Posts Tagged ‘sidewalk’

Footprints of small dogs and their big companions

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

Sidewalks this morning were dusted with a light coating of snow — just enough to record these imprints.

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Ginkgo Leaf Drop

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Cold weather was overdue in Washington, DC, and so it was no surprise to us when an overnight freeze on November 11th hit the ginkgo trees in the neighborhood. A day before the youngest specimens still sported bright summer green. And so the freeze, and the ginkgo specie’s traditional all-at-once leaf dump that followed immediately, created a pile of leaves not of the usual autumn gold, but of this hue:

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A few days later, though, when the oldest trees shed their final bits of raiment, the natural order of things was righted. A tradition was restored.

Sidewalks paved with gold:

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Let’s Face It

Friday, September 29th, 2017

Recently in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington, DC, two new faces appeared.

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On the Day of the Eclipse – Looking Down

Monday, August 21st, 2017

During the height of the solar eclipse this afternoon in Washington, DC, when the moon occluded 82% of the sun’s disc, a neighbor pointed out to me how strangely the sun’s remaining light was filtering through the foliage of the large Japanese maple tree in my front yard. Openings in the tree canopy were operating as pinhole projectors. The sidewalk became a canvas for dozens of elusive, feather-like crescent shapes. You sensed this was a strange visitation, one that would prove to be ephemeral.

(Click on photo to enlarge its details.)

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Washington, DC, April 21, 2017, 2:52:59 PM

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April 21, 2017, 2:57:00 PM

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April 21, 2017, 2:50:44 PM

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By way of comparison, this final photograph, taken nearly an hour after the eclipse had passed and after a brief rain shower, shows the normal appearance of full-disc sunshine when filtered through the tree over the same sidewalk.

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April 21, 2017, 3:45:49 PM

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A friend informed me that Billy Ray Cyrus posted on Twitter his photo of the same phenomenon.

Autumn Leaf Prints

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

On the way to work this morning I came across this stretch of sidewalk. How could I not stop in my tracks?

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The ghostly stains were the traces of fallen maple leaves.

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As I was to learn later from research on Google, it sometimes happens, when conditions are just right, that a strong natural dye in dying leaves (tannic acid) leaches out to mark each leaf’s temporary resting place on the concrete bed:

As the death-bed, whereon it must expire, consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.

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Winds come to blow away the leaves and what’s left behind are what some people call “leaf prints” — representations that are spooky in the same way fossil imprints in shale, and X-rays of human body parts, are spooky.

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These impressions are images of passage, signs of dissolution befitting autumn.

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Two other bloggers who’ve been captivated by this phenomenon report their reactions¬†here and here. An alternative version of my post is found here.

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Fall Gardens On My Block

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

This afternoon at 4:00pm:

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