Archive for January, 2018

Chore time

Renoir Girl with Watering Can CU

This is the watering can part of Renoir’s “A Girl with a Watering Can.” I have a soft spot for the painting, as I had a (crappy, not-very-high-res*) copy on my wall as a kid. I particularly liked the blue.

* The National Gallery website has an extremely high-res version of the painting available for download.

Tale of three fleurs

Mall lavendar

Well, three flower-like fleurs. Visual fleur essence.

First we have plastic mall flowers. A not-field of pseudo-lavender in an upscale mall…actually, former upscale mall…now a fine mall trying to maintain essence of upscale-osity. And a spread of fake lavender, I assume, is supposed to help.

Maybe if support staff sprayed the plastic with real scent? haha 🍀

Blue rose

Found this rose 🌹 on my knee. My blue rose leggings.

Today they went to an afternoon matinee at the upscale mall theaters. Seats are sold reserved now, you know…I didn’t.

Frozen brown camellia

Here’s a casualty of the latest snow-and-cold-snap. Poor camellia. The realest flower of the trio got snubbed by MaNachur.

Buck up; tomorrow’s on the way!

Sailor man

Lone Sailor USNavy memorial WashDC

Loved this image when I shot it last week in WashDC. This is “The Lone Sailor” by Stanley Bleifeld, cast in 1987 (so relatively new). It’s off to the side of the circular plaza central to the United States Navy Memorial. The plaza has a sculpted (almost flat) view of the globe (water and not-water, with a mesh of lats and longs overlaid) centered on the continental USA. The Sailor is mounted near the Aleutian chain, “in”/above the Bering Sea (appropriately?).

Tracking

Bird tracks in snow

Yeah, there’s still snow. And the birds might well be confused…as in: where’re the tasty bits that were here the other day?

Confused about days myself. Monday was a holiday. Tuesday was distorted because it was the first work-weekday (and yet not a Monday), and a snowstorm loomed. The snow came in the Wednesday wee hours and Wednesday…so, city closed down. Today, city still “paralyzed” by snow and ice. But today is supposed to be warmer…and it can only be another distorted weekday. Right?

So, how do you describe this week? The work-week* part of it?

* Are work-weeks real after all? Seems to me that most of my jobs had weekday- and weekend-paced days, but all were capable of being days I worked.

Snow garden

Snow garden

It seems to me I used to say we get snow every other year or so here in ATL…our neighborhood anyway. Not this winter…we’re on our second pretty-much-cover-the-grass snowfall. We had a bit more this morning when the snow stopped, but all day it stayed cold—and shady in this location—so the white stuff is hanging around. For now.

Snow!

Leaf soap

Late post so I can report, yes: cold, and yes: white stuff. We had less wintery weather in DC!

Snowish

Official snow-in-progress photo by the Guru.

Looping (bid for patience)

Log square bldg

We’re looping today…I’m posting a few pictures from the last few days that I didn’t have access to on each day…you see, it gets complicated to remember charging cables and downloading cables…you know, the Stuff that goes with the Things you choose to take on your trip. Or that we did. Sooooo, we neglected a certain download cable, so these are harvested from the camera that I didn’t have access to each day.

This is a log version of one of those square-footprint buildings that we saw in, was it Virginia?

Plaza E of NatGallery Art n ArtResearch lib

And this is a view from the east side of the National Gallery across an interesting art-inhabited plaza toward what the Goo indicates is the library of the Art Research for the NG. Which I assume is correct. Anyway…I really liked the juxtaposition of the circle of bollard-stubs around the glittering triangle-shapes. And water-features.

Air n Spacy object

In the Air and Space Museum, this was the reflection on a nose-cone? Not sure…but fascinating.

Capitol on hill

And a fine view of the capitol atop Capitol Hill, showing how builders carved into the hill to make the building’s lower tiers. Kinda like the remaining parts of Nero’s Domus Aurea and various constructions along the lower flanks of the Palatine Hill in Rome. Well, many other places, too, and not only in Rome. Maybe it’s just an obvious engineering solution to occupying a steep slope if there’s plenty of labor and building stone. Maybe.

Fence shadows

Sunshine means shadows. And I loved these fence-lines flanking our route across rural Maryland horse-country. Expensive horse-flesh gets expensive fences that are protective, but unlikely to mar or scar that flesh. And safe fences make good shadows.

Water tower duo

This pair of water towers once stood over an industrial factory zone. I’m pretty sure. This was in NC, not far from the SC border, if I remember correctly.

We’re glad to be home, but today was a chores day, and limited in the visual capture department…so I rely on a few recent days to…entertain(?) you, Gentle Reader….

