Windchime Walker

Windchime Walker <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Friday, August 31, 2007


baby Elizabeth and her proud daddy, Don

So much for any U.S. rationale to bomb Iran 

Reuters article published Thursday, August 30, 2007

Iran Atom Work at Slow Pace and Not Significant: IAEA

Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:07 AM ET

By Mark Heinrich

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran's uranium enrichment program is operating well below capacity and is far from producing nuclear fuel in significant amounts, according to a confidential U.N. nuclear watchdog report obtained by Reuters.

A senior Iranian nuclear official said the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) report showed U.S. suspicions about Tehran's nuclear intentions were baseless.

Officials familiar with the report said the IAEA could open future inquiries into Iran's atomic activity if new suspicions arose, even after Tehran answers questions about the program under a transparency deal reached this month.

Western leaders suspect Iran wants to build atom bombs, not generate electricity, and were alarmed when Tehran said in April it had reached "industrial capacity" to enrich uranium.

But the IAEA report said Tehran remained far short of that threshold. Iran had just under 2,000 centrifuges divided into 12 cascades, or interlinked units, of 164 machines each refining uranium at its underground Natanz plant as of August 19, it said.

A 13th cascade was being run test-run empty, another was stationary undergoing tests under vacuum and two more cascades were being assembled, said the report, sent to the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors and U.N. Security Council members.

"Iran made a fast start but then there was a leveling off," said a senior U.N. official versed in the IAEA's findings. "We don't know the reasons, but the slow pace continues."

The report's detail on new Iranian cooperation with inspectors and Tehran's lack of significant enrichment progress are likely to blunt Washington's push for painful sanctions.

Western diplomats fear Iran scored a victory in its deal with the IAEA by allowing it to answer questions one by one, prolonging the process and foiling more punitive U.N. action.

Russia, a Security Council veto-holder which does not think Iran poses an imminent threat to world peace, opposes more sanctions while Tehran's rapprochement with the IAEA moves on.


The report countered impressions gleaned by Western diplomats from the August 21 pact that Iran had negotiated immunity to further IAEA investigations after existing issues were resolved, which officials hoped would happen by year-end.

The official said it was unclear if Iran's halting enrichment progress was due to technical problems or political restraint to blunt U.S. sanctions moves.

The report also recapped the phased plan Iran agreed with the IAEA 10 days ago to resolve questions about the scope of its nuclear activity. It detailed how the IAEA had settled one issue already -- past small-scale experiments with plutonium.

But the report made clear the cooperation pact by itself was not enough to give Tehran a clean bill of health.

As long as Iran refused to resume allowing wider-ranging, inspections of sites not declared to be nuclear, under the IAEA's Additional Protocol, the agency would be unable to verify Iran had no secret military nuclear facility somewhere.

"Iran would need to continue to build confidence about the scope and nature of its present and future nuclear program. Confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of (this)..., the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities, (requires) implementation of the Additional Protocol."

U.N. officials also said Iran did not seek in talks on the plan to condition its implementation on no tough U.N. sanctions but Iranian leaders have raised such a linkage in public.

That raised Western concerns Iran has no intent to answer thornier questions and may drag matters out indefinitely. The U.N. has already imposed two sets of sanctions on Iran.

IAEA safeguards director Olli Heinonen, who has led agency negotiations with Iran, also deflected concern of Western diplomats assessing the transparency plan that the IAEA had not ensured Iran would provide proof for its answers.

"Iran is now facing a litmus test to provide answers in a timely manner to our questions. It's important that Iran provides access to documentation, persons, and equipment to help us verify the answers," he told reporters on Thursday.

A senior U.N. official familiar with IAEA-Iranian contacts said if Iran reneged or stalled, "it will come back and hit them in the face (politically).

"But if (tougher) sanctions come, our process will face a setback at a minimum, if not a halt," he said, reflecting IAEA concerns that U.S.-led efforts to escalate penalties could only corner nationalistic Iran and goad it to freeze out inspectors.

© Reuters 2007. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Photoshop composite

It had been SO long since I'd used Photoshop for anything but editing that I'd almost forgotten how to play! But, like riding a bike, it came back quickly enough. Such fun!

chilling news 

A European study has been released to The Raw Story in which the Bush administration's plans for "massive attacks" on Iran are laid out more clearly than ever before. Who can stop them now???

