292 Photos - Oct 29, 2011
Photo: home

"A Place Called Home", Music and Lyrics by PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey - A Place Called Home

One day I know
We'll find a place of hope
Just hold on to me
Just hold on to me
Walk tight, one line
You're wanted this time
There's no one to blame
Just hold on to me

(Come on my love)
And I'm right on time
And the birds keep singing
And you're right on line
And the bells keep ringing
And the battle is won
And the planes keep winging
And I'm right on time
And the girl keeps singing

One day they'll be a place for us
I walk and I wade
Through full lands and lonely
I stumble, I stumble
With you I wait
To be born again
With love comes the day
Just hold on to me

(Come on my love)
And I'm right on time
And the birds keep singing
And you're right on line
And the bells keep ringing
One day they'll be a place for us
And the battle is won
And the planes keep winging
And I'm right on time
And the girl keeps singing
One day they'll be a place for us

Now is the time
To follow through
To read the signs
Now the message sent
Let's bring it to it's final end

And I'm right on time
And the birds keep singing
And you're right on line
And the bells keep ringing
One day they'll be a place for us
And the battle is won
And the planes keep winging
And I'm right on time
And the girl keeps singing
One day they'll be a place for us
One day
I
Know
They'll be
A place
Called
HomePhoto: "Mirror"Photo: inertia

[For #TreeTuesday curated by the amazing +Shannon S. Myers and +Christina Lawrie ]

you, who I had not yet called
mother,

I lived here.

like a tree,
who lives perfectly,
I was a being that had no need
for movement.
no need for plot.

I picked the sunshine off leaves
like cotton
and drank puddles with my feet.
my whole purpose,
was a dumb, leafy existence.

so you see,
I lived here.
and I ate you.
and drank you.

I was paralyzed by your warm light.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights ReservedPhoto: witchcraft

Three leaves over a shimmering river...Photo: "purple swirl"Photo: forlorn

Not realizing he could still change course,
the bird leaned
into the vortex
of history,
spinning lost and forlorn
through the shadows

[Gardens of Versailles, France]



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights ReservedPhoto: Mourning Mist

as snug winter
blooms into blush

your ghost
is still there
searching in the fog


© lynn langmade --photo and poem by Lynn LangmadePhoto: whisper

But there was nothing,
except the whisper
of this kind of small water
and the frost

weightless

cold

and clinging


to the wholeness
of shape.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: held up

the day I received the news,
you said, “I’m with you”
when you were thousands of miles away.

small words
that held me

up
when I could no longer stand.

understand me--
this was a love poem
written
into
my body


--Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade
© lynn langmade 2012

#PurpleCircle +Craig Szymanski +Alexis Coram and +Sinead Sam McKeownPhoto: 666

This is an early post and a reminder for #SaturdayStyle curated by +lane langmade and myself. You know the photography theme where you share a photo that represents your idea of style :)

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon . . . . Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six." (Revelation,13:11-18 King James Version)

Just a quick photo of the Pyramide du Louvre, which is a glass pyramid surrounded by three smaller pyramids in the main courtyard of the Palais du Louvre in Paris, the world-famous museum that houses Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. I’ve posted shots from inside the Louvre before, but never one of this amazing structure. So I thought it would be a perfect first “architectural” shot to post from my recent vacation to Paris for #SAS.

The pyramid is just another example of modernist architecture right? Wrong. The structure has been embroiled in more than one controversy. When it was first commissioned and completed people were outraged because they felt the modernist style of the pyramid completely clashed with the classical architecture of the Louvre museum itself. However, the more intriguing controversy revolves around the fact that the pyramid is constructed entirely out of somewhere between 666 and 689 pieces of glass. In other words, a debate has been raging over exactly how many pieces, including a very interesting conspiracy theory that the entire structure is dedicated to “a power described as the Beast in the Book of Revelation.” What does that actually mean? Um, simply that some folks believe the pyramid is actually a satanic structure :D And if you were unfortunate enough to read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code or see the movie, you probably already know all about the satanic conspiracy theory regarding this pyramid. However, we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss this theory since, according to mathematicians, doing some basic math does reveal that the structure is comprised of exactly 666 pieces of glass: 598 rhombi and 68 triangles.

Hmm….I’m thinking maybe I should have submitted this shot for #Frightening Friday instead. ;)

I hope everyone has a wonderful #SaturdayStyle.Photo: perennial

when winter has failed,
the parched hydrangea dips
its green tips
in rain

dreaming of its
past lives

when it was more
leaf than flower


--Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade
© lynn langmade 2012Photo: sanctuary

In case you weren’t aware, there is a very special person on G+ celebrating his birthday today: +shane holsclaw  #HappyBdayShane :)

As I told others this week in preparation for today’s events, Shane is this wonderful guy who just goes around making G+ an awesome place to be. He’s talented, kind, generous, and fun. When he’s not sharing his own extraordinary work, he’s selflessly sharing the work of other photogs on G+. Although he’s very busy, he manages to always find the time to leave the most thoughtful comments on others’ posts. The G+ photography community just wouldn’t be the same without him.

This is a photo of the grounds of the Château de Fontainebleau, which is located just 35 miles outside of Paris.  It is one of the largest of the French royal chateaux and it replaced the Château de Versailles as the seat of power during Napoleon’s reign. It was, for all intents and purposes, Napoleon’s unofficial castle. While situated at Fontainebleau, Napoleon undertook the arduous task of transforming Fontainebleau into a symbol of grandeur. Much of the transformation involved major modifications to the gardens, which are breathtakingly beautiful.

I have a feeling that Shane would have fallen in love with the Fontainebleau gardens, and I also have the sneaking suspicion that Shane is starting to like poetry ;) So this photo-poem goes out to Shane on the wonderful occasion of his birthday.

when
leafy constellations overwhelm
unwanted solitude,

a man is liable to walk
without direction

as one who is lost
tends to do

until
he looks up at the weight
of trailing, orange-crusted stars,

and realizes he is
already home.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights Reserved

Once again, Happy Birthday Shane!Photo: wing

in the late evening sun,

a dangling wing
soaks and shimmers
in seas
of bougainvillea,

still humming
a soundless melody,

reminding me
that a heart once hidden
remains a fluid
and a frenzied thing.



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights Reserved

#purplecircle +Craig Szymanski and +Sinead Sam McKeown Photo: snowstorm

[Dedicated to my twin sister, +lane langmade, who has always been there for me]

when the silver breath
of the snowstorm
began to swallow
the birdhouse,
it occurred to me

that you wanted out.

out of a hole
besieged by wind and frost,

out of a place
that above all things
kept you warm

but not necessarily
safe.

out of a love
tempered by time
and something close to grace.

—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights Reserved



#birdhouse #snow #snowstorm #winter #poem  Photo: "Winter Jewels"Photo: menagerie

the girl did not cry.

she
collected her
tears,

stringing them
like glass beads
on needles of grass,

and waited.

she would not release them
until he returned,

and time began again.



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: rupture

looking at you,
it’s tempting to think
you’re bleeding.

but we know
part of you is on
fire,
burning from inconsolable
loss.

and as you climb air
to the clouds
your wound becomes an eye
to view the world.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights ReservedPhoto: winter fantasy

In lurid heat,

flushed leaves drape
over icy water,
wishing for winter

and the dotted delirium of a world
frosted by the gentle drift
of snow


[not sure if this counts for #TreeTuesday, but I love the theme so I thought I would try anyway. Thanks so much for all the work you do +Shannon S. Myers and +Christina Lawrie ]Photo: Penumbra 

the sun does not sleep

it slips into purples
and ripples
across nightfall

where I wait
shivering
for you


-- Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade
© lynn langmade 2012

Shared with the #PurpleCircle , curated by myself +Sinead Sam McKeown +Craig Szymanski and +Alexis CoramPhoto: Running late for a meeting, so consider this a drive-by posting :D Just a little something and perhaps something for #WildlifeWednesday curated by +Mike Spinak 

from “To a Butterfly” by William Wordsworth

STAY near me--do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find in thee,
Historian of my infancy!
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring'st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My father's family!

Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when, in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey:--with leaps and springs
I followed on from brake to bush;
But she, God love her, feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.Photo: affinity

Just wanted to send a heartfelt thanks to everyone involved today who made my birthday sooo special. Your kind words and beautiful photos honestly brought tears of joy to my eyes. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have found so many wonderful friends on G+. You are all rock stars! #happybdaylaneandlynn #happybdaylane #happybdaylynn 

(and sorry in advance for flower-bombing you all!)

Thank you (in no particular order):

+Luxe Langmade +Gene Bowker +Brad Buckmaster +Tom McGowan +Jason Kowing +Sam Weinstein  +kimberton pemberly +Craig Szymanski +Sandra Parlow +Tom Tran +Allan Cabrera +Shawn McClure +Robin Griggs Wood +Shantha Marie Fountain +Paras Shah +Shelly Gunderson +Don Spenner +E.E. Giorgi +Cameron Siguenza +Louisa Catharine Forsyth +Shanda Simmons +Marilyn Benham +Celeste Odono +Dirk Vietzke +Christina Lihani  +Jorunn Gudlaugsdottir +Sam Breach +Beth Akerman +Cora Triton +Lauri Novak +Chris Veerabadran +Vincent Dale +Allan Cabrera  +Sherrie von Sternberg +Reggie Norman +Ypille Mia    and many more .....Photo: This is the first “self-portrait” I’ve submitted for #SelfySunday curated by +Jeff Smith and +Levi Moore 

I’ve been dancing since I was 8 years old. My ballet instructor finally allowed me to move into pointe work at the age of 13. These shoes are fraying and stained, but I thought they were a fitting tribute to my lifelong love affair with Ballet.Photo: "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.Photo: don't you know, silly?
we're stronger than everything-
or anyone -
that tries to tear us apartPhoto: "Temple"Photo: Approximately 3 months ago, on November 13, I participated in my first ever #SelfySunday . I was very nervous to post my shot because I don’t feel comfortable being in front of the camera. At that time, I posted a shot of my feet in a pair of my oldest pointe shoes that were stained. https://plus.google.com/u/0/113973458554656282296/posts/EX639TveXkx

However, I’m really glad I did post my shot that day because it became the reason I met one of my very dear friends on G+: +shane holsclaw Shane saw my photo and not only commented in the Picasa album, but took the time to come visit my page to tell me a second time how much he liked my photo. And this situation with my photo is not an exception because if you know him, you know that he goes out of his way all the time to extend kindness to others.

Again, at the time I posted my original selfy, people suggested that if and when I participated again, I should post a shot of more than my foot. I told them that if I ever did it again, I would gradually work up the leg until I felt comfortable enough to do the whole body. So, with this introduction, I would like to dedicate my second ever self-portrait on G+ to +shane holsclaw whom I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing for 3 months and I hope many more to come . . .

This one’s for you Shane ;)Photo: Splinters

You smeared your streets with blue rain.

And sent it to me by the crate.

Scooping the rain up
with both hands, I drank

until stained

‘til I was drowning in azure

‘til the rain splintered into great shards
of glass -- within my veins.


© lynn langmade --photo and poem by Lynn LangmadePhoto: "'Nuff Said"Photo: prism

wanting comfort
I peered through wings of glass
to see the future

but instead of the future,
color began breaking
into a bouquet of time

Hours
Minutes
Seconds

fracturing

until it was clear
that I was inside

every moment
and was no longer
afraid


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights Reserved


[Yup, a bona fide Viennese butterfly ;]Photo: This post is for my wonderful friend +William Mazdra Today he listed me as one of the top three friends he found on G+. I thought it would be silly just to write a comment on his post and thank him. Do you really thank a friend for telling you they appreciate your friendship? No, not really. Seems like the only thing to do is to try to show them somehow what a gift their friendship is to you.

So this post is for +William Mazdra , a dear friend who challenges me at every turn. Just think of it as a black n’ white shot that is dreaming in color. (I thought of him when I shot it and processed it)Photo: "Into Dust" by Mazzy Star

Still falling
Breathless and on again
Inside today
Inside me today
Around broken in two
Til your eyes share into dust
Like two strangers turning into dust
Til my hand shook with the weight of fear
I could possibly be fading
Or have something more to gain
I could feel myself growing colder
I could feel myself under your fate
Under your fate
It was you, breathless and torn
I could feel my eyes turning into dust
Into strangers, turning into dust
Turning into dust
Turning into dust

Mazzy Star - Into DustPhoto: "Glimpse"Photo: the world before the world

[For the awesome +Gene Bowker  and his  #TransportTuesday and for #BridgesOverTuesday curated by +Steve Boyko and +Clare Bambers. (and yes, Gene, there is text with this shot :)]

she’s driving now—that’s all.

she does not think
of his slumbering body
as she tip-toed out the door
minutes earlier.

she’s leaving him.
it’s all she knows.

the bridges are echo-empty
and magnificent,
serenading in steel
about the sun
and faded stars
still blinking,
twitching
in disbelief.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: --egress

{In honor of William Wordsworth, who planned, but never completed, an epic poem, The Recluse }

twenty years later,
the recluse emerged
after being driven into the trees
by something
unspeakable.

between the slopes
of sticky green sponge
he tried to recall
the sound of the human voice

the echo it makes
resonating in bare space.

his first cry was carried into the wind
by the tender curves
of catastrophe

---a road that writhed
under the weight of his grief.


Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade
© lynn langmade 2012Photo: dreamscape

The electric sky
howling like a neon sign
touches and turns on
the city skyline.

In a city where the heavy-lidded
stumble toward sleep,
I picture
a place without concrete

and other hard things
that lay in wait,
hurting and absorbing.

a place
where you and I
are finally safe.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights Reserved

Submitted also for #PurpleCircle curated by myself +Sinead Sam McKeown +Craig Szymanski and +Alexis Coram #PlusPhotoExtractPhoto: wind

All morning long, I hear the summer wind on the mountain.Photo: "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens

I.
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

II
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

III
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

V
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

VI
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.

VII
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?

VIII
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.

IX
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

X
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.

XI
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.

XII
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.

XIII
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.Photo: Poetry
Of course, this shot is for Valentine’s Day, but it goes out to my mom whom I lost about 12 years ago.

