Sunday, August 28, 2011

Storm Clouds

Hurricane Irene, or at least the edge of it, is heading our way. All this talk of threatening weather sent me searching for this image. On a late afternoon in Chipping Campden, these sheep were oblivious to the storm clouds that were about to change their sunny day to a dark, wet one. I felt so lucky to stand and drink in the dramatic light raking across the hills, and even luckier not to be out in the field with the sheep when the skies finally opened.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Stripped House

A house in our neighborhood has languished for some time in a state of disrepair. Now it has been stripped of its ugly aluminum siding, revealing the original wood and an incongruous pattern of black dashes. In a neighborhood where solid colors reign, it might as well be sporting Italian frescoes or Viennese majolica tiles. Stucco, vinyl siding, brick---these are the standards of American housing. Not long ago, I saw a photo of a Detroit house covered in large multicolored polka dots. In a city rife with half-abandoned neighborhoods, the polka dotted house symbolizes cheerful, art-based defiance. Perhaps we could use some of that in our own neighborhoods. I will miss the black dashes when they disappear.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Plastic Ducks

The county fair is bustling this week. Wandering through the game booths, I came across these plastic ducks, floating round and round. It’s a variation of the "Go Fish" booth that I loved as a little kid. The realistically-painted fish of my childhood have been replaced by these candy-colored ducks. They jostled for a good position in the traffic jam at each bend in their tiny stream. I was mesmerized by the reflections in the water and on the metal. Their never-ending watery commute formed soft ripples of green. Who knew plastic ducks could be so engaging?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Heirloom Tomatoes

It is tomato time. Heaped in piles at the farmers market, they hold the promise of the true taste of summer. The heirloom varieties are my favorites, as much for their quirky names as their flavor. Arkansas Traveler, Brandywine, Green Zebra, Jubilee, they are lumpy and bumpy, cracked and misshapen. Fanned out in multicolored sort-of-circles for a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad or dripping from a tomato sandwich, what could be better? Inner beauty is more important than outer beauty when it comes to tomatoes.