Study: US preparing 'massive' military attack against Iran

by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane
Published: Tuesday August 28, 2007

The United States has the capacity for and may be prepared to launch without warning a massive assault on Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, as well as government buildings and infrastructure, using long-range bombers and missiles, according to a new analysis.

The paper, "Considering a war with Iran: A discussion paper on WMD in the Middle East" – written by well-respected British scholar and arms expert Dr. Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, and Martin Butcher, a former Director of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and former adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament – was exclusively provided to RAW STORY late Friday under embargo.

"We wrote the report partly as we were surprised that this sort of quite elementary analysis had not been produced by the many well resourced Institutes in the United States," wrote Plesch in an email to Raw Story on Tuesday.

Plesch and Butcher examine "what the military option might involve if it were picked up off the table and put into action" and conclude that based on open source analysis and their own assessments, the US has prepared its military for a "massive" attack against Iran, requiring little contingency planning and without a ground invasion.

The study concludes that the US has made military preparations to destroy Iran’s WMD, nuclear energy, regime, armed forces, state apparatus and economic infrastructure within days if not hours of President George W. Bush giving the order. The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely. The US retains the option of avoiding war, but using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions.

Any attack is likely to be on a massive multi-front scale but avoiding a ground invasion. Attacks focused on WMD facilities would leave Iran too many retaliatory options, leave President Bush open to the charge of using too little force and leave the regime intact.

US bombers and long range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours.

US ground, air and marine forces already in the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan can devastate Iranian forces, the regime and the state at short notice. Read more.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Her labor has begun

Last week I was privileged to watch a cow giving birth to a bull calf at the Michigan State Fair. I've just put up a gallery with photos showing the entire process. Click here to see my "A Calf Is Born" photo gallery.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Turned Into Water and Fled Away - 19

I am a wandering gypsy vulnerable to all beauties
These beauties attempt to throw a net over me.
Afraid that some nameless season of flowers might trap me,

I never stray into the garden alone.
I lay eggs in volumes of books, I hatch my eggs in corners of pages,
I am the cock that crows before sunrise.

I do not flee from loneliness anywhere.

Remaining in the midst of objects an
engaging my soul constantly In search of their essence,
I achieve my solitude-
Where can the months escape? As long as I hold the moon in my hand.

While man runs to capture the peaks of life,
Death runs to seize him by his hair. This very problem which
Exists in creation, is the birthplace of the tear.

Even though you keep time in a gold watch; it will not stop
From driving you towards the railway train.
Death lives in the dropping leaves of autumnal trees.
The first leaf that leaves the branch on its journey to earth
Is the prologue of autumn for the coming rain of leaves-

My feet are parched with thirst for travel.
Thirst is not quenched although I wander about
Huddle and huddles of villages and towns-

As I travel making a railway train out of all sorts of things,
Winds, clouds, leaves birds and so on.

Death tries to stop the train and arrest me; but none of them are those
That will ever stop.
They are perpetually in a state of flux, passing through endless chain
States of visibility and invisibility.

My travel has neither beginning nor an end much less a destination.
In this wild chase death meets only death.
If my book is in your hands, is it not as good as being in your hands?

by Seshendra Sharma
(b. 20th October 1927 in Andhra pradesh, India)

Monday, August 27, 2007


We all see the same moon...


Sunday at Starbucks

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Another self portrait

This is one of three photos I added today to my Facing Up to My Face at 65 photo gallery. I think/hope they will fill in some gaps in the story.

The response to that gallery has left me speechless. When I created it, I wasn't even thinking of PBase. It was originally a Powerpoint presentation I made to share with the folks at the writing retreat that had triggered this whole exploration. But when I returned home, I decided to turn it into a gallery here on PBase. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would land me a spot in the Popular Galleries! I've been under the radar for so long that it feels strange now to be so public. Strange but nice. My thanks to all who have visited, voted and left comments. You have touched me deeply.


Reclaiming its own

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Any mail?