For most people, Valentine’s Day is about romantic love and schmaltzy hallmark card kitsch. But I never really saw it that way. Why? Because I had a mother who considered it to be one of the most important holidays of the year. When I was five years old, I can still remember walking into this elaborately decorated dining room and finding the largest cupcakes I have ever seen sitting on the table. I mean we’re talking cupcakes you had to carry with two hands and probably six inches of frosting. We always had tons of gifts and chocolate. Valentine’s Day was almost like Christmas in our house—except with red, pink and purple (which is my favorite color).

One year, I opened up a little package. Inside there was just a piece of pink bond paper folded up. Because I was just a kid, I was a little annoyed. First, I hate pink. Second, I was hoping something cool would be in there. Like some fancy trinket. When I unfolded the paper, I discovered a poem. The poem was dedicated to me and in the dedication she wrote that it was the first and only poem she had ever written. So my mother had spent a great deal of time doing something completely out of her comfort zone just to tell me, in that way mothers do, how much she loved me. I put that poem on my wall, and I’ve carried it ever since. At some point, I framed it.

My mom’s poem wasn’t a toy or a piece of chocolate. Heck, it wasn’t even a hallmark greeting card. It was more. It was poetry. And it was hers. So, Valentine’s Day isn’t about chocolate, or toys, or schmaltz for me--it’s about remembering how really cool my mom was and how lucky I was to have her in my life.

So without further ado, I dedicate this shot of a red flower that looks like it’s breaking into a million hearts to my mom.Photo: we are all made of stars...Photo: nomad

in the early hours
she broke through
the silver web.

strands covered
her eyes like gauze

and pearls of dew
sealed her lids.

she wandered restlessly
like Oedipus,
blinded and bandaged
by catastrophe.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights ReservedPhoto: lux
[Latin for "light"]

My first submission to the wonderful new theme #MacroFeatherFriday curated by two of my favorite photogs +E.E. Giorgi  and +Robin Griggs Wood

Thought it would be fun to take the proverbial drop just out of focus on this peacock feather :)Photo: Epiphany

deep in the woods,
a bird flew in
on blue wings
shattering
silence.


--photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © lynn langmade 2012Photo: bashful

Happy Spring-Is-Almost-Here Day! #SpringIsAlmostHere 

Just a quick post going out to an unsung hero on G+, +Gene Bowker  I’ve been going through a rough time lately, and he’s been a really good friend. In fact, this goes out to all the guys who may not be flashy or glib, but are quiet, honest, caring and loyal—you know, to all the good guys.

Gene is that kind of guy who supports you, speaks the truth when others are afraid to, and always has your back when you’re in a jam. You could do worse than circle him :) He’s truly a great guy.

He recently sent me a few virtual flowers, so I thought I would return the favor (who says guys don’t like receiving flowers, huh?) A daisy seemed like the perfect choice; subtle and unassuming, they don’t stand out against the landscape because they frame it.

Happy Spring-Is-Almost-Here Day! #SpringIsAlmostHerePhoto: thankful

Did you know there’s a Party Train rolling through G+? That’s right: it’s +Kerry Murphy ’s birthday today—one of the most talented and sweetest photogs  on G+! And you’re all invited to hop on the #KerryMurphyPartyTrain and join us in celebrating her birthday.

I met Kerry Murphy last fall, when I discovered her work by sheer accident. I was so inspired by her work that I began to experiment with my own. And when I finally got up the nerve last fall, I ended up dedicating one of my experiments to her that she inspired. Well it’s now 9 months later, and I’m lucky enough to still have the privilege of being inspired by her work every day here on G+.

It’s rare to meet someone who is so skilled and well-loved, yet is still so down to earth. Though Kerry’s star has been rising for sometime on G+, especially through her theme day, #macromonday, she always manages to remain true to herself and to treat everyone she interacts with grace and kindness.

So I’m dedicating this purplelicious shot, “Thankful,” to my color twin, Kerry Murphy, for many reasons, but mostly because I’m just thankful she came into my life and became a wonderful source of inspiration.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KERRY!

[And a special thanks goes out to +Kelli Seeger Kim  who got this party train rollin'! Choo choo!]Photo: “Sawdust” by Sharon Bryan

only now do I see
that the air is full
of small sharp stars
pinwheeling through
every living thing
that gets in their way. (ll. 7-13)Photo: "Certainty"Photo: fireflies

we gaze like children:
fireflies flit under the half-moon;
the field twinkles with gold.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: "Bouquets of jellyfish fell: parachutes abloom, gray toy soldiers drifting together, drifting apart"

from "The War After the War" by Debora Greger

#JellyPoker Alert!!!! 2nd Hand +Alexis Coram +Gail Beerman +PJ Ammidon and +Paras ShahPhoto: last leaf

already the summer is fading.
you always see it in the trees first,
the leaves begging in saffron yellow.

they gesture to the road
saturated in something akin to dust
and a sky that is perhaps too blue

too innocent for a dying season.

“are you ready?” they ask.

after all,
is it not their job
to compensate
for loss

before the last leaf falls?



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights Reserved

Submitted for #treetuesday curated by the awesome +Shannon S. Myers and +Christina Lawrie Photo: butterfly kiss

Hurray, it’s time to break out the butterflies and the polka dots!

Not because it’s spring, but because today is the birthday of one of the cutest and craftiest little plussers around: +Luxe Langmade, my niece and +lane langmade 's daughter.  You all know she likes sweets and the color blue (she’s no girly girl ;), but did you also know she’s a sucker for all things that take flight?

So for Luxe on this special day, I just thought I would flutter my eyelashes, wiggle my nose, and blow this wonderful butterfly kiss her way

(isn’t it nice to take a little break from winter? : O))

Wishing you a wonderful birthday little Luxe!

#happybirthdayluxe  Photo: Spinoza once said
that if a rock had consciousness
it would think it was falling
because it wanted to.Photo: translation

you asked me what paradise is.
I didn’t have the heart to tell you of myth.

so I translated your question.
you were asking if there is a place where
thought stops.

I told you instead of rain drizzled over simple field grass
and trees that lean into soft, sleepy hills.

I told you in short that there is
a space
for recovery

a place where all questions
are gathered
and let loose into the wind.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: threshold

in those very early hours
of morning spring,
your sterling throat
supple and soundless
made it difficult to tell
if your cries were emanating
from joy or fear.

for who is to say
if it was the light or darkness
that let your purples
take flight
and diffuse across the threshold
of my memory?


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights Reserved

Submitted for the #PurpleCircle, curated by myself +Sinead Sam McKeown +Alexis Coram and +Craig SzymanskiPhoto: This post is dedicated to the wonderful and always inspirational +Jules Hunter who loves grass and I’m hoping William Blake.

Clothed in Light

From The Book of Thel by William Blake

The Lilly of the valley breathing in the humble grass
Answerd the lovely maid and said: I am a watry weed,
And I am very small and love to dwell in lowly vales:
So weak the gilded butterfly scarce perches on my head
Yet I am visited from heaven and he that smiles on all
Walks in the valley, and each morn over me spreads his hand
Saying, rejoice thou humble grass, thou new-born lily flower.
Thou gentle maid of silent valleys and of modest brooks:
For thou shall be clothed in light, and fed with morning manna:
Till summers heat melts thee beside the fountains and the springs
To flourish in eternal valesPhoto: metronome

There are days when I am reminded of the power and beauty of true friendship. The power of friendship to heal you, no matter how bad you’re feeling. Today is one of those days, so I am dedicating this photo-poem to the spirit of friendship everywhere. May it always bring us comfort and warmth…

after the rain,
the sun was flung into the grass.

it swayed, keeping time—

mixing the sky and the wind
into a sweet, warm music,

consoling the heartbroken earth
about the onset of winter.



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: If you’ve followed my posts you know that I always talk about having a “thing” for grass. In fact, it’s how I met one of my absolute favorite people on G+: +Jules Hunter. When I first started here I noticed Jules’s beautiful grass shots. Grass wasn’t as popular in the early days of G+ as it is now, and I just had to let her know how much I liked her work.

Well, it’s been months, and I still haven’t posted a single grass shot. Why? I guess because I loved it too much to post one. I kept thinking I needed just the right shot. But then it occurred to me that I don’t need to post just the right shot. I should just post a shot because—well—I love grass, and it makes me happy to share some grass with the world. I decided that today is a great day to post my first grass shot.

So this shot is dedicated to my dear friend +Jules Hunter who was doing “grass” on G+ before it was cool. I hope you like this shot :)Photo: "Bug Ferris Wheel"Photo: [For the talented +E.E. Giorgi  and +Robin Griggs Wood  and their new theme #MacroFeatherFriday. ]

disconsolate

even if
the evening rain
has evaporated,

blue
can still linger

and leak
pieces of impoverished light,

illuminating the grief
of discarded things.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: aria

Brown bird with the silver eyes,
fly down and teach me to sing.
I am alone, I will not
touch you or move.
I am only thirsty for love
and the clear stream of your voice
and the brown curve of your wing
and the cold of your silver eyes. (ll.1-8)

[Excerpted from “Brown Bird” by Judith Wright]Photo: drifting into dusk

Yeah second shot of the day going out to the Venetian Princess +JUNE FERROL 

Not much to say except this is a shot of a gondola ride at sunset in Venezia facing the Grand Canal :)

[ for #TravelThursday if +Laura Mitchum is still in the house ]Photo: fairie song by William Shakespeare

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire!
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours;
In those freckles live their savours;
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.






#fairy   #shakespeare #flowers #green #white #poetry  Photo: myth

cloudy arms
of a ginger-dusted nebula
reach out,

creating cosmos
from the longing
of a star’s heart


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: A few of my friends on G+ know that I was worried yesterday about something that's going to be happening today. Given all this, I thought I would post a shot for +Alexis Coram 's theme, #FrighteningFriday.Photo: It's Monday. Thought you could use a little "bounce" ;)Photo: "Une Fleur de Sucre"Photo: "Paradise Lost"Photo: wind farm

there is no word for it.

for the way the world looks
when hundreds of windmills
sit on the horizon
tilling the air.

when burnt bushes
stretch
to an inferno of color
ever-burning across the brush.

just moments

moments where you stand
outside of yourself
contemplating how the world
might have looked
to a vengeful god.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: Indian Summer

There are few things in this world that make me smile almost instantly.  Hummingbirds are one of them. Nothing like looking up and seeing one of these beautiful creatures flitting about. So charming. So mysterious. So fleeting. To capture one of them on camera is like capturing time itself.

It’s my hope that this shot of an Anna’s Hummingbird drinking nectar on a warm, Indian Summer day will make you smile too :)Photo: epoch

The 1,670-metres-long Grand Canal in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, Île-de-FrancePhoto: Okay, a few days ago I posted a shot of a culvert. In that post, I explained that it was the longest and smallest culvert I’d seen and that both my dog and myself wriggled through it. When we came out the other side, I found this baby (baby) waterfall. It was completely obscured from view, and if I hadn’t of gone through that rabbit hole I never would have found this small, hidden, beautiful place. In short, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon this secret.

During that thread, +shane holsclaw asked me if I had a picture of the baby (baby) waterfall. He then told me he had a shot of one he’d never posted. Well, the rest is history. We both finally agreed to post our baby falls. I am nervous to post this, but Shane assured me it was “post-worthy” material. I guess I will just have to trust him. So I dedicate this shot to my dear friend +shane holsclaw who gave me the courage to post what makes me “feel good.”

If you have a moment, I encourage you to check out +shane holsclaw's baby falls on his page :)Photo: I’m running late for an appointment, so consider this a drive-by posting :D Just a little something for fall . . . and perhaps for #FallFriday curated by +Karin Nelson and +Stephonie OgdenPhoto: "(In)visible"Photo: red-handed

This is not a squirrel. Yeah, I know he looks like one, but don’t be fooled by those innocent looking eyes. This is a cold-blooded Cherry Bandit caught red-handed in the act of stealing cherries from my cherry tree. I don’t know what it is with this critter, but he seems to know exactly, and I mean exactly, when the cherries are ripe, and he won’t be satisfied until he’s taken every last one. I mean if he were a real squirrel and not a Cherry Bandit wouldn’t he be eating acorns or something appropriately squirrel-like???


How does such a little guy effectuate such amazing feats of destruction? Well, his standard M.O. is to sneak onto my tree from my neighbor’s yard. Basically he drops from my neighbor’s tree, stealthily scales the fence, and then hops onto my tree like some kind of pint-sized ninja. Once at his target, he quickly scurries up the trunk and then pops one of my cherries into his furry mouth. However, if I catch him mid theft, he scampers back and jumps the fence before I can even get to the tree. This guy is so quick that I think he could outrun even a roach. So I think it’s time that I finally confessed. There are moments confronting the Cherry Bandit when I actually feel like I am Bill Murray in Caddy Shack —a grown woman being taunted and outwitted by a freaking gerbil.

But on Monday, I hatched a devious little plan. I found a hose and asked my 10-year-old niece to pull up a chair. Instead of playing Angry Birds online, she had fun sitting in the chair lying in wait for the Cherry Bandit. And he showed up right on schedule. It would appear that all those countless hours she’s spent gaming have paid off big time. (Note to Parents—you finally have a real justification for buying your kid that PlayStation or Xbox. S/he can become a professional Cherry Bandit bounty hunter :D) Nothing escapes my niece’s amazing blue eyes and she immediately caught sight of my nemesis darting over the fence, took aim, and then--BAM!--fired. Whoo hoo! One blast caught him in his tail. And being the arrogant little Cherry Bandit that he is, he just stood there on the fence daring her to do it again. So she did! It only took three more blasts before he figured it out that he had finally met his match. He hopped off the fence and just sat there ogling those juicy cherries from my neighbor’s tree. When I looked at him, I swear I caught him smiling, as if to say, “I can wait here all day.” But little did he know that like him, my niece had nothing better to do than to sit in that chair with that hose. He came back 4 more times and each time he felt the wrath of a 10-year-old-girl with way too much first-person shooter video game experience entrusted with the noble task of cherry protection.

