Philadelphia, Frozen in Time

Time has a way of playing tricks on the mind.  It was only three weeks ago that I passed through the City of Brotherly Love on a frigid day in January.  It seems like ages.

Inspired by the solid steel and concrete, of the urban landscape, I took the photo quickly, from moving traffic.  I was on my way to visit the new  Museum of the American Revolution.

The image sits in contrast, with the idea of fleeting time.  It is symbolic of the ongoing Revolution, in the U.S.A.

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In the dark forest…

In the dark forest…

…the moon is the guiding light.  The air is crisp, birds are none to be found. Autumn hangs on, like the last leaves to fall. Muted green of olive bushes, alone reflect golden beams.  The clock has spent its time. Alas! the days are longer, the light is stronger, and winter won’t be far.  Sleep deeply under the evening stars.26930768309_bb2b393c95_o

Gathering Together

Gathering Together
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On the Ground

People gather together – Friends, family and maybe strangers, too, like autumn leaves, on the ground. Behind each visage, within each beating heart, lie dreams, fears in life and death – and loss. Loved ones are reminisced, and tears fall, while the void of loneliness is filled. Time stands still, like it does, for fallen leaves, and each person, surrounded by love, forgets, for a moment, who they are, or want to be.

Raspberry Farm

Being away from home can be disconcerting at times. Especially when it is frequent.  I love to travel, but I also like to be home.  I guess I’m kind of a homebody at heart.  When the opportunity presents itself, however, to go somewhere else, I generally seize the moment.  I always think, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained,’ and no matter what, after going away, I more and more realize that if I don’t do something when I can, I would undoubtedly regret and wonder what I had missed out on. I don’t want to miss out on anything!

With all that said, it’s always good to come back, to sleep in my own bed and to be in familiar surroundings. After 35+ years in New England I would say I have become somewhat of a Yankee, though you can’t take the Midwestern soul out of my core.

A visit to this Raspberry Farm put my mind in motion about how good it is to explore the places in my own back yard.  I stopped in on the way back from errands.  I’ve passed it frequently and always wanted to pay a visit. That I did!

I went into the shop with the big ‘Welcome’ sign up. Generally, this is a place where you can pick your own, but on account of the rains the night before, the patch was closed, so instead, I bought a small box of raspberries and some vegetables, tomatoes, raspberry jam made on the place, and some local honey.  I even grabbed a few recipes they had hanging on the door.

On my way out I thought to ask the saleslady if I could take some pictures of the farm.  It is impressively well run, and obvious the owners put their everything into keeping it nice for the public.  The pictures show how well run it is.  Curiously the varieties are given French names, as you can see in the photos.  Prelude is the only raspberry bush still producing.  It gives two crops of fruit, one in the early summer, and again in August/September.  I presume in October, they die out.

I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful blue sky and white fluffy clouds to bring out the late summer cheer of the the day.  Bittersweetly the Autumn’s tune was playing in the air.  Must enjoy the days, as short as they may be getting to be, and take in the transitions of a new season to come.  They all have some beauty to share.

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Sparkle

Sparkle

Taking pictures helps me get in touch with feelings. Thoughts generally rush through my mind, and a mix of emotions, negative and positive can be all tangled up. When I go out with my camera, and interpret my surroundings, the scenarios I play back are put on hold.

Energy re-emerges in the waves beating against the shore. Anticipation and lethargy lie dormant within the rocks, which sit like dinosaurs on the beach.  I imagine them stirring in slow motion. A golden sun, peaking out of gray clouds over still ocean water, signals optimism and hope.  Self-expression comes in many shapes and forms, taking the place of words.

Photos were taken on the beach, in Carlsbad, California. Click on the images, for a full view, and titles.

Lost Image

Once upon a time, there was a young Asian girl, who wore her long hair pulled back in a pony tail.  She had bangs. One summer day, she was feeding the birds at a city square. Leaning over slightly, her left hand held a bag with food; with the right, she gently tossed the seeds to the grey doves.  They eagerly gathered at her tiny feet.

On this day, her jersey waisted turquoise coat clashed with the bright green grass, growing where dry parched soil allowed.  It was in the afternoon.  She donned a pretty white crinoline skirt trimmed with a pink ribbon along the edge, which fell at her knees. Her tennis shoes, matched the trim on her skirt.  The fine spectacles sitting on her olive-toned skin, glistened with sparkles.

She was happy and beautiful!

A short distance away across the drive, there was a barely perceptible figure of a man, supinely stretched out along the grass.  His head lie northeast, and his feet together, southwest. Completely still, he went unnoticed, until… the soon to be lost image, appeared on my screen.

The girl, disappeared!

 

The Magical Light of Padua, Italy, and Giotto’s Frescoes @ the Scrovegni Chapel.

 

 

During a recent stay, in Padua, Italy, I marveled at a seemingly enchanting light hovering over this very old city, going back before Roman times, a place where many layers of culture and history are available to feast the mind.  In particular are the lives of two famous artists, who made their stay in Padua. Giotto lived there in the 14th century, and Donatello, in the 15th.  Another artist named Mantegna must not be forgotten, when speaking of Padua.  He was a prominent painter, who lived in this city dedicated to St. Anthony, the hermit.

