I’m sure anyone who regularly eats chococolate has had the disappointing exerience of having some that was exposed to heat before you had a chance to eat it. You eagerly open the package, and find that instead of a silky smooth and evenly dark brown surface, you have a blotchy discolored mass. Even more disappointingly, the texture of the chocolate is usually a bit changed, and not for the better.
I recently had several such moments, but instead of unadulterated disappointment, my disappointment was tempered by surprise and admiration. Somehow, my chocolate had transformed itself into little canvases, with fascinating abstract landscapes.
I ate them anyhow. After taking a few photos.
What do you see in these? In the first one (shown once cropped, and once in a hand), several people saw a winter scene.
What else do you see? I mean, aside from chocolate?
Somehow, I have made it to day 29 of (almost) daily blogging.
These are a few photos of some abstract compositions that caught my eye.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
This was a fence in or around Dublin, as seen on my 2014 trip.
This more subtle set of paint layers graced a pedestrian bridge in Central Park. It caught my eye this past Saturday.
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.
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.)
A fish sculpture in Paris. 2007.
When it gets late, and it gets tired, I typically find I don’t have the energy to do actual writing. All too often, this is what motivates me to post photos. Not to say that I don’t often have photos that I want to share, but posting photos over text has been my default when I’m tired.
The Majestic Cod of the Massachusetts State House, Boston. 2016.
And then I try to come up with a catchy title. But sometimes, a catchy title catches me. And makes me laugh a little inside. And makes me hunt down (or in this case, go fishing for) appropriate content to go with it. When in doubt, post a trout.
A gleeful boy taking a grouchy fish for a joyride. As seen on a bridge in Paris. 2007.
And so it was that I remembered that I have quite a few fish photos. Even more specifically, I have a bunch of photos of fish statues and sculptures, taken over quite a long period of time, and in quite a few different locations. (I was sorry to not find any fish sculptures in my photos from Asia, so it looks like I have only 2 continents represented. Unless you want to consider this startlingly shiny gold fish furniture from my hotel in Shanghai.
A shark shack in small town near Dublin, Ireland. 2014.
A surprised looking fish in Boston. Probably not a trout. 2016.
But I have a terrible confession to make: while I may have lots of photos of fish, I really don’t know whether there is a trout among them.
A deranged looking fish in London. Almost certainly not a trout. 2005.
A fish bone sculpture from the DeCordova Museum in Massachusetts. 2012
So, what say you? Can you find a trout among today’s catch?
On my walk in the woods last weekend, my eye was caught by a particularly complicated-looking tree stump. Perhaps it was caused by the weather, or insects, or some combination thereof, but the wood of the stump was carved into an intricate display of spires and arches. It reminded me of a fantasy city, such as from the Lord of the Rings movies.
My daughter, though, tells me she sees ghosts and screaming faces. I can actually see this, too.
What do you see in the patterns fo the stump? A fantasy scene or a nightmare? Or do you, rather, see only the weathered and broken wood shards of a tree stump?
It’s amazing to me how sometimes something trivial and ordinary can appear both beautiful and remarkable, given the right set of circumstances. This little scrap of paper, torn from some packaging and left on a table, caught the afternoon light coming in from the window to reveal in its shadow an unexpectedly elegant spiral.