Walking London

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I took a break in Russell Square on Wednesday afternoon.  Just a quiet little park a block or so from our hotel and another block or so from The British Museum. This is one of my favorite shots from the whole trip. Kids just having fun.

DSC_9190On Tony’s recommendation, we took a walk along the Southbank side of the Thames.  I guess there’s a Queen’s Walk, which we took parts of on different days.  Just a great series of little green spaces, pubs, etc. along the river.  This place was set up as a photo op… There are footprints where the photographer is meant to stand and the legend, “You are everyman.”

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Asturian bagpipe player along the Thames. Someone else had the presence of mind to get a nice video of this guy. The music really gets started around the 1:38 mark on this video. He must be successful as the video is from 2013!  (I tossed down a pound coin, myself.)

Apparently Asturia is a region of Spain.  I like this.

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I ventured down these algae covered steps in an effort to get some shots that are slightly different from the 10,000 other shots everyone undoubtedly takes around here. This was another of my favorite moments of the London visit.

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I’m not much for buying souvenirs, but I do love rocks. I picked up the largest pale rock in this photo. It was going to be my favorite memento of the trip, but now I can’t find it!  Glad I took its picture in situ.

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So, I’m guessing this part of the Thames is called Bankside. Just a guess. This is not enhanced. The algae just glowed in the evening sunlight.

Oh, and yes. This English/ Creative Writing major had visions of Pip and Magwich on her mind!

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I am pretty sure that this is Blackfriar’s Bridge on the left and Blackfriar’s Rail Bridge on the right with abandoned bridge pillars in the center.

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I could post a dozen more shots along this lovely walk, but I thiought this was particularly genius. What might have been a scary dark passage is made inviting with the addition of fairy lights to the ceiling.

DSC_9269The Tower Bridge as seen from the London Bridge. This feels like the equivalent of Paris’s Eiffel Tower.  We walked across and then took a bus home.  Thank goodness for Google maps on my cell phone, that could tell us which way to walk to find the right bus back to our neighborhood.

We put in an average of 8 miles a day in London, even though temperatures were amongst the highest ever recorded in London…around 100 F, we heard.

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A Dam Fine Evening

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My nephew, DBeans invited me out for a mystery tour on Monday evening, saying only that he had something he wanted to show me.  He brought me to one of his favorite photo shooting spots, the Collamer Dam just outside of little Collamer, IN.

There are footings from a former railroad bridge up the river, and pieces of the old dam, which was associated with a mill, scattered around. DBeans has taken photos with a tripod  from the middle of this shallow river.

He is an intrepid and skilled photographer.  You can check out his work at Mind the Gap.

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The continuous flow of water over the smooth lip of the dam is mesmerizing and calming.

 

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It was a great time of day, the sun sending long fingers of light through the branches.

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Possibly my favorite shot of the evening.

 

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We crossed the road bridge that leads into Collamer to get to the other bank, where we could see a bit of what DBeans figures are remnants of the old mill.

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Wild tiger lilies abound.  There were lots of deer and raccoon footprints on the bank.

 

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Footbridge over a little bit of the river that may have been diverted to the mill, or may have been a natural tributary.  I have to say that looking at these reminds me of just how much mosquitoes love me.

I reminded DBeans of the scene from The African Queen when Katherine Hepburn gets swarmed by bugs and almost loses it: “If I start screaming ‘Mr. Allnut!  Mr. Allnut!’ you should get me out of here as soon as possible.”

There are SO many lovely shots that I can’t put online.  It’s gorgeous there.  But there are lots of skeeters, and I am their second favorite food.  DBeans says they prefer nectar.  Okay, nectar, me, everyone else.

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Detail of green stuff growing out of the footbridge boards.  Green stuff grows out of just about anything that sits still for an hour and a half in Indiana.

Thanks for a wonderful photo safari, DBeans!  It was one of the best parts of a very satisfying visit.

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I didn’t remember that these were very young milkweed pods until later this same evening when DBeans’ mother, my sister Pegerty, fed them to me.  She is very into wildcrafting.  I just love it.  She fed me lambsquarters for breakfast one day, and brought home some of these baby pods and blanched them for Kitty, John and I as we started yet another game of Acquire.  Hints of asparagus.

The silk that develops in the mature pods is a warmer insulation than goose down, and was gathered and put to use during WWII.  Pegerty made us all foot warmers stuffed with the silk for Christmas a couple of years ago.  So soft!

 

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No trip to the Midwest in summer is complete without a tornado warning.  The sirens went off in Columbia City so of course we all ran outside to see what was happening.   The wind felt erratic and gusty, and clouds swirled high overhead.  Sometimes the highest clouds churned toward a spiral while another thin layer of cloud scooted by beneath.

The separation of dark and light sky behind Pegerty’s neighbor’s house looks very like tornado conditions, but it passed after a few thrilling minutes and we went back to our game.