Within a matter of days, all of the ice on the millpond has vanished due to temperatures in the 60s. It’s the quickest end of winter I can remember. We didn’t have the usual month of rain, mud, grimy mounds of snow and gray skies. The rapid melt has increased the water going over “Brighton Falls” at the end of the millpond. I posted another photo titled The Color of Water in November, 2009. It was a colorful mid-summer evening shot. This image was taken well after dark on March 16th and has more subtle colors. Algae is already in full bloom from the warmer days and bright sun. That’s the green in this picture. The orange patches are reflections from nearby street lights. The larger version shows much better detail.
Doesn’t this look like a tropical plant from some distant island? It isn’t. It’s a common 2″ zinnia blossom seen from the side photographed in a Livingston County garden. Sometimes we miss incredibly interesting visual things because they are so common we think we know them. We merely glance in their direction instead of looking closely. See the larger version, if you need a winter dose of color.
I like to go behind buildings to see the junk they leave unattended, big objects that don’t fit in their dumpsters. These things collect until the load is large enough to haul away. Here, a steel box has become a pedestal for a gasoline pump nozzle in the afternoon sun. The dull sheen of the aluminum sharply contrasts with the rusting scars of the painted surface, and a rust feast is in progress on the never-painted rectangle in the upper left. A few years ago, the aluminum nozzle would buy a hamburger if it was taken to a metal recycler. Not in this economy.
God, isn’t rust beautiful? :-)
It’s easy to find in Michigan these days. Just look at all of those colors, the flaking of paint layers and the colorful pitting in the larger version. Come back tomorrow for more decaying man-made things. One is in the batter’s box.
In another attempt to assuage Winter, here’s a dose of color for you which veers from the usual images at Words4It. In 2006, a poinsettia I had in my office for several years developed particularly colorful leaves. I suspect it was because I didn’t give it proper nutrition. As leaves fell off, I scanned them for no good reason except to record their patterns. This image is a composite of those scans. The larger version (2400 x 1292, 393k) is quite spectacular in detail. You are welcome to crop it down to fit your desktop.
I didn’t punch up the colors in Photoshop. This is how my camera recorded them. This 1999 vintage 1-megapixel Nikon always skews to the blue range so I can’t say it’s a realistic representation of the flowers. They’re still beautiful surrounded by the rich greens at the close of twilight.
When was the last time you looked at ducks as beautiful? They are. Their colors and intricate patterns are truly worth careful study, if you can get close enough to observe them. I’m helping you do that with these shots taken late at night from the boardwalk in Brighton, MI. The ducks gathered 8 feet below me hoping I’d drop food to them. Instead, I took their portraits. To appreciate their beauty see the larger versions: Duck 1 and Duck 2 are typical mallard hens while Duck 3 (below, right) is probably a cross between a mallard and a pekin (white farm duck), but it might be another mongrel mix. Mallards are notorious for breeding with about 50 different closely related species. Someday I’ll give you a glimpse into the tawdry sexual lives of mallards. Not today.
If leaves floated upward instead of descended, we’d miss the collages painted by gravity that float on the surface of the millpond in Brighton, Michigan. There is a delightful orderliness to this work of art, don’t you think? About half of the leaves have fallen face-down which is what you would expect, statistically. But also note how the different leaves/colors are almost evenly distributed. It’s most apparent with the yellow-green, long willow leaves you can see more easily in the larger version. I don’t remember last year’s weather, but it feels like this collage was created gently on breezeless days in November, 2008. Gravity was in a darker mood and more ruthless in 2009.
The berries on this unidentified tree on Brighton’s Main Street passed through a short mauve phase. It’s an odd, artificial looking color as they move toward a blue-violet at maturity. The reddish cast on the autumn leaves is interesting, too.
View the larger version (400k) of this image.
Steeling the Sky
The green goes, most of it.
The blue follows, most of it.
For a brief time, the colors of fire
Then they leave, too, most of them.
When the sky turns to steel
and the still water darkens,
the lace of branches
suspend swatches of fire
for a moment.
Afterward, subtleties hint
at what was there.
Coppers and bronzes and
grays dipped in oxidized wine.
That’s all that
Copyright: Douglas Alden Peterson, 2009 – All Rights Reserved
On the patio of Buon Gusto, a charming Italian restaurant in Brighton, MI, LEDs spiral with artificial grape vines as the sun sets. Vincent van Gogh said, “There is no blue without yellow and without orange.”