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Posts from the ‘photography’ Category

A little bit of Eden

We have had rain for several days now..pouring rain..with water over the driveway up to 8 inches and many places flooding…schools closing due to the rain. So I like to look through my photos and pick out something fun to share.

mf20garden2011-mAbout a block away from my house is the McFadden-Ward House Museum. The house is huge, the carriage house is across the street and then there are several other buildings associated with the Museum. And tucked away behind the building that stores much of the objects not on display is a tiny little garden.mfw20garden205-m

There are several prospering tomato plants, a huge dill plant, marigolds, and zinnias.mfw20garden204-m

Whenever my life seems a bit hectic, I like to stop and wander–all eight feet of it to gaze at the flowers–and sometimes I am greeted but more often I have to content myself with just a glimpse of the guardian of this universe.mfw20garden207-m





I missed the assignment of ‘stripes’ but was able to complete the ‘dreamscape’ assignment.

About a block away from my house is a lovely old home that is now a museum. (McFadden-Ward Museum). The house sits on a full block with a large garden. Behind it on another block is the carriage house and behind that is a modern steel building with the offices of the people who manage the museum plus some of their collection that rotates in and out seasonally. Beside that building is a small garden.

It has large clumps of marigolds, zinnias, and a few garden vegetables–dill weed and tomatoes. There are also two cats patrolling the area.

This photo is of that garden–with a rooftop of a neighboring house erased. I wish I could have a flower garden as vibrant and colorful–but with dogs who wear paths around the fence I must content myself with finding other gardens to view.

Sylvia Weir Week 19 Dreamscape

Wabi Sabi

I’ve missed several photo assignments–good ideas for an image were hiding somewhere–probably next to my two thimbles.

Wabi Sabi is finding beauty in something broken or in poor repair or otherwise useless. Calder Avenue has a mix of vintage and modern buildings–the peeling paint on this warehouse turned dry cleaner establishment seemed perfect.

Sylvia Weir Wabi Sabi


Will you see this in a future art project? Probably not–but maybe I’ll use the colors and the proportions as inspiration.


Sacred Space

You may have guessed that the last photo assignment was ‘Sacred Space’. It seemed really too easy to photo the inside of a cathedral/church/or other religious type building. I’m not sure why I want to make the assignment more challenging–but I thought about the space between a married couple; between a parent and the child; friends; personal space as defined by Americans versus other nationalities—but then on the way to the Mediterranean Festival yesterday, a solitary bench covered with vines caught my eye.

Some years ago we spent several days in Big Bend National Park; a place that has so many wonderful places to be and to see. One of the loveliest is a small waterfall grotto covered with ferns–it is at the end of a fairly long hike–and the cool greenery and the soft dripping of the water is a welcome reward.

This bench reminded me of that place.

The circles you see are called Bokeh–not dirt or dust on the lens. Taking photos with the sun nearly directly overhead and filtered through leaves creates this effect…I thought it appropriate for this subject.

And—just in case you were wondering, the kibbeh, cabbage rolls, and green bean dinner was just as wonderful as it has been each year–the dancers and musicians enthusiastic and the weather absolutely perfect.

Sylvia Weir Week 17 Sacred Place

Western Art in the Briscoe Museum

Saturday was bitterly cold with a wind that cut through jackets and made me wish for my motorcycle jacket. The morning was to be devoted to local gallery tours; we decided to walk the 900 feet from our hotel to the Briscoe Museum of Western Art.

We all got to claim senior status and therefore a reduced entrance fee–although if we had been service men/women our entrance would have been free.

tim20cherry20rabbit-mTwo large galleries were full of contemporary Western art —no photos were allowed–although I did get this shot of a rabbit by Tim Cherry. If I had the money or the place to showcase this piece—but I didn’t so I will content myself with this photo.

img_7938-mw20h20dunton20painting-mOf interest was a small painting by W.H. Dunton whose title for a rather small painting was quite striking—a paragraph long title for a rider on a horse galloping across the plain. Interestingly the local Stark Museum of Art in Orange Texas posesses over 200 pieces of his work. He, along with other western artists of that era, also illustrated magazine covers and books.

In the afternoon we settled down to an entertaining critique session with Judith Trager. Creative people that we are, one attendee removed her belt as a splash of color on a monochromatic piece.

An evening banquet followed with a lively auction of the small pieces contributed by the members. There was much rivalry and last minute bidding–all to fund future events.

