a few specimens of stone flora from Dublin

For someone who is not especially fond of flowers, and for someone who has been known to kill off plants in my care, I sure do take a lot of photos of plants and flowers.

I also enjoy taking pictures of buildings, and their interesting details as they catch my eye. It shouldn’t surprise me, therefore, to have discovered that I had amassed a collection of plants and flowers carved from stone that adorned various buildings around Dublin.

All of these were taken in Dublin in May of this year, during my visit there for a conference.

It would have been great if I’d made note of which buildings, or at least which locations, bore these interesting details. Of course, I didn’t.

an assortment of harps from Ireland

Here are a number of harps I encountered on my trip to Dublin last month. It’s one of those cases where I didn’t realize that I had amassed a collection of photos on a theme until after the fact. With the exception of the last photo, these are all just photos of things that caught my attention at different times during my visit.

Brian Boru’s Harp, from the 15th century, in the Long Room of Trinity College.

A harp of a more modern vintage, which appeared in a Dublin restaurant towards the end of my dinner one night.

A glass of Guinness, with the trademark harp logo. This was my first Guiness in Ireland, which I enjoyed in a little pub under the train station in Howth, a town on the seaside, outside of Dublin.

The Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin. Also known as The Harp Bridge. Photo taken from the top level of a double-decker bus, on my way to the airport.

The Euro coinage in Ireland has a harp on the back side. (This is the one photo I took after returning from my trip.)

The friday foto finder theme from 2 weeks ago was “music.” I was actually in Dublin 2 weeks ago today, and heard live music that day. (In fact, harps were played, along with a range of other instruments, including fiddles, banjos, a bodhrán, and Irish bagpipes.)

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “fridge magnet.” I actually probably did see harp refrigerator magnets for sale in Dublin (I know I saw magnets, and I know I saw souvenirs with harp motifs), but did not think to purchase (or photograph) any. I do have quite a few fridge magnets of my own, and will probably share some later. If you would like to play along with this week’s theme (or one of the past week’s themes, as I’m doing) pay a vist to the fff blog. New participants are always welcome!

sign and symbol

I often find my eyes drawn to signs, especially the bold and simple graphics of traffic signs. (That is, after all, what they are designed to do.) While some people find that the signs can be detracting from a photo, I actually like the way signs can give a sense of place, especially through the language, text and cultural symbols. In other cases, a sign symbol is used so internationally that rather than reminding us of the locality of a site, we are reminded of our connections.

This is all a rather lofty and overblown introduction to a set of photos I have which include “do not enter” signs. The symbol is a red circle with a horizontal white bar, and it appears on signs the world over. (Or, at the very least, many countries around the world.) Here is I selection I have from 4 continents, taken in 5 different years.


In front of the Notre Dame, Paris, France, August, 2007

Sevilla, Spain, September, 2009


Macau, August, 2011

North America:

Boston, MA, USA, October, 2010.

South America:

Campinas, Brazil, May, 2008. (Yes, this last one isn’t actually a sign. It’s the light shining through a circular window onto a red carpet in the hallway of the hotel where I was staying. The window is open slightly in the middle, which caused there to be a brighter bar of light in the circle of light. Try to tell me that this doesn’t look like a do not enter symbol.)

This week’s (okay, last week’s) friday foto finder theme was “circle.” I have oodles of circles in my photo library, but this circular symbol was one that came to mind for the theme.

The shape of shadows: 5 stairways with shadows of their railings

When an object casts a shadow, the resulting shadow shape is dependent on a number of factors beyond the characteristics of that object itself. The angle and direction of the light, intensity of the light, number of light sources, and the shape of the surface onto which the shadow is being cast all play a role in the resulting shadow. When the surface in question is varied, the shape of the object casting its shadow gets transformed and distorted. Stairs, with their multiple planes, bend shadows that fall onto them into zig-zaggy shapes.

Albuquerque, NM. January, 2006.

At MIT, inside the Stata Center. April, 2010.

At MIT. April, 2010.

In New York City, going up to the High Line. March, 2012.

At the karate school, at a nearby Massachusetts town. February, 2013

ridiculously colorful Fall leaves

New England is known for its spectacular Fall foliage, primarily for the show put on by the sugar maples that are native to the region. However, there are plenty of other plants, trees and shrubs that put on autumnal shows of their own. And I have no idea what most of them are.

These are some photos I took around and about over the last 2 weeks.

This little guy is a shrub on the campus of BU. The leaves reminded me of confetti.

These leaves were on a smallish tree on the MIT campus. I loved the way the colors changed variably across the surface of each leaf, making striking multi-colored outlines.

This plant caught Phoebe’s attention at an apple orchard we went to a couple weekends ago. Likely a weed, these plants grew over 6 feet tall, and had very soft, fuzzy stems. (Phoebe wanted to just stay and pet the plant.) We were all amazed by the varied colors, covering quite a large range of the spectrum, and often over the surface of a single leaf.

This is just another shot of that same plant.

Anyone have any idea what any of these are?

6 unrelated photos

Here are 6 unrelated photos taken over the last 3 years.

From top: 1) a doorknob on a caboose 2) a roll of plastic barrier material 3) macro of a dandelion, 4) plastic bucket with ice, 5) jellyfish in the Boston aquarium, 6) a view from the roof the roof of the garage at the Boston Museum of Science.

3 white birds

Here are 3 unrelated white birds I’ve come across in the last few years.

A white dove at Alcazar in Sevilla, Spain.¹ (Photo taken in September, 2009)

A white rooster at a Massachusetts farm. (Photo taken in June, 2011)

A white peacock at a Massachusetts zoo. (Photo taken last Friday. And sadly not totally in focus.⁴)

I came across the first two photos last week when considering what to post for the friday foto finder theme of white. (I opted to post snow, instead.) On Friday, Phoebe had the day off school, so we went to the zoo, and came across the white peacock. And so my trio of white birds was complete.

¹ This pigeon-holed dove is also part of my collection of visual representations of idioms.²
² Perhaps someone can come up with expressions for the other two?
⁴ Should I just pretend it’s an artistic choice?

3 fruit silhouettes

Here are 3 pictures of fruits I have taken over several years.
Apples, from October, 2008. (In a Massachusetts apple orchard.)

Oranges, from September, 2009. (In Sevilla, Spain.)

Unknown type of berries¹, a few days ago. (In Massachusetts.)

¹ I really wish I’d had recent access to a banana tree, since that would make a better set. The last time I saw one was probably in Brazil in 1991, and I didn’t get any photos. But I do like the berries.