Sunday, February 26, 2017

Journey to Boulder

I went up to Boulder for the Ars Nova group's evening concert of English Renaissance choir music with viola da gamba accompaniment.  I arrived early and had an afternoon to while away.

My first step was to visit the Whole Foods Market, which had just announced its closure.

I had been a great fan of its long-ago predecessor, called Wild Oats.  I went inside and saw no vestige of the casual hippy charm of Wild Oats.  What I saw was the typical Whole Foods soulless glitz.

A 50% off sale was in full swing, and gleaners had stripped most of the shelves bare.  A matron in front of me swung her arm and swept an entire shelf of corn chips into her cart.  Bargain mania is a terrible thing.

I fled Whole Foods and drove north to find St. John's Episcopal Church, the venue for the evening's concert.

The town of Boulder, nowadays a pocket of smug decadence, is blessed with a splendid assortment of historic church buildings.  Great has been its fall!

(A minor aside:  I find it puzzling that conservative voters place such hope in the nomination of Neil Gorsuch.  He attends this church, one of the most liberal churches in the most left-wing town in Colorado.)

I had planned to take a long walk in the Boulder foothills, but a nasty west wind soon chased me to the warm sanctuary of the Boulder Public Library.  I checked out their stacks and perused their art exhibit.  This fish, entitled Koi XI, by Buffy Andrews was the most cheerful thing in the exhibit.

I discovered a new novella by Peter S. Beagle, famous for his 1968 book The Last Unicorn.  The novella, In Calabria, also features a unicorn.  I just finished the novella when the library closed at 6:00 p.m., ejecting me and a great number of homeless into the twilight chill.

I started my walk back toward St. John's and saw a man thronged by a huge flock of ducks.  I instantly feared for his life.  But all was well.  He was flinging bread crumbs out of a great bag.  The Duckman of Boulder!

After a brief stop at a deli for a sandwich, I arrived at St. John's to enjoy the concert.

English renaissance music, much more earnest and direct than Italian renaissance music, perks me right up.  The choir was in excellent voice and the supporting viol players were marvelous.

Here is a photo I took during intermission.  Evidently, I was bumped as I took the shot.  The cantilevered organ pipes seem surreal.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

First Hike of 2017

The weather has been unseasonably warm of late, so yesterday I chanced a February hike on the Apex trails near Golden.

The day was mild and the trails were mostly dry.  However, in one shady valley there was one stretch of rocks covered with black ice.  I baby-stepped my way through this treacherous stretch.

The woods were a haven of peace.

Three new bridges were added last year, after heavy rains washed out portions of the trail.  The bridges were built to last.  They can easily support the weight of a truck or two dozen portly hikers.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Return to the Denver Art Museum

I journeyed downtown for another free day at the Denver Arts Museum.  The "Glory of Venice" exhibit was still there.

I enjoyed this immense painting (about 6 feet by 10 feet) by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (1708 – 1787), called "The Triumph of Venice."  Befitting the heroic theme, the men are all sturdy weightlifters.

The women are all hefty beauties.  (I may not know art, but I know what I like.)

I wandered off into an exhibit of 20th-century painters and saw this moody watercolor by Charles Burchfield (1893 – 1967) , called "Enchanted Star."  (Please forgive the lousy photograph.  I was unable to locate a better photograph on Google.)

Burchfield's paintings often take commonplace scenes and embue them with a sense of foreboding.  Here is his "In a Deserted House."

Even his happier scenes can be unsettling.  Here is his hallucinatory "Dawn in Early Spring."

Innovations in Baking

My younger son and I baked salmon and stuffed mushrooms last night.  To keep salmon liquids from touching the mushrooms, we pinched two creases in the single sheet of aluminum foil to serve as barriers between the salmon and the mushrooms.

Note to the Nobel Prize Committee for Domestic Arts:  Leave your email address in the comments section and I will get back to you.