I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rain music

We strive for perfection, but mistakes are often more fun. I was trying to take pictures of the rain drops on tree branches; the gloomy light required long exposures and I accidentally jostled the camera in the middle of one shot.

There were a few others that came out the way I wanted, correct but ordinary, and it was the mistake that I ended up keeping: triple exposed ghost branches with little white squiggles that for some reason remind me of notes and notations strung along three line musical staffs, like a song only the rain knows how to play.

Sunday bird blogging

A fierce pigeon stands sentry in New York.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Back to a favorite photographic subject, the modernist angles of Rockefeller Center in New York.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Urban poetry

Peeling paint in the colors of the season. (Click to enlarge to see the color and texture in more detail.)

Past the solstice, the sun is starting its long slog back north, and each day the darkness creeps in a few minutes later. It makes the calendar year feel even more artificial; here I sit in the Northern Hemisphere thinking the usual late December thoughts about the waning of the year and how quickly it passed, how much it contained, and the planets have already pivoted into a new cycle, dragging us along into their own new year whether we're ready or not.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

To all the Santas out there, thank you and ho ho ho.

Monday, December 24, 2012

More shiny objects

This time in black and white -- a few of my favorite headlight shots.

Shiny objects

Here are some of this year's series of taillight pictures. I still find taillights -- and headlights too -- endlessly fascinating as photography subjects, both in extreme closeup so all you see is a red abstract, and zoomed out a little, reflecting the city around them.

And as red shiny objects, they are perfect for Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday bird blogging

This picture was actually taken during the summer, but the browns seem more appropriate for the first official weekend of winter. A mourning dove, almost invisible on a bed of old twigs and dead leaves, pausing in the middle of preening.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday reflections

The last of the London pictures, I think -- one last set of spectacular office windows in the City.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Urban poetry

Peeling paint and red leaves.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I didn't notice it when I first took the picture -- this is a building near the Borough Market in London -- but after I'd cropped and tweaked, it had somehow found its way into the center of the shot: a single rose sitting in a water glass.

Someone put a flower in this dingy window to brighten up the desk or storeroom or work table behind it, and that gesture gives me a little hope for the human race in a week in which despair is all too easy. Sometimes even a small sign of grace can have an enormous impact.

Go and make something, anything, a little better today.

Sunday bird blogging

A gull caught mid-stride.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A saturation of Santas

I'm pretty sure there isn't an official collective noun for a group of Santa Clauses, but the city was overrun with them today, hundreds on Tenth Avenue alone.

After yesterday's grief and horror it was wonderful to step outside and find myself surrounded by whimsy, with what appeared to be normal adults going about their usual weekend routines -- brunching, shopping, checking messages -- wearing unflattering red tunics and lots of fake fur.

Saturday reflections

And geometries. Eight windows in London.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Urban poetry

The curved lines of a railing in London.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cat's eye

I'm cat-sitting for a neighbor for a few weeks, and find it hard to believe that such beautiful eyes could belong to such a mischievous feline.

Sunday bird blogging

As one gray day follows another in the waning of the year, here's a flashback to brighter, more tropical days -- a pied kingfisher by the Chobe River in Botswana.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday reflections

An office building on Southwark Street in London. You can see the staircases inside, diagonal lines and sharp angles, through the curvy reflections of the brick walls and windows across the street.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Urban poetry

Stacked tires outside a body shop. I love the patterns on the treads; they look like alphabets in a language I've never learned.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday bird blogging

A blackbird at Tivoli. I love the different shades of brown on her breast.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Saturday reflections

I'm not sure what this building is -- it's on the north bank of the Thames -- but I love the silvery reflections of the moody London sky.

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