Archive for July 2012
It is not every day that America remembers to recognize and celebrate the sacrifices and significant contributions that our military service men and women offer to us all. But they are recognized daily by family and friends throughout our country and among our allies. Most are welcomed home safely from their deployments and they stand ready for the next task their nation requests.
Today was one of those days in my family.
Go Navy. Go SeaBees. Can Do.
The season’s first Yoga-on-the-Beach session in Leland, Michigan, was offered at the moment of the solstice. Three excellent yoga instructors tour the Leelanau Peninsula’s fresh-water beaches offering morning through evening yoga sessions. Amy, Angela, and Julie host appropriately paced sandy sessions at the water’s edge. After our solstice session, half the class made it into the water to cool, watch the sunset, and track the lakers heading north. If you make it to Michigan’s Traverse City area in the summer time – look them up and take your towel to the shore. The class.
Prior to snapping this summer sunset, I spent a solid two hours resuscitating a classic Universal Atomic Four engine in a 1972 vintage sailboat. After 10 months of dormancy, it needed some attention. Tracing wires, brushing and tightening contacts, cleaning plugs and points, it was ready to go. Almost. What appears to be a decade or so of wintered-over marina gas can turn a fuel filter into an impenetrable brick. And given the sun’s altitude, the marine supply stores were shuttered.
Over the years I’ve removed or replaced everything but the crankshaft on these little dependable boat motor workhorses – once even changed the head gasket underway. Half the axillary sailboats made in the 1970s came with the Atomic 4, and most of the engines are still running. Thirty horsepower into a direct-drive screw could almost always get a sailor off of the mud or sand bars of Chesapeake Bay – especially if you had a mate willing to swing outboard, hanging on the boom.
This year was slated to invite new art efforts and adventures. Last week, a landscape etching I had printed several years ago was accepted into the July juried member’s show at The Art League’s gallery in Alexandria, Virginia. My second exhibition submission, first selection. Might be a tough act to follow, but it is stimulating and encouraging.
Pitfichie is a restored fortified manor house located about 20 miles west of Aberdeen Scotland. It was built in the 16th century by distant relatives, and then lost to the vagaries of Scottish politics and conflicts after three or four decades. I’ve visited Monymusk and the castle several times, walked the forests on the banks of the river Don, and toured the local distilleries. This etching (with aquatint) is the first print of a series of twelve showing the castle’s surrounding winter landscape from the northeast.