Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Maryland, My Maryland, Part 7

Walking north on the Ocean City boardwalk brought back so many memories. For instance, one is of the hotel where our grandmother worked during the summer months. She was a teacher during the school year but took on the role of hostess in the dining room of the Colonial Hotel (as I recall and confirmed by our Aunt Ellen). One summer, I stayed with Granny for a week or so and she brought me to Ocean City while she worked. She gave me five dollars (a royal sum in those days) to go play the arcade games to my heart's content. As this memory was occupying my mind, I was brought back to current reality when I looked up to see a huge collection of kites flying in the wind. I don't recall for sure but I'll bet we did fly a kite or two in the ocean breezes but it would have been a simple diamond shaped kite with a cloth tail — not these fancy catchers of the wind.

One of the most amazing kites was this huge whale — my estimation is that the kite was close to life size (although certainly not as heavy). Which brought to mind two questions. #1 — How do you launch such a large kite? #2 — How do you hold onto the line once it catches the wind and flies freely?

Here are the Cephalopods — a large squid and an equally imposing octopus. It is interesting that many of the real animals can change color to camouflage themselves in order to avoid predators — so perhaps these colorations are not so unreal after all.

Wow, this is one of the most complex kites I've ever seen — a school of dolphins both above and below a wave. It definitely reminds me of dolphins swimming in the wake of the ferry from Moloka‘i to Maui back in 2009 (click here to see the photo).

Oh, a cute psychedelic fish. Pretty large too.

I love this huge blue dragon. Notice all the lines needed to control this beast.

This must be the mate to the previous dragon. Cool!

Oh and remember Tom and Jerry? As kids, we always enjoyed their cartoons — remembering that Jerry always seemed to outsmart Tom. Good thing — otherwise they would have had to stop producing the cartoons if Tom actually captured and ate Jerry.

Wow — a monster-size blue crab. Now that would make a mountain of crab cakes! Love 'em.

On the boardwalk was the shop that was flying most of the kites. Obviously, the ones flying were there to attract attention of potential customers. I just had to browse — look at this dragon spinner I found. The wings were spinning rapidly but my shutter speed was 1/3200 of a second, freezing them so that it looks like they were stationary. I could have blurred them in Photoshop but I like being able to see their detail.

Here a parrot spinner — my guess is that this is their most popular model.

Last, and certainly not least, are a Baltimore Oriole and Baltimore Raven spinner. My dad was a life-long Orioles fan and later adopted the Ravens when they moved from Cleveland to Baltimore. He and I used to be big Baltimore Colts fans but we put a curse on them when they left in the middle of the night to move to Indianapolis. If my dad were still alive, I probably would have bought one for him as a birthday gift. He would have loved it.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com