assorted views of a tie-dye leaf

Today is the autumnal equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the official first day of fall. I am going to use this as an excuse to post more photos of leaves. (Though, actually, it’s just multiple photos of the same leaf. But still…)

I was quite taken by the range of colors and patterns that could be seen on the surface of the same leaf.

It had quite a range of textures, too.

And it glowed beautifully when held up to the light.

This was a maple leaf that I found in my mother-in-law’s yard last September. Coincidentally, this was actually September 22nd of last year, which turns out was the autumnal equinox last year.

chipped and peeled layers of paint

Among the categories of things that regularly catch my eye are the patterns formed by weathered and cracked paint. (Like on, for example, dumpsters. Or subway walls. Or the lines painted in parking lots.) I especially enjoy seeing when the layers of paint reveal something of the varied history of the painted surface. (Or at least the varied trends of colors of decades past.) The varied railings and turnstiles at an old amusement park, for example, offer an especially fun array of multi-colored layers. Here are an assortment of shots I took of chipped and weathered paint from around Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire during my visit there in August..

more abstract compositions found on a rusty dumpster

I imagine that many people don’t much notice the nitty-gritty details of places they frequent. I probably don’t much notice many of them myself. But I do have to say that I was rather amused to have noticed that a dumpster that sits next to a parking lot I frequent was swapped out for another dumpster. You see, I had previously admired the patterns made by the rust breaking through the bright blue paint on this particular dumpster. One pattern on the side reminded me of enameled jewelry. (Over a year ago, I posted a collection of photos I had accumulated of details of the patterns made by rust and weathered paint on the sides of dumpsters. The dumpster in question is featured in the top photo of that post.)

Upon realizing that there was a new (at least, new to the location, but certainly not newly fabricated) dumpster, I was happy to observe that the new arrival had its own pretty patterns of rust and striking abstract compositions.

The shapes of this bit remind me of a map, and the colors of earthenware pottery glazes.

The layers of various bright colors remind me again of enamelwork.

And this was just a pleasing abstract composition featuring the letter V. (Or maybe it’s a Y. I think it’s open to interpretation.)

keeping my head above water

Okay, this really isn’t about me. I just wanted to use that line for a title to go along with this photo of this cute little alligator baby.

Though things have been quite hectic the last few weeks, and I seem to have been able to mostly keep my head above water. (My kids, though, have actually been taking swimming lessons, so they have been learning to keep their heads below water.) (Really that doesn’t have much to do with anything, aside from being one more thing in our only super-packed schedule, at a time when there are big things going on in our lives. Thus making it harder for me to keep my own head above water. Metaphorically speaking. Happily, the swimming lessons don’t involve dunking me. Wait, did I saw that this wasn’t about me? It totally is.)

But I also do really like this photo of this cute little alligator baby.

the ruined abbey of Howth, Ireland (friday foto finder: ruin)

During my trip to Dublin in May, I went on a little excursion to the seaside town of Howth with a friend. (A few other photos are posted here and here.) The town was beautiful, and the weather was perfect for a casual stroll. After we walked along the harbor, we decided to head up into one of the townhouse-lined roads that cut into the hillside. We could see glimpses of a ruin here and there between the rooftops.

It was quite striking looking, but there wasn’t any obvious way to get up there. (At least not obvious from the street. Probably people with maps and/or guidebooks could find the way obvious. But it was more of an adventure to explore without these things.)

Soon enough, we came across this intriguing little stairway that climbed through a narrow canyon-like space between some stone walls. There were no signs that said where they led. On the other hand, there were also no signs that told us not to go that way.

The stairs led up to another road, or perhaps another bend of the same winding road, up higher on the hill. And a quick walk led to an overlook and entrance to the ruins and cemetery.

It was quite a beautiful and dramatic place to wander and photograph.

The moral of the story: Climb any intriguing stairways that are not marked with signs telling you not to.

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “ruin,” which gave me a nice opening to share these photos. To see what other ruins have been discovered, pay a visit to the fff blog!

an assortment of leaves wearing water drops

After yesterday’s dried out and rather monochromatic leaf images, I figured I’d branch out to some more colorful and much less dry leaves.

Periwinkle leaves (and flowers).

English ivy.

Leaves of a blueberry bush.

Hydrangea leaves.

Fallen oak leaves.

Have I mentioned before that I’m a sucker for water drops? Oh, right. Yup.

curled up and dried out

Following through with the leaves, these leaves are some different maple leaves that I came across back in April.

I found that they had retained a surprising amount of shape after a long harsh winter.

Indeed, I quite admired the graceful way they had curled up as they dried out.

My macro lens let me get in close to the crisp edges that had been nicely highlighted by the low afternoon sun.

I actually came across these leaves around the same time as I gathered up images of bright fresh spring leaves unfurling. Tonight, in the midst of a hectic stretch and feeling a bit used up, I seem to be identifying more with the dried up leaves of last year…