Viewing the Alamo

alamo-mThere was a very long line waiting to get in to see the Alamo; the line looped back through a covered area and was halted by a photographer at the entrance.

Inside, people chattered and pointed–and if you stood in one place, you heard the same comments repeated but by different people and in different languages. They marveled at the number of places the defenders claimed as home—Ireland, Wales, Scotland, North Carolina, Kentucky–and more. Flags of each state and country were displayed around the periphery of the building and we all took turns peering into the rooms cordoned off.

alamo201-malamo2011-mOutside were lovely old live oak trees, a small rivulet with giant carp all hoping for a tidbit of bread, benches, and blooming prickly pear. alamo208-malamo205-m

Outside on the plaza were stands with soft drinks and ice cream. The Menger and the Crockett Hotels were nearby as well as the Wax Museum.

No matter the details of those final hours in whatever version people care to claim as factual, it is an awe=inspiring place—so lush and green–and the entire complex quite large–not the dusty single building in a vast plain with nary a tree to be seen.



Early Morning Discoveries

I had thought I might catch a sunrise behind the Alamo but I admit to being distracted and then there was the building that somehow blocked my way–I had to turn on my GPS on my phone to find my way back to the hotel.

In the meantime–what do you think about this?


I suppose the delivery driver had other stops and no time to wait for someone to receive all of this–Not perhaps the photo tourism image one might have of San Antonio

San Antonio Walk About

door20of20cathedral-mConference morning activities followed breakfast punctuated by greetings–putting faces to names of people I had read about, ‘talked’ to via internet and handing out of business cards.

My afternoon and evening were free as I had not signed up for breakout sessions, thinking I would like to settle myself somewhere on the Riverwalk and just enjoy the day. However, I am not a cold weather sitter on metal benches–and so I opted to walk.

What time in San Antonio would be incomplete without a visit to the Alamo. The streets were filled with newly graduated AirMen–(and a few women) in their crisp light blue shirts and dark pants–all with parents or sisters or girlfriends all roaming about–all smiles, nervous, proud.  I caught up with one nice young man and his two sisters–both shivering in their light jackets–they were from Pennsylvania and had dressed expecting much warmer weather.

I wandered by the Cathedral–the first mass celebrated on the day appointed to Saint Anthony–thus giving the city its name, the Bexar County courthouse which was humongous and imposing in red brick and skepp topped domes,courthouse-m courhouse20view-man immense archive building, the hemisphere tower, and then the Alamo. I took a lot of photos, and then bought post cards to replenish my stash for future postings. Three living history sites were set up with men dressed as Alamo defenders displaying and discussing cannons and riflery.

waterfall-m Directly in front of the courthouse is the Liberty fountain. Nearby are beds of roses both red and yellow. These beds are not near this fountain but the petals from the red roses were placed in the fountain’s layers–an interesting custom as it seemed deliberate but I could not find anyone around to ask.




This week’s assignment was “half”.

I thought of a lot of ‘half’s’. Half-done, half built, half eaten, half grown, and so forth.

With just a meager breakfast of one piece of toast, food was on my mind–and so half an apple on my kitchen table.

Sylvia weir Week 9 Half

Pages and pages and pages

Sylvia Weir Week eight Pages

Last week;s assignment was ‘pages’. While my home is littered with all sorts of books and magazines and pieces of paper everywhere–I always try to think of something not quite so literal as taking a photo of a book. This is the inside of the dumpster that collects newspapers for recycling.

This city has not yet thought about the idea of trash over-taking us or of saving of resources..everything has to be not just cost-effective but income producing. At one time we had blue recycle containers in which we placed all our recycleables to be picked up at the same time as our regular trash. The regular trash was converted from trash cans we bought at local stores to city trash containers that were designed to be automatically picked up by a set of arms that reached out–thus saving the backs of the sanitation department. With the recycleables–they had to bend over to pick up the items and sort them into appropriate bins—not exactly a back-saving endeavor.

Because this was not profitable–the activity ceased–to be replaced by huge dumpsters placed in one central part of the city for those of us who wanted to conserve resources to self deliver and self sort—not particularly hard but does require a bit of time.

Someone decided that perhaps recycling should begin again–but now the recycleables can be placed in a special container bought at a fairly steep price and the cost of picking up the recycle-ables added to the monthly garbage fee. I don’t see many of these containers along the streets.

Too bad they don’t invest in a system that sorts trash as Houston does.