Sunday, April 29, 2012


(Movie poster featuring "Freder" ~played by Gustav Frohlich, the character the story follows)
The future.  A time that can only be left to the imagination.  After all, the future hasn't happened yet.  Theories have been formed on what mankind can expect in years to come.  Most predictions come in the form of science fiction, a story telling form I love.  An imagination can be a powerful tool, and there are many over the years who have used theirs with wonderful effect.

A silent film I discovered on Netflix started a trend for me.  It spawned a desire to watch a growing list of silent film titles, most of them classics.  "Diary of a Lost Girl", starring Louise Brooks, was the catalyst.  The follow up?  An incredible trip into a future that tells a timeless and well worn tale.  A tale that rings true on a number of levels even today.

(Some art shots of the Metropolis city)
The film is "Metropolis" (1927), directed by Fritz Lang, who co-wrote the film with his wife.  After its initial release, the film was edited of any material deemed offensive at the time.  A couple of restored re-releases of the "censored" version have been shown over the years, the last being the most ideal.  Any and all complete copies of the original production (prior to its censoring) were thought to have been lost, never to be found.  Then in 2008, in an Argentinian museum, a complete original print was found.  It took a couple of years to complete this last restoration, and in 2010 the restored print was shown in a couple of theaters in Germany (where the film was made).  This last restoration is the version that I watched on Netflix.

(The heart of the city)
Critically, viewers seem divided.  Some give props to the art direction of the futuristic society, while being disappointed with what was seen as a simple and predictable story line.  I, however, think the film brilliant. Those bits of film from the original print that could be restored are quite noticeable, the damage of the years being evident.  In the few places where footage was beyond hope, a card describing what is taking place is inserted to keep continuity intact.  None of this detracted from my viewing experience.
("Maria" ~ played by Brigitte Helm)

The artistic quality of the sets.  The expression of the story being told through exaggerated yet heart felt pantomime.  A simple story?  Yes.  However, it's one that 'speaks' in so many ways.  The beautiful 'Metropolis' is a front for a dystopian world. Men of wealth rule the city above, while the poor lower classes pour out their blood and sweat to keep the city 'alive'.  One of the chief characters at the center of the story is Freder, son to the "master of the city".  It is Freder who leads us through the film.  He is quite oblivious to the goings on below, never knowing of the existence of the "worker city", nor the plight of the poor workers.  It is during a visit to a pleasure garden where he is frolicking with what I figure to be prostitutes, when he sees the young Maria.  She has brought a group of children from the bowels of the city to show them what their "brothers" are up to.  Freder becomes obssessed with finding her.  Finding his way into the workers' city, he is horrified at what he finds.
The young woman is Maria.  She is a voice of strength to the workers. The epigram at the center of the films story line, and Maria's mantra:  "The mediator between brain and hands must be the heart!"  We never really know where she came from, or what her "purpose" is other than to empower the workers to stand up for themselves.  She speaks of a prophecy that a "mediator" will come to act as liaison between the workers below and the intellectuals above.  Freder follows workers to a room in the catacombs where Maria delivers her "sermons".  The two meet again, and fall in love.  Maria identifies Freder as the mediator they have waited for.

Transformation 2
There is a peripheral part of the story line involving Freder's father, Joh, and the inventor, Rotwang.  Freder's mother (Hel) died giving birth to him.  Joh learns that Rotwang (who also loved Freder's mother, Hel) has created a robot in order to 'resurrect' her.  The two men watch Maria from above, hearing what the plans are.  A plan is hatched to discredit Maria.  Rotwang chases her down in the catacombs, kidnaps her, and through a scientific transformation gives the robot Maria's appearance.  (The scene of Maria being chased is extremely effective.  Her fear is so strong to be almost palpable.)  Robot Maria is unveiled to the men of the city via an extremely racy dance sequence, the room full of men practically drooling over her.

(If you want to pause the page music, the player is at the bottom of my blog.)