So thanks to +Luxe Langmade I finally won a battle in the war against that tiniest and most odious of scourges, a.k.a., the Cherry Bandit. Haven’t seen the Cherry Bandit since Monday. I’m not holding my breath, but it may give those cherries just enough time to finish ripening so I can harvest them.

You know what that means, right? Cherry pie time! :DPhoto: It’s time to unwind and relax into #UnsharpSaturday curated by +Nathan Beaulne . And this is my contribution.

What’s a little old weed doing in a place like this, huh?Photo: Stitches

the needle knit
through her skin,
trying to gather
lost biology

sewing cells

shutting in self.

survival only
by the puncture
of last rupture.


-- Photo and Poem by Lynn Langmade
© lynn langmade 2012Photo: exile

wandering into the orchard,
I cast my glance
down the narrow hall of trees
where time cinched
round me.

but as I walked under the scent
of citrus sticks
longing for lost fruit
and all things that grow
and give

I did not perceive
that there would be no return
from where I was going.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: Got G+ bubbles? Just because I like the idea of being able to actually step inside a bubble.Photo: Nope. I’m not posting this for any theme day. Just posting to post something cuz it’s fun to post something :DPhoto: EITHER/OR

(read Joyce, about dead things
and

know.

do something useful
with time.)

run into black stars.

collapse
through piles  of
chewed snow.

there is a girl
who does not wait for you

who doesn’t understand

how you live
and what it means
that the night
and the white
cold mountains
are going to kill
you.

you must make
her

remember.

you must make
us

All.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights Reserved
[Yosemite, Spring Snow, March 2012]Photo: confetti

This was the first cherry blossom on my tree a few weeks ago. How could I not throw a little party now that spring is officially underway, right? Happy spring everyone! :)

(And I hope all the flower haters forgive me for doing something crazy like posting two flowers back to back. I blame spring fever for this temporary lapse of sanity.)Photo: "All And Everyone" by PJ Harvey
PJ Harvey - All and Everyone

Death was everywhere,
in the air
and in the sounds
coming off the mounds
of Bolton's Ridge.
Death's anchorage.
When you rolled a smoke
or told a joke,
it was in the laughter
and drinking water
it approached the beach
as strings of cutters,
dropped into the sea and lay around us.

Death was in the ancient fortress,
shelled by a million bullets
from gunners, waiting in the copses
with hearts that threatened to pop their boxes,
as we advanced into the sun
death was all and everyone.

Death hung in the smoke and clung
to 400 acres of useless beachfront.
A bank of red earth, dripping down death
now, and now, and now
in the air
and in the sounds
coming off the mounds
of Bolton's Ridge.
Death's anchorage.
Death was in the staring sun,
fixing its eyes on everyone.
It rattled the bones of the Light Horsemen
still lying out there in the open

as we, advancing in the sun
sing "Death to all and everyone."Photo: “Oh, hey. Um… How’s it goin’?”Photo: summertime

When you think of summer what comes to mind? If you’re Will Smith, it’s barbeque and girls in short dresses. For me, it’s cherries.

A few months ago I posted a shot of the first cherry blossom on my tree. I thought it would be cool to do a follow up post and show one of the cherries that resulted from the blossom. The first cherry blossoms on my tree are always a sign that spring is on the way and ripe cherries on the tree tell me that summer is almost here.

So here’s to cooling off this summer with long, languorous swims in the pool, and, of course, homemade cherry pie :D

I'm gonna leave you with a little bit from George Gershwin:

“Summertime,
And the livin is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton’s high”Photo: I hope +Tamara Pruessner won’t be too upset that I’m submitting this shot for #FloraFriday —oops— #Flora*l*Friday.

When I saw these plants I literally couldn’t take my eyes off them. They looked like some strange exotic flowers from some foreign land. So I am humbly submitting these “imposters” for today’s #FloralFriday theme :)Photo: Hey, this shot could possibly work for #MonochromeMonday curated by +Siddharth Pandit but I’m posting this shot mostly because I’ve got a thing for pine cones. I just love looking at them and think they're quite possibly one of the coolest things to be found in nature.Photo: I’ve been getting up the nerve to post this shot for a week.Why? Well, because it’s a shot I’m dedicating to a person who has influenced me a great deal on G+: +Kerry Murphy . There are so many talented photographers here on G+. But every once in a while a photographer comes around who changes HOW you do things. Or shows you new possibilities. For me that person has been +Kerry Murphy . I’ve been really quiet about my admiration for her work, mostly because I’m quiet about the stuff that makes me think. The stuff I most love.

Again, this is a weird shot, but it’s a shot I only attempted after seeing +Kerry Murphy's work. Sometimes we experiment. Sometimes those experiments are successful. Sometimes not. But isn’t it wonderful when we come across a photographer who makes us want to experiment with new things?

So this one's for you Kerry :)Photo: lunacy

more fog.
less rain.

we lose sight
of little things

except trees wandering
in place

colliding with everything
that matters:

my eyes
the sky
and the abandoned madness
of the earth

without its moon.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: Heading out to Vegas!!! Woot! Just wanted to leave a little something :)

damage

no way to explain this
absence

it drives her back into her dreams

makes her remember
someone she once knew

whom she found

keening in the moonlight
as the rain washed softly
overheadPhoto: ruin

Dawn has its way
of resting
in that place where you left
your memory

of your friend

still unburied
in shallow waves
of fire.

where the world is nothing
but a Ruin
that goes curiously on

as if something wasn’t missing
--had not left.

But this is how the world sings.
it sings to you what it cannot remember,
throbbing and blistering
from its molten requiem
of immaculate wreckage.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: patience

"Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace."                  --Kent Nerburn

About 8 years ago, I planted a little grape vine. Most people aren’t aware that growing grapes requires a great deal of patience. It takes 3 to 4 years before a grape vine will actually produce edible fruit and then almost 6 years before it will consistently produce a heavy crop of grapes. But once established, the vine is your friend for life, living an astonishing 50 to 70 years.

Today my “little” grape vine is now taking over a large portion of my backyard, producing an unseemly of amount of red-purple grapes. The vine is just dripping with succulent grapes so that I can sit on a bench outside and simply pick them off the vine and eat them one by one. A large portion of the vine is also sagging into the pool, so you can actually pick and eat sweet red-purple grapes while you’re drifting aimlessly in the water.

One of my favorite things to do between March and August is to go out into the backyard with a book of poetry and a cup of coffee and watch the vine growing. It’s pretty adorable to watch baby grapes mature slowly from tiny green flowers to plump berries. The plant also lets out these “feeler” vines that like to find and grab onto other vines for support. When one of these vines can’t find any other tendril the plant quickly figures out it’s a dead end and kills off the feeler. But these feeler vines are remarkably spunky little guys, often twisting themselves into bouncy corkscrews or latching tightly onto older vines.  It’s marvelous to see how the plant finds newer and more creative ways to expand and support itself.

Well, now that it’s August, the grapes are a deep magenta and all ready to be harvested, so I thought I might share a photographic essay of sorts on how the grapes grew this year. :)

(Oh and this is something sweet for a real G+ sweetie, +Brian Spencer )Photo: summer morning

For #MacroFeatherFriday curated by the talented two, +Robin Griggs Wood and +E.E. Giorgi :)Photo: air

I stood far away,
trying to understand
what you were.

but distance has a funny way
of making giants small.

though your detail disappeared,
shrieking winds led me straight
to you .

there was nowhere else for you to turn.
nothing left for you to do,
but stand
in the cold gray air.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade ©2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: For some reason, a fedora makes it all better . . .Photo: Simmer
Submitted for #CoffeeThursday, curated by the awesome +Jason Kowing and wonderful +Cheryl Cooper 

Hey, this is my inaugural #CoffeeThursday post. Given that, I thought I might say something about why I have a thing for coffee. I almost immediately bonded with Jason Kowing over coffee back in the infant days of G+. Sure, most people start drinking coffee in college, or, if not then, later when they get their first full time office gig. (you need something to make it bearable right???)

Not me. Nope. I started a teensy bit earlier than that. I had my first cup of coffee at 6. Yep, my parents used to make me drink it before I’d go to sleep. Sound crazy? Yeah, it does sound kinda crazy except my mom had read somewhere that coffee had the opposite effect on “hyper-kinetic” kids, which is just some pretentious way of saying I was hyperactive—you know intense and full of way too much energy. Go figure. Instead of getting hyperactive kids wired, coffee actually relaxes us. It relaxes me so much that I often find myself falling asleep after having multiple cups of coffee. So some kids get warm milk; not me—I got an evening Cup of Joe.

I must have grown out of this whole hyperactive thing because by the time I was a teenager my mother told me she was often frightened by what she called my strange ability to completely concentrate on an activity. If I was concentrating on something really deeply, people could actually be in the room calling my name, but I’d be so engrossed that I just wouldn’t hear them. My mom would even start yelling my name, but I wouldn’t hear her. Later on, I wondered if all this coffee at an early age helped me to develop these amazing powers of concentration.

I’ll never know, but it’s actually cool to be able to order regular coffee with dessert and not have to worry that I’m going to be kept up all night. You know what that means, don’t you? It means I get to keep the coffee flowing all. day. long :D

With that, I give you this photo of some yummy cappuccino….mmm :)
Happy #CoffeeThursday!Photo: renaissance

golden flowers
glowing like fallen stars
in a midday field

where you and I run
laughing and stumbling
toward the sun


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights Reserved
link to tumblr version: http://tmblr.co/Zen5pxIB_wxnPhoto: "Flower"Photo: radiance

A little sparkle for my dear friend +Tom McGowan  on his birthday…

Tom is one of the sweetest and most supportive guys on G+. He’s always there: writing wonderful comments in your threads, sharing your work with others, and generally just being a delight to be around. In terms of all the photographers I’ve met on G+, he’s also grown the most, producing some of the photos that make me think the most. If you don’t have him in your circles, you are really missing out ;)

#HappyBirthdayTom   I hope you have a wonderful day :)Photo: Toe Cleavage: The Reinvention of the “Strappy” Sandal

My contribution to #ShoesMonday, curated by the talented +Laura Harding and +Olga Kafka and a late contribution to #SAS or #SaturdayStyle curated by myself and +lane langmade .

Yup, I said it: Toe Cleavage. Why? Because it’s one of the signature design traits of shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik, who rocketed to celebrity status when he became the designer of choice of Carrie Bradshaw, the shoe-obsessed protagonist in the hit HBO TV series Sex and the City. In fact, Carrie Bradshaw is so obsessed with Manolo Blahnik, that in one episode, when she finds herself in one of the bad parts of town and comes face-to-face with a mugger, instead of begging the mugger not to take her money, she pleads with him not to take her “Manolo Blahniks.” She’d rather the mugger take her ring or even her watch than her favorite pair of strappy sandals.

However, there’s a lot more to Blahnik than the strappy sandal. He’s actually a pioneer in the field of shoe design and is generally credited with reviving the stiletto heel in the1970s when the market was still dominated by awkward platforms as well as refining the mule into a staple.

But what we really want to know is what makes Blahnik’s strappy sandal so appealing to Carrie Bradshaw. Well, according to Blahnik, the secret is in the toe cleavage: “I’ve been studying the art of the shoe… for over twenty years. I know every process. I know how to cut and cut away here (the side of the shoe)and still make it so that it stays on the foot. And the secret of toe cleavage,a very important part of the sexuality of the shoe. You must only show the first two cracks. And the heel. Even if it’s twelve centimetres high it still has to feel secure – and that’s a question of balance. That’s why I carve each heel personally myself – on the machine and then by hand with a chisel and file, until it’s exactly right.”

So now you know not only what the secret is to Blahnik’s strappy sandal, but also how to get just the right amount of toe cleavage :)Photo: revelation

as the storm sat
on the ocean

crushing light
detonating blue 

he staggered
to water,

reaching for her
breath


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: Not sure if this qualifies for the #SilhouettesOnThursday theme curated by +Siddharth Pandit But what the heck. I can always give it the old college try can’t I? :DPhoto: For #FernFriday , curated by +Shawn McClure and +Dusty Gedge 

underwood

I traveled down the base
of an ancient volcano.

at the bottom,
I fell into flows
of emerald
drifting
amidst fingers of fern.

when I became this small,
solace appeared.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade ©2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: geometry of death

For #SaturdayStyle curated by myself and +lane langmade 

Not feeling well, so this is going to be a short post today.

I give you the Gucci boutique at The Crystals, a retail district in Vegas designed by Daniel Libeskind. Daniel Libeskind is one of the very few architects today whose work constitutes a recognizable brand, consisting of acute, angular metallic shards and walls that appear to defy the laws of physics. His work, which is an offshoot of Bauhaus Style modernist architecture, conveys an unmistakable thrill of transgression, and some critics have gone so far as to label his style a “geometry of death.” In 2003, Libeskind won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site.

So this shot of a retail district designed by an internationally-recognized architect housing world-famous couture brands from PRADA to Gucci has #SaturdayStyle written all over it :)Photo: workin' it!

Just a quick post for #ShoesMonday curated by the talented +Laura Harding and wonderful +Olga Kafka. This is also a late submission for #SaturdayStyle, curated by myself and +lane langmade 

This shot was taken in SF’s financial district. The subtitle could be: “How to Keep Warm in Style.” From thigh-high boots to faux fur, I loved the casual elegance of this look (especially the way the leopard clutch is just dangling while she keeps her hands warm in her pockets). Way to work it gurl!Photo: Everything is a machine. 

–Gilles Deleuze and Felix Gauttari, Anti-OedipusPhoto: dulce

Submitted for the #PurpleCircle , curated by myself +Sinead Sam McKeown +Craig Szymanski and +Alexis Coram as well as #CoffeeThursday curated by the super awesome +Jason Kowing and the sweet +Cheryl Cooper. (oh and I was just informed there is a cupcakes theme now so holy hashtags!: #cupcakes)

Oh yeah, there are worse things in life than working on my 3rd cup of coffee for the day and munching on a dulce de leche cupcake. Worse things for sure. Especially since a black cup of coffee has…oh I don’t know… about zero calories. You know what that means, don’t you? You’re looking at a guilt-free cupcake. Nom nom nom.

