Monday, December 10, 2012

Chihuly at VMFA

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has done a fine job of staging certainly the most opulent exhibition of works by the best known contemporary glass artist, Dale Chihuly.
Here is link to VMFA:
Here is link for Dale Chihuly:

 One enters through an archway with glass jellyfish forms suspended and lit from above.

 The piece above is inspired by Japanese fishing boats that used glass floats for their nets.

 The "macchiato" pieces above may be part of the native American basket series or take off from Venetian glass works.  It is all about color, light and shadow.

 Above and below are two small details from a large room with a glass "lagoon," including realistic depictions of sea life.

I do not know what the form below is, but like most of the work, it seems biologically based.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Election

 The big news for November 2012 was the reelection of Barack Obama.
There were long lines at polls, a narrow margin, and a very divided country and electorate.

Pennypack Garden and Fields

 Planting a Hop Hornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, in the Courtyard Garden at Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, above.  The garden was laid out by Marjorie Bayersdorfer.

Some of the hundreds of acres of meadows of native grasses at Pennypack.

Futurist Paintings from MOMA

"Working in the years just before World War I, the Futurists depicted speeding trains, cafes illuminated by gaslight, charging military vehicles, and strong, machinelike human bodies - all hallmarks of the modern world."

Fernand Leger,French,  Exit the Ballets Russes 1914

Gino Severini, Italian, Armored Train in Action 1915

 Mikhail Larionov, Russian, Rayonist Composition: Domination of Red 1912-13

Gino Severini, Italian, Visual Synthesis of the Idea of War 1914

90th Birthday Party

Sign for the birthday girl, below.
Some of the gentlemen above who hosted the birthday party.
Daughter June and granddaughter Maddie below.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Here in Chestnut Hill, PA

 Ominous clouds preceded the storm by days.
Above are "baby bottom clouds" ordinarily associated with tornadoes.
Actually, they are "Mammatus" or breast clouds and you can find more info, click here.

Below, leaves were still on many trees and falling when the storm hit.  The saturated ground and trees still with leaves mean that big trees did come down.

The National Weather Service national weather radar shows the enormous size of what was called "an extratropical cyclone."  This does not mean much other than a low pressure system in the mid latitudes.  This hurricane was not as bad inland as it could have been.  At least the rain and wind were not as bad here as predicted.  The flood surge at the coast, however, was very bad.  And the size of the storm was immense.  The image above shows how the counterclockwise circulation of this low pressure covered the entire northeastern quadrant of America.

October Walk in Montgomery County Maryland

Lake Bernard Frank in Upper Rock Creek Watershed Site Dam Number 1.
Click here for more info.

New York City Public Art: Columbus in the Living Room

"Discovering Columbus" by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi was sponsored by the Public Art Fund.  This art project encased the statue at Columbus Circle in a public living room around the statue so that visitors could spend an intimate 15 minutes there - 70 feet suspended above Columbus Circle.  Below is Cristoforo Colombo up close, above is the vista that he sees looking east on 59th St at twilight.

Scaffolding around the statue pedestal above.
Stylish legs of people waiting below.
Click here for New York Times article on this public art project.

Fall Meadows, Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust

 The Native Plant Volunteer Group gathers meadow grass stems and spreads milkweed seeds below.

Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust protects over 800 acres along Pennypack Creek in Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County Pennsylvania.  Click here for website.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back to Philadelphia

A very startling hickory hornworm caterpillar found in our apartment complex lawn.

A classic old field, below, on the southern margin of the Wissahickon branch of Fairmount Park.

 The youngest new American that we know; baby Diya, born to Nepali refugee friends from Bhutan who have recently arrived in Philadelphia.

A Visit to Downtown Philadelphia

 A Louise Nevelson sculpture and fountain above on Constitution Mall.

Native grass plantings in front of the Benjamin Franklin bridge to Camden, New Jersey.

 Urban renovation has not yet happened to buildings above.

Urban renovation has happened to the Market Mall below; still feels empty.

Reading Market, below, rarely feels empty.

Alan Hikes in the Pyrenees

 Hiking up to La Breche de Roland, the border between Spain and France.
This is near Monte Perdido National Park in the Spanish Pyrenees.

 Alan is blessed to have friends Lee and Kirsten who planned a six day hiking trip from Spain across the Pyrenees into France (south of Lourdes) and then back into Spain.