(The robot Maria dances...)
Maria's doppelganger creates chaos above and below.  She has made her mark above in the city by getting the men to lust after her.  Below in the cities bowels, she convinces the worker's to revolt and stop all work. The worker's city begins to flood, the worker's children are all in danger, and the real Maria saves the day.  There is a bit of mistaken identity with both Maria's running around.  In the end the enraged workers get their hands on the evil Maria and burn her at the stake.  Freder's father acknowledges the errors of his ways, and son Freder brings Grot, the foreman of the cities' "heart machine", and his father together.

(The lustful onlookers.)
I hate admitting that until now I had not watched "Metropolis".  It is a piece of film history.  It's message is clear, and yes it is a tale that has been told time and time again. Interesting how the simple message of the film still resonates today.  There are the wealthy materialistic men making all of the decisions/controlling things (I will leave out the intellect aspect as I don't think that's a factor in today's world), while the working classes keep things running with no real acknowledgement of their needs or accomplishments by the aforementioned men.

This creative accomplishment is exquisite.  A science fiction world, a love story, and a social statement.  From the first scene I was pulled into that future world.  Two groups of workers.  One coming off shift, and one going on.  Not a word is said.  Just the musical score, and the illustrative movements of the players on the screen.  Just brilliant.  I don't think I have to say that I recommend this film.  Everyone should see it.  The silent film genre is out there, and we need to keep it alive.

Next film up:  Another Louise Brooks film (probably the main one she is known for), "Pandora's Box".
(Brigitte Helm in the robot suit between takes, sans helmet)
(Joh, Freder's father, meets Rotwang's robot)
Transformation 1, Metropolis post
(The real Maria sounds the alarm in the worker's city)


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day 2012...

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature, and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority."
~ E.B. White

The Earth.  A large orb surrounded by a layer of gases held in place by gravity. Gases that help sustain life.  Comprised of four layers and the 'inner core', the outermost crust is what we call home.  There are many different names for the Earth.  Tara. Gaia.  Norse mythology calls it Midgard.  In Esperanto it's Tero.

It is the eve of Earth Day 2012, when the peoples of the Earth are urged to show our planet some love.  "Go Green" is the message.  Do what you can as an individual to help "save the planet".  Save the planet?  Man is causing the current Earth damage, which effects the Earth we humans count on to live.  Is Earth headed for complete destruction because man is heaping trash into land fills?  No.  With or without us, the Earth will continue to spin on its axis.  The fact is this planet has been through a lot.  Giant meteors.  An Ice Age.  Life has experienced extinction, and we continue to unearth bones proving it.  Each human inhabitant of Earth doing their part to help the environment is about humans saving humans.  It's not so much us saving the planet in the literal sense, it's us trying to correct/prevent damages we have/are inflicting on her. The Earth will keep on keeping on long after we are gone.  Doing your part to keep things "green" is about the human race saving the human race.

("Redwoods in Fog"
Photo:  Keric Kouklis)
We are an apathy filled society on so many levels.  So many people don't bother to recycle.  Anything. "What difference does it make, one way or the other?"  "I'm just one person, so why bother?"  "It's just too much of a hassle.  I don't have the time."  All things I have heard some of my friends say over the years.  'Apathetic and lazy, party of one...your table's ready.'

The truth is, even making a little effort to recycle makes a difference.  In my corner of the world, I do my part.  What I do is simple and not time consuming at all.  It just takes a little motivational energy.  It takes the same amount of effort to toss a can into a bin for recycling that it does to toss it in a garbage can.  When things are full, I drive my collections to the local dump to put them in the appropriate recycling bins.  There are two of us here at "the hovel", so some people might not think the recyclable items we produce would amount to much in the grand scheme.  Well, individually, probably not.  But if there are 100 people with my amount of recyclables who aren't recycling, or 1,000 can add up quickly.  So you don't want to be Ed Begley, jr. about it (he is a bit of a nut).  Me neither...but there are plenty of every day 'trash' items that most everyone produces.  These items are recycled quite easily.