Happy #CoffeeThursday everyone :)Photo: plasticity 

(Pretentious alternate title: "The Rise & Fall of the Plastic Handbag" :D

For #SaturdayStyle curated by myself and +lane langmade 

Would you be caught dead wearing a plastic purse?

Well, if this was 1950 you would. And more importantly, you’d be a trend-setter. Believe it or not, in the 1950s, the hottest trend in handbag design wasn’t leather, but plastic, and bags made of plastic were pretty much an exclusively American style. 

This fashion craze began when a new type of plastic was introduced in the late 1940s, called Lucite or acrylic glass, which was an optimal material to create “boxy” purses. The trend for Lucite handbags reached its peak in the late 1950s in major cities, particularly New York and Miami, so most of the top designers hailed from one of these two cities, including Willardy of New York, Patricia of Miami, Charles Kahn, Llewellyn, and Rialto.

According to Frank Maresca of A Certain Style, The Art of the Plastic Handbag 1949-59, not only did women of all ages carry these bags, but they were also considered “works of art.” In fact, Lucite bags were designed in all shapes and sizes, including beehives, lanterns, hatboxes, and embellished with rhinestones, colored glass, pearls, and shells. Essentially, they were wearable sculpture. By the late 1950s you could find Lucite bags in virtually every color of the rainbow and in both opaque and translucent plastic. The most exclusive bags sold for $75.00 or what would be over $700.00 in today’s market.

Today there’s a fierce collectors’ market in Lucite handbags, and those by one of the designers featured above can fetch over $900 dollars.

So, I give you this shot of my original Charles Khan collectible Lucite handbag. The body is an opaque tortoiseshell Lucite and the lid and handle are made of carved translucent Lucite. It also features a classic and distinctive three-ball metal clasp, which is Charles Kahn’s signature.

So yeah, I’d be proud to be caught dead or alive in this handbag ;)Photo: [ away on business trip ]

night fragments

· tendrils floating in warm evening wind

· drops just uncovered by white moonlight

· the hum of crickets lost in metallic spoons of grass

· the splash of birds skimming across the skin of the lagoon

· and above all, your hand in mine.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: sommerso

A little something for #SaturdayStyle's special Easter Edition, curated by myself and +lane langmade . It’s not a picture of a chocolate bunny or an Easter bonnet, but rather a compelling example of “spring-like” décor.

This is a photo of the famed glass sculpture, Fiori di Como [Flowers of Como] suspended from the ceiling of the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. This stunning sculpture was designed by world-famous sculptor Dale Chihuly and is comprised of 2,000 hand-blown glass blossoms. As Chihuly’s largest work, 2100 square feet, it took over 100 people--glassblowers,architects, engineers, shippers, installers, and fabricators--to put this installation together. It actually weighs over 40,000 pounds and they had to create a special armature to hold it. Although it was designed in 1998, it is still the largest glass sculpture ever made.

Looking closely at the sculpture, you can easily see the influence of the Murano style of glassblowing on Chihuly, particularly Sommerso or “sunken glasses” that has typically two layers of contrasting colors, which form when an object is dipped into molten glass.

I hope these beautiful glass flowers brighten your Easter weekend :)Photo: speckles

Just a quick shot of some Easter eggs we dyed today.

I hope everyone had a Hoppy Easter :)Photo: memento mori

“Photography is an elegiac art, a twilight art. Most subjects photographed are, just by virtue of being photographed, touched with pathos. An ugly or grotesque subject may be moving because it has been dignified by the attention of the photographer. A beautiful subject can be the object of rueful feelings, because it has aged or decayed or no longer exists. All photographs are memento mori.” (Susan Sontag, On Photography 15)Photo: Turkish Delight

I was told by a little devil by the name of +Christophe Friedli to stop being "lazy" and post a photo now that I'm back from my vacation. So this little shot goes out to my wonderful friends +Jason Kowing and +Cheryl Cooper for #CoffeeThursday .

It seems fitting that my first post back from my vacation should be a coffee shot. Some of my most pleasurable moments on vacation were drinking my favorite beverage, coffee, in cafés throughout Europe. However, today, I chose to focus on some delicious Turkish coffee and Turkish Delight that I had at a Viennese café.

It’s kind of an understatement to say that they really know how to do coffee in Vienna. There is a special Viennese coffee house culture, which includes social practices, rituals and elegance that create the unique atmosphere of the Viennese café that ultimately gives Vienna its cosmopolitan air. Unlike other coffee house cultures, purchasing even a single cup of coffee entitles a guest to sit for hours talking, writing, reading, and other activities. Each coffee drink is always served with an obligatory cup of water, and if you stay for hours, the waiter will keep returning, bringing additional water. But I think what I found most unique is that each café offers an astonishing — and I mean an astonishing — array of coffee beverages, international newspapers, and pastries. The Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight pictured here were just one of 40+ different coffee drinks on the menu at a particular café in Vienna.

In this shot, you’ll notice a small copper pot, which was used to “cook” the Turkish coffee. Finely ground coffee beans are boiled in this pot and then the grounds are allowed to “settle.” Just as the coffee comes to a boil, the pot is removed from the heat for a short period and then brought back to a boil a second or third time before it’s served. The coffee is then poured slowly to get the thickest possible layer of foam. Mmmmm :)

The white cube in the photo is the infamous Turkish delight, a Middle Eastern confection comprised of a gel made with starch and sugar and then scented with rosewater. If you’ve had it before, you know that it smells and tastes like you’re eating roses. Although Turkish Delight was invented in Istanbul in 1776 and became something of a craze in Western Europe in the 19th century, most people know it as the addictive candy that the character Edmund Pevensie is fed by the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. After reading the Narnia Chronicles multiples times as a kid, I became obsessed with Turkish Delight and started making it every year for Christmas when I became an adult.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous today, you might want to read the short excerpt I included below from Chapter4 of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe featuring Turkish Delight :

"The White Witch?" said Edmund; "who's she?"

"She is a perfectly terrible person," said Lucy. "She calls herself the Queen of Narnia thought she has no right to be queen at all, and all the Fauns and Dryands and Naiads and Dwarfs and Animals—at least all the good ones—simply hate her. And she can turn people into stone and do all kinds of horrible things. And she has made a magic so that it is always winter in Narnia—always winter, but it never gets to Christmas. And she drives about on a sledge, drawn by reindeer, with her wand in her hand and a crown on her head. "Edmund was already feeling uncomfortable from having eaten too many sweets, and when he heard that the Lady he had made friends with was a dangerous witch he felt even more uncomfortable. But he still wanted to taste that Turkish Delight more than he wanted anything else."

Okay, that's it for now. Happy #CoffeeThursday everyone :)Photo: knowledge

This is one of those shots I’ve had for a long time, but never posted.

And to go with it, a little poem by Louise Bogan:

“Knowledge”

Now that I know
How passion warms little
Of flesh in the mould,
And treasure is brittle,--

I'll lie here and learn
How, over their ground
Trees make a long shadow
And a light sound.Photo: Repetto

My submission for #SaturdayStyle (#SAS) curated by myself and +lane langmade 

Did someone say ballet flats??? Oh yeah, I did :D

How could I not post a shot of something that combines two things I love so much: ballet and shoes?

So this is a shot of a wonderful display of Parisian Repetto ballet flats that I took at Printemps, a grand magasin or department store in Paris. Ballet flats, especially some of the cap toe flats in this display, are a top ten fashion trend for Spring 2012. And Repetto flats are simply the best—a little shoe whose popularity is really rising. You can see trend-setters wearing them from Milan to New York.

Oh but don’t worry, a pair of these babies will only set you back about $300 dollars. :DPhoto: electric

Second submission to #SaturdayStyle (#SAS) today curated by myself and +lane langmade :)

What’s really to say here? Printemps’ window display of a Spring 2012 Louis Vuitton handbag.

I dunno, I could be mistaken, but I think they were trying to make some kind of point??? :DPhoto: how to read Paradise Lost

Legend has it
that William Blake used to go out
with his wife
into his garden at night
to read Paradise Lost

totally nude.

under bits of crushed and tumbling stars
he would read Milton’s blank verse
to the moon flowers
that opened and glowed
as he spoke.

there, like this,
in a newly re-created Eden
Blake imagined
just what it felt like
to be the first and only man
on earth
in love.


—Photo and poem by LynnLangmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: tinder

a wish
floated into the air

carrying a boy’s
life.

where would it land?

when the fire caught it,
fragments of a dream
drifted down,
sparkling softly
as they brushed ground.

—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: For #SaturdayStyle (#SAS), curated by myself and +lane langmade 

memory

Do not forget how
the red leaf floating alone
crumbled into blue

[Photo and Haiku by Lynn Langmade]


When my mom was a child, she lived in Japan. Consequently, our
house was full of Japanese paintings, screens, and scrolls. I became fascinated by Japanese painting early on, and studied it more depth when I went to college.

The photo today is really my way of thinking about the Kanō school of Japanese painting, which had a distinctive style that set it apart from its predecessor. The school was founded in the 16th century and broke with established tradition by moving away from the black ink of Chinese painting and toward bright colors and large flat open areas. They also commonly painted birds, plants, water, and animals. In particular, Kanō ink painters composed excessively flat pictures, which usually featured a very detailed object/animal in the foreground and a very abstract background, sometimes, entirely blank. This background would usually serve as negative space, suggesting mist, clouds, and sky or water.

I thought it would be a fun experiment to translate the stylistic elements of this particular school of Japanese painting into photography.


To go with it, I wrote a little Haiku in the spirit of Basho, the 17th-century Haiku Master who is credited with introducing Haiku, [Hokku], as a standalone genre in Japan.

Happy #SaturdayStyle everyone :)Photo: cradle

the valley called to you
and opened.

it held you in loose curves
and told you of splendor

that the world sometimes
becomes green with desire
and sweats and glows from its own
uninhibited creation

---that it sometimes is
everything
you’d hoped it could possibly be.



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: numinous

“Don't cry when the sun is gone, because the tears won't let you see the stars.”

― Violeta Parra

#TreeTuesday +Shannon S. Myers and +Allan Cabrera Photo: purplelicious

A quick post for #SAturdayStyle (#SAS) today, curated by myself and +lane langmade as well as the #PurpleCircle curated by myself +Sinead Sam McKeown +Craig Szymanski and +Alexis Coram 

Most of you know I help to curate the #PurpleCircle. You already know, in other words, that I’m more or less obsessed with purple. A few of the more stylish contributors to the #PurpleCircle have asked me if this obsession extends to my wardrobe. What can I say except um, yeah, of course it does—tons of purple in my wardrobe.

My mom always used to say that there is nothing as fierce as a tall woman in purple. A girl’s gotta make an impression right?

So today I’m sharing a photo of one of my favorite purple handbags, constructed out of faux alligator skin (note: I’m into sustainable fashion, i.e., green chic, so nothing in my wardrobe was made with the skin of any animal) I have many handbags and briefcases in different colors, and I usually switch them out depending on what I’m wearing that day. But you can tell how much I love this handbag by looking at how worn the metal is on the handle.

I’m not really sure why I’m digging the faux purple alligator skin handbag so much except that when I was a kid my dad got us a baby alligator as a pet.  Yeah really. Not making this up :D

Happy #SaturdayStyle my friendsPhoto: Yeah, I know. This is a picture of what looks like random stairs, but they’re not so random after all. When I was a kid, I used to go visit my aunt on Lyon Street in San Francisco. She lived next to one of the 10 richest men in America. At the top of this street were the famous—well, not so famous then—Lyon Street Steps. We used to run up and down these steps chasing each other and then later sit and eat our lunch under the shade of the trees towering over the steps.

What’s so awesome about these steps is that most locals know about them, but most tourists don’t. That means they’re one of the rare attractions you can see in San Francisco that aren’t overrun by crowds and cameras. In total there are, count ‘em, 288 steps from the bottom to the very top. Who needs a gym when you have the Lyon Street Steps right around the corner?

Standing at the very top of the stairs offers you an amazing view of the Bay, the Presidio, and the mansions at Pacific Heights. It’s truly a zen experience.Photo: the living link
(originally posted on Oct 12 2011, I kinda missed this photo, so here it is again)

Okay, this guy gives new meaning to the word “mohawk.” And no, this is not a velociraptor; it’s an emu. The emu is a very close relative of the ostrich and comes from Australia rather than Africa.

We all know the proverbial stereotype about ostriches, right? Ostriches like to hide their heads in the sand. People think of them as big, hulking birds that have lost their ability to fly— lost the ability to do what they were created to do. Like the human appendix, their wings appear at first glance to be vestiges of another evolutionary era.  Utterly without grace, ostriches have become a symbol of cowardice and even silliness.

But ostriches just so happen to be the fastest thing on two legs. They can actually run at speeds of 45 mph for longer than 30 minutes. A single kick from this “bird” can kill a lion or a leopard. And in terms of sheer size, they can get over 9 feet tall and weigh over 345 pounds. In fact, they are strong enough for a human being to ride them.  I actually have a friend who’s ridden one.

According to experts, though the ostrich and emu developed on separate continents, they are so similar because they were built for speed and extreme specialization tends to make animals look the same. In fact, according to biologists, ostriches and emus are not only the fastest thing on two legs, but are “better” runners in terms of combined speed, power and endurance than most four-legged runners. They are more than twice as fast as a roadrunner. The emu actually devotes almost one third of its body mass to leg extensor muscles. And the large wings, which many think are pointless, are actually what enable the ostrich to take sharp turns as well as stop at extreme speeds.

All of these talents aside, I learned of another emu trait when I tried to take this shot. As I moved my head and camera one direction, the emu moved its head in the exact same direction. I watched in shock when the emu continued to imitate my exact movement. As we played this imitation game, I couldn’t help but come to the startling realization that I was interacting not only with a friendly creature, but an intelligent one.

So what can you learn from an emu? Well it’s pretty simple. Some people might call you a flightless bird, but if you’re smart you’ll realize that you weren’t meant to fly at all. You were built for speed.Photo: Out of Style: Orange, the Color We Love to Hate

Okay, it’s time to confess. I fell in love with Jimmy Choo when I was in Paris this spring :D

No seriously, this week for #SaturdayStyle (#SAS) +lane langmade and I thought we would discuss “Ugly Chic,” which is really thinking about how standards of beauty can be broken up.

