Posts tagged ‘nature’

June 27, 2015

Under the money

Fort Tryon Park, New York
Under the money
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November 22, 2014

Bob Ross Colorado spruce

I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, that’s a Bob Ross tree.” I must have done this at least three or four times over the course of the weekend, because I have as many photographs from various moments. I only remember photographing the tree once, but there it was again as I went through my five memory cards. I shot 2,500 photographs on my September trip to Colorado and processed maybe 700 of them to this point. Maybe half of the original 2,500 are duplicates and there are a few triplicates, as well. Anyway, it all melts into the back of my brain until I sift through for the winners. I think Bob Ross would have taken out the light pole and encircled the base with foliage.
Bob Ross Colorado spruce
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August 6, 2014

Human, reforested

In a game-changing act of retribution by nature, a skinny tree overwhelms a woman as she walks down Randolph Street.
Human, reforested
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October 21, 2013

Can a bridge be a door?

Can foliage be a wall? Can we put on our critical thinking caps?

Door There Somewhere
there’s a door there somewhere
hidden and overgrown
not the one you see
it’s a wall
but you know
there’s a door there somewhere
hidden and overgrown

Words NOT by me. Image by me.
Can a bridge be a door?
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May 18, 2013

Daffodils on the hills

Upon entering the Chicago Botanic Garden I couldn’t help but notice the white and yellow color hugging the many hills running through the first section of the grounds. Unfortunately, you get a much better view of them from your car on your way to the parking. By the time you get into the main grounds the flowers are across the water from you, and there is no way to get there but to walk around… or by camera.
Daffodils on the hills
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May 5, 2013

Bonsai or Penjing Elms

I worked in a greenhouse for a couple of summers during college and became very interested in Bonsai trees. Bonsai is often mispronounced by English speakers. It’s BONE-SIGH, not BONZ-eye. You get into the details when you like Bonsai, because it’s all about cultivation of leaves and branches to arrive at shape. It’s very contemplative, and so you almost learn it as a discipline. Well, I was kind of undisciplined. After purchasing my own and not doing much with it for a year, I ended up forgetting to water it for about 10 days. These little trees require so much moisture, and mine dropped all its leaves. I shot it full of fertilizer and probably over-watered it for a few days, because it came roaring back with sprouts, then dropped those almost immediately and went dormant. I’d killed it. That was my only Bonsai.

They’ve got a really good batch of them over at the Chicago Botanic Garden. This is one of them. It’s a little Chinese Elm, and considering that Bonsai originated from the Chinese art of Penjing (which you can pronounce like four different ways and PIN-JING is how most seem to do it), I guess this is actually a Penjing Chinese Elm. This tree stands maybe 16-18 inches high. They were out in the open on tables with alarm systems rigged up for anyone trying to touch them. Bonsai trees take a ton of effort, and it takes years to shape them into masterpieces, so I’m guessing these little guys were pretty old. I’ve never done a cutout image on this blog before, but the backgrounds at the showcase were a bit lackluster. It comes out a bit better on stark white.
Bonsai or Penjing Elms
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May 4, 2013

Garden on the wall – or is that in the wall? Or is that in a box on a wall? Yes.

We kicked around the Chicago Botanic Garden this morning for a couple of hours. I was struck with just how many photographers were there – with tripods. They were all scurrying around like ants – this almost aimless directive helping them to negotiate between the different newly opened flowers. I like flowers and enjoy photographing them, but there’s something about it that I don’t get. It’s some kind of obvious pretty to me. Don’t get me wrong, I snapped a few tulips (it’s May, yo), but photographically I’m more interested in having to seek for the beauty in something else entirely. There was a chunk of the day where I felt myself slightly claustrophobic in what I was shooting – it too easily wanted to come together as it was laid out, and I wanted it to be less constructed.

Then I found this box. It was entirely constructed, manipulated, obvious and gorgeous. I looked it over for a while wondering how they’d kept the plants from falling out and then decided to just enjoy it for being really nice to look at. I remembered that often simple is quite good. Photos came a lot easier from there on. I’ll be sharing a handful of them over the next days or week, or two.
Garden on the wall
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April 20, 2013

Snow in late April

Exactly 15 days ago I made mention of probably not posting any snow photos for months due to the weather finally warming up. Last night I looked out the window at a distance and saw rain falling through what I thought was dense fog. The street lights showed it coming down in streaks. This was strange, so I walked across the room to press my nose up against the glass, and realized it was snow. Snow! We don’t get snow very often on April 19th. That’s stuff for Upstate New York. I remember once seeing it snow in early May up there.

This morning I made sure to take some photos of the quickly-disappearing snow. By 9 a.m. it was left only in patches. By 11 a.m. it remained in just the shadows. I like this kind of snow – not because it melts so soon after falling. I like how it creates contrast against the green grass and the sprouting plants. It’s like the water-sprayed vegetables at the grocery store. They’re clean and crisp.
Snow in late April
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April 7, 2013

Walking Wilmette Beach, kind of

My daughter is past old enough to walk, but she’s not too interested in the matter. We took her to the beach today along with her grandmother thinking it would be a good trial-and-error location (soft-yet-firm sand helps both the feet and the falls), but she was more interested in digging her fingers in the sand and watching the seagulls running from the waves. It’s a process. One day Evangeline will likely outdo me in everything. Today she made me laugh.

Her little feet trudged through the sand past this bench on the way out. The multi-trunked tree on the right (or are those three trees?) acts like a perfect canopy over the sitting spot. I’ll have to return in summer to see how this looks full of leaves. I felt it was a fitting shot to capture the end of an outing on a cool-breeze Sunday with a high of 57 (14 Celsius). We’re attempting to get on our feet weather-wise, too. Green stuff is sprouting out of the ground, but there are no buds on the trees.
Walking Wilmette Beach, kind of
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April 5, 2013

Tree over tree, over tree, over tree… in the snow

This will probably be the last snow shot I post for some time. I might have one or two in my pocket that I can pull out on a sunny day, but I’m not sure I’ll go back to them before it snows again, and it looks like that will be the case for a long time. We’ll be in the 60s this weekend (17 degrees Celsius). That means all the complaining about cold is fading for a warmer clime.

This shot from two years ago is the result of a backyard shoot the morning following an overnight four-inch snow. The best snows are those that are slightly wet, so the snow has an opportunity to outline the branches. Personally, I like smaller storms when there’s about equal part white and black of the branches.
Tree over tree, over tree...
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