Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

The Queen of the Night makes a stunning appearance, her reign so tragically short

The Night-Blooming Cereus is putting on quite a show in our Colonia San Antonio courtyard tonight.

One night only, folks. By morning these beauties will be withered old crones, bereft of the intoxicating scent currently filling our home.

Rose spotted the — what shall we call it? — the chrysalis of the Cereus earlier this afternoon. Raul our gardener was just as excited to see them — there are two. We missed the blooming of several of the cactus flowers earlier.

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photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

And there is it … bloom!

Parque Juarez, with its countless shades of green, sometimes surprises.

This one was a stunner, to me.

A bougainvillea, alone among the carefully parsed trees and bushes, backlit by the late afternoon sun.

It was as if on fire, a brilliant fuschia fire.

Life in San Miguel de Allende is forever magical.

When you least expect it to be.

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photography, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

Oceans. Just oceans.

The view along the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island. Besides the ocean and rocky shore, you can look at the backsides of fabulous summer homes built by robber barons back in pre-tax eras. Enormous marble and granite edifices that were only used during summer’s High Season. The one to the left was used in filming “The Great Gatsby” back in the 1970s. I lived in Newport then.

A reader pointed out yesterday that my blog post on flowers which included some from Cape Cod and Newport, Rhode Island, was sorely lacking, in his opinion.

He essentially asked, How can you post pictures from these two places and not include a single ocean view?

In the writer’s own words, “No cape or Newport there..no ocean in site.”

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

Flowers. Just flowers — but from San Miguel de Allende, Cape Cod, and Newport

In San Miguel de Allende, we call this the rainy season.

Many days, the clouds will roll in during the afternoon and by 5 p.m. or so, there will be rain, thunder, and lightning.

It is happening right now as I write about it. A little early in the day, 1:30 p.m. but nobody ever complains about the rain.

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

Clouds. Just clouds.

Sometimes, you just have to go with the material that is right in front of you.

Today, it is nothing more than clouds.

Just clouds.

“You should see the clouds,” Rose calls out to me. I am in my favorite chair, in a cool dark room, battling ignorance and mean people on Twitter. “They’re really beautiful.”

She is right. Rose knows her clouds.

Big beautiful fluffy, floating, languid, lazily hithering and dithering clouds.

Not “looks like rain” clouds. Not trouble-ahead clouds. Not massive gray-dark sheets of roiling angry wetness.

Just legions of marshmallow clouds floating over San Miguel de Allende on a summer’s afternoon.

The kind of clouds in which you can see famous faces, clowns, ghouls, horses, funny dogs, dragons, elephants, and cars.

The kind of clouds for which soft fields of grass were created, so you could lie on your back and see famous faces, clowns, ghouls, horses, funny dogs, dragons, elephants, and cars.

The kind of clouds that inspired Joni Mitchell to write “Both Sides Now.”

The kind of clouds that John Constable painted in sprawling vistas like “The Hay Wain” and “Wivenhoe Park.”

Where would poets be without clouds? Looking at you, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Maybe they are the same clouds, just recycled two centuries later?

Still hanging around, but posing now for iPhones.

Or, the kind of clouds under which young people fall in love and old people fall into reminiscing.

The kind of clouds for which the word “chiaroscuro” was invented.

Nobody can say that, back in the day, they had better clouds than these.

I’ve seen the evidence.

The best clouds ever — and always — are the ones that capture your imagination for a moment, just before morphing into whispy cotton candy swirls.

Timing is everything with clouds.

Pull your head up out of your cell phone, your busy works, your depression, your self-obsession, your shoe gazing — and look up.

Don’t let a day go by without observing the clouds, no matter how many or how few.

Don’t compare them to clouds past. That is not why they are here.

This is no cloud fashion show.

Clouds appear because they are trying to tell us something.

Seek out their shapeshifting secrets.

Learn their names, understand their reasons.

Follow the shadows they cast upon the ground.

You won’t find a pot of gold.

Maybe something better.

Love?

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Put more magic in your life!

