Sunday, November 15, 2015

The leaves of 2015

"I'm so glad that I live in a world with Octobers."
– L. M. Montgomery, "Anne of Green Gables"

This is my annual tribute to the beautiful leaves of autumn. 2015 was a mixed year, with some brilliantly colored leaves, and others that never achieved the color I anticipate.

Let's start with the best: the leaves of the Maple Leaf Vine.

This is a plant I've come to know and love in the years since I first noticed it growing on a fence; the spot once contained a railroad bridge, but the ground has been filled in now. This is the best thing about the change.

The leaf at left is wine-dark, like Homer's sea. Most leaves are more colorful, like the ones below.

 But to really appreciate the Maple Leaf Vine, you need to see it in the sun, as in this photo.

There were of course other leaves. Some beautiful maple leaves from trees, posted here.

 The basswoods, which are normally my favorites, were a bit off this year. They never reached their normal gorgeousness.

This is what they look like in a good year.

If you'd like to read some of my earlier blogs, here they are:

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
– Albert Camus

The autumn leaves of 2014

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wishing and Hoping

Yesterday a Facebook friend posted this video, which is a compilation of the events that happened on August 28, 1963 at the March on Washington for Peace and Freedom.

It reminded me of the hope we all had back then. We thought we could change the world. And for a while, it seemed like we could. Less than a year later, on July 2, 1964, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. The following year, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was ratified.

But now many of those achievements are under fire. Billionaires who do not believe in democracy are  trying to turn this country into a plutocracy — a government run by and for the richest few.

We've also seen the Supreme Court invalidate key parts of the Voting Rights Act.

I can't recall a time when racism was more proudly proclaimed. People parading around with Confederate flags, white supremacists running for public office. It's all so disheartening.

I miss the unbridled hope I had in the 1960s.

"Hold fast to dreams,
  for if dreams die,
  Life is a broken-winged bird
  that cannot fly."
  – Langston Hughes

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Where I've been

It's been a long, long time since I last wrote a post. Where have I been? Working, mostly. My job has been very demanding. All jobs are these days.

But I've also been indulging my obsessions — taking photos of the sky a lot is one of them.  I'm sharing a few of them here. And when I look up at the sky, I usually have this song playing in my head.

Did I mention that I'm also obsessed with the New York City skyline? I am. It's different every day, depending on the light. In the photo below, I enhanced the color a bit to get it closer to the actual intensity of that sunset.

 I often walk across the Pulaski Bridge to Brooklyn, and I frequently stop to take a photo there. This is an example.

My other obsession is the East River. Gantry Plaza State Park is a great place to see it from. I took the two photos below on Manhattanhenge, July 12, 2015. The first shows the flotilla of kayaks that awaited the event. The second is the look of the sunset on a magical night.

I don't know when I'll be back with a new post, but I hope 18 months won't have passed. No promises.