Friday, August 24, 2007


at the Michigan State Fair

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Bull calf aged 30 minutes

I watched this bull calf being born today. His mother and I had been relating for about 45 minutes when I saw the first ripples of contractions run down her back. She had a rather lengthy labor for a cow, almost two hours. But all went well and mother and calf are doing fine. For a city girl like me, this was an amazing experience. How grateful I am to my husband Ed for suggesting that I go to the Michigan State Fair today!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Vstar's tattoo

Perhaps the most amazing part of taking photos of women's tattoos at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival was hearing the stories of what their tattoos meant to the women, who had inked them, and what tattoos they were hoping to get in the future. For instance, I was deeply moved when Vstar told me that her tattoo was intentionally inked over her cancer port scar.

I've just begun to post these photos in a new gallery called "Womyn's Tattoos." Click here to see it. But keep checking back. This is just the beginning!


Life is to be lived FULL OUT!

Bob Rein at 92 seemed more full of life than any of the youngsters having lunch today at the Subway across from the high school. He still works full time as an accountant, and had airline tickets to Jamaica on Monday when Hurricane Dean cancelled all flights. He and his young lady friend will be rescheduling their trip just as soon as that battered island can recover from the destruction. As our friend, neighbor and accountant, Bob is showing Ed and me that, if you so choose, life can be an adventure to the end!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Jo savors the last drop of her fudgesicle

This is the final photo that completes my Michigan Womyn's Music Festival 2007 gallery. Now I can start working with the hundreds of photos I took there of women's tattoos!

Monday, August 20, 2007


Facing up to my face at 65

I have just posted a gallery of self portraits called "Facing up to my face at 65". I invite you to visit and comment if you feel so inclined.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


A preview of coming attractions

Terrie's tattoo is a teaser to keep you tuned in while I go away for a four-day writers' workshop. I have pix of more tattoos than you can imagine. And I'll be starting to post these photos just as soon as I get back home again.

The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival is a veritable gallery of body art, especially tattoos. And when you see what these women choose to put on their bodies, you'll see why I wanted to focus my photographic energy on this particular project. No skull-and-crossbones there, just creative expressions of where these women have been in their inner & outer lives, and where they hope to go in the future.

While I'm gone you can see more of my festival photos by going to my brand new Michigan Womyn's Music Festival 2007 gallery. I've still got more photos to add, but this is a good beginning.

So please check back in. I'll be home by Monday night. Until then, dream of wild and wonderful images forever inked onto backs, arms, legs, bellies and even fingers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


A music festival means lots of music!

This is a photo of Teri Catlin, a performer at this year's Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. She was accompanying the campers' One World Inspirational Choir at their Saturday rehearsal. She also joined them onstage during Sunday's performance at the Acoustic Stage.

Festival is like that: everyone comes together to share their gifts and talents. Just the way we'd like our world to be.


Our young womyn

One of the best parts of this year at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival was the presence of so many young women on the Land. Their energy is amazing! I've got to hand to Lisa Vogel, the festival owner/director, for her foresight in bringing in performers who would appeal to this next generation. There for awhile the majority of women at festival were pushing middle-age, but at my first festival in 1994, Tribe 8 appeared and every year since then the numbers of punk rock, spoken word and hip hop womyn artists has grown. And so have the numbers of festi-goers in their late teens, 20s and 30s. I love it! In fact, my "Michigan Moment" (highlight) came at the Saturday Night Stage when I was up dancing on my own and four young women got up from their beach chairs to dance with me. Their grins and sweet energy will stay with me for years!

This photo was taken during Friday evening's Femme Parade. On Thursday there was the Butch Strut, but on Friday the girlie girls put on their "best" and paraded from Triangle all the way to the Kitchen tent. Fest is a lot about silliness!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Sunday at fest

By Sunday at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, just about everyone is on a continuum from weary to exhausted...especially the workers, many of whom have been on the Land for weeks. In this photo you see Scorcher who was sound asleep in the hammock until we had to wake her for her 6 p.m. shift as Triangle Traffic coordinator.

Now, coordinating traffic at Triangle is a huge job. Lois Lane is a narrow dirt road that runs the mile from the Front Gate/parking area to "Downtown" where the kitchen tent & stages & community center & crafts area & health care tents are located. And Triangle is the main hub of Lois Lane. All vehicles must be coordinated so only one is on a particular stretch of the road at a time, and on Sunday the wheelchair-accessible shuttle vans and tractor-pulled flatbed "buses" are making constant runs out to the Front Gate with departing campers and their camping gear. The walkie-talkies are sputtering messages nonstop.