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

In the Garden


And I turned to you and I said No guru, no method, no teacher

Just you and I and nature And the father in the garden

–VAN MORRISON, “IN THE GARDEN”


So I sit here in the garden, in the early summer light

A cup of coffee grows cold beside me

In the stillness that morning brings, fleeting stillness

The workers next door have not yet stirred to break the silence

With their hammers and saws and boisterous shouts.

There is still room for the birds in the dense green

To sing their songs, perform their magic,

Find love among the branches.

I don’t know the geography of this garden by name,

Only by the heart, defined by what my eyes take in:

The delicate flowers, the flirty birds, the twisty vines,

The shaded coolness of the branches. So many voices

of green, vying for my attention. I know

Only that it is too beautiful for me to rise and exert my will

Where it is unwanted, unasked for, upon another day.

An empty bag awaits upstairs with a ticket to somewhere far

And I only know I don’t want to leave the garden.

I want to sit here in the peace, in the coolness,

Listening to the plants breathing ever so lightly

Parsing out their secrets ever so lightly

Unlocking a state of grace ever so lightly,

Grace I can not achieve no matter how hard I try.

Outside, mothers and fathers walk their children

Hand in hand to school as church bells chime,

A touch of grace all its own.

I see their shadows pass on frosted windows,

And I sit and listen to the plants.

And listen to the birds.

And listen to the silence.

And my coffee grows cold for I dare not move

I can not move,

I don’t want to move.

I want only to become one

With the stillness.

In the garden.

While there is still time.

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

Waddup? Nuttin, you? Nada. So, howzabout a cat and cacti picture then? Cool. And some dancing girls.

“The Cat in the Cacti” was one of my favorite Dr.Seuss books to read to my sons when they were toddlers. They did not grow up confused, but I did. Still am, I guess.

You want to hear about how my IT wizard supercharged my streaming media speed so that I can actually watch a movie uninterrupted (sometimes) off my FireStick?

Nah. Me neither.

How about the coming Sriracha shortage because drought conditions in northern Mexico are killing off the chiles harvest and the hot-sauce factory has closed?

You already know that one, huh?

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized

Update: Best fireworks ever (in pictures and videos) plus the ‘mystery’ lights dancing in the sky

Of course, there were fireworks to finish off the celebration of Saint Anthony in Colonia San Antonio.

And they were beauts.

Worth climbing up to the upper deck to watch. So worth it. Enough said.

Just a great way to finish off a crazy Sunday.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads. Hope there were crazy moments and fireworks and lots of love in your life today.

What was this?

Just before the San Antonio fireworks, this cluster of lights floated up into the sky and hovered for about six minutes. In sync with the music, they rotated, changed position, changed color, and spun slowly around. And then floated ever-so-slowly to earth.

It was an unusual aerial ballet.

Computer-synced drones? Alien space ships? Northern Lights? Too much wine? What do you think?

Video of the San Antonio fireworks:

Click on any photo to enlarge:

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Put more magic in your life!

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized

Crazies galore: Watching half the Locos parade … until the very end

That’s true. I only saw half the Crazies parade this morning in San Miguel de Allende.

The upper half.

Even at 6-foot-2 I wasn’t tall enough, or close enough to watch the Dia de Los Locos parade with such an unobstructed view. Man, there were a lot of people out there, and they got to the curb long before I did. What’s fair is fair.

Therefore, you may notice that many of my photographs are filtered through a variety of hairstyles, various hats, the occasional waving hands and fingers, hands holding iPhones in front of my iPhone, and the odd umbrella.

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende

Update, Saturday night fever: The drums beat, the tribes dance, the final procession to Parroquia de San Antonio is a stunner

I thought the day began at 5:30 a.m. with a massively loud fusillade of fireworks from the Parroquia de San Antonio grounds, about a block away from my home in Colonia San Antonio. That’s what sent me upright in my bed and nearly over the side.

The explosions kept up every 10 minutes or so for the next couple of hours.

My friend Bob Cooksey, who lives directly across the street from the church, says the celebration began an hour earlier with a 30-piece marching band heading out from the church grounds and down the street in front of his home.

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