The items I regularly recycle are pictured above.  Beverage cans; plastic bottles (everything from water bottles to plastic milk containers); newspapers; and boxes (cardboard packing boxes to cereal boxes).
Most households produce all of them.  Not sure what is/isn't, recyclable?  Look for the arrow triangle usually on the bottom of containers.  If it's there, it's recyclable.

Another way you can help, is getting reusable shopping bags.  Most of the bags you can buy at most stores cost a measly $1.00 to $2.00.  My assortment of bags are pictured above.  Most bags are made of recycled materials, and some send the proceeds for the bags' sale to a charity (the couple of bucks I spent on the pink bags I have went to breast cancer charities).

The list of things you can recycle is a long one.  Batteries, wire hangers, even old sneakers are recyclable if they are beyond the shape for Goodwill.  (Nike has been using the soles of old tennis shoes to resurface tennis courts and a bunch of other things for years.  If you want to learn more about "Nike Grind" and how to donate, click here.)  There are also things you can do in the conservation of electricity, water, and wood/paper products.  You can find 50 helpful tips at "50 Ways to Help the Planet", by clicking here.

If we all make even the smallest effort to help preserve our way of life on Earth, it will make a difference.  Start small, and I bet once you get "programmed" you will start to add things on to your 'help the Earth' list.  In preparing this post, I have learned a few more things I can do in addition to what I have been doing. So many of the things that people should program themselves to do are really common sense based.

"Till now man has been up against nature; from now on he will be up against his own nature."
~ Dennis Gabor

One thing that none of us can do is take nature for granted.  Just in my lifetime a lot of deforestation and polar ice cap melting has been happening.  What sort of environmental legacy are we leaving future generations? "Progress" is inevitable as mankind evolves, but some avenues of progress are proving dangerous.  Air, water, and ground pollution have been on-going issues over the years, and as with most things, over time they progressively get worse and worse.  Can some of the forces of global harm be reversed?  Can damage be reversed?  I am not an environmentalist, nor a scientist, so I don't know the answers to those questions.  I hope that some of them can be.  The main fact is, we all need to pull together to affect change.  

"Oh beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain,
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea."
~ George Carlin

(Looking out over the marsh grasses that edge Savannah's Bull River
Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
(North Tybee Island Beach at sunrise
Photo:  Lisa Erin Brown)
'Earth Day 2012', in my neck of the woods, is supposed to be a rainy one. That's fine by me.  Anyone who has read some of my posts (most dealing with rain) know of my love of rain.  Rain or not, I plan on getting out to commune with the nature around me here in Savannah.  Trees/forests are among my favorite things.  Maybe I'll just hug one of the trees that line the marsh.  I take every opportunity I can to enjoy the natural beauty of the world here on the Georgia coast.

Wherever you are for 'Earth Day', I hope you do some 'communing' of your own.

"There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet."
~ Brooke Medicine Eagle

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Moon In Taurus...April 21, 2012...

Saturday, April 21, at 3:20 AM/ET, is this month's New Moon in Taurus.  As with all New Moons, this is a time for new beginnings.  For setting new goals. The wealth of Taurean energy surrounding this moon cycle is all about the long term.  Dispensing with what will get instant gratification, and focusing on the bigger picture of new potential projects.  The Sun and the Moon join forces this go round with their combined energies in Taurus.  Energy that will create a fertile atmosphere.

There is a Grand Trine composed of earth sign ruled players: the Sun/Moon combo, Mars in Virgo, and Pluto in Capricorn retrograde.  This can be a very productive time.  On the physical side of things, there is much to be gained and accomplished to bring efficiency to the forefront.  Also, those seeds you might have planted over the last month or two will start to show some growth.

A big theme during this Moon cycle is the Earth. Fitting since it falls in the wee hours of the day before Earth Day 2012.  Take some time to stop and smell the roses, as they say.  Commune with nature by visiting a local park, or plant some new color in your yard.  Make it an all encompassing sensory experience, and drink in the world outside.  Our planet is special.  Show it some love.