Although some lucky campers are able to stay for Sunday night's Closing Candlelight Ceremony at the Acoustic Stage--meaning they'll pack up and leave on Monday morning--many women have to get on the road Sunday because they can't take any more time off work and/or have long distances to travel to get back home.

The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival is an annual event that draws thousands of women from across the United States, Canada, and as far away as New Zealand. Even if you've never been to Fest before--in which case you'll be lovingly identified as a Festie Virgin--the first words you hear when you pass through the Front Gate are always, "Welcome home." And in ways it is hard to articulate, that's just what it is: home.


Feeding 3000 women & children

The Michigan Womyn's Music Festival has had 32 years to get things right...and, believe me, they have! For one week a year, these 650 acres are the most heavily-populated "city" in Oceana County in western Michigan. We have food, health care, garbage collection, recycling, childcare, a girls' camp & a boy's camp, recovery support, mass transist via wheelchair-accessible shuttles & tractor-pulled flatbed "buses". There are traffic controllers, security, and a communications headquarters.

As you can imagine, a VERY important part of it all is our three meals a day with vegetarian-friendly entries cooked over open-pit fires, locally-grown veggies & salad greens chopped by loving hands, and Michigan-fresh peaches and watermelons for dessert.

All of this is accomplished by the campers themselves, supported & organized by festival workers assigned to each area. For the MWMF is a cooperatively-run community in which each camper is expected to do two 4-hour workshifts if they're there for the entire week, or one shift if they only come for the weekend.

This is the way women would run the world.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Mommy's pregnant!

Lucia seemed delighted with her mother's pregnancy, as were the two mommies, Nikki and Christian.

I've just returned from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival with hundreds of photos but, more importantly, with countless memories of heart connections, humor, beauty, playfulness and unconditional love. I'll be putting up galleries of photos in the coming days, but wanted to start with this moment that touched me deeply.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


music to work on photos by

I'm putting up Friday's PaD early because I hope to be on the road by 5 a.m. tomorrow morning.

This will be my 13th Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, but I'm doing it differently this time. Instead of camping for a week with anywhere from 3-10,000 women on 650 acres of "women's land" in western Michigan, I am only going for the weekend (Friday through Sunday) and will be spending the nights in a motel ten miles away. I'm interested in seeing how this will work out. At the very least I won't have karaoke blasting in my ears until 2 a.m.!

To get some idea of what this grandmother of all women's music festivals is like, you can check out one of my Festival photojournals on my web site. Believe me, there's nothing quite it on the planet!

I'll be returning home Monday afternoon with a memory card full of photos. Then we'll see how my "new eyes" have seen thousands of women, forest and meadow stages with live music 12 hours a day, and unimaginable levels of energy that can set your head a'spinning! See you in a few days...


Well, this isn't exactly "abstracting reality," but it does reflect a heightened awareness of what is around me. Every day I wake up with a hunger to see things with new eyes. Sometimes that translates into an abstract image, but more often not. That's OK. Changing one's habitual ways of seeing the world takes time. And time is what I intend to devote to this study of Phil Douglis's teachings on Expressive Photography. The hardest part is undertaking my studies in such a public way. But all I have to lose is my pride, and that is falling away day by day. To be a student is to admit that you don't have the answers, that you have much to learn, that you are determined to grow. This is good. At 65, I am ready to begin again.

Regarding this particular photo, it marks a departure for me. Always before when I'd see my fellow Americans wrap themselves in stars-and-stripes swimsuits, t-shirts, jackets and towels, I'd turn away in disgust. This time I decided to look more closely, and when I did, I saw a woman, fearful and alone. For me, this portrait elicits feelings of compassion not judgement. And that is progress in my own personal growth.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


hidden self portrat at the gym

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Waking up to a lovely rainy morning

For me the hardest part of this new focus on expressive photography, especially abstracting reality, is allowing less to be more. I'm so used to working with brilliant colors, dramatic effects and imaginative subjects that going back to something as simple as my bunched-up quilt and an open bedroom window is a real stretch. But somehow I know this is exactly what I need to be doing. I only hope that you, my faithful visitors, won't get bored and stop coming around!

