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Posts Tagged ‘photos’

After feeling pretty under the weather for a couple days, I rejoiced to be back to normal on Friday, well enough to help out at the ESL class for Haitians in Boston, if not well enough to eat, say, a pizza. I feel the way you are supposed to feel when you stop hitting your head with a hammer. Perhaps you can tell that the two quirkier photos were taken in a happy mood.

Anyway, the collection represents more of my Rhode Island and Massachusetts travels, in sun and shade.

First, New Shoreham, Rhode Island, overcast but lovely.

The Providence photos start with the wild turkey I saw on a morning walk. Erik tells me the turkeys are common. He and the children followed a group of them one day to see if they could find out where they were headed.

Next comes a reproduction of the Hokusai’s “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” on the bleachers of a high school baseball stadium. Then a piece of art welcoming urban farmers to the Fox Point Community Garden. My third Providence photo shows the end of the line for an old train track near a new bikeway. The drawbridge has been frozen in time.

The off-kilter gargoyle is on a building at Downtown Crossing, Boston. Near there I took a picture of the mosaic at St. Anthony’s Shrine, where Lillian and I went to light a candle in amazement and gratitude for an election some years ago. Neither of us is Catholic, but we felt the need of a ceremony.

I had to look up St. Anthony on Wikipedia, which says, “He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946. He is also the patron saint of lost things.”

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The clouds on Wednesday were amazing here, and to share my photos of them, I first tried to find a cloud poem on Google.  But after reading several that weren’t quite right, I decided to change tack and see what I could learn about languages with numerous names for clouds.

That’s how I came across photographer and journalist Arati Kumar-Rao, who writes at Peepli about clouds in an Indian desert, where clouds are few and far between.

“There was excitement in the air. The horizon was flashing an intermittent neon in the darkness, silhouetting ghostly clouds.

“What are those clouds called? I asked. Chhattar Singh gazed into the distance, as if mining a lost memory. The words began to trickle — hesitant at first, then faster, crowding one another in his excitement. Those were kanThi, he said. And if they consolidate and promise rain, their name will change to ghaTaaTope. If the clouds become very dense, they’ll be called kaLaan.

“That night, the kanThi did not build up. It did not rain.

“Life stirred awake next morning under a pretty-patterned sky — tufts of white trailing in arcs and lines, horizon to blue horizon.

“We sat sipping chai and watching a distant wind ripple through a feathery, fruit-laden khejri. ‘Those clouds won’t rain either,’ I offered.

“ ‘Teetar pankhi’ Chhattar Singh replied. They had a word for this cloud pattern too – a perfect analogy that likened it to the pattern on the wings of a partridge.

“They say eskimos have 40 names for snow. I get that — they are surrounded by snow all year. The people of the Thar have just forty cloudy days in a year — and yet they have as many names for clouds! …

“The area I have been visiting over the past three years, the deep western part of the Thar desert, lies in Jaisalmer district. It is bounded on the north and west by Pakistan, in the east by Jodhpur district, in the south by Barmer district, and in the northeast by Bikaner district.

“The rainfall here is a meager 100-150mm, about a tenth of the national average and a pitiful 2 per cent of the rainfall Kerala and some other of the wettest areas in India get. For the people of the Thar, sighting clouds and rain are events. Memorable. Priceless. Because these moments hold the key to their very existence.” Read Kumar-Rao’s report here. I think you will like how respectful she is of Singh, controlling her instinct to ask a million questions.

My Massachusetts scenes don’t look much like the Thar desert, I know, but maybe clouds are similar everywhere.

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I’m back to taking walks near my home and looking for interesting shadows. The current collection of photos includes leaf shadows on a tree trunk. Only a couple dog walkers were out when I shot this, but I noted an unusual number of cars outside a house flying “2017” balloons. Probably a late-night graduation bash. All was quiet as the grave at 6:30 a.m.

Nearby, blue lupines caught my attention. I admired many lovely ones in Sweden and was happy to see that, while I was gone, a whole batch was blooming along my usual walking route.

I’m also sharing a grapevine over a bench, a bonsai tree near the church herb garden, and a deep red rose on a white picket fence.

More unusual: the big playhouse at the nursery school and some elaborate digital art by high school students.

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Well, we’re home and adjusting to the time change more easily than when we traveled east. Meanwhile, it occurs to me that I have a bunch of New England photos from both before and after our trip that I want to share. I call the first one “There Will Be Grapes.”

The yellow and white tulips have since died off, but the yard they graced has a floral display that keeps on giving.

My three shadow pictures feature the North Bridge in Concord, Mass., a wildly exuberant dogwood, and a vase of spring flowers.

Two antique child vehicles are on the porch of a home furnishings store.

The life forms by Korean sculptor Jaeok Lee at the Concord Center for the Visual Arts completely captivated me. The artist has written about making the tiny cabinet objects while experiencing health challenges that kept her from other projects.

“The healing quality of nature also motivates my work,” Lee says. “A few years ago, I developed an illness that doctors could not diagnose. While going through various diagnostic tests, since I did not have much energy, I started working with very small objects.

“I would go out to my garden for inspiration and would start to pinch small forms of seeds, pods, berries and flowers. Over the course of one year, I made thousands of small pieces that filled a Chinese medicine cabinet that I bought from an antique shop a few years ago.

“I named the project ‘Making my own medicine.’ The simple act of pinching the forms has been a healing experience that gave me enormous hope for my recovery.”

More at her website, here.

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24 Hours in Oslo

Because we went to Sweden by Norwegian Air, we took a bus back to Oslo to catch our homeward-bound plane, allowing a day for sightseeing in the city first. My husband had been there in the 1960s; I had never been.

As I came out of the bus station wheeling my bag, I saw an activity that I had recently read was occurring in several countries. A barber was giving a haircut to a homeless man. Another man explained to passersby about an effort to raise money for one homeless person at a time. I was so happy to find a good place to unload the rest of my Swedish kroner.

Here are my Oslo photos. Some are self-explanatory, but you might be puzzled if I don’t explain the bubbling water: it kept the eggs hot at our amazing hotel breakfast.

The first of three museums we visited was the Edvard Munch Museum, where the author Karl Ove Knausgaard had curated a show. I love Munch, and although I would have liked some wall text about what was going on in his life when he painted various pictures (a fantastic 2001 show at Boston College did that), I came away with some good ideas for representing the bark of pine trees.

The Nobel Peace Museum had an outdoor mural to free-speech heroes around the world and a moving photography show about Syrian refugees in Lebanon and how they longed for home. The main exhibit felt ironic though, given that Peace Prize recipients have sometimes been tyrants. And this hit me hard: hundreds of prizes, so little peace.

The wall text at the Ibsen museum was great and got me interested in reading more of his plays. The book below is not unique in using Munch cover art. Many Norwegian books use Munch paintings on their covers. He captures something powerfully Norwegian.

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On Sunday we took a boat ride to the Weather Islands in Sweden’s western archipelago, Väderöarna. The drizzle didn’t stop us from enjoying a walk around and eating very fresh cod for lunch. Stuga 40 took all of the pictures seen here but the wooden sign.

We will be thinking about these views as we fly west over the Atlantic.

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It’s going to be an adjustment, not just in terms of time zones. Monday we are off to Oslo and will catch our plane back to Boston from Norway on Tuesday.

Here are a few more Sweden pics.

I love the picturesque seaside streets and cottages, the hidden staircases covered with flowers, the boats in snug harbors, the colorful cabins, and the views.

The last picture is one that Stuga 40 took at 10 p.m. Imagine how light it is in Sweden in June!

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