I chose this shoe today not only because I haven’t done a shoe post in a while, but also because this is a bright orange shoe. I mean really bright orange. Why does this matter? Well, orange is actually listed in most color preference studies as the #1 least favorite colors of women. (I’ll give out a prize to anyone who can name women’s top 3 favorite colors in the correct order) What’s more, there is only one color that men dislike more than orange, and that’s brown. Not only that, among both genders dislike of orange increases with age—only 57% of people 18 or younger cite it as a least favorite color, but 90% of people between 25 and 60 cite it as their least favorite color. This distaste for orange is often seen—or maybe unseen—in the fashion industry.  Orange is such a taboo color in the fashion industry that in 2010 when it was featured in a few collections it was listed as a “surprise break out hit of the season.” Perhaps we women in California think of Caltrans vests or prison jumpsuits when we think of orange and apparel together. But whatever it is, it is an unofficial secret that orange is, well—a fashion faux pas.

However, when respondents were polled and asked to list qualities they associate with orange, the qualities they listed were overwhelmingly positive—bright, luminous, glowing, warm, metallic, autumnal, jovial, lively, energetic, hilarity and exuberance—which suggests, according to color experts, that dislike for orange may actually only reveal that the color is simply “out of style.” :D

So I commend Jimmy Choo, a name synonymous with style and grace, for going out on a limb and crafting this glorious “Letitia” orange heel and showing that orange can be both sporty and chic at that same time.

Whad’ya think? Isn’t it time we made orange stylish again?Photo: before cherry picking

[dedicated to poet Robert Frost whose poem “After Apple-Picking”  inspired me to plant my fruit trees ]

Lying on my back
with warm dirt beneath me,
I look up to see a mantle of branches.

in moments
I’ll be climbing up a shaky silver ladder
until my hair is caught in sprigs
and I am blinded by leaves hiding
hundreds of ripe black-red fruit

up there,
I’ll listen to the sound of cherries
as they drop
one by one into baskets
and roll to a stop
on the mound.

today all I have is cherry-picking
and it’s all I need.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: sleeping giant
[Yosemite valley]


when I see you
solitary,
dwarfing the mountains,
I am overwhelmed with sorrow.

it’s not easy being a giant,
having the difficult task
of holding up the sky.

being immortal is a kind of curse:
protecting other finite beings
because they’re weak and prone to error.

They destroy what they love
because they do not understand

that the past is always present

always bearing down—
an infinite load of white atmosphere

choking the future.



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights ReservedPhoto: Kind of Blue

A very quick shot I’m posting for #SaturdayStyle today, curated by +lane langmade and myself, which I hope merges two of the theme’s core subjects: fashion and architecture. This is a photo of one section of the famed stained glass cupola— dome —at the Printemps department store in Paris. Printemps opened its doors way back in 1865 and became something of a Parisian icon, specifically for its branding innovations and use of Art Nouveau style.

You have to take the escalators to the very top of the sixth floor of the Printemps de la Mode to see this magnificent glass structure. When I first saw the cupola my mouth literally dropped open. Designed by Brière in 1923 and comprised of 3, 185 pieces of individual glass, the cupola measures 20 meters across and 16 meters high. Um that means it’s pretty freakin’ huge. The Art Nouveau styled cupola also features a floral pattern that filters natural light from the sky into restaurant below.

It was just awesome to sit down under this dome after a long day of shopping and relax while I sipped espresso, and it was also wonderful to see that Printemps still retains its fabled luster. Ultimately, shopping in Paris just wouldn’t be the same experience without this architectural marvel.

I hope everyone has a great weekend :)Photo: malediction

[ a little #horrorpoker for the +Horrorpoker Monday team +David Murphy +Mylah Nazario +J.L. Btwee  and +Jimmy Symons ]


savage grass
confronts you

and whispers secrets
of a family

tree

and its sins,

twisting
blood-roots
in knots,
choking
then soaking
the earth

in the long,
unforgiving shadow
of curse


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: Part 1 of 4: Untitled (the way Sam likes it ;)

This is the first of a four-part post today I’m dedicating to one of the most talented photographers on G+ and one of the coolest guys around, +Sam Weinstein

I met Sam on Tumblr last fall and his work was one of the first I saw on there that actually inspired me. I was immediately intrigued by his range— from gritty urbex to abstracts to bw portraiture— and by his keen eye, which has a way of finding the beauty in that which has become invisible to us.

Last fall both Sam and I went to Chinatown independently in San Francisco and did some shooting. I posted a few shots on here and on Tumblr and then was excited to see stuff he posted from his experience. At one point, I remember saying to him on Tumblr, “So, I’m sure you got the graffiti right?” And he was like “What graffiti?” So I told him I had a shot of graffiti, but that I wasn’t sure if it was good enough to post. He was kind enough to ask me to send the photo to him privately and critique it for me. He encouraged me to post it. So I’m finally posting that photo and I’m dedicating it to him for both inspiring it and kicking me in the butt to post it.

Oh and Sam doesn’t like to read or write long stuff so I’m keeping this dedication short in the hopes that he’ll actually read it :D (remember Sam,  I warned you)Photo: Part 2 of 4: Untitled (the way Sam likes it ;) 

This is the second shot I’m dedicating to +Sam Weinstein  today, which I’m informally calling my #SamCelebrationDay .

Sam is most comfortable in urban environments and his work made me want to get out of the flora and into the concrete. (If you ever see him post some grass here, you know something is terribly terribly wrong :D)  There are moments in Sam’s photography where he showcases the raw power of the urban jungle. So this shot reminded me of him :)Photo: Submitted for #leadinglinesmonday curated by +Jakob Nilsson and +Pam Chalkley and I’m also kind of posting this for +E.E. Giorgi who is that rare breed of photog that loves math too :)

infinity

“Parallel Lines: Lines that intersect only in the limit at infinity” –from Definitions and Postulates in Euclidean Geometry 

amidst neatly planted rows
I find myself back
in geometry class
reading about parallel lines

that run side by side,
but can never intersect.

a world of lost opportunity,
where isolation has all the appearance
of chance
but is actually written
into the laws of the universe.

a world where you and I
never bump into each other; never collide
and you remain just out of reach
by my side.

until we finally touch
past the horizon,
beyond the edge of everything
and nothing
mathematicians foolishly call infinity.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: Part 3 of 4:  Untitled (like I said, Sam likes it ;)

This is the third shot I’m dedicating to +Sam Weinstein  for #SamCelebrationDay

I was digging the texture of this awning and immediately thought of Sam when I saw it in Vegas.  I dunno, it seemed like a crazy zebra spiderweb that +Sam Weinstein would love. So of course I loved it too. Random. Bizarre. And yes, totally meaningless. But what I love about getting inside Sam’s head is the realization that it’s all always meaningful, especially when it looks like it’s not.

Happy #SCD!Photo:  Part 4 of 4: Untitled

The fourth shot I’m dedicating to +Sam Weinstein  for #SamCelebrationDay

So there I was at SFO waiting to get on a plane to Paris when I looked up and saw these skylights. And I was like, “Oh heck yeah, Sam would be all over this!”
(yes, Sam you’ll be happy to know your torture has now come to a close)Photo: worth a stop

“[A] slice of cherry pie, and a cup of coffee. Damn good food. Diane, if you ever get up this way that cherry pie is worth a stop.”

--Special Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks , coffee and cherry pie fanatic

A couple of weeks ago I posted two photos featuring cherries. In one of those photos, I described a battle in a war I was having with a stealthy ninja squirrel, a.k.a. Cherry Bandit, who was trying to steal all my cherries. I explained how I employed my 10-year-old niece to squirt water at the Cherry Bandit and hopefully banish him from the cherry tree forever. (okay for a few days). Anyway, I told everyone that if she and I were successful I was going to make a cherry pie. Aw yeah!

In the comments on that post, some of you suggested you’d like to see the cherry pie that resulted from those cherries. Well, without further ado, I give you Classic Sour Cherry Pie— proof that we did finally outwit and completely own that little varmint :D  And I’m especially posting this to share it with +Kellianne Hutchinson  +Brian Spencer  & +Doug DeTraz  who wanted to taste it.

(And I swear this will be the last cherry post from me for a long time!)

#foodporn #cherryPhoto: you've got it all backwards

Some #SaturdayStyle for ya  (so it's time to page +lane langmade  for this one )

Thought I would do a little something on the backwards necklace or “backdrop” necklace trend.  While backdrop necklaces have always been a staple of weddings, more recently Hollywood elites (Nicole kidman, Ashley Olson, Kate Hudson) have started to put a little twist in this tradition by simply taking a standard necklace and flipping it well…um…backwards to spice up their everyday wardrobe. This style trend works best with dresses or tops that have a higher neckline in front and a deep or plunging scoop in the back.

Given that #SAS is informally focusing on metal in fashion this week, I decided to put a further twist on the backwards necklace by swapping out gems and pearls, commonly seen in this trend, with an artisan necklace that mixes industrial metals, including pieces of pipe and chain, with brightly colored, soft string chains.

(The model in this shot is my niece +Luxe Langmade . Thank you Luxe for so graciously lending me your back :))
#fashion #jewelryPhoto: liberty

For #SAturdayStyle’s special “Americana” edition, curated by myself and +lane langmade 

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
—  Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

No write up for this one. As anyone who’s stood before this statue knows, it speaks for itself.

#AmericanaPhoto: Tiffany & Co. : Healing with Style

At last, my contribution to #SAturdayStyle ‘s little macro party we’re throwing today, curated by myself and +lane langmade   I’m also going to tag this one for the #PurpleCircle and my fellow purple peeps +Craig Szymanski +Sinead Sam McKeown  & +Alexis Coram

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Paul Varjak: Sure.
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

The shot I bring you today is a macro of my emerald-cut Tiffany & Co. amethyst cocktail ring set in sterling silver. I thought this would be the perfect thing to shoot for our macro party because Tiffany & Co. is a jewelry brand that is synonymous with style and elegance. The death grip Tiffany’s has on style is partly due to “the very highest standards in design, materials and craftsmanship” according to the care and handling brochure that came with my ring.

But the brand’s monopoly on style is more likely due to the prominent role it takes in one of my favorite movies, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which stars the late, great style icon, Audrey Hepburn. _ Breakfast at Tiffany’s is wonderful not only because it is so smart about style, but also because it has so many smart things to say about life, given that the script was adapted from Truman Capote’s novella, one of the most important writers of the last century. (If you haven’t had the chance to read In Cold Blood, you are seriously missing out).  In the film, which I first saw with my mom, Tiffany & Co. is treated as a haven: a place you can go to feel whole again. When the protagonist, Holly Golightly is feeling afraid, all she has to do is get a cup of coffee and a pastry and go down to Tiffany's. But she doesn’t need to go inside. Ironically, she just stands in front of the store, window shopping—just taking in its ambiance.  In this sense, the film is suggesting that the Tiffany’s brand is ironically a kind of benign luxury that everyone can afford. You don’t need to buy Tiffany jewelry to own a piece of the brand. The brand is owned by everyone who appreciates the design, quality, and tradition of their jewelry. In this sense, the movie really taps into how style can not only help us to define who we are, but can also be cathartic—something that can heal us from the outside in. After all, as Holly Golightly astutely observes of Tiffany’s: “nothing very bad could happen to you there.”

I really could have written an epically long post about Tiffany & Co. as well as Breakfast  at Tiffany’s but my Ide-Kick +Paras Shah  has recently staged a G+ comeback and he schooled me long ago on the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) strategy to life. Needless to say, when I slip on my amethyst cocktail ring, I carry a little bit of the healing magic of Tiffany’s style with me wherever I go :)Photo: bitter-sweet

[for #SAturdayStyle curated by +lane langmade and myself]

I went to Paris back in April, but I haven’t posted this photo of the Eiffel Tower before now because I thought: “who wants to see another freaking photo of the world’s most photographed building?”

But then I realized it was a classic example of Victorian Structural Expressionist style in architecture and might make a decent contribution to #SAturdayStyle this week. ;)Photo: crushed velvet

Sorry everyone I haven’t been on as much lately. I just haven’t been feeling very well .

But a little purple always cheers me up, so I’m posting this quick macro shot mostly to let all of you know that I’m still alive. :)

For anyone else who’s also been having a rough time of it lately, like +kimberly pemberton , I’m also dedicating this purple shot to you.

#PurpleCircle: +Craig Szymanski +Sinead Sam McKeown +Alexis Coram Photo: nocturne

[for #fidofriday, curated by the amazing +Wes Lum +Suhaib Ayaz +Lisa Lisa  and  +mel peifer  ]

Hey +Gail Beerman  and +Brad Buckmaster   This isn’t a fox, but she looks so much like one, I thought I would post it today and play along with the unofficial #foxyfriday you guys have going on.

This is a photo of my 6-year-old dog Nocturne taken at Stinson Beach last week. Her name means “a piece of music that evokes night.”  And she’s often very serious, intense, and sad. When I hear one of Chopin’s nocturnes on the radio, I always think of her.

Anyway, she’s like the fastest little dog in the west. And about the only time she’s not sad is when she’s running. If you’ve ever seen the movie Seabiscuit, you will remember that when Red Pollard tells George Woolf how to ride Seabiscuit, he says, "Show him the stick at the quarter pole, and he'll give you a whole new gear."  Nocturne has a hidden gear. She’s so fast that when she shifts into high gear all you can see is this black wave rippling through space. It’s really amazing to watch and people are always coming up to me when they see her running asking me what kind of dog she is because they’ve never seen a small dog with that kind of speed before.

