I've decided to do a few more personal posts around these parts. Because I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who read the blog (thanks guys!) and because, though this is primarily a business tool, it's also something of a diary for me. And if I commit to doing a monthly round-up post, maybe I'll actually get around to taking more photos and downloading them. Big promises! In the meantime, at least I have enough material for a February post. Also, you may have noticed that February isn't over. This roundup is coming early because tomorrow I head off to New Orleans to cover Mardi Gras. I'm excited but also nervous. And I'm really, really hoping to come back with a lot of really great images. The big plan is to put together a book. But in the meantime... it's been damn cold. So cold. I'm a warm-weather girl and this winter is breaking me. I'm very happy with the forecasted 60s in NOLA. That is going to feel like swimsuit weather. This is the Alexandria waterfront, iced over. Craziness! 14th Street near the Black Cat. The National Botanical Gardens. A pound cake in a tree. This kind of thing is called a "found object", as is a photograph taken of such. My neighbor and buddy John invited me along to the George Washington birthday parade in Old Town, Alexandria. It was a very helpful exercise pre-NOLA, as I was able to determine quickly that the real action is the set-up before the parades and not the actual procession. Though in Mardi Gras, there's more of everything, so this may not hold down there. The aforementioned John, in front of a pretty blue wall. Finally, more winter. I decided, on one of those warm days last week, to get my ish together and go for a hike. However, I had not anticipated that most of the snow out in the VA country would still be on the ground - a good four inches in many places on the trail. Where there wasn't snow to trudge through, there was either packed ice or sludge. This was a truly miserable hike, and one for which I should have been wearing boots. In any case, it was some exercise in a winter that has kept me shut indoors whining about the cold. And that is that. Hopefully I'll come back atcha in March with more good randomness.