Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Orleans – Wedding Cake House

DSC02011 Corinthian columns

I’ve got New Orleans on my mind, now that my daughter returned there on Sunday. There are many glorious mansions on St. Charles Avenue, but my favorite one is known as The Wedding Cake House. Some may call it ostentatious but I call it divine.

DSC06534 St Charles mansion square

It’s a private home, so I have to admire it from the sidewalk.

DSC02000 New Orleans mansion

I feel a tad guilty, imagining myself having a glass of ice-cold sweet tea on this grand porch…

DSC02008 Wedding Cake House porch

…somewhat voyeuristic, zooming in on its architectural details…

DSC06536 St Charles mansion detail

…fighting the urge to swipe a lick off the white frosting…

DSC02009 Wedding Cake House column detail

…in awe of every ornate feature, down to the cast iron acorn detail of the fence that keeps me at bay.

DSC02002 Acorn cast iron fence detail

But then I think, “What do you expect when you live in a house like this? I can’t help myself.” The Four Tops expressed it the best. Enjoy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Macro Monday – American Crow

DSC04143 American Crow feathers square
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

On our way out of Yosemite National Park, my husband and I pulled over at a popular vista point. Taking photos here is like child’s play. There is beauty in every direction, all perfectly composed by nature. I point and shoot in one direction and I got this:

DSC04138 Yosemite Valley - El Capitan and Merced River

I shift a little to the right and I got this:

DSC04129 Yosemite - Merced River

The magnificence got overwhelming at times and I wondered whether the photos would convey the grandness of the scenery. At the last vista point we chatted with a man who just took a photo workshop offered by the Ansel Adams Gallery. He said that the teacher told the students that all the big stuff’s been done and that they should focus on the little stuff. When I first heard this, I was resentful because it sounded like the most dispiriting advice I’d ever heard. Should I not take have taken the photos above because it’s already been done? How could I not? It would be like trying to stop gravity. On the other hand, I began to understand the teacher’s point. Nature is beautiful in its vastness, its minuteness, and everything in between. It is easy to be seduced by the grandeur of Yosemite because it is so imposing; it takes resolve to look at things up close here.

So I began to zoom in:

DSC04133 Yosemite pair of crows

Ah, there are two crows in that tree:

DSC04132 Yosemite two crows

My husband decided to nosh on some wheat crackers as he waited for me to finish snapping away. Within seconds, the crows descended from the tree and began hovering around his feet. These crows were not aggressive like the seagulls in Sausalito, but they patiently waited for some morsels to fall their way. This one found a crumb in the snow:

DSC04144 American Crow

He was perched perfectly still as he hoped for another. What a great opportunity for Macro Monday. For other Macro Monday posts, please visit Lisa’s Chaos. It's good to shoot the small stuff.
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