Bons Temps

_C1_2110.JPGLent is almost here, which means many of the world’s 2 billion Christians are preparing for 40 days of fasting, abstention and contemplation. That, in turn, obviously means a lot of people (including here in Fayetteville) are throwing a huge party first. There’s nothing like religious rules to inspire some of the globe’s biggest bashes: Carnival and Mardi Gras.




Mardi Gras is a celebration of contrasts, of revelry before the calm, cold weather slowly turning to warmth and goofiness and color mixed up with a taste of weirdness. It’s at least a few centuries old, and its deepest roots perhaps go back millennia to the earliest inversion festivals, times when society’s normal rules are temporarily stretched, ignored or turned upside down. Halloween’s one example, and Mardi Gras shares the same inclination for costumes and the celebration of how spirited and fun and wild life can be.

The last time I made it to Fayetteville’s Parade of Fools was an overcast, gray day. Not so yesterday; the afternoon was bright with beautiful and challenging light that made downtown explode with color. I went up there about an hour early to catch the parade prep – some of the best photos can come not during a big event, which everyone and their brother will photograph, but while everyone’s greeting each other and getting ready. The energy was infectious as the parade began, and it was a great time. The vaguely unsettling costumes with the white masks and the brilliant jumpsuits and hats were by far my favorite part.

In the spirit of the day, I also tried out some different photo ideas and styles than I’m used to relying on; hopefully they turned out all right.













It was a great 25th year for the parade, Fayetteville. Laissez les bons temps rouler!


Easter Weekend

_C1_8079Easter weekend began with the Moon’s disappearance.

During part of a lunar eclipse, the Moon looks like a fairly normal crescent, but the fuzziness of the line between light and dark gives it away as something different. The Moon was reduced to a tiny sliver as dawn approached Saturday, the rest of its circle barely visible as a purplish smudge. This month’s lunar eclipse had a certain poetic symmetry: The full Moon’s light was swallowed up by Earth’s shadow as the Sun’s light appeared on the opposite horizon.

Eclipses are sometimes called blood moons because they’re stained orange and red by every sunset and sunrise on the planet at once. But because the eclipse reached totality when the sky was a soft blue, instead the Moon simply vanished. Almost as cool, really.

For all the Christian followers of this blog, happy late Easter! For the rest of you, I hope it was a beautiful weekend of spring.




_C1_7948Spring is fully underway, but Saturday morning still managed to drop to around freezing. The cold meant Bella Vista Lake was steaming like a sauna when I passed on the way up to Missouri for the holiday. I couldn’t resist stopping.


IMG_7936I’ve missed dyeing eggs. Have a good one, everybody.