Bugs

Insects are often seen as pests, but there is beauty here too. Of the 90 million species roaming the earth, sky, and sea I am sharing five images today: a fly on a chair, a butterfly, a grasshopper, a dragonfly, and a spider web (with some captured insect prey). If you feel like something is crawling up your arm, it is very possible as there are 300 pounds of insects for every pound of you. Enjoy your day and your bugs.

See http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/buginfo/bugnos.htm for more on bugs.

fly on chair
butterfly2
grasshopper
dragonfly
web

Blades of Grass

In Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman wrote, “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.” For photographers, Whitman’s words are a call to be mindful of the beauty in simple things. In seeking the “grand image” we may overlook a gentle glory in the simple. Hope you can see the beauty in my brief homage to Whitman’s words in these images of grass.
against a tree
at the pond
with web
Did you see the spider thread in the last picture? As always, your thoughts, comments, and critiques are welcome.

No Worries

The wild areas between farm and road seem filled with wildflowers this summer. I have loved wildflowers since grade school days. I find the natural, uncultivated beauty of these flowers captivating. The sowing of seed by wind and birds creates a randomness that can surprise. On a photo excursion last Friday, we came across a huge field of day lilies; overwhelming in both quantity and quality. Being a preacher’s kid, I thought about Jesus’ words about considering the beauty of the wildflowers, and God’s care for them, as a reminder not to worry. Glorying in wildflowers all morning, I had no worries.

with grass
butterfly
grapevine tendril

2 Queens and 2 Vultures

I couldn’t resist putting these together with the above title. These were all taken on the same day as yesterday’s post. The detail from a building picture is from Wednesday’s post about the rundown – but still majestic – Victorian house; the style named, of course, for Queen Victoria. Notice the mold and moss and deterioration of the detail. The other queen is a picture of the wildflower called Queen Anne’s Lace. The vultures are Turkey Vultures, one of which is eyeing me ominously with a very hungry look.eaves detailQueen Anne's Lacevultures

A Victorian Lady

I love Victorian houses. While the Victorian period is typically listed as mid 19th century to 1900, most Victorian houses still standing in the United States were built toward the latter half of that period.

While driving down a country road near me, I came across a sadly rundown Victorian house that still presented herself with hints of her former beauty. The house has three porches that all appear to be original. One porch is on the northwest corner of the house, one on the southwest corner of the house, and one facing south. I took other pictures, but these are all from the porches.

The first three pictures are of the front porch. Note the two doors to the porch. The next picture is of the front porch railing and the third picture is from the wood detail under the porch (probably intended to keep animals out).
front porchporch railingporch under

The fourth picture is from the corner of the south-facing porch. And the last picture is a black-and-white image of the detail in one of the northwest porch posts. If the porches are still sound, any one of them would be a great place to sip a cool beverage on a hot day.

porch cornerdetail b&w
detail b&w

Rust

Rust. What does the word “rust” bring to your mind? Do you think of corrosion, or decay, or tetanus shots? I think patina (strange, I know). The beautiful gradations and rich colors in rust draw me to all kinds of rusted things.
pipe

As I wandered today taking pictures of rusted things, I was reminded of the Tolkien line “Not all who wander are lost.” Taking time to wander – the long way home, meandering through a meadow, or strolling along a city street – is a great way to look for beauty that those in a hurry or “on a mission” will miss. Maybe you will see beauty in unexpected places . . . like rust.

plane

draingear shift
“Not all who wander are lost.” . . . especially with camera in hand.

A Visit to the Farm: The Rest of the Story

As we were taking pictures of the milk house, a car pulled up and a 70-something man rather gruffly asked what we thought we were doing. Once the farmer learned we were a couple of harmless old ladies interested in taking pictures of stones his demeanor changed and he smiled and said, “If you want to see some real stones, come to the house over there.”

We accepted his invitation and spent over an hour with the farmer and his wife. He showed us some very large rocks that had been pulled out of the fields, his beautiful fish-filled pond, his beagles, an old outhouse, and some lawn ornaments. He told us he was raised in the farmhouse near the milk house and had lived on his current part of that farm since 1966. We had some wonderful conversation, great picture opportunities, and an invitation to return.

A couple of old ladies with cameras found out that the gruff old grizzly was a loveable teddy bear.
door and windowred lily with fish


tirangle and globe

red lily 2

A Visit to a Farm

hayenginewheel2milkhouseA couple of weeks ago a photo excursion started in the morning light with pictures of hay bales, stops to capture old farm equipment, photos of antiques (see my post on these), and then on to a fascinating farm visit.

The farm visit started as Pat and I stopped to take pictures of an old stone milk house. In Paul Harvey’s words, I will tell you “the rest of the story” on Wednesday.   🙂

Museum

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum (http://broadmuseum.msu.edu/) is the newest edition to the campus of Michigan State University. It is a museum of modern art where the building itself is also modern art. See the photo gallery from the link above to get some idea of the severe angles and dramatic lighting in the museum. I recently visited the museum for the first time with my spouse and some out-of-town guests. We had a great time. I was allowed to take pictures inside the museum as long as I did not do flash photography (which I rarely do anyways). The first picture has the museum in the background. The dramatic lines on the outside are just a hint of what is inside. Museum and Statue The pink tubes picture is taken from a viewing area above one of the first floor galleries. The current exhibit is about patterns and includes works from artists around the world. The tubes suspended from the ceiling also included black and grey tubes in various shades. pink pipes The next three pictures feature a work that fascinated me. Strings were suspended from the ceiling. On each string were small mirrors facing up with designs on the bottom. The light and the shifting wind currents created a kaleidoscope effect for the viewer. The woman in the “Perspective” photo is my spouse of 41 years. She is not standing on a slope. I turned the camera to try to visualize the way people tended to turn every which way to view the unusual artwork. reflection mirrors_ perspective art and man There is no admission charge to enter the museum.  I expect to return soon.

Antiques

garden horseNo, this title is not referring to the roaming photographers. It is about the photos of antiques taken by this roaming photographer (who is not quite yet an antique).

Pat and I went out last week not quite sure where our day would take us. But after some shots of hay bales and rusted antique farm equipment we found ourselves just west of Jonesville on route 12 in the middle of a lot of antique stores. One store claimed it was the largest antique store in Michigan. We decided to spend some time in three of the stores (including the super-sized one). We saw many fascinating things, but, even though we did see some genuine antiques, I learned that one person’s “antique” might be someone else’s discount yard sale item.

Pat put up pictures of the antique hats she captured (http://imissmetoo.me/ ). I found myself focusing on contrasts in many of my pictures. These four will give you some idea of my efforts.

The first picture was taken outside of a store. I liked the contrast of the lawn ornament horse with the blue Adirondack chair.

The next two pictures took advantage of the fluorescent lighting bouncing off of the corrugated metal ceiling. The drama of the photo of the pitcher was elevated by the fact that the pitcher was on a high shelf. The silhouette of the woman carrying water on her head was from a hand-carved statue from Africa.

pitcher

woman and waterThe last picture is from the base of a lamp that was lit from inside. The etched flowers are enhanced by the soft light of the lamp and the reflections of the surrounding treasures.

Let this antique know what you think of “Antiques”. (Sorry about the couple of puns. I can’t resist.)
flowers on lamp

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