With Saturn in Libra in aspect to the Sun and Moon, the time is ripe for finding/experiencing real love.  This Taurus New Moon is also conjunct Ceres in Taurus, creating the perfect atmosphere for some rest and relaxation.  Get a massage, or take that long hot bath.  Get out your scented candles, and play some relaxing music.  Be sure to make some 'me' time.

There is a sextile with Neptune in Pisces.  Expect some of the harsher/rougher issues your dealing with to soften a bit.  There is an opportunity to take a much needed time out from harsh realities.  A building up of good and positive feelings will help in making creative energies and inspirations more readily available.

The Piscean Neptune is also in opposition to Mars in Virgo.  This is helping to lessen the heavy dose of aggressive energy floating around, due to the building of the conjunct of Mercury and Uranus in Aries during this lunar cycle.  There is some highly charged energy popping, which can bring some shocks and surprises. The extra mental energy used in processing these shocks to the system could give one a headache.  Take a deep breath, and try to stay calm. Tap into your inner sources of love, wisdom, and tact.  Use them to help temper your part in a situation, because thoughtless words can cut, and they can't be taken back once they are out there.  Another area the softening energies of Neptune are in effect (and definitely needed) is the inconjunct between Mars and Mercury.  Details, details, details!  That's what the Mars/Mercury energies are saying.  They insist on one studying the details...and this is causing tempers to be very short.  This is where Neptune's influence can help.

Saturn in Libra is in opposition to the New Moon.  This stresses the need to keep everyone's interests at heart.  It's not about the one, but all players in a situation.  There is a need to be a part of, and to "play well with others".

Venus in Gemini is semi-sextile to Jupiter in Taurus.  It says to get out and have some fun.  You might make some money doing it, too.

Pluto is sextile to Chiron in Pisces.  Why do we place expectations on ourselves and each other that are definitely unreasonable?  This will assist us in discovering the reasons why.  Some much needed healing could result.

If your feeling a bit stressed or strained right about now, you could be feeling the effects of the Mercury-Mars retrograde overlap.  Engage in that heavy dose of rest and relaxation.  The Taurus New Moon can help you let go of the stress, to experience some healing calm.  Spring has sprung, nature is blooming all around us, and the outside world is calling.  Put the things that are causing you to pull at your hair to the side, and soak in the beauty that is mother nature. Everyone deserves a break.  Show yourself some love...pass it on.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Images of Silent Streaming...

While perusing the newly added titles that stream on my Netflix account, I came across a film I had not seen before.  One from the silent film era.  I have always had an appreciation for the artistic expression of silent cinema.  I have seen several wonderful works over the years, but there is so much that I have not seen.

The title I found is "Diary of a Lost Girl" (1929), and it stars the stunning Louise Brooks.  I had heard of it many years ago, and had made a mental note to see it at that time.  Several years later, there it was on on my next insomnia riddled morning, I watched it.
Based on the 1905 book "Tagebuch einer Verlorenen" ("Diary of a Lost Girl"), by German authoress Margarete Bohme, it definitely deals with some racy and scandalous issues for the time.  Sexual seduction (it seemed more like rape to me), illegitimate children, prostitution, suicide...heavy subjects for a film in those days.

Directed by Austrian, George Wilhelm Pabst, 'Diary' is the second film Louise made with him.  ("Pandora's Box" is another big film for her, also directed by Pabst. It's next on my viewing list.)  Watching it sparked the desire in me to immerse myself in the watching of more silent films.  I mentioned "artistic expression" before.  The emoting that actors did in those days.  So much needed to be said with the face and the hands, aided with an occasional key card of short dialogue here and there.  Yes, much of it is overly exaggerated. The physical movements rife with emotion. Severe make-up and facial gymnastics of many of the performers.  The world of the silent film actor is a world I find fascinating.  From the first frames of 'Diary', I was pulled into that emotionally dysfunctional world.

**Spoiler Alert**:  I am about to get into details of the films' plot, so if you want to see the film and not know what happens...