Anyway, I’ve been on G+ for over a year now and never posted a photo of her, so I thought it was about time :)Photo: elephant

A quick one out to the curators of #elephantwednesday : +Louisa Catharine Forsyth +Diego Cattaneo & +Matthias Haeussler

Also for #EverythingIsBeautiful loosely and I mean really loosely curated by +Brad Buckmaster and myself :)

#SamCelebrationDay +Sam Weinstein 

Here is one fishing for pickerel with grown perch for bait....His life passes deeper in Nature than the studies of the naturalist penetrate; himself a subject for the naturalist. The latter raises the moss and bark gently with his knife in search of insects; the former lays open logs to their core with his axe, and moss and bark fly far and wide....Such a man has come to fish, and I love to see Nature carried out in him.

--Henry David Thoreau, WaldenPhoto: Okay, this is probably the closest thing to a spider you will ever see me post on G+ ;)

I’ve been gone a few days, mostly to celebrate Halloween with some of my littlest friends. Went down to Disneyland for Mickey’s Halloween Party. The highlight of the day was the Halloween Screams: A Villainous Surprise in the Skies spectacular fireworks show featuring Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. So here’s a shot of my nephew experiencing not only Disneyland for the first time, but also some pretty “wicked” fireworks.

I hope to catch up and read all of your posts that I missed while I was gone.Photo: My contribution to #FloralFriday curated by +Tamara Pruessner 

A bit tattered and torn, these hydrangeas looked like they could use some love. So I grabbed the camera and the rest is history as they say.Photo: Today is also #WhateverWednesday curated by +Cicely Robin Laing.

So of course that means it was the perfect time to post some silly colored jars that have absolutely no point whatsoever, right??? :PPhoto: This is my second contribution to #FidoFriday curated by +Wes Lum and +mel peifer 

What would you say if I told you that this little dog almost became a coyote’s lunch?

A few weeks back I wrote a post about my dog Wolfie, the border collie who I rescued from a shelter but is now battling two forms of cancer. I wrote about how he has been a really difficult dog to take care of even before the cancer and suggested that the day I realized I loved him was the day he saved my dog Winter from a coyote who was about three feet away from snacking on her.

Winter is probably the sweetest dog I’ve ever encountered, and her two favorite things to do in the world are 1) eating and (2) chasing little balls.

Whenever I’m down, all I have to do is look at her smile and it immediately makes everything better. So I’m hoping that this shot will also brighten your day :)Photo: Submitted for #FireFriday curated by the awesome +Grayson Hartman 

I think Free pretty much said it best:

"Fire and water must have made you their daughter
You've got what it takes to make a poor man’s heart break”Photo: Photos OnlyPhoto: A quick post before I run to a meeting of a swan swimming in the pond at the Legion of Honor. A lot of people like swans, but I’ve always had a special place in my heart for them since I first saw Swan Lake in the 4th grade. Yes, I know this isn’t a fancy shot. But there is something to be said just for the simple purity of the swan’s form and I wanted to at least try to say it.Photo: My submission for #WindowWednesday curated by two of my favorite people, +Jules Hunter and +Simon Kitcher (And I’m also sending this to +Ken Rathke because I feel like he’s an honorary co-curator of #WindowWednesday :D

This is a shot of a simple window in Chinatown in San Francisco. It is what it is and given my recent circumstances, I just feel a little too down today to explain it better. Hopefully you’ll find “whatever it is” as interesting as I did.Photo: It’s been a tough week. But you know what they say? When the going gets tough, the tough get shopping.

In honor of Black Friday and all the hijinks that are going to ensue in Union Square in downtown San Francisco today , I give you a lil’ sompin’ sompin’.

Wish me luck ;)Photo: My first #Caturday post for +Christophe Friedli and +Lee Daniels .

I saw this cat sitting by itself in this stroller yesterday on the sidewalk in Union Square in SF on the busiest shopping day of the year. I had a difficult time getting this shot because (1) I kept getting bumped and (2) people kept walking in front of the subject.

I’m not sure where the owner was, but this beautiful cat was just quietly sitting there, not moving—kind of working for spare change.

And of course, it was extremely ironic to see a homeless cat (and ostensibly its homeless owner) sitting right in the middle of one of the most expensive shopping districts in America. Tons of wealthy people were walking right by this cat. Nobody seemed to care. But I did, and I thought all of the wonderful people who post for #Caturday would care too.

I hope +Christophe Friedli won’t be too upset with me for posting this shot :)Photo: It’s Sunday and things are winding down, so I’m like, “Okay, why don’t I post a giant green thing. Sounds like a plan!” :DPhoto: I just recently got some new glass. But I wasn’t always a happy camper.

In fact, about 6 days ago I was in a thread with +Jason Kowing and we were both bemoaning the fact that although we had ordered new glass/camera weeks ago, we were both still waiting for slow-*ss UPS to get it together and deliver our stuff. We were discussing resolution strategies. You know, talking about what we should do given that our stuff had apparently been lost in transit and throwing around tracking numbers. A few cool G+ photogs were there consoling us. During all of this hand-wringing, I told +Jason Kowing that if it ever did show up, I was going to dedicate the first shot I posted using it to him.

And right then, it hit me. Why not go check the porch to see if it was there? I ran out of my office, opened the front door, and lo and behold, there it was! A little package sitting nestled on the corner of the porch. I immediately ran back indoors, got back on the thread, and told my fellow plussers that it had arrived. This shot was taken two days later on the busiest shopping day of the year.

I think Jason is still waiting for his new camera, so +Jason Kowing this shot’s for you :)Photo: This is for #WindowWednesday curated by +Jules Hunter and +Simon Kitcher with guest host, +Martin OBER 

A wise man once told me that when a beautiful woman greets him on a date wearing a yellow dress, he considers it to be a bit of a favor. As if she’s playing a game of golf with a handicap. So consider this photograph looking through a window at a mannequin in a yellow dress me playing with a bit of a handicap ;)

(Oh, AND IF YOU'RE WONDERING, THIS IS A JOKE :D)

*Handicap in golf: (A numerical measure used to calculate a net score from the number of strokes actually played, thus allowing players of different proficiency to play against each other on somewhat equal terms.)Photo: Emily Dickinson said that “Hope is the thing with feathers — / that perches in the soul —” Here’s hoping you’ll have a great Saturday and weekend :DPhoto: I’ve talked a lot about the danger photographers will put themselves in. Well, a couple of days ago I drove to another county with my dogs and proceeded to go on hike. Of course, I was trying to get this amazing sunset view. It never occurred to me that with redwood trees that tall—and I’m talking like really tall-- it would actually be dark in the woods at dusk. The sun dipped below the horizon. I started realizing nightfall was descending, that I was in the middle of a nowhere, and worse I had no cell phone reception. There came a point when I realized I would be in total darkness in a matter of minutes. Panic set in when I approached forks in the trail, but it was so dark I couldn’t read the signs. If I made a wrong turn, it could actually lead me deeper into the wilderness. I kept thinking of horrible horror movies like The Blair Witch Project and James Franco in 127 Hours. Owls were hooting and strange sounds were permeating the bushes all around me. Battery had died in the camera. Nobody knew I was out there. Nobody. I stopped jogging and broke into a full on sprint. Yet the more I ran the more my anxiety increased that I was becoming even more lost.

I was lucky. My dog, who had been following behind me and is like a genius at reading body language, realized I was panicking. Because she can see in the dark and had marked the path we came the whole way through, she quickly ran in front of me. So we ran deadly quiet like that together until the sound of her breathing finally led me back to the light.

This photo is a shot I took before I realized I was actually lost in the dark in the middle of nowhere. As such, it represents the path I took into total darkness.Photo: Not sure if this shot qualifies for #MacroMonday curated by +Kerry Murphy +Jennifer Eden and +Kelli Seeger Kim 

A ways back on G+, my buddy +Doug DeTraz posted what we now refer to as the infamous “double bee” shot. (https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/115031186148141783321/albums/posts/5665321277658683714)

We spent a bunch of time in that thread teasing him. I told him I had a double bee shot. He didn’t let that one slip by, and he promptly dared me to post it ASAP. I told him “no way,” cuz at the time I was seriously boxing with my shot.

But yesterday, Doug wouldn't let it rest and dared me again to post it. (Actually what he said was essentially he didn't believe I had one cuz I never posted it) So at long last I'm finally taking up +Doug DeTraz's challenge and posting my double bee.

Here goes nuthin’ :)Photo: Posted for #WildlifeWednesday curated by +Mike Spinak 

Oh come on now. You know you want this burning hunk of hot llama luv! Look at the flies. The crooked teeth. The string hanging ever so randomly from his mouth. Those bedroom eyes. This is one hawt llama!

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist sharing this crazy llama with my fellow plussers. :DPhoto: For #WomenWednesday, curated by +Niki Aguirre +Athena Carey +Lee Daniels and +Christina Lawrie 

I was in a busy place swarming with people. Kids were running around, screaming and chasing each other. I had been on my feet for hours without a break and was actually exhausted. But suddenly I saw something in the middle of the room that stopped me in my tracks: a mother and daughter sleeping peacefully in a chair. Sleeping peacefully in what can only be described as pure chaos.

I’m not sure exactly what it was. Maybe it was the fierce way the daughter’s arms were thrown over her mother, clutching her in that desperate but beautifully innocent way children do. Maybe it was the daughter’s mouth, gaping as if she were a fish, which indicated a deep slumber. Maybe it was just the fact that the mother probably only sat in the chair to help her daughter rest, but fell asleep herself by accident from the sheer exhaustion of motherhood.

Either way, this shot—which speaks to the visceral and fierce bond between mothers and daughters-- called out to be posted for #WomenWednesday.Photo: A few weeks back, I was commenting on a birdhouse photo posted by +April Gamel . I mentioned that I loved birdhouses too, and we quickly started bonding over our mutual love for these bizarre things. I told her something that barely anyone knows, which is that I’ve been making a new birdhouse every year with my niece since she was about 3. So I’ve been racking up a lot of birdhouses, probably enough to sustain a theme day for a quite a while :D But I don’t just like to photograph my own birdhouses; I actually love shooting them wherever I can find them.

April and I met when she stumbled upon one of the epically bad shots I posted for our #ThrowAwayThursday theme over 6 weeks ago, which makes us practically life-long friends in the G+ world. We also discovered that beyond birdhouses, we like other crazy things—like baskets. It shouldn’t have surprised me to learn that we also work in the same field—education.

Today we thought it would be cool if we did a double dedication not just to each other, but to anyone else out there who also has a weird and possibly wonderful thing for birdhouses :D

This one’s for you +April Gamel

Here is the link to April's wonderful birdhouse and dedication : https://plus.google.com/u/0/114390577443742844389/posts/VdeTh8peAunPhoto: The Flower Goddess +Tamara Pruessner would probably kill me if I submitted this for #FloralFriday, so rather than risk offending the gods, I will humbly appeal to the Queen of Horror +Alexis Coram to see if she would bewilling to accept this photo and poem for #FrighteningFriday.

"Empire"

The village made attempts
to guard against
the barbarians.

who were cruel and bloodthirsty.
Lusting after
hearts.

so the villagers built fortifications.
But even the village’s monster
was terrified of the invaders.

defenseless,
the village elders
held their hearts in their hands
and wept,

bleeding a thicket of thorns.

© lynn langmade, photo and poem by lynn langmadePhoto: "Blank Day"Photo: {comments have been disabled on this post}

Canto 38 from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's requiem, In Memoriam, AHH

With weary steps I loiter on,
Tho' always under alter'd skies
The purple from the distance dies,
My prospect and horizon gone.

No joy the blowing season gives,
The herald melodies of spring,
But in the songs I love to sing
A doubtful gleam of solace lives.

If any care for what is here
Survive in spirits render'd free,
Then are these songs I sing of thee
Not all ungrateful to thine ear.Photo: {comments have been disabled on this post}

Canto 50 from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s requiem, In Memoriam, AHH

Be near me when my light is low,
When the blood creeps, and the nerves prick
And tingle; and the heart is sick,
And all the wheels of Being slow.

Be near me when the sensuous frame
Is rack'd with pangs that conquer trust;
And Time, a maniac scattering dust,
And Life, a Fury slinging flame.

Be near me when my faith is dry,
And men the flies of latter spring,
That lay their eggs, and sting and sing
And weave their petty cells and die.

Be near me when I fade away,
To point the term of human strife,
And on the low dark verge of life
The twilight of eternal day.Photo: { comments have been disabled on this post }

Canto 78 from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s requiem, In Memoriam, AHH 

Again at Christmas did we weave
The holly round the Christmas hearth;
The silent snow possess'd the earth,
And calmly fell our Christmas-eve:

The yule-log sparkled keen with frost,
No wing of wind the region swept,
But over all things brooding slept
The quiet sense of something lost.Photo: { comments have been disabled on this post because it's part of a photo-poetic memorial to remember someone I recently lost }

from Canto 83, Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s requiem, In Memoriam, AHH 

O thou, new-year,delaying long,
Delayest the sorrow in my blood,
That longs to burst a frozen bud
And flood a fresher throat with song. (ll. 13-16)Photo: { comments have been disabled on this post because it's part of a photo-poetic memorial to remember someone I recently lost }

Canto 100 from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s requiem, In Memoriam, AHH 

I climb the hill: from end to end
Of all the landscape underneath,
I find no place that does not breathe
Some gracious memory of my friend;

No gray old grange, or lonely fold,
Or low morass and whispering reed,
Or simple stile from mead to mead,
Or sheepwalk up the windy wold;

Nor hoary knoll of ash and hew
That hears the latest linnet trill,
Nor quarry trench'd along the hill
And haunted by the wrangling daw;

Nor runlet tinkling from the rock;
Nor pastoral rivulet that swerves
To left and right thro' meadowy curves,
That feed the mothers of the flock;

But each has pleased a kindred eye,
And each reflects a kindlier day;
And, leaving these, to pass away,
I think once more he seems to die.Photo: Everyone, I just thought I would introduce you to my niece and +lane langmade 's daughter, +Luxe Langmade . You may have seen her commenting in my threads or have seen a post I wrote about her back in October: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113973458554656282296/posts/b8kU6dbT9yW.

What can I tell you about her? In a previous post, I explained that I’ve been making birdhouses with her every year since she was three. But she’s also a technophile, gamer, and a budding photog. She recently got an iphone and she’s now starting to post her own iphonography. She’s also been coming out on mini photo-walks with me.

