Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

The Tobacco Barns of Calvert County – No. 1

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

If you travel the country roads of southern Maryland’s Calvert County, you are sure to come upon many tobacco barns. They are remnants of a once thriving tobacco-growing industry. While a few barns survive in good condition, most are falling victim to disrepair and the ruinous forces of nature.

I’m intrigued by these large wooden structures. There is beauty in them. Character, too. Large and simple in form, they command the landscape with a presence somehow both rustic and majestic.

From time-to-time I plan to post photos of favorite examples.

First up:  A tobacco barn located in northern Calvert County at the meeting of Vanous Road and Jewell Road, photographed April 8, 2017, shortly before sunset. The second photograph catches the rising moon, in its waxing gibbous phase, trying to touch the apex of the barn’s western facade.

Click on the photos to enlarge.

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Dusk over Chesapeake Bay – Six Photos

Friday, January 6th, 2017

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This is a series of photos of the water and atmosphere of Chesapeake Bay captured at dusk on December 27, 2016, at 4:42 PM.  Click each photo for a full-screen view.

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Chesapeake Bay 12-27-2016

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Chesapeake Bay, 12-27-2016

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Nature and Protest in America

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

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Washington DC, Glover-Archbold Park, Friday, November 11, 2016 at 2:42 and 2:46 pm.

Washington, DC, Glover-Archbold Park, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016 at 2:42 p,.

Washington, DC, Glover-Archbold Park, 11/11/2016, 4:26 pm.

New York City, Fifth Ave. at 30th St., Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 2:16 pm.

NYC, Fifth Ave. at 30th St., 11/12/2016 at 2:16 pm,.

NYC, Fifth Ave. at 30th St., 11/12/2016 at 2:16 pm,.

NYC, Fifth Ave. at 30th St., 11/12/2016 at 2:16 pm,.

 

WONDER at the Renwick Gallery

Monday, September 5th, 2016

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The reopening of the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, was celebrated over a period of 8 months with an exhibition featuring the work of nine contemporary artists. Five women and four men created site-specific installations that occupied and transformed the museum’s refurbished gallery spaces. Visitors such as myself found themselves immersed in wonders indeed.

Official photographs of the event can seen at the online gallery, here.  To add to the record, below are scenes of three of the rooms that I captured during a visit in April.

[Note: Descriptions of the artists’ works quoted below are taken from the Renwick Gallery’s text found here.]

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Maya Lin, Folding the Chesapeake (installation, 2015)

 
“Growing up in Ohio in the 1960s, Lin watched her father participate in the fledgling studio glass movement then gathering steam in nearby Toledo. The marbles used in this installation are the same industrial fiberglass product Henry Huan Lin and other glass-blowing pioneers experimented with then, which were soon abandoned by artists as technical knowledge matured. Folding the Chesapeake marks their first use by Maya Lin and a new chapter in her decades-long investigation of natural wonders. By shaping rivers, fields, canyons, and mountains within the museum, Lin shifts our attention to their outdoor counterparts, sharpening our focus on the need for their conservation.”

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Do you see Philadelphia?

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Gabriel Dawe, Plexus A1 (installation, 2015)

“Dawe’s architecturally scaled weavings are often mistaken for fleeting rays of light. It is an appropriate trick of the eye, as the artist was inspired to use thread in this fashion by memories of the skies above Mexico City and East Texas, his childhood and current homes, respectively. The material and vivid colors also recall the embroideries everywhere in production during Dawe’s upbringing.”

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Tara Donovan, Untitled , 2014, © Tara Donovan, courtesy of Pace Gallery

“Employing mundane materials such as toothpicks, straws, Styrofoam cups, scotch tape, and index cards, Donovan gathers up the things we think we know, transforming the familiar into the unrecognizable through overwhelming accumulation. The resulting enigmatic landscapes force us to wonder just what it is we are looking at and how to respond. The mystery, and the potential for any material in her hands to capture it, prompts us to pay better attention to our surroundings, permitting the everyday to catch us up again.”

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What Man Says, What Nature Says

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

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Photos of Glover Park yesterday at dusk: a hand-printed sign guarding a shoveled-out parking space, and a sunset view from the edge of the park.

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Hand-printed warning sign, guarding parking space cleared of snow

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Sunset over Glover Park in Washington, DC, January 29, 2016 at 5:05 PM

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More examples of parking-space “dibs” signs, made by city folks in DC and Philadelphia as they dug their way out of the blizzard of 2016, can be found here.

Signal From a Galaxy Far Away? Or Merely “Oil Film Interference”? You Decide.

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

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The time: December 22, 2015, 10:48 am. The setting: Intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and 18th Street NW, Washington, DC.

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Intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and 18th Street, NW, 12-22-2015, 10:48AM

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In the wake of a light rain shower, two spots of colorful efflorescence appear on the surface of the asphalt.

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Oil blooms on wet street

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Are these not astronomical images, the one suggesting a spiral galaxy and the other an eclipsed star?

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Oil stain on wet street

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Oil stain on wet street

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More about oil blooms on wet streets, here. The phenomenon–known in physics as oil film interference–is exhaustively explained here. Check out this brilliant Instagram shot of what looks like a furry jellyfish floating through space.

For a previous post of mine discussing another instance when mother nature displays her art on man’s concrete, click here.

Signs in the Neighborhood

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

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Yesterday’s drifting snow in Glover Park turned a cautionary sign into really bad advice:

Cleaned up, the sign reveals its original intent (click on image to enlarge):

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For additional information about these safety signs, go to http://drivelikeyourkidslivehere.com/.

Several blocks to the south, in Georgetown, someone turned their mini-dumster into a four-sided plea:

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Osage Orange Tree Drops Its Fruit

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

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Along Parrott Ropewalk in Georgetown’s Montrose Park there is an old Osage Orange tree (maclura pomifera). Early this morning I stopped to spend a few minutes photographing its large yield of fruit.

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C’est le pigeon, Joseph

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

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On a lunchtime walk today I saw a landscape crew placing fall mums in the sidewalk tree boxes. Arrested by the color, I raised my iPhone and shot several photos. Midway through the series I remember sensing a disruption to the scene. There was the sound of fluttering wings and then a sudden streak from left to right on the screen, gone in a flash. Only later while looking through all the photos did I see what the camera had caught.

The scene:

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The photobomber:

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An Elm Through the Lens of Google

Friday, June 6th, 2014

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Google Map’s “Street View” can show you scenes of life in distant lands, as here and here. But it can also give you a new perspective on what’s to be seen right outside your own front door, as in this view of the maturing crown of an elm tree I planted many years ago.

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(c) 2014 Google Image Date: 2011

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