15_the_circle: (cottage autumnal)
2011-12-30 07:21 am
Entry tags:

unsubdued dawn

[OT from cottage renovations]

The sunrise colours are so lavish this time of year. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)




(HDR image from Android 'phone)

15_the_circle: (amtrak)
2011-12-24 08:21 am
Entry tags:

up in the sky

[OT from cottage renovations]

This image was yesterday morning's consolation prize. 
Shorter days and longer nights this time of year mean that one has to leave the Grove before there's light, and return to it in darkness.  The situation wasn't helped by some sort of operational problem on the railroad that caused the cancellation of our train (it's more of a big deal for us because there are only three of them in the morning). 

When this happens the fallback is to cross the tracks and take the No. 61 Ride-On bus to the Metro.  The resulting 20 minute time offset gave this splashy sunrise a chance to happen, us a chance to see it, and me the opportunity to share it in this space. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)




(HDR image from Android 'phone)

15_the_circle: (calcifer)
2011-12-22 09:56 pm
Entry tags:

It could have been worse

[OT from cottage renovations]

This was not the alien robot invasion. 
But before complacency sets in, consider this: there was a thermonuclear reaction a mere eight light minutes behind these brooding shapes. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)




(HDR image from Android 'phone)

15_the_circle: (GITS laughing man)
2011-09-10 10:44 am
Entry tags:

make of it what you will

[OT from cottage renovations]

An interesting side effect of network visualization tools is the resulting incidental imagery.  I found this one particularly engaging. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)




Separated from the context of underlying data the image becomes whatever the viewer makes of it.  Fish?  Hummingbird?  Leaf skeleton?  Steampunk ornithopter?  It's up to you to decide ...

15_the_circle: (hummingbird)
2011-06-19 06:55 pm

tiny dancer

[OT from cottage renovations]

Here in the Grove it's Music Weekend.  Though often overlooked by some, the children's recital is always one of the high points. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)

Under the supervision of the choreographer, the first in a queue of dancers can be seen waiting in the wings to perform in McCathran Hall on Saturday morning. 

15_the_circle: (rosette raindrop)
2011-03-28 09:33 pm

suitable for the occasion, I hope

[OT from cottage renovations]

What does one do for one's dear sister's birthday?
Give her flowers, of course. 

These were taken out on the Circle and in the cottage garden while wishing you birthday greetings by (very) long distance 'phone. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)


Scilla siberica


Scilla siberica


Forsythia
15_the_circle: (snow cottage)
2011-01-27 01:05 am
Entry tags:

after midnight the snow had stopped ...

[OT from cottage renovations]

... and here is what the Circle looked like through the front door.  Taken with ambient light. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)




+1 )
15_the_circle: (snow oak)
2011-01-14 08:56 pm

sunset across the octagon

[OT from cottage renovations]

Seen through its ripply old glass exterior windows, the interior of the Town Hall catches the setting sun.  It is the natural gathering place where we meet for all sorts of functions, but when empty this most public of our spaces takes on an intensely private feel. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)




McCathran Hall


15_the_circle: (snow cottage)
2011-01-14 08:05 pm

catching the light

[OT from cottage renovations]

At this time of year it's a rare treat to catch an early train and make it back to the Grove during daylight.  The trip back out from the city seems a bit odd; normally in winter one rides in darkness and by the time the days get longer and lighter the trackside view is normally obscured by vegetation so the passing scene had an unaccustomed level of detail. 

On getting home I managed to get back out into the light without undue delay, but prior forgetfulness on my part had meant that the camera battery hadn't been sitting in the charger and as a result the device was only operational for a short time though with sunlight running out it didn't make much of a diffrence. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)




Jackson Park

In the fading light with snow on the ground this dried hydrangea was set in an ambient light that was softer than I had expected. 


hydrangea
15_the_circle: (rosette raindrop)
2010-12-14 10:50 pm

all shiny above

[OT from cottage renovations]

First Avenue cottages, their metal porch rooves gleaming in last Sunday's afternoon rain. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)




With the leaves down, sight lines have opened around the Grove and architectural detail is now easier to see and appreciate. 

15_the_circle: (azalea post facto)
2010-11-28 11:25 pm

In its own time

[OT from cottage renovations]

There's always somebody who doesn't get the memo, or perhaps this is just an example of rugged individualism.  Or of feline-grade stubbornness.  For whatever reason, out in the Circle this azalea has been blooming even as autumn winds down. 

