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Posts Tagged ‘photos’

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Hello, summer clouds — so beautiful! I was discussing them with my friend Nancy yesterday, and she told me she had signed up some years ago with the UK-based Cloud Appreciation Society, which sends her a daily cloud picture and a few words on cloud science or cloud mythology. Consider joining if you need a daily pick-me-up in quarantine.

The next two pictures reference my growing appreciation of fungus. Then comes a bright red intruder in the forest, reminding me of the lamppost that Lucy found in the wintry Narnia woodland after emerging from the wardrobe.

The doorknob in the tree made Suzanne think of a handy panic button (I think she is tired of lockdown), but I’m pretty sure it leads into a home. Probably not a hobbit home, since they prefer burrows underground. Maybe it belongs to Owl.

I love the little red squirrels that have started to appear in our region. John thinks global warming may be bringing them up from the south. Clue me in if you know.

The decidedly unscenic bug repellent had been abandoned along the bike trail. I didn’t touch it as I am a Covid germaphobe, but I got a laugh: I’d been slapping mosquitoes for the whole walk.

In the town of Lincoln, yarn stretched between trees caught my eye. A bit further along the conservation trail, there was a helpful explanation.

The tippy old wooden building is next to Orchard House, a childhood home of author Louisa May Alcott. The building was named the School of Philosophy by Louisa’s hippy father Bronson and continues to offer presentations and lectures in normal times. (I put up my photo of Louisa in her coronavirus face mask for yesterday’s post.)

Speaking of adapting to the times, you will note that the Colonial Inn (founded in 1716) has marked off six-foot segments on its brick walk for safe distancing.

The Art Deco frieze on the old Emerson school building welcomes visitors to what is now the Umbrella Center for the Arts.

I don’t think I need to explain the last three. Sometimes readers give me their reactions to one or two pics. I do get a kick out of that — should you feel moved to comment.

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I take pictures with my phone, and some are better than others. Don’t expect too much.

These shots are from recent rambles in my neighborhood: I don’t like to go so far these days that I might have to use a public bathroom! Actually, there is one photo that is not mine. It was taken by my friend Kristina’s Arizona cousin. So adorable! I don’t think we have quail around here.

Let me start with a few oddities: a lily that had a tough time waking up, the first possum to visit my yard in 38 years, and a whimsical tombstone (the more traditional family of the deceased had their way with the other side).

From there we move to the baby quail, hatched in a flower pot, lovely shadows early and late, and kindness rocks. I think initially the young artists started making the rocks just to cheer people up, but now they have set up a way to sell them for the benefit of the Boston Food Bank. Outside the front door of their house, they have a poster of a giant thermometer to mark how they’re doing with their donation goals — the way one might do for Community Chest. I’m impressed.

Moving along to the community garden, I love one person’s tidy plot with a woven gate. In fact, I love all the spring scenes I’ve collected, including skunk cabbage and ferns unfurling. The spring photos could illustrate the children’s book I’ve been rereading, The Secret Garden — so full of joy about nature! Don’t laugh when I tell you why I originally thought about asking the library for the e-book: all those people dying of cholera in the beginning, followed by a happy life for the survivors.

The last picture is from the elementary school’s playground. At most times of day, there is no one on the school grounds, and unless I can keep a steady six-foot distance walking with a friend, going where there is no one at all is pretty much my favorite thing these days.

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As usual on sunny days, I’m paying a lot of attention to shadows, and thinking about shadows often calls to mind these words from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended—
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.

Although Shakespeare is referring to the characters as shadows or perhaps the actors, I’m wondering whether we’re the ones who are shadows. But if so, who is slumbering and seeing visions? When I go down that path, I get all snarled up. Better back off.

Today I was planning to share light and darkness in the form of photos going back to Easter (which seems a long, long time ago for some reason), including photos of shadows. Doesn’t the picture above make you think of a New England painter best known for projecting loneliness?

Sandra M. Kelly sent pictures of the Easter Sunrise Service in New Shoreham and a statue that the folks on the island call Rebecca. Please note she’s wearing her mask.

I used a Sharpie for my hard-boiled eggs this Easter as I had no dye. There were 8 other Easter eggs representing the people who would have come here but for coronavirus. We ate them. 🙂

Kristina Joyce shot the cactus. It bloomed for her twice this Easter. She told me that had never happened before.

