January 24, 2018
How do humans interact with sculpture?
This is a photo (I do not know the photographer) of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his dog Fala, from the FDR Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C.
FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C., sculpture of President Roosevelt, in his Navy Cape, in his wheelchair, and his dog, Fala. (Do you know the photographer?) (Photo borrowed from the Facebook page, The Commons)
Some sculptors understand people want to touch the statue, and design them for touching. Others do not — but the public tends to have its way. Bronze statues within touching distance of the public offer an opportunity to see where people actually touch the things, over time. At my visit to this memorial in 2012, only the tips of Fala’s ears showed the affectionate touches of the public.
An exception can be found near this extended garden of statues (the FDR Memorial includes statues of his wife, Eleanor, and bronze portrayals of American life in the Great Depression, whose ending Roosevelt presided over). At the Korean War Memorial, a stunning and sobering display of statues, a patrol of 19 U.S. Army men prowls across the landscape. So many people walked among the statues and touched their sometimes delicate features that the National Park Service, with approval of the sculptor I understand, chained it off. Look but do not touch.
What do these repeated touchings of statuary tell us about ourselves?
January 13, 2018
Tourists in Arches National Park. Arches is one of five National Parks in Utah.
Utah.com lists the days in the coming year when entry to National Parks is free. Utah.com is a promotional site for Utah, where several National Parks are big tourist draws — so they have a bias.
It’s a good bias!
Alas, only four days so far:
FREE National Park Entrance Days 2018
January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
April 1: First day of National Parks Week
September 22: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans Day weekend
Four free days to split among five National Parks in Utah: Arches, Canyonlands, Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef. National Monuments are probably included in the free admission days, so you can add Timpanogos Cave, Rainbow Bridge, Dinosaur, Promontory Point and others.
There’s a lot to see in Utah’s mountains and redrock country — and that doesn’t include the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Flats.
August 24, 2017
Many lessons of chasing the eclipse for us first-timers. Months ago we decided not to make major purchases to photograph the thing, to just enjoy the experience.
Still, we had inexpensive filters, and we photographed. Main tripod left in Dallas to avoid paying a lot extra to fly; a borrowed tripod held the GoPro (which was a poor choice; gotta work on that for time-lapse). So the best photos I got were hand-held.
And fuzzy as a result, I think.
Totality of the 2017 solar eclipse, near Casper, Wyoming, on the North Platte River.
The most interesting thing to me was the brilliant red beads during totality, where (if I recall correctly) the Sun peeks through the mountains of the Moon. I did get a couple shots to show that.
Totality and red beads of the 2017 solar eclipse.
Photographs to remind us of the great experience of joining millions of other people to watch a spectacular astronomical event, brought to us by science.
Did anyone at your house go blind? Ready for 2024?
Did you stay at home for the eclipse? Did you travel? What did you see and hear?
April 5, 2017
Still life with traffic cone and fire hydrant. New York City. Photo creative commons copyright Ed Darrell; please use with attribution.
Taxi in from La Guardia. Along Prince Street in Manhattan, July afternoon sun combined with a serendipitous arrangement of fire hydrant and traffic cone.
It made me smile, so I clicked a photo.
October 20, 2016
Cousin Amanda Holland sends snapshots from her science work.
“Evening drive along Kolob Reservoir Road, west end of Zion NP.” Photo by Amanda Holland; used with some permission, all rights reserved
Scientists in the field find beauty denied the casual visitor or even serious tourist — which is one of the great attractions of a science job, in the field.
Another view of why we love the American West, why we love the mountains, why we love the deserts.
February 12, 2016
Tweet from @CharBailey5479: Sunrise shroud on Mt. Timpanogos – have a great day! #utwx #utah
Utah’s Mount Timpanogos rises on the east side of Utah Valley, in Utah County, over Utah Lake.
At about 6,000 feet above the valley floor, the mountain can make its own weather at times. On a cold winter morning, sun struggling to climb over the peak can expose clouds from sublimating ice on the mountain, or clouds from ice crystals blown off the top slopes.
Any way they form, it can be a spectacular start to another day.
Much of my childhood was spent about five miles south and east of the spot this photo was taken (American Fork?). The mountain filled most of my bedroom window. A sunrise like this one would look like a forest fire in my room. But film was expensive, and my camera was a snapshot special.
Thanks to @CharBailey5479, whoever you are.