“Tis the night – the night of the grave’s delight,
And the warlocks are of their play;
Ye think that without the Wild winds shout,
But no, it is they – it is they.”
Arthur Cleveland Coxe
‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
Twice a year Daytona Beach and the surrounding cities host events for bikers. Around the middle of October approximately half a million bikers from all over the world roar into Daytona and the surrounding cities to enjoy the shortest of these events, Biketoberfest. For four days the roar of motorcycles fills the air. The ground vibrates and throbs with the sound of motorcycles.
This was my initiation at driving my Harley Davidson XL883C in heavy biker traffic having only had my license since March. Prior to this I was always on the back of Marks’ Harley Ultra Classic. Obviously I had my hands full and therefore have no real photographs to share. Here are some images, screen captures taken from my and Marks’ Drift video helmet cameras as well as some from the live web feed on Main Street, Daytona Beach where a lot of the action takes place.
The above was taken early on Friday morning. Here I am leading a pack of bikers onto Main Street. At this time we could putter through at a constant slow speed. This would change later in the day.
Later on Friday as it’s getting busier. Pedestrians line the side walks enjoying the sights and sounds. Cars are still sightseeing up and down Main Street but around the middle of the afternoon Main Street is closed to vehicles making it safer for bikers. Main Street is a narrow street about half a mile long and this time around it took us about 20-30 minutes to ride or sometimes inch our way through.
From Marks’ viewpoint a screen capture from his Drift helmet video camera. I’ve got the white helmet on. You can see it’s really starting to get busier as we inch our way East on Main Street.
Another screen capture from Marks’ Drift helmet camera showing Beach Street where a lot of the vendors set up tents to display and sell their t-shirts and other biker paraphernalia. The trike (three wheeler) next to me has a 350 cubic inch race car engine in it and sounded “BAD to the BONE”!!
Stopping to take a break on our ride through the famous “Loop”. This ride takes in some of the beautiful woods in Central Florida. This area is usually very quiet but during Biketoberfest the deer and hog take cover as the drumbeat of Harley Davidson motorcycles fills the air.
Sunday afternoon rolled around and it was as if someone had flipped off a switch, the air grew quiet and the usually sleepy cities of Daytona, Ormond and Holly Hill settled back down to a normal rhythm.
Our Phalaenopsis Orchid or “Moth” orchid rewarded us with beautiful long lasting blooms earlier this year.
The Phalaenopsis abbreviated to “Phal” in the horticultural trade is an orchid genus consisting of of approximately 60 species so there are many variations in the colors, shape and size of flowers each plant produces. This particular plant produced beautiful pale lilac blooms with a darker center.
Phalaenopsis are low-light orchids and thrive in our east facing kitchen window. They do not like direct sunlight and will scorch in our hot Florida sun. They like plenty of water about once a week to keep their air roots looking healthy.
Both of the pictures above were taken with the Mamiya 645 Pro TL with an 80 mm Mamiya Sekor lens fitted with a 2X convertor in studio lighting. I also decided to try a little experiment with my Holga 120N ~ a little plastic toy camera fitted with a close up lens. Here’s the result:-
The results from a cheap little plastic toy camera with a plastic lens are always unique.
All of the above were taken using Ilford HP5 film in studio lighting and developed and printed in our darkroom. The silver gelatin prints were scanned into digital format for displaying on this blog.
From excavations dating back to the 1400’s, the foundations of the old church and graveyard in “Oud Diemen” were discovered. This graveyard has always been a source of fascination for me. I remember this area when it was a vibrant farming community. Some of the homes in the background are remodeled from the original old farm buildings. I was born not far from here and remember the walks my dad and I used to take along the “Oud Diemerlaan” when I was an infant.
“Diemen takes its name from the river Diem, which in the Middle Ages was a connection between the Bijlmer , the Gaasp and the Zuiderzee . A thousand years ago it was peat land area and the first inhabitants settled down. They probably came from the area of Utrecht .
Excavations have shown that there was occupation from the 11th century near the Diem. The earliest record dates from 1033, and thus is Diemen one of the first settlements in this area and some two centuries older than Amsterdam . In the 13th century the Diem was dammed with Diemerdam in Diemerzeedijk .
Old Diemen residents lived in an approximately three-meter high mound, near the current new district Diemen North , where a wooden church and houses stood. Remains of a stone church from the 15th century, when archaeological excavations recovered. The foundations of the church in the cemetery “Remember the dead” (Gedenk te Sterven) were discovered.
In the 17th century Old Diemen was the core and the inhabitants lived mainly by agriculture. In this century, this village was immortalized several times by Rembrandt in etchings and drawings. After the construction of the Muiderkerk Trekvaart and Weespertrekvaart in 1638 and 1640, the center of the town moved to the Diemer Bridge , the current Hartveldseweg” (some of this was quoted from Wikipedia – translation into English by Google isn’t always the best). Rain made for tricky hand held exposures.