On April 18, we had snow, which surprised the flowering bushes at my neighbor’s. The Trout Lilies persevered.

There follow random items that caught my eye on my walks. The mystery vegetable arrived with my farm produce order Thursday. It turned out to be ramps (as in the awesome history of Appalachia called Ramp Hollow) and we sauteed the whole thing, minus roots. We saw online that you don’t cultivate ramps. They need to be foraged. They tasted like a very sharp onion.

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Time for a few more photos sent to me by family or gathered on a walk. What would I do without the outlet of walks?

Above I am bundled up in front of the Melvin Memorial at Concord’s Sleepy Hollow cemetery. It commemorates another bad time in US history, the Civil War. A heartbroken man whose three brothers never came home commissioned the famous Concord sculptor Daniel Chester French (who created the statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in DC) to make this lovely recognition of his brothers’ service.

French, by the way, is buried not too far from this, near authors Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott.

In the next picture, I’m photographing John’s adventurous neighbors from the bridge over the Sudbury River as one of them photographs me. The bridge is near the next scene, a meadow that the river floods every spring.

A walk on conservation land can turn up a fox if I’m lucky. Or maybe a bathtub.

What to make of the bear? I did read somewhere that folks in another town were putting teddy bears in windows to make a safe scavenger hunt for neighborhood children, but this was the only bear I encountered on my walk. He looks like he is being held for ransom.

In the last picture my Rhode Island grandchildren are making flags of countries they have invented where there is no coronavirus. According to Suzanne, my grandson’s country is “a mountainous island off of Norway [and my granddaughter’s] is filled with rainbows, unicorns, and — LOL — dolls.”

Laurie, I know you’d like a country with unicorns.

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Recently, returning from a sunny walk, I heard Three Little Pigs calling out, “Stay positive!”

Sometimes my town is like that.

Today’s photos show that in New England it can be both spring and winter on the same day, graveyards are peaceful for walking, the deCordova museum’s outdoor art is currently free, and a candle in the window can symbolize hope.

Let me know what needs more explanation. Probably the Andy Goldsworthy art at deCordova. It’s not a mausoleum despite the graveyard theme here. It’s a kind of sculpture that will do magical things when there’s a heavy rain. It’s called Watershed.

The glass milk bottles are from a farm that delivers a range of necessities. (I’m feeling grateful today to all the delivery people in America. Stay well!)

 

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I wanted to do another photo post but didn’t have very many photos. That’s mainly because I have been doing my daily walk indoors when it’s not nice out. ‘Round and ’round indoors. Kind of dull.

So I went to a couple free art exhibits, and now I have more pictures.

In Providence, Racine Holly was showing some dramatic skies at a church. When I went in, I didn’t see anyone around. Very trusting. I could hear construction workers talking behind a screen at least. I’m sharing the two oils I liked best. They both had “sold” stickers. The second one was tiny.

Then I went to the Bell Gallery at Brown University, where there was a show of work by Brown art professor Wendy Edwards that had been recommended by critic Cate McQuaid at the Boston Globe. I find I like art that McQuaid likes.

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This artist had a lot of works related to reproduction. The giant peach looks great in the Globe article but up close was “too buch for be,” to quote the Elephant’s Child. Below are a few paintings I liked better.

While at the Bell Gallery, I also took a picture of a Brown University Design Workshop pedestal that I didn’t quite understand. It looks like a range of stamping techniques carved in different styles. But if you used one as a stamp, the words would be backwards. It’s probably just to show potential clients what can be done.

The final six photos reflect recent travels in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Note the path of rose petals a clever florist scattered to her door for Valentine’s Day shoppers to follow.

If anything needs more explanation, please let me know in Comments. (Did you get where I’m trying to imitate Magritte?)

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Time for more photos. Most were taken by me in New York and Massachusetts, but my friend Ann took the one of her granddaughter contemplating Abe Lincoln.

What would either Abe or Gracie think if they understood all that was going on in Washington today?

In the next photo, one of my own granddaughters and her friend enjoy candy canes and conversation after performing in a “Nutcracker” put on by their ballet school.

