Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rebar, Iowa City

Piles of rebar, waiting to be used at a construction site in Iowa City.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Sunset at Roseacre Farm, Maine

The sun going down over Roseacre Farm through an elegant and complex veil of clouds on my cousin's wedding day last summer.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Roseacre Farm, Maine

A lovely old barn, carefully refurbished by my cousin and her husband into an ideal space for their wedding.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Daisychain coop, Belfast, Maine

Chickens enjoying the mobile coop my sister-in-law has provided for them at Daisychain Farm.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Accumulating pumpkin piles, Iowa Children's Museum

As the post-Halloween Jack Splat event at the Iowa Children's Museum goes on, great piles of broken and rotting gourds accumulate, shoved together with garbage-bag mops by the pumpkin pit crew. It's a joyful, odorous mess, and the crowd cheers especially loudly when an especially liquidy one goes splat.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Plummeting Pumpkin Pit Crew, Iowa Children's Museum

A few days after Halloween each year, the Iowa Children's Museum hosts a wonderful event called "Jack Splat," in which children bring their rotting nasty pumpkins in and the staff hurls them off a balcony. Bringing up the fruits in ones, twos, and threes, the costumed MCs of the event read off each child's name, which method of execution they have requested ("straight down", "backflip" or "up in the air"), comment on the state of the pumpkin, and SPLAT!  Down below, a crowd of children and adults of all ages cheers, and the pumpkin pit crew makes sure they stand behind the (semi-effective) splatter shields and shove the pumpkin remains off of the landing site into rough piles.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ceiling hats, Iowa Children's Museum

I don't know why these collections of hats lurk behind plexiglass on the second floor ceiling of the Iowa Children's Museum, but I suspect it just comes down to "we had a bunch of hats" and "this looks pretty neat."  I like it too.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Ghostly Painter

Another from my photo group's night shoot. We were shooting out at the old farm of one of the members, and somebody had the idea of "painting" the side of one of the old barns with a flashlight. These shots are 6-second exposures.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Cage of lights

The photo club that I attend had a night shoot last fall, and one of the members brought a fun toy to play with: two powerful white LED lights on the end of a pole, which he slowly spun around to trace out these spherical cages of light. Both of these shots are 13-second exposures on a tripod.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Deep cloud sunset, Johnson County, Iowa

A perfectly solid grey evening abruptly cleared into deep purple and orange layers of cloud.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Iowa City Public Library

Another view of the decorative gratings above the windows on the Iowa city Public Library.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Iowa City Public Library

Decorative gratings on the outside of the Iowa City Public Library.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Cicada shells on the lilac, Iowa City


Last summer, my daughter and I discovered quite a number of these amazing "monsters" hanging underneath the leaves of the lilac bush in our front yard. They turn out to be the discarded exoskeletons of cicada larva: these insects live underground near the roots of trees and bushes, drinking their sap as they grow, before crawling up and shedding their skin to become the source of the extremely loud buzzing noises of late summer.  Why they chose only the lilac and not any of the other trees, not even the bush that shares canopy space with it, I have no idea and gardening sites don't seem to be helping me either.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mantis Bench, Iowa City

Every year, all the benches in downtown Iowa City get repainted by local artists, each guided by their own peculiar desires and designs. It produces some pretty awesome odd things, like this one here.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Off-season water park, Chicago

This water park lies still fallow in the spring, waiting for another month or so until Memorial Day brings the hordes of summer to embrace its curving play spaces.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Copart auto auction lot, Elgin IL

Another mark of Chicago's titanic commerce and its stretch out into the empty spaces of the farmlands at its borders: here we are looking down onto a fraction of a gigantic auction lot for cars. I don't know why they have decided to part them diagonally, but I particularly like the pattern that is making here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Chicago Trailer Pool Corporation, Elgin IL

Chicago began life and prospered as a transportation hub, and so it still remains today. All around the edges of the city, you find marks of this sooty core of the city economy, like the tight-packed truck trailers of this company's lot.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pentagonal ballfields, Elgin, IL

These blobby clusters of baseball fields on the edge of Chicagoland make me think of moon jellies, floating around and pulsating with their cluster of circular gonads at the center.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Horse farm airplane, Rutland Township, IL

This one was really hard to track down, and I still can't actually explain what we are seeing. Looking down on my way in toward Chicago, I noticed this curious half of a jet airplane next to a complex that I took for a factory, guessing that it something related to aerospace must be manufactured here. Looking at it more carefully later, I realized that the buildings are clearly not factories but barns, and the loops and pens made me guess that this a farm. With some careful Google sleuthing based on other nearby photos and estimates of flight path and air speed, I was able to track it down and determine that it is, in fact, a stable. Nothing that I have found online, however, appears to explain the presence of the airplane.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Leaning Tower of Niles, IL

Niles, Illinois, on the outskirts of Chicago, is apparently a sister city of Pisa, Italy, and has a half-scale model of the leaning tower of Pisa carefully set to the same angle but probably on much firmer ground. Curiously, however, the order of events is not as one might guess: the Leaning Tower of Niles was constructed nearly sixty years before the two cities began their relationship and likely stimulated that connection rather than the other way around.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Looping cul-de-sacs, Chicago

Another lovely pattern of suburban sigils carved onto the earth.  Sometimes, when I look down at neighborhood patterns like this, I imaging what it would look like without the houses, just the symbolic traceries of the roads themselves and nothing more. Below is an adjustment of the image to see if I can catch a little of that vision.