Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Winsome one

Sir Humphrey was a fine looking fellow, Maine Coon markings and fluff all around. He does seem to offer a winsome pose, a look-at-me I am cute style.

Sepia Scenes seems a fine place to showcase a feline seemingly shorn of the expected serve me now, I am quite important cattitude.

He seemed to be more approachable here, as long as his regal countenance is greeted with a squeaky 'awwwww - isn't he cute' acknowledgement. All he needs is a crown. As a famous author once wrote, attention must be paid.

Who wouldn't??

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Sixties Rubies

Ruby Tuesday this week takes us back to yesteryear, the time frame being 1968, the place our home in East Hartford. To the left, is Grandpa on Easter Sunday that year. Hats for men were speedily becoming passé by now, yet his dress hat was smartly blocked and looked good on him. The rubies are in the background and include our neighbor's house along with our new 1968 VW microbus. A terribly unsafe vehicle, but our family ride. It sported a massive 57 (really) horsepower. A dog with room to spare, today we really appreciate 6-8 airbags, ABS, traction control, enough horsepower, etc. in our family haulers. However, it is ruby in appearance...

To the right is the early autumn of the same year, and all seven of us are in school clothing. Myself, Claudia and Sharon have our St. Christopher school dress code colors, myself in a maroon blazer and tie (indicating eighth grade) and the girls in the maroon-gray plaid skirts with ruby ties. The others if in public school are in 'civilian' dress. I think that Grandpa probably took this...

The past is fading, or at least the prints are. See many ruby artists (or historians) at Mary's great meme!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Derby Neck

The look of the past is often full of interesting shapes with unique lighting highlights.

So for Shadow Shot Sunday, I looked for another architectural gem, and found it in the next town over, that being Derby CT. The subject in question is the beautiful Derby Neck Library. We are looking here at the original structure opened in 1907.

This is a place that includes our family history. Our children went to story hours and readings when they were little, and when they were big, Allegra worked there and Cameron learned about taking and editing video as part of a teen library group (and actually produced a video). So it has sentimental value, too...

The history of the library is quite interesting itself: The Library was started in 1897 by local industrialist Wilbur Osborne who donated $50 for books for the nearby Derby Neck School.

By 1900, the collection housed on the school's second floor, had grown to 1,350, and an Association was formed to raise funds for the library by holding fairs and entertainments.

When the collection reached 3,000 volumes, it was feared that the school floor would collapse, so Mr. Osborne contacted Andrew Carnegie to solicit funds to construct a building. Mr. Carnegie contributed $3,000 toward the construction of the building as long as the city would contribute a modest yearly amount toward its operation.

Two additions have been added, in 1972 and 2002, and these are architecturally similar to the original. Like last week's Ansonia Library, the interior is beautiful, and the detailing in the woodwork and colors is from a distant era. I need to get pictures of the inside here too. Bold Victorian colors like teal and mauve are accented by the exquisite trim.

I think if we had having a home styled and outfitted like this, we couldn't wait to entertain...

Yesterday was a beautiful day, and since it was closed on Friday (but open on Sunday afternoon), I could position the minivan just so and fire away.

I arranged my schedule to have a day off. The sky was a perfect blue and the temperature was a lovely 71°F (22°C), with a strong but nice breeze. The late April sun allows for a series of great shadows, and this is the subject I chose for said shadows.

Shadows abound, so please visit Tracy at Hey Harriet and see many shadow artistes!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sepia Scenes - City Siblings

Sepia Scenes brings me to the past (again - how unusual!), and that is 204-07 35th Avenue in Bayside Queens, the photo date stamped APR-57. Like a recent post, the trip to ‘the City’ , you dressed the part. NY in 1957.

Note that two-year old Ralph and three-year old Michele were dressed up. However. the ladies Grandma and Aunt Terry were dressed up in fine wool suits for our trip into Manhattan. Check the hats in their smart 1957 designs...

Grandpa always liked to chronicle the event, be it grown-ups or grandkids.

The B-W film was the accepted way for photos back then due to cost. Therefore, these are always great to transport into the soft monochrome.

It seems we kids are happy at the prospect of taking a trip! See sepia art at Mary's excellent meme

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Classic Shadows

Shadow Shot Sunday arrives with us participants seeking the shadowy world so to speak...

Today we are looking at wheelchair height at the Ansonia (CT) Public Library in the town in which we reside. This lovely building, clad in Longmeadow redstone was designed by noted architect George Keller, and was completed in 1892.

Patti and I went meme hunting on a nice day. The classic style of this building under a sunny sky leaves a shadow that Is nicely pronounced on the angular tower and pyramid roof.
Visit Hey Harriet for many shadowy artists and their capture of shadowy environs! The building has a wheelchair ramp, so I am only able to enter the first floor. However, the staff is so accommodating and will happily fetch any book I am looking for.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Looking at the Sky - Mountainosity

I enjoy Tisha's Looking at the Sky, as the sky is our focus so often. But often, the ground and scenery below are often accented by the heavens - and perhaps, the clutter below can accent the sky.

Here is in the I-25 corridor between Denver and Colorado Springs, beyond the suburban sprawl of either metropolis. The scrub outside the Front Range creeps toward the towering mount while under a sky of hazy blue. The sky nor the ground take over the scene, each making the scene wonderful in its entirety.

Visit crazy mom Tisha to see the sky in many beautiful iterations

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Fountain

Sepia Scenes is a great meme that allows us to add this artistic monochrome to any subject to add an artistic touch. Like to this fountain on the grounds of the classic Ansonia Library. The history below was taken from and I happily learned something new too...