Then we have a book “sculpture” put together to measure donations to the library fund for its ambitious addition. The pile of books increases as the donations increase. I took a close-up of a giant replica of a local author’s bestseller.

Two snow pictures are next, followed by one of a squirrel I saw yesterday posing on a lion sculpture.

The decorated windows are at the Umbrella Arts Center, where I went to see a musical version of Tuck Everlasting before Christmas. The building was once a school. A magnificent makeover was completed just this year and includes a state-of-the-art theater, artist studios, rooms for pottery and classes of all kinds, and a new maker space.

Next we move on to New York, where I spent two nights after Christmas. At the top of this post is one of the many delightful Central Park playgrounds with wild animals to climb on. Alice in Wonderland mosaics are in the subway at 50th Street, and giant toy soldiers grace midtown for the holidays.

At the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), beautifully redesigned, I saw this Horace Pippin painting of Lincoln pardoning a sentry condemned for falling asleep on the job. I had received a text the day before from my daughter-in-law saying that she had just been learning about Pippin from my six-year-old granddaughter, thanks to A Splash of Red, a wonderful children’s book. So I texted the painting to them.

There follows one of Edward Hopper’s most famous lonely paintings — this one of a gas station in the middle of nowhere — and Edward Weston‘s “Hot Coffee, Mojave Desert, 1937.” Also from MoMA, a delightful cat by Morris Hirshfield (thanks, Paul, for identifying the artist).

The next day, I visited the Neue Galerie, which I adored. That museum, housed in a beautiful mansion, focuses on early 20th century German and Austrian art and design. I saw Gustav Klimt’s “Adele Bloch-Bauer” in gold and silver, lovely works by Egon Schiele, and a special exhibit of works by the tragic Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

Unfortunately, they don’t let you take pictures there, so I shot brochures!

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I haven’t shared photos for a while. Some of these are from my last sad visit to New York, others are closer to home.

The first one makes me think of how hopeful I was on September 24th, when I arrived in New York and stayed with my sister’s devoted friend. I learned that my sister was doing better than the day before although she was still in the hospital. She was talking again and saying she wanted to carry on with treatment. We allowed ourselves a flutter of hope.

The bed is a Murphy Bed, made famous in old, silent movies, where someone like Charlie Chaplin might accidentally get closed up in it. This one was comfortable and not at all recalcitrant.

My hosts’ balcony had a glorious view. I sat there and had a cup of tea. I also took an early walk around their neighborhood, which features a statue of the Dutch director-general of the colony of New Netherland (now New York), “Peg Leg” Peter Stuyvesant. I couldn’t help wondering what the descendants of the Lenape natives thought of the statue.

Alas, the next day my sister took a dramatic turn for the worse and died the day after that. Miraculously, our brothers arrived in time from Wisconsin and California.

On days that followed, my sister’s husband, her friend, Suzanne, and I wandered around the city trying to enjoy nature and art and focus on good memories.

Then I took a bus back to Rhode Island, where I had left my car in a hurry. The rooster is in Rhode Island.

The concluding set of photos embraces art and nature back home in Massachusetts, where a long-life sympathy plant from my niece and nephew holds pride of place in the living room.

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I wanted to share recent photos from New York and Massachusetts. I’m always on the lookout for scenes that are either quirky or beautiful. In New York, though, my usual delight in the city was overshadowed by my sister’s difficult fight with glioblastoma, and I took only two shots of Central Park. Fortunately, Paul’s garden in Massachusetts provided a bit of Central-Park wonder close to home.

The handsome pig in Boston’s Greenway was sculpted by Elliott Kayser. The gentleman from the movie Titanic is made of wax. Do you know him? Had me fooled for a minute there.

The giant mural of swallows is the latest for Dewey Square. Artist Stefan “Super A” Thelen calls it “Resonance.”

At Three Stones Gallery, I shot the beautiful tree for my quilting friends. The artist is Merill Comeau. The soapstone sculpture next to it is by Elisa Adams.

Next you have two of my obligatory shadow pics, plus a message from a rock. Those are followed by four shots of Paul’s amazing home garden and grounds. (His day job is as landscaper of Boston’s most beautifully landscaped building.)