Light frosts have not yet deterred these blossoms though a continued decline in overnight low temperatures can be expected.  It's not clear to me which pollinators it might be seeking to attract, but one presumes that the effort is expended for some purpose other than that of catching my eye as I wander past. 

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)





Azalea
15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
2010-11-20 10:53 am
Entry tags:

a few more from last weekend

[OT from cottage renovations]

The end of last weekend provided more opportunity for the taking of pictures than for their processing, so here's the rest of the batch.  For the most part our leaves were taken down by a couple of days worth of rain, trading more sky for a certain starkness of appearance, so it's good to look back those few days to see what had recently remained. 

(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)




These dogwood leaves out back were still hanging on, positively glowing as the morning light came streaming through. 


Cornus florida

While out on the circle these Japanese Maples were completely dazzling. 


Acer palmatum

... and down on Chestnut Road and Oak Street these leaves, among the kazillions to have fallen in the Grove, over the past few weeks, created a found composition that was appealing even in random collections and detached from their trees. 


Much of the Grove is dedicated as parkland, some instances of which are small and inobvious in that they have no marker and do not appear on published maps.  Knott Park is a good example, occupying the open area between Grove and First Avenues.  Its spring and summer dogwoods and hydrangeas give way in the fall to this leaf display -- followed in turn by an overwinter dormancy in which one remembers and anticipates the other seasons. 


15_the_circle: (cottage autumnal)
2010-11-14 08:25 pm

opportunity cost

[OT from cottage renovations]

November in the Grove is our time for the annual leaf crop harvest, or it would be if it had any market value.  Failing that the next best thing is to pile them along the walkways and paved roads from which they are collected by impressively massive and noisy machinery and hauled off to become compost.  The nearby Asbury community used to accrete truly massive leaf piles but some sort of development has been underway over there and that part of their facility has been a construction site for rather a while now so our excess biomass has since been diverted to places unknown. 

As the leaves turn and fall into the ever-shortening days one has to choose carefully: any time spent moving leaves is subtracted from that available for walking around to appreciate and perhaps record the show, and vice versa

The images below represent Saturday's trade-off in this regard:
(click through these thumbnails for higher resolution images)




Step out the back door and the low hanging leaves of the dogwoods are right there, catching the afternoon light. 


Cornus florida

Meanwhile out in the circle the Japanese Maples are at it again, leaves glowing like bright jewels:


Acer palmatum

Down at the other end of the Grove the stately sycamore is using the same light into a different, but equally compelling way against a wonderfully blue sky ...


Platanus occidentalis

... and nearby these stellate leaves are not to be overlooked. 


Around the corner and a ways down Brown Street the light is helping along this found composition.  There's a lot going on here: paint on paint on cement; shadows on brick and mortar; bits of detail that at first seemed extraneous but on taking another look seemed to belong. 


Heading back along Oak Street, looking up into the sugar maples the effect was once again completely overpowering. 


Acer


Coming back to the Circle one returns just as the light is starting to run out. 


127.0.0.1 a/k/a ::1


That was yesterday.  This afternoon's images are still in the camera.  With any luck they will appear in this space in another day or so. 

15_the_circle: (maneki neko)
2010-11-14 07:43 pm

something's fishy

[OT from cottage renovations]

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)





Acer palmatus

In addition to the play of light and shadow, the leaves in this image are suggestive of traditional Japanese koinobori fish kites trailing the breeze.  This image was taken on Thursday, about a half year too late for Tango no Sekku Boys' Day but it can't be helped: these trees run on their own cycle. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
2010-11-14 07:32 pm
Entry tags:

old tree, old glass

[OT from cottage renovations]

(click through this thumbnail for higher resolution image)





Old tree seen through old glass of new window*; image dates to last weekend so in net time it too could be considered old, or at least outdated: by today most of its leaves were already down. 

-----
* which a close look at this image shows could benefit from some cleaning. 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
2010-11-02 11:27 pm

out of sequence

[OT from cottage renovations]

(Things are starting to get a bit out of sequence but I didn't want these to be left behind)

OK, so these are actually from a couple of weeks ago, but I'm going to have to beg your indulgence in the hope that late is better than never.  An abundance of afternoon light coming down through changing leaves was impossible to ignore. 

