July 5, 2020
In January 2005 I accompanied my husband and 10 Oberlin College students to Japan. We were there three weeks—they to study land use, and I and my camera to drink in whatever we could. While our group saw sewage-treatment plants and fish farms and such, we also visited tourist attractions, including these two Shinto shrines.
July 8, 2020 Update
New information added in the caption to #5, thanks to a comment from fellow blogger Steve Schwartzman.
1 Aoshima is a small island off Kyushu with an unusual shoreline. In English it is known as The Devil’s Washboard, but I don’t know if that is a translation from the Japanese. If I remember right, the island itself—rather than something on the island—is considered sacred. Shinto shrines are identified by their torii gates, the orange structure in this photograph.
2 On this day the waves were strong.
3 It was low tide when we arrived, so these rocks stay at least partially submerged.
4 I could have spent days just photographing the rocks.
5 The erosion alone is fascinating. I’ve seen photographs of rocks similar to these taken in other parts of the world. Thanks to Steve Schwartzman, who commented recently, I now know that these rock formations are called tafoni.
7 Iron nodules like this are embedded in the sandstone along Ohio’s Vermilion River.
8 Bits of shell adorn the rocks like confetti.
10 Some depressions are nests for smaller rocks.
11 Thousands of torii gates wind around the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. The beautiful Japanese characters on some of the gates give the names of corporate sponsors. I prefer to think that they are poems.
13 We arrived shortly before sunset, which offered interesting shadows.
April 12, 2020
Since the post of March 29, I have taken many more walks around the grounds where I live. It’s getting a little harder to find something new to photograph. I’ll need to focus on new ways to photograph familiar things. The last two photos—the very last is a close crop of the previous image—were taken out our back window.
March 15, 2010
Not having any new photographs to show, I went through my photographs of 2001 and 2002 today hoping to find something shareworthy. I found only one from 2001 (the turkey-tail fungus) and 14 from 2002. It was frustrating to see many photographs that might have been good if only I’d framed them better. Even more photographs were images of interesting things rather than interesting images of things. Ah, well, photograph and learn. These were all taken with a Sony Cybershot DSC-F707. You may have seen some of them in earlier blog posts.
January 5, 2020
Two days before I photographed Oberlin in fog, I was happily running around my neighborhood photographing Oberlin in sunshine. In my memory there is not much sunshine in Oberlin winters, and I wanted to seize the day—especially because it had been cold enough for ice to form on the ponds.
1 What photographer can ignore an S-curve? I wonder if the curve here has to do with the varying depth of water in the pond.
2 The black things are almost-holes in the ice. Can someone tell me—or guess—how they form?
5 Are bubbles in the ice caused by decaying vegetation beneath that is releasing methane? Or maybe living plants that are releasing oxygen?
7 Sycamores always stand out, especially against a blue sky.
12 The woods were aglow with leaf lights.
November 18, 2019
This post—a continuation of yesterday’s—is about the waterfall David and I visit when we walk downriver in northern Ohio’s Vermilion River, which we do most Septembers.
Update of November 22, 2019: In the Comments section, Steve Gingold asked if I’d thought of stitching together photographs 6 and 7. Look below photograph 7 to see how that worked.
1 This photograph is from August 2006. I had heard about a waterfall not far from Schoepfle Garden that could be accessed from the river. Here is my first view of it. As pretty as this small waterfall was, I was a little disappointed.
2 David thought there might be more, so he clambered up the cliff to have a look.
3 This year, when I saw the base of the cliff, I was not disappointed because I knew what was coming.
4 I could happily linger here.
5 This was our destination. From the top of the cliff to the pool, the water falls about 20 feet. It’s not spectacular as waterfalls go, but it counts as a real waterfall to me.
6 and 7 stitched together in Photoshop, per Steve Gingold’s suggestion. It almost works.
June 16, 2019
Yesterday I followed and unfollowed paths around my immediate neighborhood. I found baby oak leaves overlooking tall grasses; a willow tree behind goldenrod plants and before cattails sprinkled with pseudacris; a path through a wooded area dotted with daisies; very young films of Leptothrix discophora, some in front of a small outcrop of sedge; a duckweed-covered pond rising to meet hanging branches of another oak tree; and more duckweed in a different pond in the rain. I also took another stab at Intentional Camera Movement.
April 21, 2019
This collection of photographs begins, in a way, where the last post left off: with trees of life. The plants growing on these trees seem a little different from the ones shown in the last post—perhaps because they immediately border the water. Two photographs separate the trees of life from reflections in the creek: one I think of as essence of tiger—a small stream on its way to the creek—and an arrangement of dead leaves.