The bunch of ripe grapes peeps out from the display recognizing Ephraim Bull, originator of the Concord Grape.

You may recognize the location of my two early morning photos: the North Bridge at Minuteman National Park.

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Maybe I can hold on to the summertime feeling a bit longer with a few more photos. Not that I don’t love autumn, too, and the sense of getting my ducks in a row as I resume a normal routine, but …

Susan Klas Wright created this beautiful rendering of waves for the Spring Street Gallery’s most recent show. Elinor C. Thompson is the artist behind both lifelike and larger-than-life seashells. And I loved Robin Bell’s haunting double exposures of island scenes.

Next is a shot of New Shoreham’s Fresh Pond seen through the trees. That’s followed by another leafy vista, this one of an old, unused building labeled “Concord Water Works.”  In West Concord, there’s a pretty bridge arching Nashoba Brook behind the bakery where I bought an avocado toast Monday after walking a few miles on the Bruce Freeman Trail.

On my walk, I was startled to see a railroad light in the middle of woods. Was it public art? Something like Narnia’s lamp post?

I loved the profusion of Evening Primrose and the ubiquitous bumblebees, drunk with opportunity.

The final view represents my last Rhode Island sunset for the time being. It will have to hold me.

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The angle of light makes September seem close at hand, so it’s time to round up a few more photos from my Rhode Island summer before the hurricanes start.

As they do every year, both families of grandchildren took a turn at a lemonade stand to raise money either for a big item on a wish list — or a visit to the candy store.

Another every-year thing is the opening of my neighbor’s lotus flowers. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, it always feels like an unexpected miracle. I took the photo of a bud, and Sandra M. Kelly captured a full-blown lotus when I was in New York.

Sandra also took the photo of the jellies. She’s a famous jelly maker locally, making blackberry, beach plum, and strawberry-rhubarb jams and jellies, among others. But this was the first year we picked Queen Anne’s Lace so she could attempt the lemony jelly that Thelma, an island character, used to make out of the flowers. It had a lovely flavor.

On a couple of our early walks, I picked an array of wildflowers, carrying them home in my water bottle to make bouquets.

I also took shots of a lacy fire-escape shadow, a Monarch butterfly caterpillar, and a dew-bejeweled spiderweb.

I made a big mistake about the caterpillar, though, disrupting the course of nature by bringing it home on a milkweed stem thinking the kids would see it make its cocoon, emerge, and fly away safely. But the caterpillar absconded while I was out picking more milkweed.

I’m distressed about that because there is no milkweed growing on the property for the run-away to eat, and I’m worried it won’t ever turn into a butterfly. I will never do that again. If I see a cocoon, I might bring that home on a stem for the kids. At least a cocoon won’t abscond. But I’m more wary of disrupting nature now, especially as Monarchs are much less plentiful than they once were.

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Photo: Smartshots International/Getty Images
A reader of the
Guardian wrote to the newspaper about this bicycle lane in Bucharest, Romania, where a huge tree blocks the entire path.

Do you need a laugh today? I did. Twitter provided it with a link to this June story in the Guardian about many horrendous (and a few great) bike lanes. The photos were provided by readers.

“Bike lanes blocked by bollards, potholes, contradictory signs and ‘the world’s shortest bike lane’: when we asked for examples of the best and worst cycle infrastructure in cities the submissions came in thick and fast.

“Readers around the world shared photos of bikes lanes that were impossibly narrow, that led nowhere or were blocked by parked cars, even police cars. On the upside there were also cycle networks and paths that were a joy for people on bikes. Here are some of the best (and worst).”

The Guardian shares a little background for each photo. For example, the text for the one below says, “Istvan sent in this photo taken in Queen Street, Edinburgh, and says: ‘Do I risk it? … Mmm, not today … Each traffic light on Queen Street has this very narrow bike lane to lead you to a bike zone in front of the traffic (usually used by cars, taxis and buses). There are many of these useless lanes everywhere in Edinburgh, and many many used for parking (when they don’t have a double yellow line above the bicycle sign).’ ”

Read all the funny commentary from Guardian readers and see their amazing photos here.

