Monday, June 27, 2016

a perfect intersection of art & nature

Saturday morning seemed a perfect time to enjoy a stroll around the grounds of the
NC Museum of Art in Raleigh. We explored the trails that wound their way through the
160 acres of woods, fields and streams that have been set aside 
for enormous outdoor art installations, classic movie nights and musical events.
The temperatures had dropped that morning, thankfully, so off we went to join other walkers, runners and cyclists who also took advantage of the break in the recent oppressive heat.
 Peeking through the cattails, I spied a Great Blue Heron on the far edge of the pond.
 Dave thoroughly enjoyed the art out here, don't you think?
At one point, a huge hawk swooped past us...
 ...zeroing in on some prize on the ground ahead. Such speed. Got it!

 This has to be the tiniest frog I've ever seen.
Notice the pine needle above it for scale. Perfect camouflage too!
Silvery tree installation reaching for a blue-grey sky. So pretty...
...but I think the birds prefer the real thing. I don't blame them!
More info on the NCMA can be found here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

rainy days

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said "The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain." Rainy days tend to get me down, but every once in a while, I'll pick up my camera and those wet, gloomy days suddenly become an adventure. 
"Something wicked this way comes"
In this case, we headed for the big front porch and watched the storm form in front of us.

 And we watched it move across the valley from left to right,
leaving rising moisture fog in it's wake.
 It can be mesmerizing to watch the patterns that rain drops make in inky, dark puddles.
Watching a heavy rain run down on the other side of a glass window produces
an ever-changing piece of fine abstract art.
 But not everyone dislikes rainy days...

...and if you're really lucky, there's a gift waiting for you at the end of the storm.

Friday, June 17, 2016

sunday morning thistles

Traveling down this country road, these pink thistles caught my eye.
Big pink bulbous flowers atop tall stalks, intermingled with bright blue cornflowers,
a really pretty weekend morning find.

 Reaching up high towards the sky.
 They seemed to be bird watching.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


95 year old John meets his great-granddaughter for the first time.
So intent, he moved forward in his chair, so quickly, gently, quietly.
It was a real heart-tugging moment and I'm so glad that I was there for it.
Four generations... Smiles all around!
And on the other side of the family, another introduction, this time to great-grandmother.
Four generations.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

musica 6/2/16

A relaxing evening at American Tobacco Campus, Durham NC. Back Porch Music on the Lawn, sponsored by UNC Public Radio. The bands, the crowd, it was a great way to end the workday and a perfect evening for a picnic under the stars.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

touring james taylor's childhood home: morgan creek, chapel hill nc

A rare opportunity! The NC Modernist Homes organization was granted permission to open up this home to a limited number of people for just 4 hours before being sold to another private owner. Dave & I were lucky enough to go. The house sits on 25 acres of fields, woods and of course, Morgan Creek runs through the property close to the house. So open, airy, and designed for living, it's perfect for unbounded creativity to flourish here. Big spaces, glass walls, lots of room to breathe. George Matsumoto was the original architect on the project, following an idea that mother Trudy Taylor had in mind for her family, but George was fired at some point and went on to give up home design for a while exclaiming that he was "not wanting to work for the wives." The job was finished up by John Latimer, who also has some acclaim. The property also holds Kate's playhouse, a guest house where the two older boys lived when they were a little older, and an artist studio for Trudy. Outside wood is cypress, interior wood is cherry and floors are oak. This was the home of Isaac (Dean of the UNC School of Medicine), Trudy and where their kids Hugh, James, Livingston, Alex and Kate grew up.
House front. Notice the glassed walls of the living room. Definitely a room with a view.
Enter the house at the living room, nice-sized covered deck wraps around. 
 Walls are glass on two sides bringing the outside in.
Surrounded by woods and still completely private living space.
Deck outside living room and master bedroom. Bedroom also glassed on this side of the house. Below is a field that runs to Morgan Creek.
Living room. Steps down to dining room. So much room to breathe here. (by the way, everyone had to take their shoes off to walk through, but we were given all the time we wanted to just hang out inside)
Kitchen. Whole front is glassed. Behind me (not shown) more shelves than you can imagine - all open. I want this kitchen! The Taylor kids often gathered to play music here while their mom prepared dinner.
Looking out of a huge kitchen window, towards the guest cottage where two of the older boys had rooms (and common room).
Lower level: 4 kid bedrooms (and 3 bathrooms and a huge shower room). Each bedroom had a double sliding glass door that led to the outdoors. Note the groovy wallpaper.
The guest cottage where the two older boys lived.
Railing on the deck outside of the guest cottage:
the kids carved their initials there for posterity.  JT, HT, KT. AT, LT.
Back of the house. This corner shows the master bedroom upstairs, lower floor bedroom and a greenhouse attached to the house.
Up the hill behind the greenhouse is the guest cottage.
Me, back corner of the house.