Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snowy day on Silas Creek Parkway

11 AM Sunday morning.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I like to say a prayer...

...and drink to world peace. (Did you know he could ice sculpt?)

Happy hour

The snow and the freezing drizzle have kept the blog housebound. In what would have been an epochal victory, Nate beat Susan for the first time in a happy hour game of Scrabble Scramble to Go on points, but lost because of a penalty for excessive celebration. (Susan says "Thanks, Mark Gastineau.")

Friday, January 29, 2010

They ignored the sign, but lived to tell the tale

Nate and his friend Charlie sitting in the falls off the Glen Burnie Trail just outside of Blowing Rock, NC, last summer.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

And the difference between a dead end and this is?

Vest Mill Road, Winston-Salem, January 28, 2010.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It's difficult for the blog to find time to walk when school is in session, and its stock of photos is wearing thin. Susan went to a conference in Warwick, Rhode Island, this weekend, but decided that photos of even the very nicest Crowne Plaza Hotel are fundamentally boring.This photograph answers a question Susan is frequently asked about bee research: how does she tell a more experienced forager from a less experienced forager? (Look at the left edges of the wings to see the wing of the more experienced forager.) Local connection alert: Warwick turns out to be the home of Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, who led the American forces at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781, and after whom the Piedmont Triad city of Greensboro is named...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just different ways of saying the same thing?

Street signs in the Ardmore section of Winston-Salem, photographed summer 2009.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reminiscing in Winston...

Tonight's 82-69 win over North Carolina in the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill naturally led to happy memories of the even sweeter January 11, 2009, 92-89 victory over the Tar Heels in the Joel Coliseum. Jon's photo (the blog was there even before it was a blog) captures the moment of victory, just before the Deacons fans rushed the floor. The ESPN headline read: Demon Deacons Limit Tar Heels to 35 percent shooting to remain unbeaten. The Deacons had not defeated the Tar Heels at the Joel since January 15, 2005. Jon, here are the answers to your questions: Carolina leads the all-time series with Wake, 151-64. Carolina is 70-18 at home in the series and 17-4 in the Smith Center. Wake Forest's last win in the Smith Center came in triple-overtime in December of 2003. And guess what? It was Roy Williams' very first ACC game.

And what about the Talk Scores?

An article in the business section of the Sunday New York Times brought the pleasure of checking one's Walk Score to the masses. The impetus for the article was the publication of a study by CEOs for Cities, a group of advocates for urban redevelopment who not only fund interesting studies, but maintain a very interesting website. A couple of interesting points. First, the findings of the study, which is titled Walking the Walk: How Walkability Raises Housing Values in U.S. Cities. In a nutshell, houses with above average Walk Scores not only command a premium, but also hold their value better when the real estate market declines. Second, the source of the data was ZipReality, an online real estate listing service similar to the blog's beloved that does not yet cover Winston-Salem. It turns out that these sites not only provide services popular with consumers, but also function as massive databases ripe for researchers to mine. Third, the article reminded me of the best and worst of the NYT. The best, of course, is the interesting reporting. I doubt I would have found this Walk Score report on my own. The worst, also of course, is the the idiosyncratic editing. Only the NYT would print C.E.O.'s for Cities when the name of the organization (check their website yourself) is CEOs for Cities. Can we all just agree to reserve the apostrophe for contractions and the possessive case?

Enough walking and talking altogether, says Nate. Let's go into the furniture store in downtown Winston whose name tells what type of furniture it sells.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I really like Google books

Ok, most who have wandered around downtown Winston-Salem have probably noticed the Forsyth Country Confederate Memorial on the northwest corner of the old courthouse square. But now I know, courtesy of Google books, that the first moving picture ever shown in Forsyth County (1903) was shown to raise money for this statue (see Piedmont Soldiers and Their Families, by Cindy H. Casey). For the record (and on that basis not totally unrelated), Winston-Salem's new independent cinema is now open.

Just in case you missed the point....

A beautiful photo of the Empire State Building in New York City, from the Jonathan Christman private collection (used with permission).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Does this remind you of something?

That is, does this view of downtown Winston suggest another building in another metropolis? This turns out not to be coincidence. Shreve and Lamb completed the Reynolds Building in 1929 and the Empire State Building in NYC in 1931.

International HQ

Photographic proof that the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is in downtown Winston-Salem.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Pennsy

That's what the Pennsylvania Railroad was familiarly called when Susan was a young lass in Philadelphia. This railroad bridge, photographed on the way to the District of Columbia Good Will Store last weekend is a relic of an earlier age, as there has been no entity called the Pennsylvania Railroad since 1968. A bit of financial history: This corporation still holds the record for the longest continuous dividend history, as it paid out annual dividends to shareholders for more than 100 consecutive years.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Disneyland? A Mormon temple? No, it's... unusual view of the 1855 Smithsonian Castle photographed at a distance by Jon as the sun was setting on January 9, 2010.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Although technically a Confederate victory...

