Greetings! This is my place for art and thinking. The images I find out in the world and close to home are sometimes put here. I like to smile and hence like to find images that are smileworthy. I'm also a bit melancholy sometimes and hence you might find images of solitude and loneliness.
I'm taking a writing course...micro-stories with a high visual component. The heat we're currently suffering reminded me of my trips to the high California desert. These are some of the images from those trips. Of course, in California, it's a dry heat. That, of course, is B.S.
The story was a timed, ten minute writing exercise.
It’d been a long day with oppressive heat, air so dry my skin was parched and my nose hurt from spikes of dried mucous. And the wind, oh my God, the wind never stopped. Howling, whistling, crackling seeming to intensify the hot, dry air. I only had a short distance to run to the barn and I could almost feel the cool and dark of that strong building. I squinted my eyes to keep the fine dust out and started down the road. The wind seemed to calm a little and I looked up, softened my squint, and slowed my pace. Where the fence met the street a small whirlwind, a dust devil, was just beginning its mad rotation. The calm abruptly ended and the 6’ high dust devil began to grow and to move.
Doubling in height in just seconds, the small twister seemed to leap over the machinery and charged directly at me with bull-like intent. The wind and sand on my face was the constant slap of a porcupine and my vision began to narrow.
The noise was horrific, like standing next to a train or a jet engine. The little dust devil was now over thirty feet tall, roaring like a freight train, and almost black. And then, it wasn’t.
It was gone.
Sunrise Over Apple ValleyApple Valley sunrise looking over the Mojave River Apple Valley SunriseSun peeking over mountains east of Apple Valley Mojave Desert Joshua GroveGrove of trees outside of Hesperia, CA
Today I did a quick walkabout with a friend on Brown's Island. We went in the morning although not early enough to avoid the beginning of the more tropical weather. I nervously launched my drone to mentally practice not having the thing flying just a few feet away. I still have quite a bit to learn but I will be patient. Some of these images I took with my phone, some with my camera, and one with the drone.
Civil War MuseumCivil War museum from the James River Emancipation & Freedom MemorialOn Brown's Island in Richmond, VA Bridge Across the JamesBridge with personal memories of the three days in April 1865 when Union forces entered Richmond Triple Exposure of Richmond Bridge James River and the RailroadTracks and machinery next to the James in Richmond Civil War MuseumWater wheel at the museum
I'm putting together a series of images looking inside and then through to the other side. I found this image in Carytown. However, the bright vertical window pane in the center of the image seemed to split the view in half...two images, and that's not what I wanted. The two "halves" had a great deal in common and I felt the story of a city diner was definitely there. But the vertical pane...distracting. I copied the image as a layer on top of the original photo, I distorted the new layer, rotated it, and zoomed in so that the geometry and colors enhanced the image. For me...it worked. What do you think? The original image is on the bottom.
I walked about Alexandria and stopped in the Torpedo Factory. Things are a little different there now and I'm sensing bigger changes are on the horizon. Walking out I found myself face-to-face with a restaurant and an outside-inside-outside view of the Potomac through the restaurant's windows. Oh...and a self portrait. Hint, I'm not half the man I used to be. Smile.
I was in Northern Virginia for a few days earlier this week. I took a short time off from my tasks and did a walkabout with a friend in the Lady Bird Johnson Park. The park is on Columbia Island which is on the Virginia side of the Potomac. However, because of the unusual demarcation rules, the border of the District (and Maryland) is the shoreline of the Potomac on the Virginia side. Consequently, all of the river and the islands are part of our neighbors territories, not Virginia's. The memorial is dedicated to sailors in the Navy, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps who died at sea during World War I and other times. The memorial was opened in 1934.
I enjoy this park. It's right next to everything, airport, interstates, pentagon, river, and more. But there's peace and beauty to the landscape enhanced by the occasional statue or marker. I'm pretty sure that Lady Bird would be pleased. Not easy to get to but worth the trip.
Crashing WavesMemorial to those in the Navy and the Merchant Marine in the Lyndon B. Johnson Park Monument OverlookMemorial to those in the Navy and the Merchant Marine in the Lyndon B. Johnson Park overlooking Washington Monument