In Petaluma Photo Musings…I raised a question as to the identity and origins of the metal ornamentals atop certain street poles downtown.
For a time, I thought they might be a new kind of Wi-Fi or cell phone antenna.
Several and repeated inquiries produced no answers. No one seemed to know; therefore, I considered the usual names for unidentified objects…
- Petaluma Thingy
- Theatre District Thingamabob
- Downtown Doo-hickey
- Butter & Eggs Thingamajig
But such pedestrian names are not sufficient for this unique downtown decoration…
I was perplexed! How will I identify it? Frankly, I was about ready to abandon the project until…I received an e-mail that, as it turns out, offered a most likely explanation: “The ‘sculptures’ are cleverly disguised antennae put up by me to connect to the Mothership.”
Is it possible? Could it be?
Well, when I went to examine them again…sure enuf! OMG!
Case closed! Mystery Solved!
READER NOTE– For a corollary or companion set of photo musings also see Ski Petaluma!
A random set of recent photos that inspired a question and three observations…
What is this?
Please note the metal sculpture on top of the sign. I have spotted two–one on Kentucky Street and one in the Theatre District. I have some close-ups in excellent lighting but would like to correctly identify the sculpture before publishing them. If anyone knows the background behind these ornamentals, please post a comment or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, when pruning trees…
…take care where you park your car!
Lost & Found Department–A bush in the side yard.
After three days it was retrieved…by someone.
A sign in Sonoma introduced me to a new word…
Pronunciation can be tricky…and potentially embarrasing. So here is a guide– arti·san·al.
As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, it is, of course, time to go shopping for the perfect Valentine. Today, we are encouraged to Buy Local.
Always willing to support a good cause, I reflected on the Buy Local concept yesterday as I prepared to venture out to find the perfect gift…locally.
I showered, using a low flow shower head (Made in China)
I brushed my teeth using an electric toothbrush (Made in China)
I shaved with an electric razor (Made in China)
Next, I put on…
- Clean underwear (Made in Honduras)
- Clean Shirt (Made in India)
- Pants (Made in Vietnam)
- Shoes (Made in China)
- My wristwatch (Made in China)
- My glasses (Made in China) and
- My jacket (Made in China)
In the kitchen, I made breakfast using my…
- Coffee Pot (Made in China)
- Toaster (Made in China) and
- Took my prescription drugs (Made in Singapore and Israel)
Before leaving the house…
I checked the e-mail on the computer (Made in China) and the weather on my widescreen TV (Made in Japan).
- Turned on my cellphone (Made in China)
- Picked up my cameras (Made in China and Malaysia)
- Went to the garage and decided to use the car (Made in Japan) instead of the bicycle (Made in China)
So how did I do?
It was a very good day. When I got home there was a message on my answering machine (Made in China)! I was pleased to learn that the dental crown (from the laboratory in China) came in sooner than expected. Good news indeed!
And…I can proudly report that my Buy Local trip produced the perfect Valentine’s Day gift (Made in…..)
I celebrated by watching a DVD (Made in Mexico) on my DVD player (Made in China).
So…Get Out There & Buy Local Every Day!
It’s that time of year again…Harvest…Halloween.
For a whimsical photo tour of some of the Petaluma & Sonoma County scenes I have encountered, Click on Halloween Sonoma Style…
As a tease, I offer the following…
For more, Click on Halloween Sonoma Style…
…no, I did not mean to say Petaluma Low Life!
As part of my learning adventures with the camera, I tried creating a few pixs of Petaluma scenes in low light conditions.
Of course, moonlight is the ultimate low light environment…
Next, my attempt–with a little more light available on an early foggy morning–to capture a silhouette of the “sentinels” on the Lucchesi Tower…
As the fog breaks, the lighting can quickly change as it is filtered through the skylight over the entrance to the Old Mill…
My minor mania concerning sunflowers started four years ago when friends in Cape Cod sent a few red sunflower seeds from plants growing on the beach next to their home. The Cape Cod plants were “generated” from seeds that fell out of a bird feeder. My first crop produced pure reds; however, by the second season, other colors started to appear and I collected and sorted the seeds.
This year I started with seventy plants and fifty made it to various levels of maturity. The rest succumbed to the snails and finches. While it has been an extremely cool summer to date, the sunflowers are thriving.
The yellow and yellow-reds are 8 to 10 ft tall with up to 25 blooms or buds at the top of the main stalk and several more buds popping out below.
- The Cape Cod Reds and Courtway Orange sunflowers are still growing–they usually don’t start blooming until late August.
- I am hoping that they will get tall enough for me to attempt another sunflower/flag photo similar to the one used in the header to this blog–this time with the reds in the scene.
From a bee perspective, the sunflower blooms are just in time as the bees have nearly exhausted the verbenas. Now, they are dining on the sunflowers…
Sunflowers tend to need support, which they usually get from each other if planted in groups. Notwithstanding, they may require some additional human intervention to keep them upright and/or out of the right of way.
