Life in gardens: May Day

I’m a little worried that fire is going to become involved here.

The photo, “May pole dance at Miami University May Day celebration 1914 ,” is by Frank Snyder, via Frank Snyder Photograph Collection, Miami University Libraries (Oxford, Ohio) Commons on flickr.

The Maypole Dance was a common rite of spring at colleges from the late nineteenth century through the 1950s. Historian David Glassberg argues that the celebration was created (or resurrected) by turn-of-the-century progressives who bemoaned America’s lack of wholesome traditions. They believed that Puritanism had severed this country’s ties to the culture of Elizabethan England—a belief supported by a reading of Hawthorne’s short story, “The May-Pole of Merrymount.”

— Tynes Cowan, from BSC Folklore (Birmingham-Southern College)

Here in the Swabian part of Germany, many towns and villages will be celebrating the first of May like this.

The Sunday porch: Silver Lake

Log House, Akron, Ohio, via Miami University, flickr“Log house at Silver Lake, Akron, Ohio,” between 1905 and 1909, by Illustrated Post Card Co., via Walter Havighurst Special Collections, Miami University Libraries Commons on flickr.

.  .  . I care less and less
about the shapes of shapes because forms
change and nothing is more durable than feeling.

Terrance Hayes, from “What it Look Like


The Sunday porch: Oxford, Ohio

woman in hat and stole, Miami University“Woman in hat and stole on porch,” Oxford, Ohio, ca. late 19th or early 20th century, by Frank R. Snyder, via Miami University Archives Commons on flickr.

Is her slight Mona Lisa smile about her nice outfit or the photographer? (Click on the image for a larger view.)

Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping.
— Bo Derek

The Sunday porch: postcard

The Sunday porch:enclos*ure, from the Post card collection of Miami Univerisity“Sitting on the Porch,” a postcard from ca. 1900, location and photographer unknown, via Miami University Libraries Commons on flickr.

(Click on the photo for a better look.)

The Bowden Postcard Collection of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, holds over 480,000 postcards from nearly everywhere in the early 20th century world.

This image is not very seasonal, I must admit.  Here in Stuttgart, we woke up this morning to a light covering of snow.

Children picking up our bones
Will never know that these were once
As quick as foxes on the hill. . .

And least will guess that with our bones
We left much more, left what still is
The look of things, left what we felt

At what we saw. . . .

Wallace Stevens, from “A Postcard from the Volcano