Sunday, October 27, 2013

Red Bikes

All over the Washington DC area, small battalions of red bikes have popped up. Capital Bikeshare has been a big success. They are handy for tootling around the park or picking up a few items from the grocery store. Would-be riders race each other to claim the last one in the neighborhood rack, with the winner pedaling off, hoping there will be an available parking space in the rack nearest to his office. On a bright, windy day, the autumn-tinged trees and the row of bikes added a jolt of color and cheer to what is usually a monotone concrete and glass city.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Chrysanthemums and Fence

My neighbor's fence corrals the flowers but they keep trying to break out of its constraints.  The chrysanthemums are in the midst of their annual exuberance. They poke their heads through the pickets and nod in the breeze. Fence and flowers work together to create a new pattern of circles and stripes. The pickets are orderly and rhythmic. The flowers interrupt that rhythm, adding a bit asymmetry. If left to their own devices, I suspect the chrysanthemums would  attempt--and achieve--mild chaos. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Jumbled Numbers

The sign hid itself unsuccessfully, like a small child playing hide and seek. I could see it near the edge of the parking lot. What was the purpose of the sign? With its jumble of overlapping, tilted and upside down numbers, it had an arrestingly graphic quality. That particular style of numerals is so associated in my mind with gas station signs, I am sure I detected a faint scent of Hi-Test Premium. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mural Painter

A mural is growing on the side of a gift shop. The painter works on a yellow scaffolding that suits the cheerful tone of the mural. The morning sunlight casts a crisp shadow of the scaffolding onto the wall. I looked up, squinting. In the strong, slanting light, the layers of foreground and background had become difficult to separate. It was all one happy union of scaffolding, painter, wall, colors, lines and shadows.