Posts Tagged ‘photographs’


Spring sunshine and blooms provide opportunities to take the kinds of photographs I like best. Here I share blossoms that I believe are quince, things I saw in the woods (baby oak leaves in mud, foam flowers, ferns, Sessile Bellwort, and a garter snake), murals in Cambridge, Mass., and a random indoor shot from the past month.

The carpet of cherry petals was shot in Providence.































































































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I wanted to share a few photos documenting a view of New England’s transition from fall to winter. (Maybe it’s not officially winter, but we have had our first snow.)

I start off here with one of my favorite photographic subjects: shadows. These are shadows of late-autumn weeds. Next we have a view of French’s Meadow along the Sudbury River. It is nearly always covered with water from the river escaping the banks.

Concord was the site of the military funeral for Tom Hudner, Korean War hero and a native of Fall River, Massachusetts.

The classroom picture was taken December 12, when students from a Providence English-as-a-Second-Language class where I volunteer gave me the sweetest thank-you celebration. Many of them also took phone videos of me trying to replicate the dancing of a Congolese woman in the class. Now I am worried about how many Facebook pages it’s on.

The gingerbread house is the 2017 version by the woman who does one every year for the town library. Each year’s is more amazing than the last. Note the little duck pond in the lower left.

The Grasshopper Shop, a women’s clothing store, put out a tree decorated with the holiday wishes of children. How sad that one child would have to wish “that North Korea doesn’t nuke anyone.”

The deciduous holly and white pine are pictured after our first snow. The town was really pretty when my husband and I walked through the shadows cast by streetlights and holiday lights on our way to dinner that night.

































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I learn a lot from well-researched murder mysteries set in foreign lands. And ever since Kate’s Mystery Books got me hooked on Eliot Pattison’s The Skull Mantra, the nomads in the mountains of Tibet have intrigued me.

That is why I loved Diane Barker’s photographs at the Global Oneness Project, which creates beautiful “Stories of the Month” about endangered cultures. (Maybe you saw my post on saving a language, here.)

For the photo collection on the Dropka, Barker writes, “Tibet has the youngest and therefore some of the highest mountains on earth. Journeying there, I have found a landscape of awesome beauty with the average altitude being 14,000 feet, an extreme and savage climate. It strikes me that it takes a tough and resilient people to flourish in these conditions, and also that perhaps the vastness and solitude of the landscape has encouraged Tibetans’ natural bent for visionary mysticism and unique brand of Buddhism.

“I have been photographing Tibetans for a number of years — deeply inspired by a culture that places spirituality at the heart of life. I have been most moved by Tibet’s Drokpa, or nomads, who until recently comprised an estimated 25 percent to 40 percent of the Tibetan population. …

“On trips to Tibet from 2000 to the present, I have been privileged to stay with nomad families in Amdo and Kham in eastern Tibet, and have found myself totally smitten by their wild earthiness and independent spirit as well as their friendliness, hospitality, and sense of fun. The nomad women, particularly, have impressed me, holding life together and doing most of the work. …

“Traditionally, the Tibetan nomads were very free, forming tribal communities to protect and support each other in their harsh environment where the major threats included weather, disease, bandits, wolves, or snow leopards. But this beautiful earth-based way of life is dying …

“From 2006 on, I have seen fewer nomadic encampments and the land in many areas has an empty, abandoned feeling. … I sense that the loss of the Drokpa way of life will have impacts beyond what we can imagine. As rangeland ecologist, Daniel Miller, writes …  ‘Who will pass this indigenous knowledge of the landscape on to the next generation if nomads are settled in towns?’ ”

More explanation, plus Barker’s amazing photos here.

Photo: Dropka.org

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I find so many more photo ops in summer than in winter, although that may mean I am not paying enough attention when it’s cold out. Surely there are great shadows everywhere.

Here are a few pictures from the last two weeks.

From New Shoreham: a field with Fresh Pond in the upper left corner, yellow lichen taking over a stone wall and trees, roses growing by a gate, children warming up in the dark sand. In Providence: a shady walk on the west side of the Providence River, a painted butterfly on the path, a swan preening, a distant view of the so-called Superman Building, public art with a muskrat fishing (?), a poster explaining the art project. In Massachusetts: shadows on a tree, a chipmunk on a lichen-covered rock.








































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Public transit in Greater Boston didn’t run today as MBTA staff tried to dig out tracks, switches, and signals. We were told to work at home for the 5th time in two weeks. I went for a walk at lunch. Where sidewalks were plowed, the snow was often piled shoulder high on either side. I like walking in recently plowed snow because boots have more traction. The texture is like pie dough that’s a little too dry. Once the snow gets packed down, it makes for slippery walking. In the town, where merchants went bananas with salt, the sidewalk and crosswalks were unpleasantly soupy.

The first photo is from today. It’s Concord Academy. The others were taken in the past week and include a tree on Congress Street in Boston, a snowbank that the plow cut through as if slicing cake, snowy fire escapes near the TD Garden, a view of the Boston Seaport District from a roof garden, and my ice lantern (still going after more than a week of evening lighting).




















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I’m not much of a world traveler although I always enjoy new places once I get there. I feel sufficiently challenged, though, just trying to see what is in front of me and delving into meanings.

I overheard two men who were walking in a shade-dappled lane this morning. They were discussing “operations” and the “lowest cost per month” and were consulting a smartphone. I’m not sure they saw much in front of them.