After the reds and Courtway oranges come into bloom, I may work up some macro photos for my photo blog. For now, I offer this…
NOTE–Depending on your browser, if you click on a photo, a larger version will appear. After it opens, if you click again on the new window, the photo will expand again. Try it on the last photo and you should get a real close up view of the bees.
Almost every day for the last four years, a certain bird has been defending its territory…against itself. Now to be perfectly accurate, I don’t know if it is the same bird. However, the behavior is the same.
By way of background, there is a car parked in the driveway across the street with a chrome strip on the lower body. The bird(s?) in question, sees its reflection and attacks the strip. It can go on for 10 minutes or more. The sound reverberates across the street sounding ever so much like a tap hammer–bang, bang, bang, etc.
In the past, I have been able to walk across the street and observe the behavior. Finally, a few weeks ago I decided to document it with my camera.
It should have been an easy task. The bird, however, is camera-shy. If I approach with the camera, it takes off. Go figure. Being almost as determined as the bird, I finally decided that the only way I was going to get a photo was to try it from my side of the street. I encountered the same problem–If I watched without a camera, no problem. Carry a camera and the bird takes off.
So I had to settle for a very imperfect solution–I hid behind one of the cypress trees. The problem with this position is that it is 120 feet away from the scene and the lighting from this position is terrible. Worse, the scene is well beyond the usable capabilities of the camera. Nonetheless, I was able to get some photos, which are technically awful. With these caveats, I offer the following photo story…
In August 2006, in a post on the first Argus blog site, I reflected on some of the discards & detritus one sees while traversing Petaluma’s streets, sidewalks and paths:
- Why is there only one shoe (usually the right) by the side of the road? Where is the other one?
- Why are hard hats always in the center of the road, usually upside down?
You can also note the “demise” of a consumer product when you start to see it in the street, the gutter, or sidewalk. For example, you used to see cassette tapes with their innards spread all over the road. They were then replaced by discarded CD’s. So far none of them are playable.
Now it is discarded DVD’s and smashed IPODS.
Perhaps the new IPHONES will quickly appear in the gutter.
But I digress!
While riding over to the recent Petaluma Classic Wings & Wheels Show at the Petaluma Airport last week, I happened to notice something in a creek by Prince Park…
I have long since given up ranting, raving, and photographing the trashy aspects of our environment. However, this scene captured my attention.
How did they get there?
- Was someone running away from a vampire and they were literally chased out of their shoes (sandals) so to speak?
- Did someone buy a new pair of sandals and decide to simply discard the “old” pair by tossing them over the bridge?
- Is this what Billie Joe McAllister and his girlfriend tossed off the Tallahatchie Bridge at Choctaw Ridge?
Inquiring minds want to know!
By the bye…I do know what was–or was not–tossed off the Tallahatchie Bridge
Petaluma’s Art & Garden Festival is one of my favorite events–particularly if it is not boiling hot. Fortunately, this year, last Sunday was a perfect day to walk through the show in downtown Petaluma.
Of course there are the usual crowd scenes that one is obliged to document…
However, I am always on the alert for the unusual and was amazed that nobody took note of the super large tie dye shirt hanging from a light pole over the show… *
My, it was big! They must have had to get a permit to hang it up there.
As we were leaving, I heard a mewing sound and looked down to see two alpacas. Of course, I had to get a few photos…
The alpacas were show stoppers as people came up to talk to the handlers. Physically they are about the size of a Great Dane. They tolerated the human curiosity quite well and one was determined to have a snack, which was kept in a pouch by one of the handlers…
All in all, a good time–and yes, we did buy something for the garden.
*NOTE: Of course, the shirt photo is an illusion. It was not created using Adobe Photoshop. As it happened, there was a booth with this shirt on display. I merely aligned the shirt’s pole with the light pole in the background.
This post is a break from my Blog Break to briefly report on a recent experience generated by my photography class at the Petaluma Arts Center.
I was practicing various settings, shooting macros, and all that technical stuff to see what worked for me and what did not. On a recent rainy day, as I was coming inside, I decided to shoot a quick pix of a bucket that was collecting rainwater. I gave it no thought whatsoever. I just wanted to see how the camera captured the light on the water surface–no attention was given to framing, composition, etc.
Later when I downloaded it, it drove me crazy…
©2010 Frank Simpson
So what is the source of the face?
- Do we in fact have spirits lurking in another Petaluma dimension (past, present, or future) trying to communicate with us?
- Is this part of a new campaign for or against the water rate initiative in November?
Can you figure it out?
It was not my reflection as I did not look through the viewfinder. I just held the camera over the bucket and took the pix as I was walking into the house. It was intended to be a throw-away test photo.
There is a simple explanation (and it is not Photo Shop) that I will provide after the class is over. We finally figured it out. Frankly, I am glad we did as it was starting to be just a little too creepy.
To see a larger version, click on the photo above.