Monday, July 04, 2011

Poem for Independence Day and Alexandria Waterfront

In Former Songs
By Walt Whitman

In former songs Pride have I sung, and Love, and passionate, joyful Life,
But here I twine the strands of Patriotism and Death.

And now, Life, Pride, Love, Patriotism and Death,
To you, O FREEDOM, purport of all!
(You that elude me most—refusing to be caught in songs of mine,)
I offer all to you.

'Tis not for nothing, Death,
I sound out you, and words of you, with daring tone — embodying you,
In my new Democratic chants — keeping you for a close,
For last impregnable retreat — a citadel and tower,
For my last stand — my pealing, final cry.


We got up relatively late on Sunday and drove through horrible accident-related traffic to Frederick, where we met Paul's parents with our returning kids at a Thai restaurant for lunch. The staff was very willing to substitute tofu for meat, so younger son and I had excellent vegetarian curry and pad thai, and we all shared mango sticky rice for dessert. Then we took our kids home, stopping at a couple of stores for necessities (we weren't sure whether they'd be open on the Fourth) and had a quiet afternoon, since Daniel wanted to set up his new computer and Adam was working on the photos he took while in Hanover.

A huge thunderstorm blew through the area at dinnertime, which thankfully dropped temperatures out of the 90s. We had breakfast food for dinner -- pancakes, eggs, fake bacon -- then watched the last two episodes of Lost Empires, which I thought was going to have a terrible tragic ending, given the fact that World War I had started, the way the arcs seemed to be heading, the traditions of the genre, and the fact that it has "lost" in the title, so really the denouement was a pleasant surprise, though many of the women's roles in the series overall leave much to be desired. The scenery both in the theater (Colin Firth in lots of eye makeup) and outside (Blackpool in these episodes) is lovely.

An anchor marks the entrance to the docks in Alexandria, Virginia... Founders Park, which runs along the waterfront.

Many birds live in the park, both waterfowl and songbirds eating leftovers from people's picnics.

Many boats pass by as well, though there were no historic ships docked nearby this weekend.

I am quite fond of the riverboat that gives tours though I've never been aboard this one.

If you squint, you can see the dome of the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress in the distance.

I was trying to zoom in on the dome in this photo, and did not notice till I got home that I'd managed to photograph a heron as well.

Here are some herons in flight.

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