Photographic Diversion

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Whilst I’m hard at work finishing a post of substance, here’s a photo of one of the yellow sweet peppers floating around in my family’s digestive system. Because it’s better to have something here than nothing, right?

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Note the wee baby green pepper growing inside the yellow! Awww…

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Now I’ve spoiled you, by going ahead and posting a photo of the guts of one of the peppers, but you’ve been so nice and I honestly had nothing else to do. It’s a win/win.

Promise, real post on its way.

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Photo Essay: Shades of Winter

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Happy Sunday.

I was planning to discuss my most recent Moby-Dick progress (Chapter 9: The Sermon, featuring Father Mapple’s stirring Jonah sermon) over this weekend – or some of my new books, or something unrelated to either – but right now I’m having a bit of trouble concentrating, what with nervously awaiting word on a job interview and all. Plus, SNOW is threatened for the upcoming week so this is the ideal time to post last week’s photos of frost-kissed plants in my garden, before they’re covered in sparkly, white evil. Which they probably won’t, since weather forecasts are notoriously wrong and I’ve put a hex on Mother Nature, just enough to stun her into weakness. No way that can backfire.

I’ll get back to Moby – or some of my new books, or something totally unrelated – early next week. Pinky swear. But for right now, a natural interlude.

Have a wonderful rest of your weekend, unless it’s already over where you are. In that case, I’m sorry, because Mondays are awful.

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“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”

– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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“But frost, like the crystallized dreams of autumn, began to coat the clearing with its sugar glaze.”

– Victoria Logue, Redemption

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“Winter then in its early and clear stages, was a purifying engine that ran unhindered over city and country, alerting the stars to sparkle violently and shower their silver light into the arms of bare upreaching trees. It was a mad and beautiful thing that scoured raw the souls of animals and man, driving them before it until they loved to run. And what it did to Northern forests can hardly be described, considering that it iced the branches of the sycamores on Chrystie Street and swept them back and forth until they rang like ranks of bells.”

– Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale

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Photo Essay: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin

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Lloyd-Jones family chapel

Near Spring Green, Wisconsin

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Text:

Welcome to the Unity Chapel

In 1844, Richard and Mallie (Mary) Lloyd-Jones and their seven children left rural Wales to seek religious freedom and opportunity in America. Unitarians by belief, farmers by occupation, they endured the hardships of immigration, the loss of one child, and the American births of four more before they settled here, in rural Wyoming Valley, in the mid-1860s.

In time, a subscription was taken to build this small house of worship. Named “Unity Chapel” by the Lloyd-Jones family, this three-room, shingle-style “cottage church” was completed in 1886. It combined the talents of famed Chicago architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee and “a boy architect belonging to the family (who) looked after (its) interior.” That “boy architect” was Frank Lloyd Wright.

The chapel became a worship center, community meeting house, school and magnet for family and neighbors. Around it stretches the family graveyard.

Many of the sons and daughters of Richard and Mallie became farmers in the surrounding valley. Son Jenkin Lloyd-Jones became a famous Unitarian minister in Chicago. He funded the nearby Tower Hill summer retreat, and brought many diverse pastors, rabbis and monks to preach in this remote, rural chapel.

In 1887, sisters sisters Jenny (Jane) and Nell (Ellen) Lloyd-Jones created the Hillside Home School on the site of Richard and Mallie’s homestead. Their “boy architect” nephew designed its Home Building, and his “Romeo and Juliet” windmill and Stone Schoolhouse still stand today, retaining the “Hillside” name.

In 1974, Unity Chapel was placed on the National Register for Historic Places. It is a magnet for new generations of Lloyed-Joneses, neighbors and friends, whose weddings, funerals, musicales, and summer services continue to bring life to this tiny, historic “cottage church.”

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IMG_5091-2Front porch.

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IMG_5089-2Interior. They certainly don’t make it easy to spy.

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IMG_5104-2Burial plot, Frank Lloyd Wright, though the tomb is empty…

Wright’s third, and final, wife, Olgivanna Lloyd Wright (1898 – 1985), willed that her husband’s remains should be mixed with hers and cremated, their ashes scattered on the land surrounding their other home (Taliesin West) in Arizona. The Lloyd Wright family told her family absolutely not. So, naturally, Olgivanna’s family snuck into the cemetery in the middle of the night, dug up Wright’s remains and carried out their plans.

Naturally.

So saith the tour guide at Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, Taliesin (the other one – photos to come), in Spring Green, WI. Blame him if you find evidence to the contrary. I have yet to fully fact check but so far I’ve found nothing to corroborate his statement.

Hmm.

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