By the way, I've just put up a new gallery called Exploring Expressive Photography. Like a notebook for school, it will contain my efforts to learn this new--to me--approach to seeing, feeling and doing my work as a photographer.

Monday, August 06, 2007


To see, to save, to connect

I'm on a new path, my friends, and I invite you to companion me as I explore its mysteries.

Late Friday night/early Saturday morning I discovered Phil Douglis's galleries on PBase. Many of you might already know of, or even have worked with, this teacher of what he calls "Expressive Travel Photography." After spending hours that night studying and responding to twelve photos and text in his Gallery One: Travel Abstractions -- Unlimited Thought, and then engaging in interactive comments regarding his work and my own during the day on Saturday, I knew this way of using photography as a tool of creative and human expression was something I'd like to explore with more intentionality and commitment.

And so yesterday I began. My first subject on that rainy Sunday was our screened porch and some of what it contained. You can see the results by going to "My Porch Abstracted" photo gallery. You might find it interesting to read Phil's comments under each of the eight images posted. And then this morning (Monday), as I worked at my laptop, I saw with new eyes what had always been there but I'd never really noticed before. That was the genesis of this photo.

As they say, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. That's what it feels like here. Just as I was finding myself repeating myself in my Photoshop manipulations, another approach appears, one that will hone my eye, my technical skills, and my powers of communication. Yes, I feel ready to begin...

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Biker Ken

This composite shows my friend Ken Rowell on his Harley Classic. Of course I had to play with it a bit to get the feeling I wanted, but I doubt if Ken, or any biker for that matter, would object to the finished product. There's something so dramatic about a Classic.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


palm fruit composite

We've been in the midst of a heat wave here in Detroit. Do you think that's why I'm suddenly so attracted to the color red?

Friday, August 03, 2007


Inspired by Helene

This composite was inspired by a gallery by h2m called urban_colours. Isn't it marvelous how we encourage our sister and brother PBase photographers to experiment simply by going there first? My deepest thanks to Helene for daring to be different.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Nine lives would work!

As I worked with Carol's obituary photos today, it occurred to me that cats shouldn't be the only ones to have nine lives: people like Carol should have them too. So I made it happen! Hey, Photoshop can do anything.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


To live each moment as if it were my last...

I first met Carol at Patricia and Michael's wedding celebration party last Saturday night. I had taken the photos at their ceremony at the Belle Isle Conservatory in February, but on that day only six persons were present: the bridal couple, two witnesses, the judge and me. Saturday was a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate this dear couple who had met and married in their middle years.

I happened to eat dinner at a table with a number of Patricia's cousins, among them were Carol and her husband John. When we introduced ourselves, she asked, "Are you the Patricia who took their wedding photos"? I said I was. That led to a table-wide discussion of photography and creativity. After most people had moved onto other things, Carol got up from her place and came over to sit in the empty seat beside me. She leaned in close and said softly, "I have stage 4 lung cancer and would like to have my portrait taken for my obituary. Would you be interested in doing that?"

So yesterday we met at the lakefront park near my home for a photo shoot. But before we began I did as I'd read the American portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz always does: I tried to get to know my subject better. If I were going to take her portrait, I wanted it to embody her spirit as well as simply looking like her. Not surprisingly I found Carol to be a wise, deep woman who, though faced with a number of life-threatening illnesses, still managed to retain a light touch with not a whisper of self pity. She was also a most creative model who kept changing position and expression while I took about sixty photos. Do you know what she said she wanted her obituary portrait to show? Her sense of humor!

On the phone before our date Carol had asked about my fee. I told her I considered it an honor to be taking these photos and didn't really want money for it. She insisted, so I said she could buy me some flowers. But instead of flowers, Carol and her husband John went to our local Barnes & Noble bookstore and bought me the $75 Annie Leibovitz book, "A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005." She knew me better than I knew myself!

May Carol continue to live every moment to the full, bring her humor and kindness to those around her, and be free of pain and suffering.

This gif is freely copyable. Just right click, save
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