So I hope you can give her a warm welcome :)

(P.S. Could you tell that her favorite color is blue?)Photo: “The primary pigment of poetry is the IMAGE . . . . The image is a radiant node or cluster; it is . . . a VORTEX, from which, and through which, and into which, ideas are constantly rushing."

--Ezra Pound, from his poetic manifesto, The VortexPhoto: Submitted for the newly formed and burgeoning #PurpleCircle, unofficially curated by myself, +Sinead Sam McKeown +Craig Szymanski and +Alexis Coram.

This is also a reshare of the first photo and text I ever posted to G+ way back in the dawn of G+ time. I chose this for my first post to the #PurpleCircle not only because it’s one of my favorites, but also because I don’t think it was a coincidence that the first photo I ever posted to G+ was full of purple :D

“Bright Star” –a sonnet by John Keats

Brightstar, would I were stedfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors-
No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death

----Continue to read beyond this point if you would like to learn more about John Keats and how he died -

The tragic story of Keats’s death is by now infamous. Keats fell in love with a woman above his station, Fanny Brawne. Unable to marry Fanny and diagnosed with tuberculosis, which killed his brother a few years earlier, Keats set out for the “therapeutic effects” of the warm Italian sun with his friend Joseph Sevryn in the fall of 1820. When Keats and Sevryn arrived in Rome, the two of them rented a tiny apartment on the second floor of a building that overlooked the Spanish Steps in the Piazza di Spagna, in what many called the English Ghetto.

While there, Keats was bled by doctors and put on a starvation diet of one anchovy a day in the hopes this would “cure” his tuberculosis. In his last days in February 1821, Keats begged his friend Joseph Sevryn and his doctor to ease his suffering with opium, but they refused. Sevryn later wrote of the intolerable suffering Keats endured as the disease ravaged his body: "Keats raves till I am in a complete tremble for him.” According to Severyn, on the day Keats died he was in so much distress that Keats actually prayed for his own death.

It was in this manner that Keats died virtually alone in this tiny little room no bigger than a closet thousands of miles away from the woman he loved with critics deriding his poetry.

Upon learning of Keats’s death seven weeks after the fact, an outraged Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote Adonais, a pastoral elegy for Keats: “I weep for Adonais—he is dead!” Shelley remained an ardent admirer of Keats to his death, which was just 16 short months later. Indeed, they found copies of Keats’s poems on Shelley’s drowned body and the two are now buried next to each other in Rome.

In this post, I’ve included the sonnet, “Bright Star,” which he wrote to Fanny Brawne on board the ship that would take him to his death in Rome. Words fail to express what it felt like to be in Keats’s apartment. When Keats became too sick to move, he was comforted by the fact he could look out from this room onto the Spanish Steps and watch all the passers-by. Accordingly, I tried to capture the sheer desolation of such a “bright star” being physically trapped into such a confining space by an untimely death. I wondered how such a tiny place could contain such an expansive soul. And I marveled that although the light in Keats’s eyes would soon dim, his soul, much like the chandelier glowing in this room, would go on shining incandescently through his poetry—forever.Photo: Calculus

But she was non-retinal,
laughing in colorful calculus
about the problem of the future.


© lynn langmade 2012 --Photo and poem by Lynn LangmadePhoto: I’m sharing this shot with the newly formed #PurpleCircle , unofficially curated by myself, +Sinead Sam McKeown +Craig Szymanski and +Alexis Coram :)

What can I say about this shot? Well, it has two things I’m pretty crazy about (1) purple and (2) birdhouses.

So for all the birdhouse haters out there, I’m going to list 5 reasons why I have a thing for birdhouses:

1) Birdhouses contain open secrets. Through a tiny hole lurks a family nestled in a box, but completely obscured from view. Who doesn’t love a good secret?

2) Making homes for others is fun. Kinda like extreme-makeover home edition for animals :)

3) Depending on where you put a birdhouse, you can actually direct/control what kind of birds come into your yard. That’s awesome for ANY photographer.

4) Did I mention how much fun it is to paint them? Seriously, you get to be a total kid again and pull out your stickers and glue and crap like that. Now—who doesn’t remember collecting stickers, huh???

5) Oh and last, the sound of baby birds chirping in the spring is well . . . magical.

Oh and I’m dedicating this birdhouse to my fellow birdhouse partner-in-crime +April Gamel who might be, as I type this, posting her very own birdhouse. (Please take a moment to go over to her page and check out her birdhouse if you are so inclined)

So here's to more birdhouse madness!Photo: Figure 8

As they carved immense circles
into the ice,
he felt the whole weight
of her tiny body
in his hands.

--Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © lynn langmade 2012Photo: Voluptu

Who couldn’t use a little leaf candy in their day, huh?

This shot I’m dedicating to my wonderful friend and inspiration +JUNE FERROL . She’s an amazing photographer who knows how to truly “spice” things up. If you haven’t had a chance to circle her, I really encourage you to do so.Photo: "amplitude"Photo: "Sparkler"Photo: No, this is not an advertisement for Kong balls. It’s a shot of my crazy puff-ball of a dog, named Winter, running back after catching her favorite ball.

I introduced Winter to you guys months ago on #FidoFriday . But I’ve also written a lot about how she’s pretty much obsessed with chasing tiny balls. She’s so obsessed with them that she will find a ball and then drop the ball at my feet or in my hand, essentially ordering me to play “fetch” with her. This whole ball-chasing thing is actually kind of cool since she’s a serious porker. There is literally no substance that is too disgusting for her to eat. If she wasn’t a dog, I’d swear she was a shark. When she was 3 months old I had to get her stomach pumped because she had food poisoning from something she ate. When they pumped her stomach, they found plastic wrappers, metal objects, and pieces of clothing. The eating “situation” got so bad that I’ve had to get her stomach pumped twice more since that incident. In fact, she’s the only dog in the house that won’t turn down a vegetable when I offer it to her. She even begs to be fed bitter medicine. I swear, she thinks it’s a doggie treat.

Why am I telling you this? Well because if it weren’t for the fact that she likes to chase balls, I’m pretty sure Winter would be seriously overweight. Chasing stuff is the only way she keeps her weight under control. Not only that, her need to chase stuff actually creates these bizarre situations where I find really weird crap to shoot. This is how it always goes. (1) I throw a ball. (2) She never really catches it, and then (3) she has to go running around like a nut trying to find the ball. She’s not really good at tracking, so she’s always wandering around sniffing and exploring weird places.

People sometimes ask me where I come up with the bizarre shots that I do, so I thought I would explain that so much of my photography is dictated by her crazy antics and in this respect I owe a lot to her.

So here’s to winter—one of the sweetest and most earnest dogs I have ever met. #FidoFriday +Wes Lum +mel peifer and +Lisa LisaPhoto: rapture

how could she know?
that it was going to be the last time

how could she prepare?
for what happened next

glinting diamonds cut the world open

and all the light fell out.


--Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade
© lynn langmade 2012Photo: simulacra

If we consume the product as product, we consume its meaning through advertising. Let us imagine for the moment modern cities stripped of all their signs, with walls bare like a guiltless conscience. And then GARAP appears. This single expression, GARAP, is inscribed on all the walls: pure signifier, without a signified, signifying itself. It is read, discussed, and interpreted to no end. Signified despite itself, it is consumed as sign. Then what does it signify, if not a society capable of generating such a sign? And yet despite its lack of significance it has mobilized a complete imaginary collectivity; it has become characteristic of the (w)hole of society. To some extent, people have come to “believe” in GARAP. . . . All of the sudden, the real signified of advertising appears in all its purity. Advertising, like GARAP, is mass society, which, with the aid of an arbitrary and systematic sign, induces receptivity, mobilizes consciousness, and reconstitutes itself in the very process as the collective. Through advertising mass society and consumer society continuously ratify themselves.

(Jean Baudrillard, Selected writings, “The System of Objects,” 13)Photo: farewell

[ Music Clip : Gotye - Bronte ]

Now your bowl is empty
And your feet are cold
And your body cannot stop rocking
I know
It hurts to let go

Since the day we found you
You have been our friend
And your voice still
Echoes in the hallway of this house
But now
It's the end

We will be with you
When you're leaving
We will be with you
When you go
We will be with you
And hold you till you're quiet
It hurts to let you go

We will be with you
You will stay with us


--“Bronte” a song by Gotye

#PurpleCircle +Sinead Sam McKeown +Craig Szymanski and +Alexis CoramPhoto: For #FrighteningFriday curated by +Alexis Coram 

portent

from Paradise Lost (1667) by John Milton

Woe to the inhabitants on Earth! . . . .
Satan, now first inflamed with rage, came down,
The tempter, ere the accuser, of mankind,
To wreak on innocent frail Man his loss
Of that first battle, and his flight to Hell. (IV. 5-12)Photo: The Architectural Heel –Rivet(ing)

Submitted for #SaturdayStyle or #SAS, curated by myself and +lane langmade-- a theme where you share a photo that represents your idea of style --in fashion, design/décor, architecture ,or art.

For my inaugural post to #SAS, I thought I would share a photo that combines the best of architecture and fashion to form what I call the “architectural heel.” This is fashion at its limit folks, where design takes precedence, but also where a designer has to try to balance the competing claims of structure and aesthetics. How do you make a high heel shoe literally art and still make it practical, meaning wearable? The designer not only has to make the shoe aesthetically pleasing, but also has to be able to answer these questions in the affirmative: Can this shoe support the weight of the human body? Is it possible to walk in the shoe? Is this material durable enough? While most shoe designers wrestle with these questions, the difference with the designer of the architectural heel is that these questions become the center around which the design is organized. They seek to find new ways to answer these questions in the affirmative and in doing so, stretch shoe design to the limits of legibility.

In this sense, this shot typifies a liminal zone in fashion—that zone where capitalism and fine art meet to produce a rare and eccentric object: wearable art.

I hope to be providing many examples of wearable art in future posts for #SAS.Photo: dark star

[when I woke]

I saw a unicorn

walk out unexpectedly into a clearing
from the woods.
wild and white,
it stood in the snow
watching me.

you could only see a horse.

but in that deep
and far-reaching eye,
a dark star was
burning

spilling black fire

building a tiny universe
of possibility.

when it galloped away,
the flutter of frost
Iulled me back into sleep
with tears still freezing
on my cheeks.



--Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade
© lynn langmade 2012Photo: Typewriter

My contribution to today's #SAturdayStyle (#SAS) curated by myself and +lane langmade 

"You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces: that is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good. I am happy and I say: ‘This is beautiful.’ That is Architecture. Art enters in..." –Le Corbusier, pioneer of modernist architecture

Is this a building or architecture? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. And when I was a kid, I actually wondered if it was a typewriter. Let me explain. When I was about 6 years old, my mom used to work in San Francisco. Whenever we’d go into the city, she’d say, “Let’s take the freeway and go look at the typewriter building.” Being kids, we’d literally squeal with excitement. But it was just a building, so why did we like looking at it so much? Probably because my mom picked up on something that is innate in architecture, which is that it strives to do more than just exist as a practical enclosure—it strives to be beautiful and to awaken our imaginative sensibilities. And how does it do that? Chiefly by endeavoring to embody style.

That said, this is a shot of the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco designed by John Portman in 1973, who has become famous principally for his ingenuity with regard to atriums as a central organizing principle in architecture. Architects shape space via a number of essential design elements, but mostly it has to do with the relationship between solids and voids. This building and shot typifies mid-to-late-century modernism as an architectural style—via its simplification of form, asymmetrical and rectilinear design, and lack of ornamentation. Given that the external façade is actually constructed with concrete, this structure falls pretty easily into the terrain of Brutalist style, an architectural movement that sought to replace modernist glass facades with raw concrete and employ angular repetitive geometries. It is the pure geometry of this building that makes it so compelling to the eye. And the fact that my mom used to call it the “typewriter building” also highlights modernism’s preoccupation with machine aesthetics, or inorganic forms. Indeed, there was just something so magical, for lack of a better word, about seeing a giant — monumental -- typewriter in the San Francisco skyline :)

So here’s my shot for today’s #SAturdayStyle (#SAS), architecture that not only brings back some very fond memories of my mother, but is also still visually compelling almost 40 years after its original construction.Photo: I’m going to sneak in a quick #SAS or #SAturdayStyle post today if it kills me, curated by myself and +lane langmade 

Do you love or even like your space? The space you live in, that is? Not many of us do. That’s actually kinda sad because we spend so much time in our homes, apartments, and dwellings. Wouldn’t it be great if we could wake up every day and just luxuriate in a space that we’ve created/designed that makes us feel good and is also functional? A place in which we like to relax, work and entertain? Well, that’s what décor is all about. Technically décor is a style of decoration for a room, living space, or building. It’s used synonymously with interior design in many circles. But really, it’s a way to design interior space to make it not only aesthetically pleasing, but also an effective setting for carrying out a range of human activities.

For me the focal point of this shot and the design of this particular interior space is the chandelier. Chandeliers, as a light fixture properly positioned in a design space, can not only fill a room with gorgeous light, but are a really excellent way to show off your own personal style. I’m kind of massively digging the near art-deco style of this chandelier mixed with the clean lines of a modernist table and the chairs. The chandelier adds a touch of whimsy and play to the space that kinda makes you want to hang out and eat yummy food all day. A space that just makes you feel good. My kind of design and, in this sense, one of many décor styles I enjoy.

So glad I could share it with you for #SAturdayStyle.Photo: But once, through a pleat-work of waves,
I watched as a cormorant caught and released
a single fish. Eight times. Trapped and released.
Diving into an absence, the fish
re-entered my vision in segments, arcing
through the pivot of the bird's beak. Magnificent,
I thought, each singular visit, each
chattering half-step from the sea.

--excerpted from a poem by Linda BierdsPhoto: Crazy. Sexy. Cool.

Yep, it’s swopsies, part deux:

Continuing the awesome alliance between #ShoesMonday, curated by the lovely +Laura Harding and +Olga Kafka, and #SaturdayStyle, curated by myself and +lane langmade, I’m submitting this humble shoe for your consideration.