These were over in Chapel Park:

   
maple oak

 
Singly and in small clusters the effect was intense, but in profusion it was nearly overwhelming: 

+1 )
15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
2010-11-01 09:52 pm
Entry tags:

seasonal

[OT from cottage renovations]

There are some holidays for which the Grove is particularly well suited: 4th of July, anything with snow in it, and of course Halloween.  There's nothing like walking down the walkways in the dark with fallen leaves rustling about one's feet to set the evening's mood.  Some Grovers like to spook up their places, a few of whom to an extreme.  My own preference is for something understated, at least as far as appearance is concerned. 

This year the outbound flows of consumer goods from China have included miniature paper lanterns, in the mode of wrappers for those little Christmas lights.  Paper lanterns were popular in the Victorian era, though for strict adherence to the original these should have been larger, fewer in number and powered by little candles ... and would likely have caused at least one call to the fire brigade. 

After the ritual distribution of treats ("you have to make a choice: there are little boxes of raisins for those who absolutely promise to eat them; the rest of you will have to settle for chocolate") I took a few moments to try capture the scene for prosperity.  These things aren't weatherproof, or anythingproof for that matter, so it's not like there was going to be another chance. 

The above really doesn't do it justice: the paper softens the light without losing surface detail (the reflections seen in the upper window actually provide a better rendering than the direct view of the same lanterns). 

The one below has its own shortcomings: the time lapse gives the impression of ambient light whereas the actual effect was that of pools of light scattered in a region more shadowy than lit.  On the other hand the conical regions of light under each of the paper lanterns are an interesting artifact of the time exposure. 

Ephemeral moments are like that: you had to have been there. 

15_the_circle: (Default)
2010-10-16 11:58 pm

catching afternoon light

[OT from cottage renovations]

This afternoon's light provided more than enough excuse for a walk around. 



Woodward Park

This ginkgo is just starting to turn. 

   
Ginkgo biloba

Upper field

This week the Grove secured ownership of the upper field, wrapping up several years of struggle and litigation.  Next to the preserved portion, in a part upon which construction will soon begin, stands this tree (it has appeared in this space before).  The development plan calls for its preservation, as part of which the vines by which it was surrounded have been cleared away, affording a newly unobstructed prospect. 


Lower field

With one corner already carved and paved for a useless new highway the lower field has already fared worse than the upper meadow, and its future is even more bleak.  That which has been planned for it has not yet come to pass, though, so it is still worth a visit. 


Bidens aristosa

The middle of October is not too late to catch the Bearded beggartick in bloom, turning up here as part of a found bouquet. 


 
15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
2010-10-16 11:21 am

windfalls

[OT from cottage renovations]

Last weekend there was a wedding in the Grove - the ceremony was held at the Gazebo followed by a reception in McCathran Hall and a large tent set up in the Memorial Grove.  It was A Big Deal; caterers were busy for much of Saturday with the setup, part of which included decorating the tents with a number of lime green Chinese paper lanterns.  The festivities were held on Sunday and by Monday morning tents, tables, chairs and the rest had all been whisked away.  A few items had been left behind, including the lanterns which when I passed by were for the most part collected in a corner of the Memorial Grove though a few escapees were gently rolling around, helped in their travels by the slightest breath of a breeze.  Before leaving the area I gathered up the strays and returned them to the fold, though for how long would be anyone's guess. 

In shape and colour, if not size, they resembled green apples and the midmorning light coming through the paper looked, well, like this:



 
If pressed I would have to admit to having tampered slightly with this part of the arrangement as found: 

15_the_circle: (cottage sign)
2010-10-11 03:40 pm
Entry tags:

recollection of a tradition

[OT from cottage renovations]

Back when the Wonder Boy was a li'l one for several years running we observed the Columbus Day holiday by going down to Fletcher's Boathouse on the C&O Canal and renting a canoe in which to set off on an annual voyage of exploration.  Something would always turn up: turtles sunning on a log, herons wading in the shallows and other birds calling from high in the branches of the tall trees overhanging the towpath. 

Now he's grown and gone, off Across The Water on his own year-long voyage of discovery. 

The above was taken yesterday: years later and quite a distance upstream - Lock 29 at Lander Road, looking across the river since that stretch of the canal hasn't seen water in many years - but you get the idea.