("Thymian Henning"~ Louise Brooks)
("Meinert"~Fritz Rasp; "Thymian"~Louise Brooks)
Crowned with her famous Bob haircut, and lovely face, Louise Brooks is great in her role as the young (Brooks was 23 when she made the film) and innocent, Thymian Henning.  The drama begins right out of the gate.  On the day of her confirmation, Thymian is distressed when the housekeeper leaves.  Her father has gotten the housekeeper pregnant, and not long after her departure she (the housekeeper) commits suicide.  Thymian's father is a pharmacist.  His assistant Meinart (played by Fritz Rasp) offers her his shoulder, and promises to explain everything later that night.  Instead he 'seduces' her. (Sadly, sexual abuse was something that Louise experienced in her real life.  At the age of 9, she fell prey to a neighborhood predator. When she told her mother about it years later, her mother would say it must have been Louise's fault, as she must have led him on.)  Thymian gets pregnant, and has the baby.  She refuses to divulge who the father is, but her family reads her diary and finds out.  They tell her she should marry Meinart, but she refuses as she won't marry someone she doesn't love.  Her family gives the illegitimate child to a midwife, and ship Thymian off to a reformatory for wayward girls.  The place is run by a woman who is a real task master, along with her assistant (a man that immediately reminded me of Lurch on 'The Addams Family').

(Thymian collapses)
Cut to Thymian's friend, Count Osdorff.  Proving to not be much good at anything he tries to do, Osdorff is kicked out by his uncle.  Penniless, he goes to see Thymian in the reformatory.  She pleads with him to convince her father to take her back, but he informs her that Mr. Henning has married the new housekeeper, and it is impossible for her to go home.  Instead he helps her, and Erika (a friend she has made in the reformatory) to escape. Thymian's first destination is the midwife who has her child.  She learns that her baby has died.  Thymian wanders the streets, and finds Erika who has gotten a job working in a brothel.  Having no skills herself, Thymian becomes a prostitute.  

(Thymian gets a job, and joins the 'world's oldest profession')
One night in a nightclub, Thymian spots her father, Meinart, and her father's new wife, Meta.  Her father is shocked to learn of her current job, and is pulled from the nightclub by Meinart and Meta.  Three years later her father passes. Expecting that she will inherit a lot of money, she decides to start a new life. She agrees to marry Osdorff for the new identity.  At the lawyer's office, she learns that Meinart has purchased her interest in the pharmacy, and she is now a very rich woman.  Thymian then learns that Meinart is going to toss Meta and her children out on the street.  Not wanting her half-sister to experience anything like what she had gone through in life, Thymian gives the money to Meta.

Brooks looking up

Once Osdorff learns of her gift to Meta, he is devastated.  He was counting on the funds to build a new life, as well.  Osdorff commits suicide by throwing himself out a window.  In his grief, Osdorff's uncle does what he can to make amends to his nephew.  He vows to take care of Thymian, calling her his niece, Countess Osdorff.  Uncle introduces her to his cousin, and the cousin invites Thymian to be a director of a reformatory...the same one Thymian had been locked up in.  While visiting the reformatory, the ladies are presented with an "espeically difficult case", who turns out to be Erika.  Embracing her friend, Thymian denounces the reformatory, and storms out with Erika.  It is here that uncle Osdorff says the last line of the film.  "A little more love and no-one would be lost in this world."

As I watched Thymian go through one emotional tragedy after another, I was reminded of what a 'different' experience it is watching a silent film.  A drama. The bulk of what I have watched in the silent vein falls in the category of comedy.  Buster Keaton.  Harold Lloyd.  Both geniuses.  Lloyd actually put himself in physical peril for some of the stunts he executed.  The list of silent drama I have seen is much, much shorter.  Watching 'Diary' has moved me to change the length of that list.

