Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lean On Me

The chance to wander around an old cemetery makes me very happy. I have a weakness for gravestones, the older, the better. Age softens the carved details. Lichens and creeping vines add character. Names and dates slowly melt away and eventually become a mystery. Rows of gravestones shift and tilt. These two stones, in the churchyard in Winchcombe England, lean on each other like a long-married couple or two elderly friends. With each other for support, they can continue to face the wind, sun and rain.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn Bench Sitter

When we speak of autumn colors, visions of a whole range of oranges, reds and yellows come to mind. But really, it is only the eastern half of the United States, and parts of Canada, that enjoys the ushering in of winter with such a multi-hued spectacle. In Europe, shades of yellow reign in the fall. I took this photo one fine morning in Brussels, when most of the trees had given themselves over to gold. A man sat and watched the leaves swirl around him. The sun came and went. The leaves alternated between glowing brilliance and mellow subtlety. I did not miss the other colors. The yellows were enough.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin 10

Plain orange pumpkins are no longer the only choice. Yellow, orange, red, green, white or ghoulish gray, solid-colored, spotted or streaked, there is a pumpkin for everyone. At our farmers market, this one was my favorite. Radiating striations migrating into a pattern of orange webbing---now that's squash-based design inspiration. At first the blue 10 annoyed me. It's an incompatible crasher at my design party. Now, the more I look at this photo, the more I like that incongruous blue 10. Ten pounds? Ten dollars? The tenth one picked from the patch?Let's allow it to be a mystery and weave a story around it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sand Painter

Last week, a local art fair almost got rained out. The tables for kid's crafts stood bare and dripping. In the afternoon, the skies cleared and the sand painting tent opened. Soon toddlers, ten-year-olds and teenagers were bent over their asphalt canvas, the school parking lot, pouring lines and dots of colored sand. The older ones worked carefully, building radiating, sort-of-symmetrical mandalas. The littlest ones simply dumped out the sand and spread it across the ground with their hands, delighting in the novelty of sand that was something other than sand-colored. I vote for sand-painting tents at adult venues such as wine festivals or chili cook-offs. Why should the kids have all the fun?

Sunday, October 2, 2011


The stormy edges of two hurricanes have blown through here leaving fallen trees and soggy ground. Now mushrooms have popped up everywhere. Some stand boldly in the middle of perfectly manicured lawns. Others nestle under shrubbery or gather along fences. A short walk around my neighborhood revealed an astounding variety; dinner-plate-sized white ones with ruffly yellow edges, round red caps on streaked yellow stems and tiny "bottle caps" with flat tops on stems so thin that it's a wonder they can stand up straight. I trespassed to shoot this photo of a gang of escapees from the "Nutcracker Suite" section of the Disney’s "Fantasia." The mushrooms will disappear but the sheer magic of their appearance will remain.