So surprised at the amazing light of Padua and the similarity I found in the tones and colors in the frescoes of Giotto, I made mention of this to acquaintances along the way.  I’m not sure if they understood what I was trying to say.  While there may be a scientific explanation for this phenomena, real or imagined, I sought out information on Google and was pleasantly surprised that a French writer in his book Wanderings in Italy also spoke of the quality of light in Padua.  Although he was there in the fall and I in the early summer, more than 100 years apart, it was quite a revelation that we both were struck by the relationship of the light and the effect this had on its artists, particularly its painters.  Gabriel Fauré, nonetheless had a differing perception of the nature of Paduan light. He said, “Forms stand out in strong relief. The lines of the Euganean Hills, so soft and blurred as seen from Venice, are so precise and definite here that they almost hurt the eyes.”  He then mentioned the art of Giotto and Mantegna as being influenced by this surrounding atmosphere.  Contrarily, I found the light to be soft and pastel like and conjured more closely the images of Giotto’s palette.  Mantegna is quite different in style and true enough his palette is more saturated and his forms have a more outlined and definite quality than those of Giotto.  Perhaps Giotto painted in the early summer, and Mantegna in the fall.  Whatever may be the case, I’m not certain scientific explanation can prove either case, but it could try.  It may also depend on the season, in which one resides.  What is true is that human perception of nature’s affect on artistic renditions, open to interpretation, cannot be denied.

In the beginning of the article, I have included photos I took of the frescoes by Giotto from the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua.  Below, is also the script of Faure taken from his travel journal in Italy.  It is worth a reading to understand what his experience was like and its parallel with my own experience.  Click on Scrovegni Chapel for an excellent tour of the inside of the chapel, and explanation by the Khan Academy.

The environs of Padua are delightful. ‘If we did not know,’ said the Emperor Constantine Palæologus, ‘that the earthly Paradise was in Asia, I should have believed that it must have been in the territory of Padua.’ I am struck more especially by the change in the aspect of everything only a few leagues from Venice. Climate, landscape, sky and inhabitants are all quite different. The light, above all, is of another quality. It is not full of colour and vapour as on the lagoon, but vivid and piercing. Forms stand out in strong relief. The lines of the Euganean Hills, so soft and blurred as seen from Venice, are so precise and definite here that they almost hurt the eyes. And merely walking along this road enables me to realize why the vision of the Paduan painters differs so essentially from that of the Venetians with whom they were long classed. The School of Padua is far more akin to that of Florence, whence, indeed, came the two great masters of the 14th and 15th centuries whose influence was to be so decisive here. Giotto and Donatello did not feel themselves strangers on the banks of the Bacchiglione, and they were at once understood and imitated. Nothing could be more alien to the art of Titian than the somewhat hard dry manner of Squarcione and Mantegna.[1]

[1] “Wanderings in Italy” by Gabriel Faure. Houghton Mifflin, 1919.

Stillwater ~ July 2017

A recent visit to Stillwater revealed new and exciting discoveries.  Even though I came here many times before it was easy to skip over details of the city, as I was busy going back and forth across the river, to be with my aging mother.  Now she is gone, but not forgotten, for she taught me to see from the heart.  She would like my pictures.

Stillwater is a place I love to explore, with my camera, especially in the morning and early evening.  Please see the photos individually, and read the captions I wrote.

 

A few years ago, I featured a page on Stillwater that barely scraped the surface. Have a look at what I found; https://tiffanycreek7.com/stillwater-minnesota/.

A Tribute to the Queen

A Tribute to the Queen

The date; Monday, June 12, 2017.  Place, London. Event; The Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace.  Got there early to get our spot at the gates. Found a square on the pavement to perch ourselves, and peer through the bars.  Early, we arrived.  We had to stay put and hold on tight or others would come and try to usurp our position. The tourists flocked from all corners of London, to line up at the entrance of the Palace.  I chose to allow a few small children to stand in my place.  A cumbersome woman barged in, blocking their angled view to the inside.  I told her she was taking the children’s space.  She left.

The process of the event, from beginning to end, enraptured my spirit; the ongoing arrival of spectators, fueled by a desire to watch the colorful fanfare, the marching and playing of the Palace band.  Otherwise, the procedure was quite tiresome and boring, and a bit puzzling that so many would come and stand in the heat and humidity, for what felt like an eternity.  Yet, the allure and will to pay respect to the Queen and the Crown, she so regally bears, took precedent.  People from around the globe stood and looked on, and when it was all over the multitudes meandered away, as if nothing happened at all.  If I never see another changing of the guard, I will not care, but I will say, “Long Live the Queen!”

 

Images of England

Black and White

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Concrete Abstract Random of Penzance, Cornwall.

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Old grates and old gates of Penzance.

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Penzance, Cornwall.

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Look through every window… London in search of Charles Dicken’s home which I never found.

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White on White Storefront. Bury Street, London across from the London Book Store.