(Thymian sees her father)
What about current generations, and generations to come?  Will the world of silent era films fall by the wayside?  Will a day come when silent films are but a non-existant memory?  I hope not, but television doesn't really show them as much anymore.  AMC (American Movie Classics) doesn't live up to it's name anymore.  TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is a bit better, but there aren't as many "oldies" on anymore.  Yes, I do realize that with the passage of time, what is classified as an old movie changes.  There are a lot more color classics these days.  When I was a kid, the hallmark of an old movie was that it was filmed in black and white.  It is my hope that the channels that call themselves "classic movie channels", make an effort to keep some silent films on the air.  Otherwise, future generations are going to lose out on some special stuff.

If you haven't seen "Diary of a Lost Girl", see it.  If you've got Netflix, it's streaming now.  If you don't know who Louise Brooks is, this is a great introduction to her film work.

If you do watch it, I hope it moves you to watch more silent film, too.

More to come...

Friday, April 13, 2012

"The Small Faces" Induction...FINALLY!

(From left to right:  Kenney Jones (drums); Ian McLagan (keyboards);
Steve Marriott (vocals and guitar); Ronnie Lane (bass)

On Saturday, April 14, 2012, an injustice will be corrected,  The date marks the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, of one of music's most notable bands to date, "The Small Faces".

Now don't get them confused with the Rod Stewart fronted "Faces", a conglomeration of remaining members of the fractured group "The Small Faces", and the "Jeff Beck Group".  They have been tacked onto the induction of "The Small Faces", which I think is not a justified move.  I am going to explain myself a bit...Rod Stewart voiced some great tunes with the "Faces". 'Maggie May, 'Stay With Me'...I have sung along, and even roller skated to both.  This long over-due honor is for a man (two men in fact) that can't be there to bask in the applause and the huge nod of acknowledgement for his talent, music, and place in rock and roll history.  The original group of "The Small Faces" have influenced so many on and off the stage.  They were and are one of the most notable groups associated with '60's Mods.  When I think of "The Small Faces", I think of the late great Steve Marriott.  The man had the best pipes around.  I would love to be in the audience during the induction, but will have to wait until the ceremony is aired on television.  Anyway, if I were able to attend it would be bitter sweet, due to the absence of Steve.

The East London band formed out of a first meeting between Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, in 1965.  Marriott was working in a music store, the 'J60 Music Bar' in Manor Park, London.  Lane came into the store in search of a bass.  The two struck up a conversation, and the they history. They would bring in a couple of mates, Kenney Jones (drums) and Jimmy Winston (he switched from the guitar to the organ).  By the time 1966 rolled around, Winston would be replaced by Ian McLagan on keyboards.  The bands name of "The Small Faces" was arrived at because the bands members were rather small in stature.  

Their rise to the mainstream was fairly meteoric.  They would go from rehearsal halls, to small pub gigs, to bigger club dates.  The main feature of the group that garnered so much interest was the voice of the band's front man, Steve Marriott.  As I said...the man had some pipes!  Otis Redding, and Bobby Bland, were among Steve's heroes.  It showed.  

(Steve Marriott)

Sadly, "The Small Faces" were only around four years.  During those short years, they saw the rise of the original Mod movement (I was only able to experience the Mod Revival...I was a year old when "The small Faces" began), and recorded music that still more than holds up today.  The band broke up in late 1968, the credit being given to Marriott.  The story is that during a live New Year's performance, Steve threw his hands in the air and stormed off the stage yelling "I quit" as he went.  Marriott had been having growing frustrations with the band being stuck in the 'pop band' category.  He was ready for the bands sound to mature a bit.  Feeling perpetually stuck, he dropped out of "The Small Faces", and would go on to another great band "Humble Pie" (which also boasted the talents of a very young Peter Frampton).  The last Small Faces album, 'The Autumn Stone', would be released posthumously in 1969.

Congratulations to Steve, Ronnie, Kenney, and Ian.  Especially to Steve.  I have been a huge fan for many years, and I am so happy that the Hall of Fame finally recognizes him for the imprint he has had on rock and roll music history. Here's to the best pipes around!  (He was so darn cute, too!)  And, of course, congrats to the other "Small Faces", Ronnie (RIP), Kenney, and Ian.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fuzzy Full Moon...