Camera and film:- Minolta Maxxum 7000i – Ilford HP5 400. Developed in PMK 1+2+100 @ 76° for 10 minutes. Printed on Arista EDU Ultra VCFB in Moersch ECO 4812. Bleached @ 1:50 for 1 minute. Toned with MT3 50+130+800 for 1 minute. Scanned from silver gelatin print.
Both Marks and myself have a passion for our Harley Davidson motorcycles. Up until my birthday we rode together on his Harley Davidson Ultra Classic ~ a “geezer” glide, a recliner on two wheels. Ultra comfortable to coin a phrase. For my birthday this year he surprised me with a Harley Davidson of my own a loud and raucous Harley Davidson Sportster XL883C. She is sometimes referred to as “little hog” or “half a hog” but I can honestly say that the power and torque of this small bike are amazing. Throughout my life I’ve always had a “need for speed” and my “Pegasus” Sportster provides all that and then some.
Learning to operate a motorcycle was a whole new learning curve for me. One four hour night class consisting of theory and one and a half days of learning to operate a motorcycle about half the size, weight and power of mine. The conditions you encounter during this short training in a parking lot does not equip you for real life road riding. The training gave me the endorsement I needed to actually learn to operate a motorcycle on the roads.
I have to admit that the first time on my own motorcycle I experienced a surge of adreneline touched with a little sense of fear and awe. Nothing really prepared me for the power nor the torque. Pegasus felt like a thoroughbred horse straining at the bit. I put my trust in Marks. His experience over many years of riding was priceless to me. I was a sponge soaking up all the new information and trying to put it all together. The first rides were anything but pretty but Marks’ constant encouragement and lack of criticism were exactly what I needed. I also have a strong will to learn and master but soon found out that mastering can only be learned with “seat time”. Seat time is what I’ve been building over the past 7 months. Weather permitting we ride three or four times a week. We started out slowly with rides through the woods where there’s little traffic to deal with building up to busier roads with more traffic. I soon found out that I have to watch everything and everybody as well as pay attention to road conditions. Car drivers do not pay attention to motorcyclist so I have to be prepared for evasive action.
So I’m still here and obviously Marks is a great teacher. Now that I’m riding my own Harley Marks felt it was time to customize his Ultra Classic to something a little less “geezer” like and a lot more stylish. He started by removing the rear seat (that was the recliner I always used to lounge in). A new solo seat was added and the bike took on a whole new look.
Marks’ bike is beginning to shape up without all that bulky stuff on the back. There are still times that I will need to ride on the back (like when my bike goes in for service at the dealership and they do good work but “good” takes time). The stock driver’s seat that the bike came with needed to be replaced but we did need a passenger that would enable him to carry me or a passenger if the need arose. He wanted something different but as he sometimes carries the grand kids he also needed a sissy bar (back support) for security. This is what the new seats and sissy bar look like. Both can be removed quickly when not required converting this back to a solo seat ride.
From personal experience I can tell you that the rear seat is not “cushy on the tushy”. Marks told me that it will need to be worn as his new single seat was very hard to begin with. Hopefully I won’t be the one to wear it in. I’m not sure my mature tushy can take that. Both of us do love the look of the new sissy bar. It has a Gothic type of style and is totally different to any other we’ve seen adding that personalized custom look to the bike. I’m sure there will be more custom items added over time. Both of us have our own “wish lists” of what we want for the bikes.
See you in the wind. Have a great weekend.
Regardless of genus or species, night-blooming cereus flowers are almost always white or very pale shades of other colors. All of our flowers open after nightfall, and by daylight are wilting. We have two plants that bear slightly different flowers but both are thin-stemmed climbers. The flowers are huge, about the size of a side plate, bright white with pale yellow stamen.
Our more mature night blooming cereus rewarded us with 15 flowers all opening at once two nights ago. It’s not easy to describe the beauty of the flowers and the headiness of the scent that fills the air. It’s an ugly plant by day but when it flowers it’s truly transformed into the “Queen of the Night”. We used a flashlight to assist with focusing as a flash tends to remove all the precious detail.
Queen of the Night
“Mighty oceans of darkness gently flow
Shiny pearls like stars brightly glow
Sensation of your elegant bloom
Appears once in a blue moon
Suspending on a rough spiky surface
Swaying like a pretty young princess
Blooming throughout one summer night
Until become whole and bright
Seducing enigmatic fragrance of absolute divine
Mesmerizing sweet scent of mother nature’s design
Precious wonder under the calm moonlight
You are the gracious Queen of the Night…”