December 23, 2018
On December 8, shortly after arriving in Sarasota for the winter, I took my first trip to South Lido Park this season. This is perhaps my favorite park in the county, largely because it contains a variety of ecosystems. The bonus is that it’s only about 15 minutes from home. On my first visit of the season there I always search with apprehension to see if a little stump I’ve named R2D2 is still standing. Every year, I think it has disappeared, only to realize it’s only further down the path. And so it went this year. R2D2 (in the first four photos) seems more colorful than it has been in the past, but that may be my imagination. The fifth photo is probably the first of others you’ll see over the next couple of months showing a dead sabal palm leaf, which I find more graceful in senescence than on the tree. The sixth photograph is another perennial favorite: backlit leaves of the seagrape bush. The last photograph shows my photographing friend Lynda and me.
December 13, 2018
When I went dumpster hunting last month (see the small haul), I stopped by the old bank drive-through that has entertained me so often. I’d never been there in freezing weather, and icy new appearances awaited me. The last three photographs are what I will enter into the FAVA Six-State Photography show early next year, hoping one will be juried in.
November 13, 2018
A week ago Friday I was in the parking lot of our nearby drug store, waiting for my passenger to finish her shopping. It’s boring just to wait for someone. Enter my iPhone! It had just finished raining. What lucky timing. These are not Leptothrix discophora films but thin films of oil or gasoline on the puddles, which is what L. discophora films are often taken for. You can see why. Both exhibit color interference, also called thin-film interference. These films—unlike films of L. discophora—have no fracturing. (Compare with images in the previous post.)
Fabian Oefner is an artist who uses thin films of oil in his work.
November 3, 2018
This summer and fall have seen far too much rain to produce much in the way of colorful Leptothrix discophora films. But I miss them, so this post delves into photographs I took of this evidence of iron bacteria along Ohio’s Vermilion River between 2008 and 2010, before I’d started the blog. Some of these photos may be repeats of other dives into the archives. I hope that since I can’t remember if I’ve shown them, you can’t either.
August 12, 2018
Walking back up the stairs from the place of dark rocks and reflecting pools, you notice that the trail’s low wooden guard rail could very easily be breached and that you could, if you wanted, walk over to where Cucumber Run runs over the edge of the cliff. Hmmm.
August 11, 2018
Here you can see the Youghiogheny River in the distance, muddy from recent rains.
August 10, 2018
Strictly speaking, this photograph does not show the falls but the pooled and slowly moving water of Cucumber Run between the falls and the Youghiogheny River. The colors in the water are reflected trees and sky.
August 9, 2018
You may remember, from reading this blog, that my friend’s farm in southern Pennsylvania is near the Ohiopyle Falls on the Youghiogheny River. This year the adventure leaving from the farmhouse was to a tributary of the Youghiogheny called Cucumber Run, which turns into the Cucumber Falls on its way to the big river.
August 1, 2018
July 29, 2018
Two weeks ago I made my way to the Vermilion River, something I do less often than I used to now that we are living back in town. The river still charms me, I’m happy to say, and I was in special good luck July 14 because the river’s water level was low and its banks embellished with iridescent patches of Leptothrix discophora. When the water is low, I get to wade across to the other side, where I usually can find more colonies of my favorite bacterium (photos to come). The wade itself is a treat, though, and I love seeing the ripples filled with sunshine at my feet.
June 26, 2018
The Barton Dam on the Huron River is in Ann Arbor, where I took this photograph five years ago.
April 27, 2018
April 10, 2018
February 6, 2018
Sleeping Turtles Preserve North is part of the Sarasota (Florida) County park system. Bordered by the Myakka River, it is resplendent with huge live oaks that host thousands of bromeliads, including Spanish moss. What makes this park different from other parks in the county that I have visited are the many marshy spots. This park is where I saw my first bog lily—and nearly slipped into the muck while photographing it. I was a bit more careful a couple of weeks ago when I came across another.
I have a strange confession to make concerning the blog post called GBH in SLP. On that post I intimated (because for some reason I have thought of George Bernard Shaw whenever I heard “GBH”) that “GBH” was how people referred to George Bernard Shaw. It isn’t! Obviously (even to me, now), George Bernard Shaw is “GBS”! I’m sorry if I confused any of you in my own confusion. I have no idea how that erroneous thought got lodged in my head. Thank my dear husband for setting me straight.