Thursday, July 31, 2008

Shadows and Blue Sky

I took these shots a while back (July 13, I think?) one weekend afternoon while taking a break from weeding ... on one of the last few really wonderful recent summer days in the garden with low humidity, mild temperatures and comforting breezes. Since then, however, we have lapsed into a high dew point, high temperature, thunderstorm pattern recently ... So progress in the garden has suffered as we can't spend much time outdoors of late (or when we have the time together, it's raining!). This weekend promises to be brutal as well, but we'll just have to limit the time we're actively working on stuff. Major weeding of course and just 4 more perennials to get in, so we should be able to handle that! (Or I will, lol.)

Anyway ... I was enjoying the play of the shadows from the maple on the back of the house, so I did a series of them (I should have experimented with the video ... next time), just to see what they would look like. I ended up liking this one the best, so there it is ... I think that finding things in clouds, rocks and other everyday phenomena really leads one to look differently, see differently, and these shadows of the maple swaying in the breeze provide just such an opportunity. To be honest, I tend to focus more on the 'negative spaces' between the shadow and light than the shadows themselves, which I had hoped to be the primary subject. So, see what you will, and let me know ...
Though this is a familiar shot from our back yard, I just had to try to get the spectacular, cloudless blue of the day ... here you can see a bit of the big maple, the spruce and one of the gingkos, across the street. (Fortunately, they're both males ... whew!) We may be smack dab in the middle of the older city, but we have no dearth of trees, and we like it like that. No McMansions for us (we couldn't afford it anyway!), we like being in an old established neighborhood close to downtown, but far enough to be relatively quiet most of the time. We'll have been here 10 years come September, and we've decided to stay, of course. It's an ongoing project and collaboration in dirt, so to speak.

Sometime I should post a couple of pages from my now defunct website that document how we have changed the overall look of the house from the front ... one of these days.


Gail said...

Are you thoroughly enjoying the cloudless sky? With all the rain you have gotten this must be a joy to see.

I love looking at the blue sky, cloudless or otherwise! Ours is gray and more rain is expected! There are no complaints from here. But looking up at the sky framed with trees is always a good view.

A post on your front of the house makeover would be a good read. I've seen just a bit of your street and would love to see your garden evolution.

We live in an older suburb....our house was built in 1959...the kitchy green and black bathroom tiles we kept; but the orange countertops , rooster wallpaper and knotty pine cabinets in the kitchen are gone. Unfortunately our big lots with dozens of trees are attractive to McMansion minded folks...but as of now, they are closer to the country clubbers a few blocks away!


Shady Gardener said...

IVG, Is your house stucco? I'm asking because of the "grainy" effect in your top photo. (Which is very unusual, by the way!) :-)

I enjoy changing and "improving" as well as seeing what others do. It would be fun to see what you've done over a 10-year period.

And I continue to marvel that we can still plant at this time of year!

Roses and Lilacs said...

I like to play with shadows and textures too. I'm not very good at it but sometimes I get interesting effects.

boran2 said...

I also look at shadows and spaces carefully when I do a painting. Just today I rejected a photo that I considered painting because there were few shadows and none that were very interesting.

I like the texture in that photo very much.

I look forward to the photos of your house's evolution.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
Actually our cloudless skies have been a bit of the problem this week, because of the insane humidity (at one point today the dew point was 78 and the heat index was 108!) and intense heat. All of us have been keeping inside most of the time, which has affected not only our garden tasks but my inertia related to not taking more pictures. I'm glad you're finally getting steady rains though!

About older houses, yep, we have some ugly stuff that has remained because we haven't had the money to replace it yet, such as institutional green and black tiles in the bathroom (sound familiar?) and a tiny,ugly countertop with ancient sink in the kitchen. We have done a lot of interior painting, so almost all of the nasty rental white is gone.

As for sky through trees? That's about the only way we can see the sky! There are so many trees in this part of the city, which we love, but not exactly conducive to star gazing. Guess we'll have to get some Star Gazer lilies to do the job, hehe.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Shady,
Yep it's stucco, in need of some repair in spots (the house is 106 yrs old), thus the grainy effect you noticed.

Actual changes to the house itself have been slow to happen around here due to lack of large amounts of money, but we have made some improvements. Obviously we lavish a lot more attention to the outside landscape, lol.

Yep, I swear those last 4 plants will go in this weekend, even I have to do it in four steps to avoid too much of the heat. But the corn has started to tassel out!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Marnie,
I'm the same w/shadows and textures and by no means am I an expert yet. I just keep trying all sorts of things and hope that something interesting comes out of it! It's so liberating not to have to worry about wasting expensive film!!!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey B2,
I can certainly tell you pay lots of attention to that, given the paintings you've done! That last one had a bunch of great work with the shadows. Can't wait to see what you've done this week over the weekend.

Thanks, glad you liked the texture ... seems to be built in with stucco!

Annie in Austin said...

I wouldn't mind being in an old established neighborhood close to downtown, IVG, but a close-in, small, older cottage is a premium item in Austin - worth more than a McMansion in a newer subdivision. If hills and scenery are involved, that ups the price. Of course "old" is relative... this was a small town so from what I've read, most of the houses are less than 30 years old.

So your thunderstorms are keeping you inside, and our lack of thunderstorms is sending me out to water in the heat - and neither one of us is making the progress we'd hoped for.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Annie,
We like it ourselves, because this is in an older established area ... in fact, if you drove 2 streets south of here and headed 10 blocks east or so, you'd be looking up at Terrace Hill, the governor's mansion. And in that area there is no shortage of mansions and Victorians ... you can imagine what those go for!

I know what you mean by lack of progress *sigh* seems like it's always that way at some point in the garden. But we'll have corn pretty soon and some tomatoes are starting to turn. When I post it, I'll dedicate it to you. :-)

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