Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
In the foreground, the deep-purple mirror of the horizontal concrete deck and the vertical bridge pylons form a shadow box which takes the eye inward through a progression of watery, color-laden, rectangular shapes to the windows. Here, harnessed by glass and river, the white-gold molten sun is divided and cooled, and appears like a bank of stadium lights just before game time.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Yet I have to admit that the story is not in the picture. I actually found myself nervous, standing outside the fence, camera in hand. I expected any moment a parent or passerby or a policeman to suddenly tap me on the shoulder and ask me what I was doing and why I was photographing children. Please don't think I'm unnecessarily paranoid. Our adult world is full of fear and a little crazy, don't you think?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
After having just resisted purchasing a lot of useless, non-nutritional crap in the market, I was hardly tempted by these allegedly thirst-quenching charlatans to give them even one thin dime, even though they had succeeded in reminding me that I could possibly want a drink of something. By clicking and enlarging this photo, you can read the text on the bottles on the face of the machine and try to decipher what is being sold. Much has been written about the bottled water controversy and is best described in Elizabeth Royte's Bottlemania: Big Business, Local Springs and the Battle over America's Drinking Water. It is a complicated issue. In any case, rather than becoming dizzy and faint on the spot from the stress of temptation, I jumped in my car, drove home and turned on the tap. I have to admit that it is convenient to carry water, and have bought it in the past by the box. Yet I felt my municipal home-brew left a good taste in my mouth and quenched something greater in me than thirst.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Today's photo comes from a neighborhood dry cleaner. It assures customers that it cleans clothes in an Eco-Friendly manner. In fairness, dry cleaners in Oregon must dispose of solvents properly and, in order to be licensed, pay a fee annually into a clean-up superfund. Nonetheless, what made this establishment "green" and functioned differently than your washing machine or iron at home, baffled me. I thought momentarily of asking the lady behind the counter, since I didn't see any large tubs of the special "organic" detergent which costs up the kazoo at Wild Oats, but thought better of it, since there was already a language barrier, and my question might have been misconstrued and I didn't want to lose any shirts.
I am certainly in favor of earth-friendly economic activity, but have become increasingly annoyed by those who purport this goal, but capitalize on it for economic gain, without actually helping the cause at all. Without judging this small business in particular, note the misspelling of the word "environment" on the window as symbol of carelessness on such a vital subject. Is this a way to air your laundry?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
In my post today, I snapped a picture of Bend, Oregon's former vintage movie theater, The Tower. According to Wikipedia, it was built rather recently in 1940 and had a seating capacity of 998 using two levels. The tower was 40 feet high and the name had been surrounded by 1200 feet of neon tubes of green and yellow. Like so many others of its era, the theater eventually closed. Today, through grants and local support, the Tower Theater is now a hub of cultural activity. There are plays, lectures, musical events and can be rented by the public for special events, such as weddings. It has been beautifully refitted and has an excellent sound system. Nonetheless, when I go inside, I miss the feel of the authentic. I want diligent, uniformed ushers with long flashlights, Movietone News on the screen, three or four cartoons as a warm-up, and John Wayne or Vincent Price in cinemascope. Everything else seems out-of-place.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
For Shadow Shot Sunday I decided I would post this simple picture. I liked this forest scene because most of the information about the trees comes from looking at the shadows. On this quiet trail near Bend, Oregon, scruffy hemlock create almost parallel lines that appear woven into the path like a pattern on a scarf or a serape. They demonstrate that, while hiking, there are great views to be appreciated while looking down too. Nestled amidst the dust and rock are silhouettes of the animate and inanimate. These shapes of dark against the light remind us of a different way of seeing. Through looking at negative space, it becomes easier to see nuances. Distinct edges are clarified and the unique beauty of the object itself is enhanced. The shadow is not shadowy. Its presence makes the world around it clearer and brighter.