Photo: Istvan/Guardian Community
Istvan sent the
Guardian this photo of a dangerously skinny bike lane on Queen Street in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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All I do is shoot random things that catch my eye, but now when gathering them together, I note a bit of a theme. Ripening. It’s only mid-August, but when you see acorns and pine cones developing, you know autumn is coming.

The first photo is of a footbridge in Concord, where the invasive Purple Loosestrife is starting to take over the swampy area along the Mill Brook. Then there is the herb garden behind the Unitarian Universalist church and the sexton’s bonsai trees.

Those pictures are followed by a progression of grapes and by the pine cones and acorns. Next comes a landscaping business with an unusual name (for a landscape business), a midsummer sidewalk sale, and a local hero being used to promote an antiques shop.

I wonder if the landscaper chose the company name after hearing that potential clients were frustrated about other businesses not communicating. That can be an issue, and not just with landscapers. I appreciate that workers may get overwhelmed by demand in certain seasons, but customers do value having someone answer the phone or explain why it was impossible to come on the day originally scheduled.

Recently my husband saw a handyman’s truck with “We show up” in giant letters on the side. He told the handyman he liked the sign. “So do our clients,” the man responded.

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Recently, I took a couple trips to New York to see my sister, who’s been having ups and downs with the brain cancer. We had decided to have a sibling gathering when the Midwest and West Coast brothers were in town with wives and several kids.

I’m not going to show you the group photo from our delicious Maialino lunch because my poor sister, despite feeling much better, is still horrifically bruised from tripping and getting a black eye. Falling is one of the biggest worries these days.

Instead I’ll share other pictures from my trips and explain any that need explaining.

In July, I took Amtrak from Kingston, Rhode Island, where there is a cute historic train station and, across the track, some interesting graffiti.

In New York, my camera was drawn to verbal images: Biblical messages chalked on the sidewalks, a port-a-potty pun for my collection, and outreach to immigrants (I saw the electronic kiosk message in Spanish and Chinese, too).

I also shot a giant balloon version of the city mascot (just kidding, it’s not the mascot) and one of the ubiquitous mini gardens planted around street trees. I especially admired the gardens that managed to do without the “curb your dog” signs because they completely spoil the charm. But how do people protect the plantings otherwise? I wondered. Do the doormen rush out and chase away dogs? Is there a spray deterrent that dogs hate? Some successful mini gardens used higher fences.

A large and glorious volunteer-maintained series of gardens in Riverside Park proclaimed a different kind of success with its clouds of delirious, happy butterflies, like the butterfly below. Red Admiral? Not sure.

Olmstead’s tinkling waterfalls in Central Park make me delirious.

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In July I took pictures in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York and will be sharing them bit by bit. These are from New Shoreham, Rhode Island.

The first one is a view that caught my eye through a bathroom window. You have to grab these shots when you see them.

Next is the endangered wildflower Blazing Star, which is doing very well in the protected Land Trust area. Then we have an offbeat signpost. People seem to get especially creative in summer. There’s a feeling of “Well, why not?”

In the backyard of the tiny Three Sisters restaurant, you see some of the goodies that go into the delicious sandwiches. In the front yard, Queen Anne’s Lace. By the way, today I helped chef extraordinaire and walking partner Sandra pick Queen Anne’s Lace so she could make a jelly that the late taxi maven Thelma used to make. Here is a recipe we found from the Edible Wild Food site. If you make it, be sure you know what you are picking. As my husband reminds me, there are plants that look like Queen Anne’s Lace that are not safe to eat.

At John E’s tughole, I loved the shadows beneath the still water. And at the beach I saw dragons in the driftwood. (Do you see them? I admit, the photo would benefit from sharper contrast between the sleepy dragons and the background.)

As the tide came in, it drenched my favorite Tom’s shoes, given to me by my daughter-in-law some years ago. I may have to get new beach shoes soon.

No New Shoreham post would be complete without a photo of the Painted Rock. This one features a Ninja Turtle. Read how the rock first came to be painted for a Halloween prank in the 1960s, here. (And for some of the better Painted Rock art, check out Tumblr, here.)

The final picture shows the excellent job the state is doing to plant beach grass and protect the island’s west side from erosion. (Can you see the burlap-like covering holding the plants in place as they establish themselves? It’s a tried and true conservation technique at the shore.)

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