admirers drop their jaws and want to know, “What are those?” Sometimes called montbretias, crocosmias (krō-KOZ-me-uh) recently finished their dazzling display as the graceful stars of my mid-summer garden. Their elegant architecture thrills me, and I eagerly anticipate the style they bring to the plant beds

Read More