Somehow, 2 weeks have gone by without me posting.
Falling 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.
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.
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..
I find beauty in the irregularity of cracks. I am drawn to the imperfections.
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.
This summer we had an infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars in this part of New England. The little buggers were especially partial to oak leaves, and left the oak trees in some neighborhoods almost completely defoliated. Other trees were more mildly affected, whether by the gypsy moth caterpillars or other critters. Come fall, the leaves that fell from these trees displayed a range of damage, sometimes creating quite fascinating designs in the remaining bits of leaves.
Boston, MA 2014
Kyoto, Japan 2004
Cambridge, MA 2009
New Lanark, Scotland, 2015
It is an American holiday tradition to decorate with pumpkins for Halloween, and carve them into jack-o-lanterns. Some pumpkins never quite make it that far…
This pumpkin was not the belle of the pumpkin patch.
There is also the less widely appreciated tradition of stealing pumpkins of other people’s front steps, and smashing them onto the ground. The closest I have come to this tradition is taking our post-Halloween pumpkins to the compost pile, and throwing them down.
Pumpkins actually don’t tend to smash in these circumstances. A compost pile is a rather soft bed of leaves and other squishy organic materials.
These pumpkins are more smushed than smashed. (I confess I am amused by the distorted faces of the decomposing pumpkins.)
These are from 2009, 2012 and 2013. It is totally normal that I have accumulated a collection of photos of smashed and/or rotting pumpkins over the years. I’m sure you can say the same, right?
This seems to have been an especially good year for caterpillars, because I’ve noticed that almost all of the leaves that fall (as well as those still up in the trees) have quite a few holes or other evidence of having been munched. In spite of these flaws, I still find the leaves to be quite beautiful. Many of the holes even add to their character. (This is not the first time I’ve made that observation.)
An orange leaf (or what’s left of it), outlined in red.
This leaf was thoroughly munched before falling to rest on the thick carpet of moss.
The bright orange and red leaves tend to steal the show, but bright green and yellow leaves can still be quite eye-catching. (It was the colors more than the holes that caught my eye with this fellow.)
I like the way the mottled surface and holes of this bright red leaf echo the patterns of the rocks in the asphalt.
This graceful oak leaf has tiny holes spread out over its surface.
The holes in this oak leaf look quite lacy.
After taking this photo a few days after the photo above, I realized that it was almost certainly the same leaf that caught my eye again. (If you mentally flip it over, you can see the same shapes in the holes.) It’s interesting to see how the color of the leaf continued to change after falling on the ground.
I am not the only one who enjoys finding interesting leaves. Also, notice the funny ring of green around a hole in this leaf.
So, um, yeah. These were 2 sets of standpipes that caught my eye in Portland, Oregon, when I was there on a trip for a conference. In September, 2012. (And so my gap of the previous post has been filled. More or less.)