"...the Battle of Kelly's Ford exacted a high price from the Southerners. They lost 146 men killed, wounded, and missing, compared to a Federal loss of 85. Confederate losses were magnified by the death of the popular and promising young John Pelham, who died about 1 a.m. on March 18th, 1863." This quotation from the National Park Service brochure for the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park takes the traveler down Rt. 29 in Virginia back to a muddy winter the Union and Confederate armies spent on the opposite banks of the Rappahannock River. General Robert E. Lee conferred the nickname "The Gallant" on the 24 year old Pelham of Calhoun County, Alabama, for his repeated and conspicuous acts of valor in battle. Pelham's memory is honored today by 13 monuments scattered throughout the southern U.S., each one carefully cataloged by the John Pelham Historical Association. Here is the JPHA's description of the monument the blog saw on Sunday: The first was erected in 1926 and used to be on Route 674 in Culpeper County. It was moved in 1927 to the old Douglas home in Elkwood, overlooking U.S. Route 15/29. Mr. George Douglas and his wife were admirers of the gallant Pelham. The Douglas home sat at the site where the ambulance supposedly overtook Pelham's body. A ceremony was held dedicating it on October 29, 1927. The monument is a marble obelisk; its base stone was taken from the battlefield of Kelly's Ford. The monument in Anniston, Alabama, is also an obelisk.

In 1879 Confederate General Fitzhugh Lee (nephew of Robert E.) recalled the Virginia winter of 1863 in an address to the veterans of the Army of Northern Virginia. He spoke at some length about Pelham, and his poignant account was reprinted in the December 1879 issue of Southern Historical Society Papers.
Fitz Lee was notable for his reconciliation to the outcome of the war, and later served as a General in the U.S. army during the Spanish-American war.

The blog is ashamed to admit that it almost did not turn around and drive back.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lunch at the farmer's market

The blog felt like a true tar heel when it took its new camera to a delicious lunch at the farmer's market in Raleigh on Wednesday. Biscuits, mmmm....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Goodness grows!

The front of the North Carolina cooperative extension apiculturalist's car...

A visit to the state bee lab

The blog drove over to Raleigh today to visit the Lake Wheeler Honey Bee Research Facility. It's quiet at a bee lab during the winter, especially on such an unusually cold day for North Carolina. But the sky was really that blue...the bee boxes are also blue, a color that bees see very well and find attractive...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Winter bees

The only bees flying in January in Winston-Salem are the Speas Bees (just outside of Speas Elementary School on Polo Road). The Speas family name is prominent in Forsyth County, but I have not been able to find out which member of the family the name of the school commemorates. The bee theme permeates the school website ("the buzz you hear is the sound of success").

Monday, January 4, 2010

Remembering Skip Prosser

Jon gave Susan her own camera for Christmas...

Dear old...

Wake wins!

Xavier-Wake Forest game, almost done

Xavier-Wake Forest game, not done yet

Xavier-Wake Forest game, end of first overtime

Xavier-Wake Forest game, end of regulation

This game is the first in a series of ten Skip Prosser classics. It will be the only one to feature players coached by Skip - the four graduating Wake Forest seniors (McFarland, Smith, Weaver, Williams).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Trails of the Triad"

The blog actually owns a book with the title Trails of the Triad (by Allan de Hart), which features "more than 140 hikes within a 50-mile radius of the Triad." Unfortunately it was published in 1997, but it seems that change comes slowly, as the description of the Silas Creek Trail was the same on January 2, 2010, as then: "To access the trail, turn east off Silas Creek Parkway onto Yorkshire Road and go a few yards to the parking lot, on the right. The trail begins to the left, where it parallels a stream and Silas Creek Parkway. In a mature forest with honeysuckle and wild rose, it crosses a footbridge at 0.4 mile. The northern trailhead does not have a parking lot. Backtrack, or go east 250 yards on Robinhood Road to a parking lot at a church."

So - is there an updated edition that the blog has overlooked? No, although Mr. De Hart did prepare a second edition of "Trails of the Triangle" in 2007. Should the blog be discussing matters with the publisher (it's a local publisher: John F. Blair, 1406 Plaza Drive, Winston-Salem, NC, 27103)? Or is this blog itself the
de facto update?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"The end of childhood"

Construction is just beginning on a very exciting and sorely needed project at Speas School on Polo Road.

"Thomas Hughes Architecture is pleased to continue our service to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools with a renovation/addition project at Speas Elementary School in Winston-Salem, NC. The project includes the complete renovation of the two existing campus buildings, and a 15,000 square foot building addition which will house a media center, cafeteria, and kitchen. The addition will become part of a core for a new elementary school to replace the existing buildings in the future. The addition will create a new modern look for an aging campus, and prepare the way for future site development. Site work includes redesigned site circulation separating car traffic from that of buses and service vehicles."

New Year's Eve

The Deacons beat the Richmond Spiders in overtime, followed by the traditional pyrotechnical celebration of Nate's birthday on Susan's driveway. The last of the Y2K bugs crawled out to see what was going on. Seems like a harmless little fellow...