Not to be superior, I miss things, too. How many times have I come up out of the Porter Square subway station to cross the street and not noticed the bollards with the mysterious carvings? I’ve pasted three samples below.

A few more photos. Two sides of an especially nice paint job on the Painted Rock. A whole family brought their beach chairs and drinks to watch the artists among them paint the sunset, boats, and sea creatures and then photograph the art before someone painted over it with new messages. Which happened in a couple hours and involved much less style. But that’s OK — the rock is the billboard of pure democracy.

On another rock, one I had never noticed until early Saturday, please note directions to China.

Circling back to the “lowest cost” guys, when I got to the bend in the lane, they were gone. I was walking so much slower than they were.






































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Today I went to the zoo. I was busy following my three grandchildren around and didn’t take many pictures. If you want to see great photographs of all the animals, go the website of the Franklin Park Zoo.

There were a lot of people at the zoo today, my fist visit. So many little kids everywhere! We weren’t there at the right time to help feed the giraffes, but I enjoyed seeing them. Here are couple giraffes with a zebra in the shared space — and a photo of a zoo employee dressed up as a giraffe. I also got a shot of my older grandson on the slide. There’s a big playground at the zoo.

Suzanne thought one of the primates looked a little morose, but the lemurs were very chipper — and the birds. Hard to tell if the snakes were chipper. The big cats were sleeping.

After the zoo, the kids, their parents, my husband, and I went to Sophia’s Grotto in Roslindale for lunch, where we sat outside under a tree. The two-year-old grandson took a nap in his carriage.


















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Ice Lanterns on front stoop






My scientist brother makes ice lanterns, a useful skill for lighting friends to your door in a cold Wisconsin winter.

Here’s how. “Large 9” water balloons are frozen out on my deck, then emptied of liquid water, candled, & lit.

“The only tricky part is knowing when they are ‘done.’ Ice should be not too thin, and not too thick. Also, you need to blow air into the balloon after you fill it with H2O, so there will be a nice flat surface on top. That’s where you punch a hole in the ice to empty the liquid H2O & place the candle.”

You gotta grab all the gusto and try to enjoy the cold weather we have been having. I remember that when we lived in Minneapolis, it was a hoot to pour water off the balcony and watch it freeze in flight.

You might also want to check out how Asakiyume makes her frozen soap bubbles, here.

Closeup Ice Lanterns

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Gaelic McTigue, at All Things Bright and Beautiful in Waitsfield, Vermont, fills orders from around the world to create painted wooden ornaments. Here she is in her shop. Below is a bear ornament that she signed for two of our grandkids. (We got a Swedish elf ornament for our Swedish-American grandson’s tree.)

I’ve included a couple other seasonal photos: the Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, tree at Macy’s, the brass band starting to warm up at the craft market.

For a nice Advent carol, check out composer Jeff Fuhrer’s “What Are We Waiting For?” on http://www.soundcloud.com. I tried to upload the MP3 he sent but couldn’t figure out how. Catchy tune.





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A quirky book of photos and interviews has rocketed to the top of the NY Times bestseller list, demonstrating once again the value of doing what interests you.

Julie Bosman at the NY Times reports on Brandon Stanton’s success with taking portraits and asking subjects both mild questions and questions “so personal they might make Oprah Winfrey blush. …

“Hundreds of his pictures and interviews have been compiled into a book, Humans of New York, which has become an instant publishing phenomenon. After its first week on sale last month, the book landed in the No. 1 spot on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list. …

“Mr. Stanton grew up in an Atlanta suburb and attended the University of Georgia. After graduating as a film major, he found a job in Chicago as a trader, and on the weekends, he spent hours photographing that city.

“But after he was laid off in 2010, Mr. Stanton decided to shift to a completely new career. He moved to New York, where he didn’t know a single person. …

“After several months, he began moving in a different direction, interviewing his subjects and asking them about their lives, their struggles, their disappointments and their hopes.

“Most people brushed him off. … But his project gradually attracted an audience, mostly people in their 20s who left enthusiastic comments on his website. When his Facebook page had collected more than 200,000 followers, Mr. Stanton decided it was time to collect the pictures into a book.

“St. Martin’s Press, part of Macmillan, was the only publisher willing to print the book in hardcover.”

Good for St. Martin’s! Bet Stanton’s editor, Yaniv Soha, is laughing at all the naysayers now — laughing all the way to the bank.

More at the NY Times.

Photo: Brandon Stanton
The quote in the caption is presumably from the girl’s parents: “We ordered her those pants, and as soon as they arrived, she cut off the bottoms and made a pair of gloves.”

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One thing to do in a heat wave is to find someplace air conditioned.

So this morning my husband and I took our three-year-old grandson to the Boston Children’s  Museum, a magical and air-conditioned place that is celebrating its 100th year.

It was packed. Many other families had had the same idea.

We liked playing with the waterfall and pulling a rope that caused a tennis ball to shoot high in the air and cutting out leaves for an art collage and engaging in countless other playtime learning experiences.

Probably the only problem from the 3-year-old’s point of view was that  grandparents have such short attention spans.

We were also able to take in the Boston Fire Museum, which is close by. And before we left the area, we watched the tour boat White Pearl out of New Bedford spray hoses on a ghostly pirate ship in Fort Point Channel.


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