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Others have posted honeybee pictures, so I thought it was time for me to give this Bend, Oregon hymenoptera member it's debut. I have always loved watching these little critters and have been amazed, like so many, by their behavior. Years ago, when reading the 1962 nature journal, Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons, I remember Gibbons explaining how to locate a beehive. He suggested you put blue chalk on the butt of one of these little guys to identify your subject, then watch which way he flies off, time how long he's gone, get a bucket of sugar water and place it a short distance from the flower in the departure direction and hope the little guy is lured to your treat. If you are lucky, he selects your dessert rather than the flower. He stays a while, feasts and then flies off. This procedure is repeated, moving your sweet nectar continually in his departure direction, hoping he'll find you. Finally, our friend returns so quickly you know you're near his home. Then, Eureka, you see him come out of the old tree. I don't remember what you do once you find the hive, but it probably involves getting stung a bit in exchange for fresh honey. I have never forgotten this story and often imagine trying my hand at it. Of course I never have, but now that I've told you how it's done, "bee" my guest.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
At the rear of the amphitheater in Bend, Oregon , there is a quiet street which leads to some townhomes and a park situated along the Deschutes River. On a walk, the day before yesterday, I spied a multitude of black-eyed susans growing by a wrought-iron fence Later, upon closer examination, I noticed the harmonious combination of four distinct parallel color lines formed by the street, sidewalk, flowers and fence growing smaller to the eye as they recede. When looked at in this manner, the picture's focal point is beyond the curve at the back of the picture. I like the geometry as much or more than the flowers, if that is possible. In any case, this scene provided me another moment to enjoy playing with my camera and enhancing the quality of my life.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
At the edge of a wooded area in Bend, Oregon, there sits the remains of the chassis of some old logging equipment. I found the wheels and spokes especially intriguing as they related to the meadow of flowers in the foreground. Like a science teacher who has placed a skeleton before an anatomy class, this contraption's rolling stock demonstrates the physiology of the flowers which are carpeted before it. It also reminds us of the sun and its rays. Other posts have spoken of how nature reflects itself over and over in things large and small. This picture repeats this notion with unusual clarity.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Several weeks ago I posted some pictures from some hikes to volcanic peaks near Bend, Oregon. I had been told by many that the trails to the these summits were good warm-ups as preparation for my goal to climb the trail to South Sister, the third highest mountain in Oregon.
Monday, September 7, 2009
It was a peaceful Monday afternoon of Labor Day in Bend, Oregon. It was clear that the tourist season was over. There were few people on the roads, in the parks, or on the river's edge. Needing a little exercise, I decided to take a short walk and take pictures near the new recreation center. In this area of town, wildflowers grow prolifically creating a lovely atmosphere for residents and visitors to enjoy and, not forgetting, a floral buffet for the bees. It occurred to me that other municipalities could spread flower seeds in their open space and create similar environments. Much has been done to clean up and beautify the urban and suburban environment, not that the results compare favorably to the aesthetic when there was less civilization. A flower pot hanging from a light post here, and a non-native tree in a planter there, does not bring back the prairie. Yet it is an attempt, however feeble and limited, to offer nature's beauty as a soothing palliative to combat stress. Even many mall parking lots, paved on former stands of old growth trees or long forgotten orchards, have obligatory green spots. Is it better to say some living appearance other than asphalt is better than nothing? I think so.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Samuel Gompers immigrated to the U.S. from England as a boy in 1863 and became a citizen in 1872. At a time when workers had low, daily changing wages, labored under terrible conditions and toiled for long hours, Gompers believed that each employee deserved an "American" standard of living, which guaranteed a safe environment and enough money for food, clothing and education for the families' children. This could be achieved by economic organization and workers voting for politicians who understood their needs. He developed the still current procedure of collective bargaining to establish contracts between management and labor. In 1882, he founded the American Federation of Labor, the AFof L, and was its president until his death in 1924. He staunchly supported women's suffrage and equal wages with men. He also affirmed the rights of negros to participate fully vested in the work force. During World War I, Gompers support of Woodrow Wilson assured the uninterrupted production of war materiels, and, at the end, attended the Peace of Paris in 1919 as an advisor on labor issues.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants