I spent the first 9 days of July walking around Pittsburgh with a camera and a notepad. I rambled from south to north to far eastward, meeting up with chums and spying all the old haunts I've been missing. I'm going to split all the resulting nonsense into chunks and post it over the next few days; until then please enjoy a delightful mishmosh of Tennessee in the summertime.
Downtown Nashville consists mostly of predictable glass spikes of 80's and 90's skyscrapers, but between them lurk a few sweet old brick buildings and lots of funny details.
In late May we were overrun with 13 year cicadas (Brood XIX - The Great Southern Brood to be exact). After a initial trickle of nymphs and molted shells the creatures were everywhere: plummeting from trees, getting trapped in breezeways and twice sneaking into my office by hitching a ride on the back of my shirt. It was a surreal period, with the endless churning shriek of the bugs so deafening and constant it was difficult to hold a conversation.
Then, they all just disappeared. Their shells rotted into the soil and their buggy corpses were eaten until all that remained were shimmering wings, plucked and lying in the grass.
But the circle of life continues. The lawn outside my office is filled with small cottontails, conspicuous and unafraid.
Even walking through the zoo it is not uncommon to find fat black rat snakes or pretty slips of lizards like this five-lined skink, rivaling any beauty inside a cage.