River Road

It’s a cold day for driving. River Road winds along the Ohio on the Indiana side, through New Albany and on to the Horseshoe Casino, the power plant, the little ranch houses on stilts. The river looks cold and soft, smooth, slow, reluctantly reflecting light. At dusk, the winter world is mesmerizing.   (Prints of…

Bridge on the Ohio

Approaching the bridge into Indiana on a warm winter day, I am again struck by the structure of the thing, the joints and bolts, the idea of building high over the river. I think about the people decades ago sketching and erasing and probably smoking a lot. I think about the Yoko Ono album I’ve…

Scott County Fair #2

I feel like I have the whole fair to myself. Nothing’s open or running, but it’s the idea that I love — a little spectacle that moves from place to place on the backs of a few semis, ponies and all. I get to feel out of time here, and out of place. (Prints of…

Chandeliers, Hotel Utica

Thick columns reach from the marble floor up to rows of chandeliers so huge, so bright even Judy Garland must have stopped and cocked her head back to stare up like a mortal at the wonder the first time, like me. I follow one row and then another, back fifty, sixty years, a century. For…

High Water

After a few good days of rain, water flows into the Elkhorn from the eastern hills. The blissfully sedate creek swells up beyond all reason. Brown water surges over the little Great Crossing falls, splashing down into white swirls that give off tall sprays. When the water is high, danger and mystery loom around the…

Scott County Fair

I sneak in while everyone is still asleep. The midway is small—a few games of chance in the middle with low-lying rides to each side. At the end, though, by the barns, is the prize—the tall and graceful Ferris wheel with colored cages for seats. I walk around it as the sky lightens, looking up…

Summer Pond 1

A few people sit in shady spots fishing, but other than that, Hector and I have the hot afternoon and the pond to ourselves. Hector has his nose to the ground, weaving it back and forth with intense seriousness, like a cartoon dog. We circle the pond, me trying to get the light as it…

Summer Storm

When it’s hot like this a storm can blow in just like that, thunder and all, changing the whole look of things around here. The steady trees sway and dance as if explaining themselves, finally. The harsh light mellows through the dark clouds, and the little forest turns magnificent shades of blues and yellows and…

Young Birch

The young birch is the odd man in the patch of pines we’ve planted—slender, somewhat delicate, with heart-shaped leaves that reflect light as they twirl. I like to watch the young birch when the sun is low in the sky. The thin trunks reach up. The tilting leaves drink in the gold light, then disappear…

Wild Rainbow

“You have to come see this,” John said. He stood at the open sliding door to the deck, looking up. “All the colors bright as can be.” The sky was wild, blue and orange, with a beautiful eerie light that felt significant. The rainbow shot through it all as if it belonged there, even lighting…