Beach sky

The sky was looking for attention this weekend, blazing blue before it dissolved in pinks and purples, finally fading into a rich dusk, houses twinkling, and putting the day—and summer—to bed.

Project 365

This year I challenged myself to take a photo a day. I’m happy to report that January 2010 is fully covered, leaving me with a photo diary that’s as colorful and eclectic as a quesadilla. Turns out, my photos are often of things like quesadillas or whatever else I’m eating that day. To keep myself accountable, I joined the Project365 group on Flickr, dutifully posting my pic every day, even if a review of said photos reveals that I should have joined the What I Ate picture a day. Oh well. Next year.

Here’s my project so far. You can keep up with it on a link in my blogroll if you’re so inclined. It’s over there →

So far, it’s getting me outside where the light is good and there are more interesting subjects than my bed. I’m staring at people and taking covert shots in cafes, and I often find myself pausing before I chow down on a meal that I appreciate now not just for its taste, but for its composition.

And I know that come this time next year, I’ll appreciate having a journal of my year because despite being a writer, I find it near impossible to jot down a thing in any of those blank journals I’ve accumulated. Plus, a picture says more. You might even say a picture is worth a thousand words. Hey! I’m gonna coin that phrase.

A walk through Mt. Auburn Cemetery

Mt. Auburn Cemetery is one of my favorite walks; its lush paths meander and are lovingly named.


At the top of a hill, this tower defies you not to climb it (it’s as cool and dark inside as you might imagine) . . .

cemetery tower

And you almost fall down these treacherous steps, thinking I’m going to die in the cemetery.

tower steps

The grounds are chock full of nature. A bird watching mecca, Mt. Auburn celebrates the diversity of wildlife with a sign by the front gate where visitors can note on a chalkboard any unusual birds or creatures they’ve spotted with the date and location. Along with lots of birds I’ve never heard of, I was surprised to see sightings of groundhogs and coyotes. That made me look over my shoulder more than once. The cemetery is spread out over a wide swatch of land, but I didn’t think it was big or remote enough to harbor coyotes.

On my walk, I spotted more run-of-the-mill but still noteworthy creatures like bunnies, chipmunks, squirrels, and this puffed up robin:


Puffy robin

Puffy robin

And by this pond, replete with weeping willow,

weeping willow

I spotted a toad that sat nestled in the weeds, waiting for flies:


Mr. Toad, flycatcher

Mr. Toad, flycatcher

A very full day of walking, nature and escaping the clutches of the coyote.

Park art is for the birds

Some strange and wonderful things have cropped up on the Arsenal Center land in Watertown: twine-like cocoons and colorful pea pods. The honeycomb-like cocoons are subtle and caught my eye when they were drifting in the wind—giant interpretations of caterpillar retreats. That’s my take on them, anyway. Birds, listen up: this is a prime nesting opportunity.

Mother Pod is colorful, fanciful, and hard to miss: a larger-than-life pod connected, umbilical cord-like, to a baby pod, both in deep shades of red and purple. The soft material (felt and wool sweaters) makes you yearn to curl up and take a nap in the warmth of the pod.

The installments are part of the Arsenal Center for the Arts’ “Nature and Balance” exhibit that runs through the fall. I love serendipitous discoveries like this; I suspect the animals in the park will too.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Something odd arrests the viewer in Rock Harbor, Orleans, a spot that sits at the elbow of the Cape: trees growing in the ocean. While it’s hardly possible that the trees are growing there (Cape Cod is not exactly the swampland of Florida where mangrove trees survive in salt water), they do seem alive. The purpose, if any, is a puzzle. Do the trees act as buoys for the sport fishing boats that clutter the harbor? I also haven’t been able to figure out how this art installation of sorts endures. Were the trees cemented in the sand? Is it magic?

At low tide, you can walk out near the line of trees that extends out from the harbor where trees should not go. Up close, you can spot an additional quirk: a road sign is attached to each sapling warning of speed bumps and no parking zones.

I don’t know what it’s all about exactly, but for me, that’s the beauty of it.

Smile, you’re in the NYC subway

Opportunities for Kodak moments abound in New York City. Times Square, Central Park, the skyline…you could close your eyes and shoot and capture something good. But subterranean photography is where it’s at. On a recent jaunt to the city, my mom and I found cool photo ops jumping on the subway at 23rd St. and off at 28th. I’m sure the novelty has worn off for commuters, but if you’re an infrequent visitor to the city, even the subway art is something to behold. We took advantage of every ridiculous shot resulting in us wearing tiled hats and being eaten by birds of prey—even if people on the train looked at us strangely and kids were pointing. Whatever. It’s New York City. You’ll never see these people again.