Thursday, December 31, 2015

Duck Ramp, Seattle, Washington

I find this little ramp going into / out of an artificial circular pond on the University of Washington campus to be remarkably charming, and have no idea whether it is an official and approved structure or some act of guerrilla engineering.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Terminal 5 elevator, Heathrow airport, UK

This elevator beautifully exposes its mechanical ribs: as the elevator car rises and falls, the counterweight (seen here in the middle) moves smoothly in the opposite direction.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

100% Grass Fed, Seattle, Washington

This really tickled me when I noticed it, as of course it was supposed to do. Notice the little wheels on the bottom as well, so they can roll it in and out of the shop when it opens and closes.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Colorful condos in Cambridge, Massachusetts

This colorful condominium complex has recently sprouted near BBN, as Cambridge continues to densify and rise in real estate value.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Smokey the evil businessman, Seattle

The more I look at this guerrilla art, the more I find its deep incongruities intriguing.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Well-wrapped smokestack, Iowa City

Some sort of repair or other construction going on at the main smokestack on the power-plant down by the river, where the whistle blows four times a day, clearly audible even at our house two miles away.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Gravel pit in snow, Iowa

The shapes of gravel pits intrigue me, as they slice neat holes straight down into the surface of the earth.  Why this particular shape, and what makes them decide to stop at a certain depth?  Here curves and plains come out in bluish highlights in the snow.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ice on lake Michigan

Near the Michigan shore, the ice forms patchworks of domains with varied textures, patterns, and directions in their structure.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dead railroad signal, Hoover Nature Trail, West Branch, Iowa

Over the past year, I've gotten quite into walking rail-to-trail conversions, of which there are many scattered all over this country.  As long as we have let our railroads die, we might as well benefit in the form of lovely long trails through city, town, and countryside.  Sometimes, old fragments of the prior life of such a trail remains, such as this now quite defunct signal beside the Hoover trail near West Branch, Iowa.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ceiling of US Space & Rocket Museum, Huntsville, Alabama

Raw ductwork and utilities peek through the stylishly modern grids and planes of this piece of ceiling near the Mars Cafe in the US Space & Rocket Museum.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Lilypad flowers, Amana Colonies, Iowa

Amana Colonies was 19th century German religious settlement in Iowa, and more recently remains the source of many large home appliances.  A well-maintained trail crosses through the fields between the villages, along a thoroughly canalized waterway and the edge of a great flat-edged pond full of millions upon millions of flowering lilypads.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

San Francisco apartment building

A three-dimensional structure of panels with embedded flower pots decorate the side of this building in the heart of San Francisco.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Sunset in F.W. Kent Park, Iowa

In F.W. Kent Park, there is a West-facing slope of restored prairie which lights golden orange in the sunset.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cemetary near Chicago

From the air, cemetaries are almost always instantly recognizable by the lines of not-quite-similar stones that march across them.  They often also have interestingly curving networks of paths, which frequently fan out around a central point of focus.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pomerantz Center, University of Iowa

I don't know if there is any purpose served by the little shutter-box structures on the Pomerantz Center building in the University of Iowa, but I like the texture and pattern that they present.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A lattice of twigs, Iowa

Someone apparently felt this street sign needed decorative wooden spines.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ship propellors on the road, Seattle

Propellors gleaming in the sun, bound to join a mighty vessel somewhere.

Monday, December 14, 2015


About a year ago, statues of the Univesity of Iowa's nightmarish Herky the Hawk mascot appeared all over the Iowa City area, all grinning identically but in different garb.  Many have since crept back inside your darkest dreams, but this one continues to appear and move around near the central quad an the old capital building, particularly near graduation times.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Silo tops, Iowa

A bird of prey drifts past the complicated transfer machinery atop a complex of silos.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Park Place, Boston

Crammed into every smallest bit of a triangular intersection of streets, the Park Place building of downtown Boston comes to a graceful curving point.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Leucorea wall, Wittenberg, Germany

Wittenberg is home of one of the oldest universities in Germany.  Most of the university is no longer in Wittenberg, but the original building, known as the Leucorea, still operates. On the walls of its inner courtyard are the names of notable instructors of its past, one of which leaped out at me.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bear dies, can't sleep

Graffiti on a door in Boston, presenting a poetic image that sticks with me and my struggles with finding sufficient sleep and rest in life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tent Roof, Belfast, Maine

Afternoon light shining through the top of the tent where my niece and nephew played and camped this summer, in the back yard of the farmhouse where my brother and his wife now live.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Berlin main train station

The central train station of Berlin is multi-layered glass construction of angles and open air, sitting slightly off-kilter in the midst of a wide and empty plaza.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Mars Habitat playground ceiling, Huntsville, Alabama

In the US Space & Rocket Center museum, there is a large fancy-warehouse building housing a Saturn V rocket (or at least the various cobbled together elements of one).  Beneath it and off to one side, one finds a playground based on plans for a future Mars habitat, which I found to have some quite intriguing shapes and lighting inside.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Maiden Cliff, Camden Hills, Maine

Maiden Cliff is a lovely short hike up Mt. Megunticook, in between Camden and Belfast on the coast of Maine, legendarily the site of a young woman's death in the 19th Century as she chased her wind-blown hat.