The Store Window

The streets in one of my favorite walkabout areas, a business and professional community called the Oil Center, are lined with upscale cafes and shops. I never know what or who I might see while roaming the landscaped sidewalks. Celebrities often visit too and and don’t hesitate to greet common folk like me!

storefront window…

smiling through the glass

familiar faces

© Al Gallia 2019

Marilyn, Elvis and Elvira!

Nature’s Watercolor

A cool autumn evening after a perfect Indian Summer day. The errant breeze has died, leaving a mirror finish on the marsh pond. Pastel hues of white, blue and pink flowing over the water remind me of Monet paintings. As the sun slips slowly toward the horizon, a red-winged blackbird flies over and the first cricket chirp penetrates the silence. From the grassy shoreline, an otter swims across the pond, its V-shaped ripples adding water-glass texture to nature’s watercolor. Lifting my eyes, I say a silent, “Thank you”.

autumn reflections…

the pond’s stillness split

by a wood duck

Nature’s Watercolor

Waking the Lion

Waking the Lion

‘9/11”. What American over the age of twenty-something doesn’t remember this horrific day from some personal perspective? This question is on my mind this morning as I watch our Presidents memorial address at the Pentagon. Through time’s haze, I recall the radio news flashes while I was at my desk reviewing a set of construction drawings, and the simultaneous office buzz rising quickly to a crescendo!

at my office…
wife’s urgent phone call
19 years ago

©️Al Gallia 2019

I remember the shock, the horror, and the patriotic indignation sweeping through my fellow employees as someone turns on a small black/white portable TV with ‘rabbit ears’ and we see the ‘snowy’ live feed of the first Twin Tower in flame…then another plane appears on the screen.

Once Wagons Rumbled

May, 2019. My wife and I are headed north on US191 in southeastern Utah toward Moab and Salt Lake City. The two-lane highway leads us over the high plains desert plateau and through gorgeous scenery of red rock, pinyon pines, junipers, purple sage, and blackbrush. Being late spring, the weather is already very sunny, hot and dry. Water is almost non-existent while dry washes only hint at flash floods from rainfalls which rarely happen. In fact, most showers evaporate before ever reaching the ground. Although the land is beautiful, a sensation of ambivalent hostility is hard to avoid.

simmering desert…

a rain shower morphs

into steam

After several hours of traveling under the blazing sun, we are blessed to finally find cooling ‘shade’ under growing storm clouds. We stop at a roadside park for a little rest and a cold drink. Then, with renewed enthusiasm, we continue our journey through the endless natural beauty unfolding before us. Mile after mile, we seldom see any evidence of human habitation or other vehicles on the highway which fosters a somewhat disconcerting sense of remoteness and loneliness. As evening draws near we finally arrive at civilization. Later, as we setup at an RV park for the night, I find myself being very thankful for the fresh water, air-conditioning, and food we always just take for granted.

Note: Bobbie’s photos that day capture well both the beauty and the harshness of the Colorado desert plateau which the old mid-1800s Santa Fe Trail pioneers had to cross in wagon trains as they plodded their way westward. They were a hardy, tough, self-reliant, and self-sufficient people. Could we do the same today?

Haiku: Al Gallia
Photo: Bobbie Gallia

The Dead Leaf

One of my greatest joys is wandering along trails in Louisiana’s swamps and woodlands, always with my camera and hiking stick in hand. Meandering and communing with God amidst nature’s solitude and beauty almost always brings my soul the peace, quiet and happiness it seeks. It is winter now and, after several frosts, the deciduous trees and shrubs have shed most of their leaves. A fresh north wind carries the scent of a campfire as it swirls the dry leaves. A single leaf struggles to hold fast to a cypress branch…

a dead leaf

hanging from the bare cypress…

gusting wind

Al Gallia