Sidewalk art

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Now that we’re getting above freezing during the day and dropping below freezing most nights, it’s starting to feel like a normal Arkansas winter up here. You all might recall my being dazzled by the delicate and varied forms ice took down south; something I didn’t appreciate fully there is that many of those forms depended on this cycle. When weeks go by below freezing, ice becomes monolithic — sheets of ice and blankets of snow. But when the process can start fresh each night, its results are more fleeting and more interesting. 

For whatever reason, I’ve had the easiest time finding beauties like these this season in the humblest of places, sidewalk puddles. So I like to call them sidewalk art, crafted not with chalk or spray paint but with bubbles and H₂O.

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Soon very different shapes will dominate the outdoors; some are already emerging.

Thanks for looking!

Dan

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Mushrooming III

IMG_9511.JPGSome real warmth is finally here, and warmth plus rain means hidden networks of tiny fungus filaments in the forest floor are popping out mushrooms. I’ve already paid tribute to the variety and strange, sometimes slimy beauty of these little toadstools here and here, but still the Ozarks have new kinds to show me, including the above beauties at the entrance of a Devil’s Den State Park cave.

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IMG_9512.JPGI hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend — thanks for stopping by.

Dan

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TIL

C1_7665Out of the Internet’s entire encyclopedic array of acronyms, TIL strikes me as one of the most pleasant: Today I Learned. For example, today I learned construction companies keep blueprints and other documents inside a PVC tube that’s capped at both ends, an object that looks a lot like a pipe bomb when it inadvertently falls off of a truck near a public building. I also learned Bentonville has a bomb squad, one of six in the state. It deploys a fun robot that reminds me of a Mars rover. This minor bomb scare took place today across the street from my office.

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C1_7666Today I learned my office has a pull-down ladder that leads to the roof, which is a challenge to climb with a camera, a notebook and an umbrella. Watch out for the big old cellar spider on the way up.

I walked around the square for a bit after the lunch-time excitement. The all-day rain was crappy, but temperatures in the 50s, 60s and maybe even 70s this week will be worth it. Plants are already reacting to the warmth.

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C1_7671Finally, today I learned the texture of water under rainfall is beautiful and elegant when frozen in a photograph. I learned those little water droplets that plop up from the center of a splash move really fast — they were blurry with a shutter speed of 1/200th of a second.

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C1_7790I hope to say TIL forever. Thanks for looking.

Dan

Thaw

_C1_6145We’re less than a third of the way through winter, and it feels like spring. Never pass up a warm January day.

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_C1_6235Last time I was in Ozark National Forest, I focused on reaching a 10-foot waterfall; the prize this weekend was more along the lines of this 10-millimeter-tall moss. A forest on the small scale is full of intricate branches and fractals and spirals.

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_C1_6392_C1_6429I know I’m on a bit of a nature/tight-frame kick lately; I hope it’s not repetitive yet. Street photography’s the plan for at least the next week or two.

A forest isn’t a bad subject, though, even in January. Icicles 10 feet long were polished to smooth, lethal-looking blades by the warmer temperatures, for example.

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_C1_6382Thanks for lookin’,

Dan