Gallery of Life

Observation of the day…

November 29, 2014

Snow reducces the natural color palette to tones of gray and white

Click on the image above to see a more detailed view

The weather people said it was coming—a sudden snap of Arctic air funneling down the Fraser River canyon into Western Washington. As always, when that happens, the cold climbs over our normally moist warm air and … presto … Snow!

What captured my attention, even as I took this series of pictures, is the way the snow washed out the colors. Everything has turned to muted shades of white and gray. My wife's car is normally a pale green and Troy's truck is red.

Of course, even adult children have their moments, too. As if the scene isn't surreal enough as is, note the All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT, or snow walker) in the lower middle.

Observation of the day…

November 15, 2014

So many colors -- red, yellow, gold, brown, and green, all on this one tall tree

So many colors. As always, nature provided an impressionistic simulcrum of a tree. No artist could imagine a tree with not one, not two, not three, but incredibly … four different colors!

It's been a tremendous fall in Seattle, where we seldom see the richmess of color—and of sunshine. No rain in sight. It's coming, as sure as winter, so we're celebrating what we have now.

This tree so impressed me that I turned around, parked, and walked back to it for the photo. I thought about doing one of my composites but it deserves to be viewed wholistically. After all, we are one with nature.


Observation of the day…

November 2, 2014

What are these brown boughs on cedar tree in my backyard

Can anyone can suggest what's happening here? I'm not an arborist. I don't play one on TV and I'm not sure how much one costs.

The boughs of our cedar tree are turning brown. Not a lot of them, and not suddenly. They've been slowly changing for about the last three months. I noticed the neighbor's cedar is also changing. Both trees are the same size and probably the same age.

if this is natural, I won't do anything. But if it signifies a danger--to the trees or the houses, I want to mend it as soon as possible.

Poetic license…

Grand Canyon

How could any stream this length
and breadth have carved a channel
in the ageless stone so monumental?

The Missouri, even in Montana,
holds more water, with further
to travel in its quest of sea.

The Amazon and Nile, the mighty
rivers flowing straight and flat
and listless, stretched across the land.

The Huang Ho moves more soil each year
than this canyon once contained.
Yet when compared, the Huang Ho pales.

The Danube, she of waltzing fame,
So beautiful and blue, flows free,
And gently fleets across the land.

But here the cliff edge falls away
in breathless bounds to touch, below,
Roaring, rock-strewn cataracts
Of a river which so boastful shouts:
"God created me; And I created this!"

Autumn (leaves red)

Leaves red.
Earth beckons, autumn comes;
Calling painted leaves—"return to me."

Leaves speak,
Begging mercy, pleading, "no.
We don't want to die. Don't make us fall."

Blades rais'd,
Grass bends cradling arms.
Saying, "believe the siren call of winter."

Once down,
Motionless, and flattened,
Bodies of leaves, crushed, turning brown.

The top floor roof is thin

A hobo off the railroad shook my hand in Norton City.
Told me he was handy and "milked cows real good and pretty."
Well, I need the roof done up again before this chilly fall.
He sad-like smiled and said that he had other ports to call.

Said he had a friend of his they all call Jersey Nickel,
And if he put the word out in the camp, would be a signal
That Jersey might come 'round to lend an arm before the rain.
They help each other out, he said, like that, with no complaint.

I said I wasn't sure at all, what with the fam'ly near,
To trust a man I didn't know to pitch his bedroll here.
But beggars can't be choosers and the top floor roof is thin.
I really need the help, so if he knocks, I'll take him in.

It's funny -- he's the hobo, got no place to lay his hat.
But I'm the one in need of someone strong to swing a bat.
In terms of life's caprices, when the geese take to the wing,
I'll be the lonely beggar; Jersey Nickel, he's the king.