Caroline Phelps Stokes, the granddaughter of Anson Phelps, who founded Ansonia, provided the funding for the Ansonia Library. Stokes was a life member of the American Humane Education Society, and her love of horses inspired her to supplement her gift of Ansonia's library building with a public drinking fountain. Located in the shadow of the library, the fountain was placed in memory of Anna Sewell, author of the novel, “Black Beauty” who died in 1878. The fountain, "with water flowing constantly," had a trough on the street side for horses, and a small basin on the library side "from which the human family may quench their thirst."

Four decades ago, this fountain was vandalized and the repairs then were substandard. So a local group has been soliciting contributions to bring the fountain back to its original condition. Restoration should begin later this year. The look is classic, and sepia works quite well here. See more sepia art at Mary’s meme...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Lending Library

Ruby Tuesday arrives with a classic small city (18,500) look in its library. At wheelchair height, no less.

The Ansonia Library was built in 1891-92. The exterior walls were constructed of red Longmeadow freestone from western Massachusetts. The foundation walls were constructed of granite from quarries in Ansonia.

Details abound, with a pyramid shaped roof, a dramatic arched entrance was located at one corner of the building next to a large rounded, arched entrance, and leaded glass windows. The interior is beautiful too, with plenty of oak, a stone fireplace and vaulted ceilings (itself worthy of a future blog post I’d say :>)

The library - was dedicated in 1892. However it sat vacant for four years because the town fathers refused to provide the $1,500 per year toward the operating expenses. The administrators relented in 1896 by finally voting the annual $1,500 appropriation. Government was no less accommodating then...

See the ruby fun at Mary's great meme!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Shadowy Sagamore

Shadow Shot Sunday, hosted by Brisbane's own Tracy, allows us to identify and chase shadows from any or all environs. Often there are man-made shadows that enhance the surrounding natural scenery.

Here we were driving on U.S. Route 6 along the 1935 steel-arch Sagamore Bridge across the man-made Cape Cod Canal. Of course I was driving and asked passenger Cameron to take the shot (so I could continue to safely survey the traffic, no doubt :>). The sky is full of soft oceanic clouds and the water reflects the blue heavens. The payoff here for Sunday are the shadows of the bridge structure.

The clouds and ground below offer natural shapes, which contrast with the angular steel shadows falling across the road and vertical fence along the sides. Vacations usually accent the destination, yet the trek there can offer many diversions, shadowy or not!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Looking at the Sky - Cloudless Charm

Tisha's Looking at the Sky allows us the luxury of photographing the sky. From any style approach: stormy, cloudy, foggy, moonlit or even fair and blue. Like here, this being on Cape Cod, I believe in Chatham. It is one of those summer days where the entire frame is full of beautiful things, here being the nice neighborhood, the cold Atlantic and of course the brilliant blue sky. The only event that would make this even nicer is to be on a deck at your house like this, facing the shore and enjoying a glass of ice tea and just watching the tide roll in.

Nice fantasy if nothing else...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Fading Memories

The look of the past can offer a glimpse into that era. Such things as where dressing up meant more than wearing a shirt with a collar like today.

So for Mary's excellent Sepia Scenes, I return to the days of Steubenville and of course, a pair of grandparents.

Grandma is on the top photo, and I guess the time is the late 1940s in the steeltown of their residence. The suit is probably of wool, the hat is well coordinated and the animal - well, that was the prime dress-up accessory...

Grandpa is from 1957, I believe, based on a series of photos that places him on a visit to our family in Bayside Queens New York. This may be on the Circle Line or Staten Island Ferry. The overcoat is stylish, the tie is in place and his hat was blocked with a style of substance.

Note how the skyline of lower Manhattan is so different without the modern glass and steel towers we see today.

Time and less optimal storage of the photos have left them faded. The recent scans allow me to at least have the legacy of the persons, time and place preserved digitally.

The sepia adds a soft ambience to the B&W prints. The past shows an elegance of appearance, where doing something special meant dressing nicely. And they did...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Ruby Anchorage

Since my last post included taking pictures on a nice day, Ruby Tuesday beckons.

The New Haven Terminal is part of a small port on the harbor. The main purpose is fuel storage, the main export steel scrap. The dock showcases large, ugly hulks with barnacles and rust.

However, the oxidizing steel does have a sort-of-ruby hue to its unattractive mass, and as such, a fine specimen for RT. The day was beautiful in sea and sky - an unattractive boat can never change that...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Shadowy Environs

Shadow Shot Sunday arrives on a beautiful Spring day, the kind of day we dreamed about during the cold winter.

My mission today was to pick up the children from the U-of-Hartford for this Easter weekend. I was able to make a stop for work on the way North, so some productivity occurred alongside taking shadowy pictures along the way.

It was easier to photograph from the driver's seat. The top is a stop along the Long Wharf in New Haven, this being On the passenger side. The bear relaxes in both sun and shadow.

While waiting for my passengers, I aimed the at the outside mirror at nothing in particular, hoping for the appearance of shadows.

Which in fact they did. The daylight placed me in shadowy lighting. The reflection could be counted as a bonus - the results not as designed originally. However, the photographer shows up in the additional mirror at any rate...

Shadows, fancy or simple are always fun when they simply appear. See more artistic shadow art at Hey Harriet's site.

Tracy, we hope your internet has returned!