The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts has organized a month of presentations of the visual and performing arts.  It features 1500 artists at over 135 events from street fairs to gardens to circus arts to orchestras to dancers to…

The Kimmel Center has been instrumental in making it all happen, and they’ve created Paris in their plaza  as a highlight and centerpoint for the month.

Well, I found out that some of my best buds, Iggie, Maurie, and Claude were going to be at the Kimmel last night so I went to enjoy them.  That’s Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, and Claude Debussy.  The splendid performance was by the National Orchestra of France and it was a delightful evening.

(Image taken handheld, boys and girls, at ISO 2000, f/9, 1/30th, and IS)

The Eiffel Tower mock-up offers a dynamic light show with music at 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM.  It’s worth seeing and there’s no admission.  There are various Parisian food stands on the perimeter of the plaza including a wine store.


The sky around the tower is spotted with moving silhouettes of a dirigible, biplanes, and a couple of locomotives (?? – artistic license?)

All in all, a nice, colorful, musical evening.


What a pleasure it was to return to the lowcountry surrounding Charleston.  It is a gentle and genteel place in this world….easy going, gracious, and beautiful.  I enjoyed three days with multiple generations of friends in settings ranging from quiet, winding tree-lined roads of  Mount Pleasant, to strawberry pickin’ at Boone Farm, to the good life of Wild Dunes on the beach, and to the plantations along the Ashley River Road.

On my first morning I drove to see old (fauna) friends at the Audubon Swamp Garden adjacent to Magnolia Gardens.  Civilization has arrived there in the form of an admission guard and a locked gate with a combination lock.  I’m not going to give away the combination but Magnolia Plantation dates from 1676.

As seen below, the Great White Herons were in their breeding plumage.  The feathery plumage is the standout feature but also characteristic is the green cast in front of their eyes, and the blackened bill top.


Elsewhere in the garden this anhinga, wings spread to dry, seemed poised for a lift-off to an earth orbit.

My other big outing day was to the Middleton Plantation.  The panorama at the top of this post is of the Azalea Hillside above the Rice Mill Pond.  I keep trying to capture this but I’ve never been there at the right light.  So, another compromise but such a beautiful scene.

Below is another view of the hillside, with one of the many sculptures on the grounds.


There was an 18th century reenactors camp there for the weekend.  Here are a couple of the kids taking time off from reenacting to just play and talk.  This shot was suggested by my friend, Bob W.,  and it was a good idea.


Here is a view at the aptly named Reflection Pool.


Finally, having had a nice lunch with a glass of Chardonnay, I could relate to this fellow’s (in)activity.