For the past three winters, a committee of vultures has been gathering in the trees behind my house. They arrive early each morning, quietly huddling in a grove of pine trees bordering the backyard. They stare out silently, occasionally jostling on the branches, and then leave after about an hour. The cycle repeats again each evening. There are about 30-40 birds in the group, although once they land on the trees, they are barely perceptible. Why they choose to gather in this spot twice a day has been a mystery. They don’t seem to be searching for food or being territorial, but the daily gatherings are a ritual nonetheless.
It’s to early for leaves to change color here in the south, but the mushrooms blooming after rainstorms are more then making up fit the lack of fall foliage.
If you want to participate, here’s what you’re going to need.
January and February are an interesting period of time in the south. The weather will be relatively mild for a stretch, and then suddenly, snow and ice will sneak into the forecast. A shopping panic ensues, we fill our tubs full of water, and then rush outside to twirl in the flakes as an inch or two accumulates. In a day or two, the sun will chase the meager snowfall off our lawns and rooftops, and it will as if the snow never even wafted down from the sky to brush our cheeks and cover the ground.
Originally posted on Everyday Strange:
The first time I watched the 2015 film Krampus, I had a feeling the legend referenced in the film was not dreamed up by a Hollywood screenwriter. It just seemed to old world to be the product of a modern imagination. It turns out, Krampus, and the holiday dedicated to him, Krampusnatch, are part of holiday celebrations that orginate in alpine regions of Austria and Germany. Krampus is the hairy, horned companion of Saint Nicholas. Krampus is tasked with punishing misbehaving children with coal and bundles of sticks, while St. Nick rewards the well behaved ones with presents. Originally part of pagan traditions, Krampus was folded into Christian holidays and Krampusnatch is celebrated the night of December 5th, before the feast of Saint Nicholas. The characteristics of Krampus varies, but he is usually described as being hairy, with the cloven hooves and horns of a goat. He typically wears chains and bells, with a long, pointed tongue lolling out and bared fangs. For a period of time Krampusnatch celebrations were…
At this point in the year, almost all of the white flowers that have been flourishing here in North Carolina during the spring have withered and fallen to the ground. But it you look closely, there is still some luminosity to be found among all the green foliage.
Another 2017 flashback, this time to the Charlotte stop of Dita von Teese’s The Art of the Teese burlesque tour. If you ever have the opportunity to catch one of her shows, I would highly recommend taking it. ******** I have been eagerly anticipating Dita von Teese’s burlesque show the Art of the Teese since I bought tickets in June, and when I finally attended last Tuesday, it did not disappoint. The amount of detail and work put into the performances, sets, and props really shows, and no picture or video can capture how much all of the Swarovski crystals sparkle. The chandlers and blue stage curtain seen in the pictures below are also part of the set, designed to give audiences at every venue a glamorous experience. The highlight for me was finally seeing Dita’s Canary gown in person. Made in 2010 by Mr. Pearl over a two year period, it is saturated with dangling crystals, embroidery, and hand curled ostrich feathers. It was featured in the CSI episode, “A Kiss Before Frying,” which …
In anticipation of conventions returning to North Carolina this summer, I’m revisiting an old post from 2017’s Heroes Convention in Charlotte. I would also like to revisit a question I posed when it was originally published: If you could be any villain, who would it be, and why? Keep in mind that isn’t the same as asking who your favorite villain is. As one panelist from the 2017 con, Dr. Michael Critzer, pointed out, “I love Darth Vader, but being Darth Vader would suck.” I would have chosen Alice from the BBC show Luther in 2017. I might have to reconsider my choice though, as Alice got a lot less likable in the final season of the show in 2019. Perhaps Dr. Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs would be a good choice. ******** Last weekend I attended the Heroes Convention here in Charlotte, NC. I’m just starting to get into reading comics and graphic novels, so I wasn’t originally planning on attending. However, I lucked into free tickets at the last minute, so …
Like many others have, I went back through my phone’s camera roll to find my own “last normal photo” to commemorate the one year anniversary of the pandemic. It was taken February 15th, a mere month before North Carolina’s stay at home order. My sister took this quick snapshot while I was admiring hand painted furniture at the Oddities & Curiosities convention in Uptown Charlotte.
This is usually the time of year that I realize how unappreciative I am of summer, and pine for its return. Until it arrives of course, and I’m ungratefully longing for cooler temps and sweaters. Until then, I’m looking back at some of my past summer adventures to get some warm weather vibes. Travel this summer may be limited again this year, but I’m hoping to discover some new local hiking spots and make it back to the North Carolina Zoo. Pictured above is Waikiki Beach, which I was lucky to visit while on a college study tour in Hawaii. Hiking trail in Linville, North Carolina Brooklyn Botanical Garden- New York City, New York Fort Myers, Florida Plymouth, Massachusetts Nassau, Bahamas Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Cruise en route to Cozumel, Mexico North Carolina Zoo Mural in Charlotte, NC’s NoDa neighborhood