Tag Archives: friday foto finder

a bunch of fakes

This week’s friday foto finder challenge was to share a photo on the theme of “fake.” It took some digging through my photo library, but this photo from 2011 caught my eye. This bunch of fake grapes adorned our table at a cafe where we had brunch once. In spite of my general lack of enthusiasm for plastic food used as decorations, I loved the way this bunch of fake grapes glowed in the sunlight, and caught so many reflections in its shiny surfaces.

To see what other fakes others are trying to pass off, pay a visit to the fff blog!
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Evening mahjong games in Beijing (friday foto finder: game)

This week’s friday foto finder theme is game While I enjoy playing games, and we have loads of games around the house, I couldn’t remember any particular photos of games. I played with the idea of taking a new photo, but that seemed like too much work. Happily, I remembered this photo I’d taken in Beijing during my brief visit there in 2012. My cousin and I had gone to see the Great Wall in the morning, and returned to the city in the early afternoon. After a bit of rest and recovery, we went for a late afternoon walk, exploring some older neighborhoods of the city.

At one point, we walked along a street that ran parallel to a canal. The street and sidewalk where we were walking were several feet higher than the canal level. Looking down towards the canal, I saw walkway that ran alongside it where there were bunches of people standing and sitting around tables, playing and watching games of mahjong. I paused to take a photo, but one of the onlookers looked up at me and glared, so I kept going after taking only one photo. (I always feel a bit strange taking photos of people I don’t know, and yet I find that the presence of people often make photos much more interesting.)

Even though I only managed one photo, it was fairly sharp, and when I zoom in, I can make out the mahjong tiles.

These are a couple of crops of that one photo shown at the top.

I actually know next-to-nothing about mahjong, and looking at this photo makes me sad about that. I’m sort of wishing I’d thought to buy a mahjong set while I was in China, as it seems like it would have been a meaningful souvenir for a game-lover like me.

To see what other games have been captured in photos, pay a visit to the fff blog. Want to play along? Sharing photos on a theme is a fun game in and of itself!
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old thyme photos (friday foto finder: herbs)

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that I am not capable of talking about thyme without making puns.

This week’s friday foto finder challenge is “herbs.” Well, actually, it’s “HERBS.” So maybe I should have tried to finds some Herbs, not herbs. I don’t actually know any Herbs. I did learn that there is a slang meaning of herb (with the h pronounced) that means, more-or-less, “dork.” I don’t know if admitting that I learned that on Urban Dictionary makes me a herb. Let’s pretend not.

Anyhow, I seem to have gotten sidetracked by herbs (h pronounced) while looking for herbs (silent h). I did find some herbs, but not much in the way of an interesting photo. I did remember that I’d gotten some thyme as part of my experience belonging to a CSA in 2007, and tracked down this old photo, which features some thyme hanging out with some veggies. So, we have an old photo of thyme.

Then I vaguely remembered having bought some fresh herbs to use in preparing my Thanksgiving feast. Remarkably, the package of thyme has held up quite well in my refrigerator. I was amused to see that the label says “Infinite.” No wonder it has lasted so well, being infinite thyme. (I never realized I was someone with infinite thyme on my hands. Or in my vegetable drawer.)

But wait! It gets older! When I was checking to see if there was anything interesting of the herbal variety in my spice cabinet, I found this bottle of “Organic Lemon Thyme,” which someone long ago had lovingly labeled with masking tape and bubble letters. This is not actually thyme that I have used, and I didn’t really mean to save it. I liked the bottle, which had been in an apartment I lived in when I was an undergraduate. That was over 20 years ago.

This, my friends, is some old thyme.

To see what other herbs have been dug up, pay a visit to the fff blog. Have some herbs you want to share? There’s still time to play along!

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The 8-legged butterflies of Nara, Japan

10 years ago, I was lucky enough to go to Japan for a conference. The conference itself was held in Nara, a very old city whose historical monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There I visited Todai-Ji, a temple housing the largest bronze Buddha statue in the world. The large wooden temple also housed a number of other statues and decorations, including these giant butterflies perched on enormous vases. (I don’t remember exactly how big they were, and my photos are unhelpful in terms of offering things for scale, but you can sort of make out some people heads in the lower left corner of the first photo.)

I was particularly intrigued to notice that the butterflies all had 8 legs, rather than the usual 6.

I found that I was quite charmed by them.

I’m just rather sorry that my point-and-shoot camera didn’t do as well with the trick low-light conditions as my current camera does. I will just have to go back to get new photos some day.

This week’s friday foto finder theme was “butterfly.” I have posted on butterflies many times before (including a ThThTh list as well as some of my own photos), but somehow had not yet managed to post these curiosities. To see what other butterflies have been collected, pay a visit to the fff blog.

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cold comfort

Last week’s friday foto finder theme was “comfort.” If you’re out and about walking, it can be a comfort to find a bench to sit on.

