Best Wishes for the Holiday Season!
I loved the pine tree outside my bedroom window. I watched it grow almost 20 feet and stand tall through all kinds of weather. When the oil tank was removed, my pine tree’s stability was compromised.
I’ll miss the way the snow rested on it’s branches and the way I felt protected by it’s presence. Below is one of my favorite photos of
My Pine Tree.
According to the book, The History of Arbor Day, found on The Arbor Day Foundation website, the first Arbor Day was April 10, 1872 in Nebraska where over one million trees were planted. All thanks to J. Sterling Morton and his wife, pioneers who moved from Detroit to the Nebraska Territory in 1854. As the editor of a Nebraska newspaper, Morton advocated tree planting as much for his love of trees as for the need for windbreaks to keep soil in place, for fuel and building materials, and for shade from the sun.
As secretary of the Nebraska Territory, Morton proposed a tree planting holiday called “Arbor Day” in 1872 and in 1885 it was named a legal holiday in Nebraska. Since then National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April. Some states have their own celebrations on a day that coincides with the best tree planting weather. For example, Florida and Louisiana celebrate on the third Friday in January.
Above are my photos of trees-care to guess which one is my favorite?
St. Joseph’s Zeppole, a cream or custard filled pastry, is the best part of this Italian holiday. I’ve made them but would much rather buy them at a pastry shop or have this fresh, tasty, deep fried dessert after a delicious dinner at Torna a Sorrento Restaurant in Elizabeth, NJ.
St. Joseph’s Zeppole are available before the holiday but after the 19th you’ll have to wait until next year.
P.S. Don’t forget a hot caffè macchiato to complete the experience.
The past two weeks have been quite difficult. I hope that my photos from a recent trip will transport you away….for just a moment or two.
In mid-October, I went to the New York Botanical Garden‘s show, Monet’s Garden. My garden had just a few flowers, so I was amazed at the amount of plants in full bloom outside the Conservatory. Even some water lilies were still blooming in the courtyard pools. Of course, inside was overflowing with plants similar to the ones that Claude Monet planted in his garden in Giverny, France. I hope you enjoy these photos and take a moment to smile.
All my best to those who are still struggling.
I see sunflowers-in the garden, along the road and at farm stands. Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers. The ones I photographed last week were as tall as I am. Sunflowers turn toward the sun, shine even on a dark day and produce seeds that can be dried and eaten. Have you ever tasted sunflower honey? I like the Italian variety- Girasole Miele. Try it and tell me what you think.
Fireworks are everywhere on the 4th of July. I found them early this year in an exhibit in Washington DC at the Hirshhorn Museum. Well, it wasn’t periodic bursts of light but startling unexpected light. This light came from the artwork which glowed, changed the color of my clothes, mixed in unpredictable ways and kept me totally off kilter. I hope my photos entice you to visit this fascinating exhibit called SUPRASENSORIAL which is at the Hirshhorn until August 12. Let me know what you think.
At the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., I looked through a doorway in the permanent collection. There I saw a painting whose surface was changing colors. At least I thought it was a painting. I was mesmerized and watched the apparent painting shift from afar and then went closer to examine the surface. The piece was hanging in a niche and had a glossy plexiglass front.
It wasn’t a conventional painting, but it was art. The guard said that Scramble was installed about 6 months ago and it was one of the most interesting pieces he had seen. He told me it used the same technology as the shifting light installation across the walkway at the National Gallery. As we watched it, he said that this was the first time he had seen the all-pink version. Here are the details:
Villareal, Leo, Scramble, 2011, Light-emitting diodes, Mac mini, custom software, circuitry, wood, Plexiglas; 60 x 60 in.; 152.4 x 152.4 cm. Acquired 2012. Mixed Media, 2012.001.0001, American.
I’ve been fascinated by the walkway at the National Gallery ever since I experienced it. In 2009, the National Gallery commissioned American artist Leo Villareal to design a permanent installation in the walkway between the East and the West Wings. Entitled Multiverse, it is the largest and most complex light sculpture by the artist. It contains approximately 41,000 computer-programmed LED nodes that run through channels along the entire 200-foot (61 m)-long space.
According to Villareal, the ever-changing Scramble is a homage to the artist, Frank Stella, whose work Villareal saw at the Phillips Collection. When Villareal and Stella spoke together at a symposium at the Phillips in June 2011, Villareal was inspired to create Scramble.
But Scramble didn’t start there. In 1967, Stella created sets and costumes for Merce Cunningham’s dance piece entitled Scramble. Stella later created a series of paintings based on these sets also called Scramble . Villareal’s contemporary Scramble is indeed a fitting tribute to Stella and to art inspired by art.
On almost every beach we visited in the Virgin Islands there were lounge chairs perfectly positioned to watch the water lapping the shoreline. Find your ideal spot this summer and let me know.
And, it is the perfect time to try photographing something new.
Try taking photos of things that would not be your typical subject.
Try taking photos at an unusual time of the day or from a different height. A friend once asked if I could shoot from the vantage point of a small dog. This challenge opened my mind to consider radically different viewpoints when photographing.
I hope this inspires you to try something new. Be sure to let me know.