It was a beautiful Full Moon on the 7th.  I almost let it go by unnoticed.  I am glad I remembered it when I did, so I could capture some photos of it. Something that I do with each Full Moon, weather permitting. Upon occasion, cloud cover will be dense enough to obscure any chance of catching any shots of it.  Partial cloud cover is welcome though.  I have caught a number of photos under those conditions that I have really loved.  It is those times that I think the mood of the moon is best conveyed.  Its mood of mystery.
The Libra Moon of a couple of days ago was different.  No noticeable cloud cover, even though we had experienced quite a bit of overcast skies and intermittent thunder showers over the preceding days.  I had just sat down at the computer when I remembered that I needed to go outside and look up. Camera in hand.

After changing into more appropriate garb (it was quite chilly out) I headed for the front door, grabbing the tripod as I went.  There it was, shining brightly through the branches of a collection of pine trees opposite my front porch.  I referred to the moon as 'it'. Many assign a gender to the orb.  My immediate instinct is to say the moon is a male to the female sun.  Different cultures and their mythos hold different views on the subject.  I looked it up, and found more feminine names than male.  The site "20,000" lists quite a number of names with their origins.

For as bright as it was, the area of illumination was somewhat limited. Focusing the camera was a tad "off.  Usually, when I photograph the moon, I can see a ring around it's perimeter when it is in clearest focus with my current camera. This time I wasn't getting that.  Either the moon was a bit fuzzier than usual, or my physical state of focus was translating to the camera.  I have been feeling a tad "off". Anyway, I took a collection of shots through trees, since there weren't any clouds to make my pictures more interesting.  I am pretty happy with them.  They turned out to be rather abstract.

"The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon"
by J.R.R. Tolkien

There is an inn, a merry old inn
beneath an old grey hill,
And there they brew a beer so brown
That the Main in the Moon himself came down
one night to drink his fill.

The ostler has a tipsy cat
that plays a five-stringed fiddle;
And up and down he saws his bow
Now squeaking high, now purring low,
now sawing in the middle.

The landlord keeps a little dog
that is mighty fond of jokes;
When there's good cheer among the guests,
he cocks an ear at all the jests
and laughs until he chokes.

They also keep a horned cow
as proud as any queen;
But music turns her head like ale,
And makes her wave her tufted tail
and dance upon the green.

And O! the rows of silver dishes
and the store of silver spoons!
For Sunday there's a special pair,
And these they polish up with care
on Saturday afternoons.

The Man in the Moon was drinking deep,
and the cat began to wail;
A dish and a spoon on the table danced,
The cow in the garden madly pranced
and the little dog chased his tail.

The Man in the Moon took another mug,
and then rolled beneath his chair;
And there he dozed and dreamed of ale,
Til in the sky the stars were pale,
and dawn was in the air.

Then the ostler said to his tipsy cat:
"The white horses of the Moon, 
They neigh and champ their silver bits;
But their master's been and drowned his wits,
and the Sun'll be rising soon!"

So the cat on the fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle,
a jig that would awake the dead:
He squeaked and sawed and quickened the tune,
While the landlord shook the Main in the Moon:
"It's after three!" he said.

They rolled the Man slowly up the hill
and bundled him into the Moon,
While his horses galloped up in rear,
And the cow came capering like a deer,
and a dish ran up with the spoon.

Now quicker the fiddle went deedle-dum-diddle;
the dog began to roar,
The cow and the horses stood on their heads;
The guests all bounded from their beds
and danced upon the floor.

With a ping and a pang the fiddle-strings broke!
the cow jumped over the Moon,
And the little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the Saturday dish went off at a run
with the silver Sunday spoon.

The round Moon rolled behind the hill,
as the Sun raised up her head.
She hardly believed her fiery eyes;
For though it was day, to her surprise
they all went back to bed!