Perhaps not, though, if you happen to be walking in New England in winter. Unless your idea of comfort includes having a seriously cold backside.

This bench looks not only cold, but lumpy.

I’ve often thought that fresh fallen snow looks beautifully soft and pillowy. Given enough winter clothing, these chairs might actually be pretty comfortable with their fluffy white cushions….

(This photo was from my archives, taken in December, 2008.)

These snowy cushions, however, are really quite over the top. Literally.¹

This photo was from February, 2011. That was a very long, very snowy, very miserable winter. Even more so than this year. I’m happy to say that after a few days of temperatures well above freezing, our deck is now almost completely clear of snow. Which is good, as we might have more snow on the way this week. (I feel for my friends up in parts of Canada who have not so much of a thaw, and whose decks look still largely like this photo. Take comfort, friends. Spring will surely arrive…some day.)

To see other people getting comfortable with this theme, head on over to the fff blog and set a spell.

¹ I do mean literally literally. Not figuratively.² That snow reaches over the tops of the chairs.
² I received an email from Tumblr recently with the subject line “Your Dashboard is literally on fire.” I found this rather alarming. In case of an actual fire, an email is perhaps not the best means of communication.

Shiny Apple Pi (and some peach pie pi, too)

This week’s friday foto finder theme is “shiny.” I have loads of photos of shiny things in my photo library, but seeing as it’s Pi Day, I coudln’t resist including some pi (and some pie).

Apple pi, on a shiny plate. (The apple is pretty shiny, too.)


A shiny pi server.


Here is this year’s annual Pi Day pie, which was somewhat experimental: a peach blueberry pie with a crust topping in the shape of pi, and filled out with circles of pie crust (each of which had the circumference of roughly 2πr). To see some of the other pi pies from my past, check out my old post, easy as pi.

To see what other shiny bits people are sharing, check out the fff blog.

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A 2000-year-old loaf of bread (friday foto finder: old)

This loaf of bread was part of an exhibit of artifacts from Pompeii that I saw at the Boston Museum of Science back in February of 2012. This bread was one of many loaves found in a bakery oven, preserved from when the Roman city was covered in layers of volcanic ash when Vesuvius erupted in the year 79 a.d. (You may realize that I exaggerated in the bread’s age. Or rounded. The bread is only 1934 years old, and a few months.)

I found the exhibit to be fascinating for the glimpses of everyday life that were so strikingly preserved. The exhibit was also haunting in that it contained not only relics of life in that city, but forms of many who died. The imprints of their bodies and clothing were found in the cemented layers of ash, and plaster casts were made from these hollows, to reveal the shapes of individuals posed as they were in their last moments of life.

This week’s friday foto finder assignment was to share a photo for the theme of “old.” To see what other old things have been unearthed, and to share your own, pay a visit to the fff blog.
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pigeons in flight (friday foto finder: pigeon)

(Last) Friday’s friday foto finder challenge was to find and share photos featuring a pigeon. I had a few pigeons to choose from, but my eyes were caught by these pigeons taking flight on the boardwalk along the Hudson River in Newburgh, NY.

Of course, I can’t post photos of pigeons without remembering this little movie I put together from some mostly accidental footage from my mother’s camera from our 2007 trip to Paris, that includes a fleeing pigeon. (If you watch the movie, it really does need the sound on.)

And if you want more of my pigeons, see my post called pigeon post. And if you want to learn something about pidgins, see my post called pidgin post.

To see what other pigeons have been posted, check out the fff blog.

first flakes of a snowstorm (friday foto finder: beginning)

The past month has been a blur of activity. Or, I suppose, given the subject of these photos, a “flurry of activity” would be a better fit. Deadlines. Holidays. Deadlines. Festivities. Deadlines. And lots and lots of baking. It’s hard to know even where to start. Happily, this week’s friday foto finder theme of beginning gave me a thought of where to dig in.

These first 3 photos are all crops of one photo that I took at the very beginning of a snowstorm we had a couple of weeks ago. I was out with Phoebe at a concert a friend of hers was performing in, and the first flakes of a big predicted storm started to fall as we watched the show. When we left, the snow had just started to collect here and there. We admired the flakes that had gathered on the ledge of the car window, and naturally I grabbed my phone to take a photo.

The conditions were just right such that the big, fluffy flakes maintained their crystalline form, even after landing. Sadly, I hadn’t remembered to bring my real camera. (Not that I would have had much time, as we were in somewhat of a hurry to get home.)

I keep hoping to see more snowflakes like these, but the snow we have had since hasn’t measured up. Our current snow, for example was so cold that the flakes that landed appeared to be just tiny shards of shattered flakes, with no evidence of intricate symmetry. Other snow has fallen wet and mixed with rain.


The beginnings of yesterday’s snow were much less dramatic to see. These tiny flaky bits were seen on our porch rail. I took this photo with a lens extender, but even the macro shot didn’t reveal any six-sided wonders.

To see what other beginnings are to be seen, drift over to the fff blog.fff 200x602