Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Seeing Red: Early Morning Light & Curtains

Camera Before Coffee—I woke up uncharacteristically early today, and caught the bright eastern sun making these dark red curtains absolutely glow. Silhouetted, hiding their flaws, this sad geranium and tradescanthia are struggling to make it through to the spring until they can move outdoors, and thrive, once again.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seen Only on the West Coast—Madrona Tree

Not found anywhere near Pink Gardens!

My friend Bette shot these photographs of a Madrona tree (Arbutus menziesii) at the beach near her house in Seattle. I'd never heard of this species before she sent me the pics—apparently they're only found on the northwest coast—Washington, Oregon, Vancouver. It's gorgeous, ain't it! For the Wiki on them, click here.

Wonderful abstract created by peeling pieces of bark. The coloring is unexpected, too, inside and out.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seattle Snow: Say it Ain't So!

My longtime friend Bette, now living in Seattle for the past 15 years or so, sent me this beautiful photo of the fuschia on her deck. It snowed last week in Seattle, and she has a few flowers blooming already. I love the way the snow and ice are clinging to the petals. The soft focus of the background really allows the subject to be the star.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter Abstracts: Looking Up, Looking Down

One will dry up and blow away. The other will just dry up. They'll both be soon gone.

A bit of fence along the boardwalk in the center of town.

Composite of stems and seedpods silhouetted in the snow. Lighting levels due to clouds and shadows and time of day.

Railings at the Post Office.

 Old Glory's rippling reflection in the icy slush of Tuxis Pond.

Snow and Nature's Slushies along the pond's edges.

The edges of Tuxis Pond are slowly turning to ice; the resident turtles are nowhere to be see— patiently waiting for the next warm and sunny spring day.

Oh, yeah? This old tree on Wall Street has room to rent.

 A study in black, beige and white . . .

. . . and a study in gray, blue and white.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter Abstracts: Slush, Sludge & Cement

Everywhere I looked today I saw patterns, cropped abstract patterns in the sidewalks, and roads full of snow, slush and sludge. This arrow painted in the street points the way in . . .

I clearly wasn't the first walker today.

A cast-iron cover on the sidewalk. "Bell System" around the phone company's centered logo.

Sneakers and snowy sidewalks. Of course!

Tire treads and sanding-soil melting on black asphalt.

This cropping of the street arrow has medieval overtones. To me . . .

All sorts of interesting footprints.  Unlike some dinosaur footprints, these won't be found five-million years from now.

The waffled indentations caught my eye, as did the incredible richness of the various whites, browns, and late-afternoon winter cyans.

A different cropping turns the painted street arrow into a proudly patinated pennant.

I'm always drawn to stripes of all sorts and repetitive patterns found in "nature.'

These impressions reminded me of those fancy frozen fried potato "grids" we used to make with our "Vegematic."

I shot more than 200 photos this weekend. More abstracts to come in the near future!

Seen in Town: Short Walk in the Snow

Shrub, whose name escapes me, sitting pretty in the snow in a pedestrian plaza. The red seedpods are especially attractive against the green leaves and white fence and snow.

Giddyup! Small horse sculpture in town, seems ready to enjoy himself in the newly fallen snow.

Almost eerie, this new bridal shop in town, Everthine Bridal Boutique, located in an early colonial-era house, has ethereal dress forms and vintage light fixtures, in each of its two front windows.

One of the nicer restaurants in town, the Allegre Cafe. On a normal Saturday there wouldn't be any empty parking spaces. Filled with nice cars, too, lol.

I was the first Pink Gardens' resident to trudge to town yesterday. Looking backwards towards home!

One of Madison's historic homes, now used as offices, looks like it could be a Currier &  Ives print.

Ice cream cone sculpture, in front of Ashley's Ice Cream shop, looks right at home in the snow.

A beautiful example of a colonial-era saltbox, the Phineas Meigs house, sits waiting for its next tenant. It was formerly a tea shop and small restaurant.

 There's a green light at the far end of Wall Street but no one around to care. A rarity!

Another one of Madison's sculptures, a lover's embrace, standing in front of a 12-foot high pile of snow. We only had 5-6 inches total snowfall, but this is in the grocery store's parking lot, so that's an accumulation from the entire lot.

A whimsical painting on the side of the Wall Street Gallery, a framing shop in town. That's the owner's portrait, long blond ponytail and all. Hard to see, but the Mona Lisa is peering out from behind the second floor air conditioning unit, lol. Hope that ladder doesn't slip in the icy snow!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

View from the Porch—Let it Snow!

 Winterberries and snow. Nothing says New England winter better!

Well, it had to happen eventually. We're in the middle of our first snowstorm of the season, if you don't count the freak blizzard on Halloween. I'm going to go for a walk soon, but so far, I've only ventured as far as the porch. It's cold and windy and really snowing—almost whiteout conditions every once in a while. We only have about five inches so far though. I think it will peter out soon and temperatures are supposed to be back up into the fifties by Monday, with some rain, so the Currier & Ives look won't stick around for long. I should have some town photos to post later. Enjoy!

The cast-iron Victorian planter is always good for that quintessential New England look.

The front yard is pristine as of right now. 

The deep blue garden globe always looks good in the yard, in snow or with summer flowers all around it. I really love it!

 Pine boughs and winterberries—a classic combination.

Trailing bittersweet vines also add an artistic touch to these planters.

Friday, January 20, 2012

RIP Etta James, 1938-2012

It was just reported that Etta James has died. I was introduced to her music more than 25 years ago by my late friend, Andy, and have loved it ever since. Ms. James had a rough time of it with leukemia, dementia and other illnesses for several years. It's my wish that she and Andy are sitting on one of Saturn's rings right now, with all the rest of the fabulous people no longer among us, sitting and laughing, and singing, and at peace.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January Surprise!

Poking their spring leaves, and buds, through the sun-drenched soil at the beach, these daffodils are at least 2-3 months early! It's January, folks! I can only imagine that our lack of snow this winter, our fairly balmy days, and this rock facing due south sheltering the bulbs and reflecting the sunlight onto the soil, combined to give these daffies an early start. A very early start! We will have a winter though, I'm sure. There is a little bit of snow in the forecast for the next week, but only an inch or so along the shoreline. February can be a brutal month though, so a "real" winter might be just around the corner. 

Bonus Photos:

Low tide at the beach reveals the nature of this week's high tide line—thousands of tiny seashells. After a storm, this line might be strewn with debris, flotsam and jetsam, as it were, consisting of wood, broken buoys, etc. Other times it might consist of mainly seaweed and sponges and crabshells.

Looking almost like a mirage, New York's Long Island is visible in the upper left of this photo. Sometimes it's clear enough to tell the difference between the sandy shores and the darker green vegetation on top. Most of the time it's barely visible from the Madison shoreline. I believe it's about 15 miles as the crow flies at this part of the Sound.

The third, and final, Amaryllis bud has bloomed. Their shape really reminds me of the "morning glory" horns on early record players like my Edison Gem.