Winter tour concludes

17 degrees

We loaded up and when The Guru fired up the beastie (complete with a full electrical charge (yay!)), it gave us this temp. Time to head south, we agreed. It even dropped another degree by the time we crossed the Potomac one last time east of Harpers Ferry. The water sparkled in the sun; we were southbound; life is good, we also agreed.

Rural fancy house

The landscape was mostly open and we saw a few “fancy” houses. I tried not to think about the ugly history of slavery in this former(?) tobacco-farming region. (We saw very few (surviving?) tobacco barns, unlike this latitude on our northbound leg.)

Tractor ahead

It was Sunday and perhaps that is partly why this was the only active farm vehicle we saw….

Horse blankets

All the horses I remember seeing on the many mini-farms had lovely jackets. I don’t think they’re anything like the old-fashioned “horse blankets.” I suspect these are high-tech and perhaps even Goretex.

Last rest area

I loved the low sun angle at this, our last rest area of the journey.

Gaffney peach

Proof that home is not far ahead…the Gaffney peach. And attendant power lines….

Such a great trip; such a diversity of experiences! We especially enjoyed last night’s socializing with our friends from Venezuela* (presently in northern Maryland). Still smiling!

* And, yes, the terrible things you have heard about people starving to death, lack/absence of medicines (including for malaria), and brutality by…well, you get the idea of what’s happening in Venezuela…yes, what you’ve heard: true, true, true. Soooo, so sad. We are glad they are safe. For now….

River views

Cobblestone Potomac

Our tour of eastern Maryland began in Virginia. We bumpity-bumped over cobblestones down to…

Potomac

…the mighty Potomac, with the ice-whittled remains of a wharf.

Mattawoman Creek

Finally in Maryland, we found Mattawoman Creek, spelled Mataughquamend by Captain John Smith back in about 1608.

Back Creek

This is Back Creek, just off the Patauxent.

Severn River

And this is the Severn River. Now that’s an assortment of interesting names and places.

Two coppers, two branches

Potomac fog

From the train, we could see fog wafting up from the Potomac and that the ice floes were visibly reduced compared to yesterday. By day’s-end we carried our heavy coats in temps that almost reached 70°F, and on our return trip there was still fog and the floes had become chips (almost).

Temperance fountain

Leaving the subway station, we walked by this Temperance Fountain. Am I the only one to find it ironic that the city cut off the water quite some time ago, so that the water sponsor Henry D. Cogswell hoped would slake the thirst of potential liquor-drinkers was no longer supplied? And when the monument was relocated in 1987, it still wasn’t reconnected. Of course, the overflow was no longer needed for a horse trough, either!

GM blooper

At one of my first stops in the Newseum, I discovered blooper-tiles in the ladies with headlines you probably don’t remember.

Nixon resigns

This one, however, you may well remember.

First Declaration

I also learned that this thrice-weekly got the scoop over the weeklies when the Declaration of Independence was signed. This was still two days after the signing…. Only nineteen copies of this historic front-page survive.

Capitol on hill

After lunch the overcast had thinned and we climbed Capitol Hill. And it is a hill. The visitor center is on the other side; we looped to the left, climbed, then descended to the VC entrance.

SenateView

We took the next tour, which focused on frescoes by Constantino Brumidi (he began them in 1855). During the tour, we got a chance to see the views to the west, down the mall toward the Washington Monument.

Senate hallways

We saw glorious Brumidi frescoes in Senate hallways, although his best-known work in the Capitol building is the ceiling of the rotunda. Brumidi was paid a substantial $10 per day, which covered his assistant and their supplies, with Brumidi taking about half. He augmented this salary by doing outside commissions. He did most of the ceilings, leaving the walls to his assistant, our guide said.

If you can tell the lower part of the left wall is darker, it is because restorers have left overpainting to show how the original work was obscured. The restoration was finished on this hallway about two years ago, and removed tobacco-smoke stains along with layers of added paint.

Supreme Court

Leaving the Capitol we crossed to our enjoy the façade of the Supreme Court, also looming over DC on Capitol Hill. To help your eye with the scale, I’d estimate that the “normal” door opening is about 1/5th the height of the doorway in the stone.

LOC Court of Neptune Fountain

On our way back to catch our return train, we passed in front of the Library of Congress, and saw more Classical-inspired artwork that was installed in 1898 beneath the monumental staircase leading to the main, formal building entrance. The central bronze is Neptune flanked by his two sons and accompanied by a large frog and coiling sea-snakes(?). This composition is in turn flanked by a pair of Naiads/Nereids—sea nymphs; only the south one shown here. You don’t have to look closely to observe that sculptor Roland Hinton Perry was inspired by the Trevi Fountain figures.

Another fantastic and fascinating DC day!