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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Just in case you still thought Jurassic Park was a good idea….

I’m wondering if anyone out there has ever smelled a female ginkgo tree?  It’s primarily male trees that are cultivated because the female tree has foul-smelling seeds.  According to Wikipedia, the seeds smells like “rancid butter or vomit.”  Mmmm, that’s just what I would want in MY garden!  Let’s hear it for the boys….

I was walking through the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park last year when I came upon this gate.  The combination of colors and textures was a bit overwhelming.  I couldn’t decide if I loved it or hated it.  So I took this image that zeroed in on the area with the most different things going on at once.

What I like the most in this image is the latch.  The hand-hammered iron with its patina of rust, attached to the gate with old slotted screws, is unique.  I focused on the latch and blurred out the rest of the gate slightly.

There are no parallel lines or 90 degree angles here.  All the joints are out of square, which adds to its loony charm.

Where else will you find a gate like this that’s a crazy-quilt of red, blue, brown and stained wood, bamboo and iron?  I don’t know, but if you find another one, let me know!

What’s wrong with this picture?

Or to put it another way, what did I manipulate with photo editing software to make this image appear as it does?

The first person to answer correctly will have praise and adulation heaped upon them, not to mention a mention in this blog (if they want it).

Hint:  it’ll be easier if you look at the image full-screen.

And don’t worry if you can’t figure it out.  I’ll post the answer in a day or two….

Good luck!

One of my favorite images from my travels to Maine:  the Mobil logo on a gas station wall.  I love the contrasting textures of the cracked shingles and the smooth steel.  And that red…with just enough rust, mostly around the edges, to let you know it’s truly vintage…it’s just what my living room needs!

Can’t you just picture Mike and Frank (the guys on American Pickers) going nuts for this…if it were for sale, that is?

Get in line, fellas.  I saw it first.  I’ve got a major case of sign envy…

Continuing  the roadside attraction theme:  I had to pull over and get this image of a clever marketing ploy:  you wouldn’t want to burn non-organic wood in your campfire, now would you?

I also love it when untended roadside stands are on the honor system.  I would think people pay more often than not.  I’ve only seen the self-pay stands in very rural areas…to me, it’s a measure of a locale in which I want to spend some time.  And they are usually  areas that have great photo ops as well.

When I’m driving, I’ll pull over and shoot just about anything that catches my interest.  So I couldn’t pass up this snowperson billboard….

This is the same barn that appeared in the third and fourth image in yesterday’s post.  I want to show you how it looked “in real life.”  You can see why I cropped out the pallet and the tire that are resting against the front of the building!  Not only are they unattractive, but they also add a modern element that doesn’t belong in an image designed to look old (even if it’s “fake-old”).



All of these images were taken on the same day at a dairy farm in Vermont.  One of the residents (above) warily agreed to pose for me.  She balked at signing a model release, however, and wandered down the hill for a meal instead.  Sigh.  Models can be so moo-dy….

An assortment of roof heights and shapes and textures…

The weathered siding on this barn would be called “distressed” in the city…here it’s just called old.

Here’s a detail of the window in the barn above.  I love the simplicity of the trim.  On farms, form seems to follow function about 99.9% of the time.  I happened to grow up in a home with double-hung windows, so they always evoke a certain nostalgia for me… not to mention memories of smashed fingers when the ropes holding the counterweights broke!

Here’s a cool old tractor taking a rest under some trees.  Yes, it runs.

And here’s another cool old tractor taking a rest under some different trees.  Yes, this one also runs.

And finally, no farm would be complete without at least one old truck.  This dump truck is a Chevrolet.  Like its tractor cousins, it’s also resting under some trees until it’s needed, which is something the farmer rarely gets to do.  And no need to ask.  It runs too.

This is the exact same truck that was featured in yesterday’s post, but shot on a different day.  These images were taken on a very rainy afternoon about a year ago, during the briefest of respites from the showers.  You can see how different the light is from the images in yesterday’s post that were taken on a sunny evening.  While I love the magical evening light and the lovely golden glow it gives the yellow body of the truck, the wet rust has a very different look.  And the rain keeps the moss on the roof nice and green!

This truck was made by the White Motor Company, which was in business from 1900-1980.  Not quite as long as Ford, but 80 years is not too shabby a record either.  This particular model was a White “Super Power.”

Why yes, as a matter of fact it IS held together with baling wire.  Don’t laugh.  Duct tape may be involved as well, though I didn’t see any direct evidence of it.  Baling wire and duct tape are probably responsible for keeping millions of vehicles running in virtually every country on earth.

The lettering on the doors was probably painted, although it may have been decals, I can’t tell now.  In either case, it kept the body of the truck from rusting underneath the lettering.  Now that the lettering has worn off, it has a cool stenciled look, and the rust makes it look almost airbrushed.