late fall show

The curtains have closed on the fall production put on by the big trees, but some of the smaller ones decided to put on their own show. Whoever was in charge of wardrobe design for this production sure picked some striking color combinations. I was also impressed by the lighting, which really brought out some of the technical details of the sets and choreography. I can’t wait to see what they can pull off next season.

bittersweet revelations

Bittersweet is an adjective, meaning “both pleasant and painful or regretful“.

Bittersweet is also the name of a woody vine that is recognizable for its brightly colored berries. In the summer, they ripen to bright yellow. In the fall, however, the yellow berry husks open up to reveal a bright red berry.

bittersweet2

These cheerful red and yellow berries really catch the eye in the largely bleak gray post-foliage late fall landscape. These are some bittersweet berries I’ve passed on my morning walks.

bittersweet1

While there is a species of bittersweet that is native to North America (where I live), the variety I tend to see originates in Asia. It is not only non-native, but is considered to be highly invasive. And sadly, as was revealed when the foliage fell, the vines of this plant can strangle trees.

strangled-tree

Seeing the way the vines appear to dig deeply into the tree bark, it looks as if this slow strangulation has been going on for quite some time. Many seasons, and perhaps even many years.

Version 2

So while I can appreciate the beautiful looks of the berries, I can’t help but feel rather sad about the fate of the trees these vines choose as hosts.

bittersweet-riot

Bittersweet, indeed.

briefly outlined

frost-outlined-leaves4

We woke up to a bit of frost outside this morning.  As I started my walk with the dog, a number of leaves caught my eye, sparkling in the sunlight. I’ve found it hard to capture subtle sparkling with my iPhone camera (at least without spending more time playing with apps than the dog is comfortable waiting) so I can’t share share the sparkle. I did also appreciate the way in which many of the leaves on the ground were delicately outlined in white frost, giving them the appearance of an illustration.

I took a few photos of these frosty leaves as we started the walk, but as it was a bright sunny morning, the frost didn’t last long.

frost-outlined-leaves1

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more concrete abstractions

These are a few photos of some abstract compositions that caught my eye.

cracks

crack

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cracks

cracks

I was surprised to see that all 5 of these photos were taken in 2013, but on several different days, over 4 different months. And probably at different locations. Was my world more full of cracks in 2013? Or was it just a time when I had heightened awareness of things crumbling around me? (Because now feels like such a time.)

multilayered, multicolored

I do love the way paint looks when it’s past its prime. Well, I don’t love it that way on my own house, but out in the rest of world, I find the patterns and texture of weathered paint to be very appealing. Especially when such weathering reveals multiple layers of paint of different colors. The effect can range from map, to marbelizing, to abstract composition. Here are a few examples that have caught my eye, in my travels, and around my town.

red-turquoise-rail
This was a railing at Canobie Lake Park, an amusement park in New Hampshire. Many of the rides and attractions have been around for decades, and display a colorful history of paint color trends. I saw this on our visit to the park this August. This looked to me like a map.
pink-blue-green-red-white-rail
This was likewise a railing at Canobie Lake Park. This particular railing was at the mirror maze, and caught my eye in 2014. I was sad that the mirror maze was no longer at the park this year.
red-black-green-fence
This was a fence in or around Dublin, as seen on my 2014 trip.
red-green-white-bridge
This more subtle set of paint layers graced a pedestrian bridge in Central Park. It caught my eye this past Saturday.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This colorful and curvy composition can be seen on the back of a turtle-shaped climbing structure at our local zoo. I took this photo in 2013. I’m sort of curious to see the turtle again, and see if it has a (boring) layer of fresh paint.
yellow-purple-wheel
This yellow wheel was in a town near Dublin. It appears to have once been purple, and possibly green before that.  

This is far from the first time I’ve posted photos of peeling paint, but I think only one of the above (the pink railing) was included in another set. (Admittedly, though, it’s become harder for me to keep track of what I’ve posted here.)

cracking a little

Somehow, 2 weeks have gone by without me posting.

asphalt-yellowFalling behind in my goals, once again. (What’s new?) I haven’t exactly been cracking under the pressure, but the constant strain of the news cycle has certainly been wearing down on me.

brick, cracks

I haven’t managed to work on my next essay for the 52 essays project. Honestly, the news of the travel ban knocked the wind out of me. One blow among many coming from this new regime, but one that hit hard, because it affects so many issues that I care deeply about. It affected so many lives. I haven’t yet found the words to write about that yet. Or I haven’t yet managed to gather all the words I’m finding into a coherent group of words.

concrete-blue

But I did want to post something. It’s been a while since I’ve posted photos. I’m not feeling quite cheery enough to post cheery photos. Looking through my collections, I found I had a lot of photos of cracks. Somehow, my eye is often drawn to breakage..

cracked rock

I find beauty in the irregularity of cracks. I am drawn to the imperfections.

wood

I chose these from among dozens of related photos as they show a range of materials: wood, stone, brick, asphalt and concrete. All of them hard and solid, used to build walls or roads. Yet all of them still susceptible to the forces of time and weather.

And all have gained a more interesting story to tell than the original unblemished whole.