And really, what’s left to say after yellow snakeskin???Photo: interlude

This is the third round in a birdhouse game I was previously playing with my dear friend +April Gamel. We started this when we both realized a while ago that we have a “thing” for birdhouses. Instead of starting a theme, we just decided to have fun with it and post our shots together whenever we felt particularly inspired.

But we were quite surprised to learn recently that another very dear friend, +Cheryl Cooper, also likes birdhouses. So today we thought we’d open up the birdhouse luv and do a dedication in triplicate.

So I dedicate this shot to two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet on G+: +April Gamel and +Cheryl Cooper .

I hope you do get a moment to stop by their pages today and see the birdhouses they’ve just uploaded :)

Cheryl's birdhouse: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118333009720408143699/posts/K5p97KMMvho

April's birdhouse : https://plus.google.com/114390577443742844389/posts/7wLh4EoCLLUPhoto: golden age

For #SaturdayStyle Oscars Edition -- Hollywood Glamour -- curated by myself and +lane langmade 

What is Hollywood glamour? Sure, we often think of it as fierce fashion, classic cars, and sexy cigarettes. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Today at #SaturdayStyle we’re celebrating what’s called the Golden Age of Cinema in anticipation of the Oscars tomorrow, which is roughly the period from 1927 to 1961 and the Studio System that prospered during this time. This period in cinematic history is synonymous with icons of style—Clark Gable and Fred Astaire to Greta Garbo and Katherine Hepburn. The Golden Age of Cinema reached its peak in 1939, with the release of such classics as Gone with the Wind and the Wizard of Oz, but it was also during this time that Casablanca, Citizen Cane, North by Northwest, Rebel without a Cause and Breakfast at Tiffany’s were released, films that in many ways have set the standard for Hollywood style for decades.

Throughout the movies in this period, you can see a very distinct style that gave Hollywood the glamorous image it still has today. Movie locations and sets featured Art-deco architecture and Regency décor, two design styles we associate with Golden Age.

And fashion was no exception. Like everything else, Hollywood set the tone. Today I give you a shot of an evening gown that could have been worn by an actress from the Golden Age of Cinema when she gave her acceptance speech at the Oscars. I hope you enjoy it.Photo: fashion for dummies ;)

Back to my fashion roots for today’s #SAturdayStyle post brought to you by myself and +Lane Langmade.

Here are some sassy summer dresses for you. Loved the repetition of the faceless dummies contrasted against the variation of the organic dress lines in this display.  Though you might dig it too :)

Happy #SAS!Photo: elementary

For #SAturdayStyle’s   minimalism edition today, curated by myself and +lane langmade ,  I give you a window of the flagship boutique for atelier Jin Wang, designer of couture wedding gowns.

What is minimalism? Minimalism as a style seeks to expose the essence of a subject by eliminating all non-essential elements.

The atelier Jin Wang is located in historic Union Square in San Francisco. Both the window display and the gown itself exhibit minimalistic style elements.  The 5000-square-foot penthouse showroom is intended to serve as a neutral gallery to showcase one-of-a-kind dresses. In fact, all window displays in the atelier are stripped down to only the essential element: the dress shape. And of course, it’s obvious to see with this dress that all embellishments have been removed, leaving only a simple dress form. One might argue that a wedding dress that has achieved such simplicity more accurately symbolizes the purity of a wedding.

When I go shopping in Union Square, the window displays for atelier Jin Wang always stand out among the displays competing for my attention primarily because of their simple design and stripped down aesthetic. When I shot this window, I couldn’t help but stare at both the dress and display. I'm hoping that maybe this shot, despite or perhaps because of its neutral colors and simplicity, might stand out for you too :)Photo: rusted

I posted this shot last week on Tumblr but just didn’t think it would go over well here. But hey, then I realized we have this new theme where we can post weird, random, everyday things that we might not normally think of as beautiful: #everythingisbeautiful, very loosely curated by +Brad Buckmaster  and +Gene Bowker  and myself.

And I also realized it was the special “no motors” edition of +Gene Bowker's theme #TransportTuesday and I just knew I had to post this shot for him. Hopefully he won’t totally hate this shot :DPhoto: "Epistemology"Photo: sisterhood

Thought I would do a playful spin on #SAturdayStyle’s “hat” theme today,  which is brought to you by myself and +lane langmade.

Below is a shot of a girl who I saw at a very special event Lane and I attended in May: the 100 Year Anniversary of Girl Scouting.

Events celebrating the centennial were happening simultaneously all over the country, and Lane, Luxe and I attended the third largest event in the nation: over 20,000 mothers and their daughters came from all over Northern California for a weekend of camping, celebration, and bonding. Not only were mothers and daughters encouraged to camp for the entire weekend, but girls were able to go rock climbing, meet heroes/role models, like Brandi Chastain, America’s most famous female soccer player, attend concerts, and watch glorious fireworks displays. One of my favorite events was a beautiful campfire, sing-along, and candle lighting ceremony that took place on Friday night. And one of the most interesting attractions was a whole building of booths dedicated to science and technology, where girls could go engage with science in fun and fascinating ways.

The hat featured in this shot is loaded with something called Swaps or as they say “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.” Swaps are a very special girl scouting tradition that inspires and promotes friendship between young girls. Basically, girls are encouraged to design their Swaps in such a way that tells something about the giver and also about their community. When girls meet each other, they exchange Swaps. The Swaps also have the giver’s name and contact info so girls can keep in touch. Each Swap represents a special memory of a Girl Scout Sister.

I included this shot today because I thought it was a wonderful hat that represents two things that never truly go out of style: friendship and the bond of sisterhood  :)

I hope you’re having a wonderful #SAturdayStyle.

Oh and a quick shout out to the #PurpleCircle for this one: +Craig Szymanski +Sinead Sam McKeown and +Alexis Coram Photo: reckoning

[from my morning hike via Instagram :) ]

Stanza IV from William Meredith's poem, "Last Things"

At the edge of the Greek world, I think, was a cliff
To which fallen gods were chained, immortal.
Time is without forgiveness, but intermittently
He sends the old, sentimental, hungry
Vulture compassion to gnaw on the stone
Vitals of each of us, even the young, as if
To ready each of us, even the old, for an unthinkable
Event he foresees for each of us—a reckoning, our own.

#treetuesday curated by the wonderful +Shannon S. Myers and +Christina Lawrie Photo: Didn’t know Cookie Monster had babies did you?

What’s better than a cupcake? A cupcake with a cookie in it of course : D

This shot goes out to +Brian Spencer  who is always asking me if I have cookies to go with my poems  and all the kind and gracious folks who always take the time to read and comment on my poems, especially when I'm all out of cookies :)Photo: "Gratitude"Photo: Posting my photo for #UnsharpSaturday curated by +Nathan Beaulne.

I hope you enjoy this shot of a little duckling gliding serenely in a pond at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.Photo: Green = Eco-Chic

Submitted for #SAS’s special St. Patrick’s Day Edition, curated by myself and +lane langmade [since this shot is coming in soft, I'm gonna give an alternate link: http://tmblr.co/Zen5pxI9TyzN ]

Since #SAS is going “green” today, I thought I might submit a fashion shot that is both literally green and eco-friendly — thus, celebrating all things green on St. Paddy’s Day while illustrating the way the fashion industry is increasingly becoming committed towards a new mode of environmentalism and social responsibility. The couture gown below is from Oscar De La Renta’s Spring 2012 line, and it’s made out of emerald silk taffeta and battenburg lace with a broderie anglaise bodice. Notice the asymmetrical hemline here, which is a recent couture trend. If it looks familiar, you might have seen Nicki Minaj wearing this gown at the 2012 American Music Awards.

I took this shot in the Oscar De La Renta boutique in Vegas—cuz when I wasn’t doing all kinds of sinfully pleasurable things at night there, I was shopping until I almost dropped.

While this gown is beautifully designed, it becomes even more attractive once you realize it was created by an eco-friendly designer. Sustainable fashion is a design movement in which a product is created and produced with consideration to the environmental and social impact it has throughout its total lifespan. This of course includes its “carbon footprint.” Obviously, one of the major factors to consider is the sustainability of a material. Eco-friendly fabrics include organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, soy, corn and seaweed. Oscar de la Renta has said, “Sustainable fashion implies a commitment to the traditional techniques, and not just the art, of making clothes,” and he has experimented not only with hemp, but also bamboo.

So here’s to being eco-chic in green ---not just looking “good” when partying in some serious style, but feeling good when you do it. You know, all that stuff about being beautiful not just on the outside, but on the inside too.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

#stpatricksday2012 #green #luckoftheirish #stpatricksdaystylePhoto: Photo: "The Winter of My Life"Photo: twin toe ticklesPhoto: audacious

Yosemite at sunset ... :)Photo: watchman of the wachau

A shot of the Schloss Schönbühel [Schonbuhel Castle], located on the Danube amidst some of the most picturesque land in Austria, affectionately known as the Wachau [vaˈxaʊ]. Schonbuhel Castle is over 1000 years old and is called the “Watchman of the Wachau.” The Wachau is located almost 50 miles outside of Vienna and takes approximately 1 hour by train. It’s pretty easy to pick up tickets for a round-trip cruise for the 24-mile stretch of the Danube between the medieval town of Krems and Melk.

Ever since I saw Steve McQueen in the The Great Escape , I wanted to visit Austria. McQueen’s notorious motorcycle escape sequence was filmed in Fussen and the Austrian Alps and was largely the reason motorcycles became so trendy in 1963. My dad actually became obsessed with motorcycles after watching McQueen race through some of the most gorgeous landscape in the world and bought one of his own.

I finally got the opportunity to visit Austria this spring. While the major focus of my trip was Vienna, there was absolutely no way I was going to leave Austria without seeing the Danube, particularly the world-renowned Wachau Valley. Picture a stretch of river enclosed on either side by towering mountains and sprinkled with Castles, ancient Ruins, Abbeys, Chapel Spires, and Vineyards and you’ll begin to fathom the mythic beauty of it.

Anyway, I hope this is the first of many shots of the Wachau that I will be posting.  :)Photo: hugPhoto: abject

Within the sagging head of a rose,
a bumblebee dreams...Photo: rescuing history   for #bookaday by +Gemma Costa  +Ester Negro  and +Cora Triton 

“I am not exaggerating when I say that to a true collector the acquisition of an old book is its rebirth”     —Walter Benjamin, Illuminations 61

[ I know this is long, but a few people have told me they missed my longer posts, so this is for them ]

I might as well confess: I am bibliophile. And I blame the acquisition of this condition on a little essay I read when I was 23 by Walter Benjamin: “Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.” Sure my father collected rare antique editions of books, and some of my earliest memories are of going to antique dealers and auctions and watching while he bid on books. I recall in fact that he had a book in his library that was over 400 years old! But despite all those Saturdays trudging out to dealers, I never fully understood the fascination of collecting old books. I remember thinking that most people would much rather have new editions of a book than an old one. I mean aren’t new things always better than old things?

I gained more appreciation as time went by. On a rainy weekend, I might wander into my dad’s library and peruse these books. I was always scared to touch them because some of them were so delicate I thought I might destroy them. But I would love reading the inscriptions of the books, usually given out of love to someone else, and the note marginalia often left in these books revealing the private thoughts of persons who had been dead for perhaps hundreds of years. It felt almost like taking a step into a time machine.
However, I didn’t go from admiring old books to actually collecting them myself until I read Benjamin’s analysis of book collecting. Benjamin, you may recall, is a literary theorist and one of four key members of the Frankfurt school of neomarxist social theory, along with Theodor Adorno. Walter Benjamin died a tragic death as a Jew attempting to flee Nazi Germany and within the last 20 years has developed deep critical currency in academic circles. According to Benjamin, contrary to popular opinion, book collectors don’t collect books in order to read them. They collect books to liberate them: “[O]ne of the finest memories of a collector is the moment when he rescued a book to which he might never have given a thought, much less a wishful look, because he found it lonely and abandoned in the marketplace and bought it to give it its freedom—the way the prince bought a beautiful slave girl in The Arabian Nights. To a book collector, you see, the true freedom of all books is somewhere on his shelves” (64).

By why exactly does a book need to be rescued? Old books need to be rescued mostly because they not only contain history within their pages, but also because they are themselves living objects of history: “Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories. More than that: the chance, the fate, that suffuse the past before my eyes are conspicuously present in . . . these books” (60, my emphasis) Indeed, their design, art, and craftsmanship all give the book collector the rare ability to see directly into a specific moment in the past. As Anatole France once said, “The only exact knowledge there is, is the knowledge of the date of publication and the format of books.” (qtd. In Benjamin 60). Specific publishing practices possible only at a specific moment in time merge art and design to unassailably time-stamp a book, fashioning art itself as the “looking glass” into a bygone era.  A rare book may be beautiful, but the more beautifully it is designed and constructed, the more rare it is and, therefore, the more exactly we can position it in time. So we collect old books to liberate them. For only by liberating a book can we rescue history.

In this photo, I give you three books from my library of rare and old books. On the bottom of the stack is The Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier, a popular 19th-century American poet, which was published in 1890. In the middle of the stack is_ Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works_ published circa 1870. And on the top of the stack is one of my oldest books, The Pleasures of Hope with Other Poems, by Thomas Campbell, published almost 200 years ago in 1815. I chose these three books for this photo, not because they are the oldest or rarest in my library, but because all three editions possess some of most beautiful and ornate design/art I’ve come across. They are art no less than the poetry they carry inside them.

 Read below ONLY if you want to know the publishing details of these books**

(1) The Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier with Life, Notes, Index Etc. published by Frederick Warne & Co in London 1891. It comes with a portrait engraving and original illustrations. Original red/burgundy cloth decorated with gilt and etchings.
(2) Sir Walter Scott’s Poetical Works published by Gall & Inglis in both Edinburgh and London in 1870.  It comes complete with 8 engravings on steel and a brief biography of Scott. Original red/burgundy cloth is heavily decorated with, gilt, etching, & terracotta. Yapp Binding. With gilded edges and a sunken golden frame encasing an intaglio image of flowers and four raised vignettes of Shakespeare, fellow Scottish poet Robert Burns and two Scottish castles. Spine is heavily illustrated with gilt and terracotta.
(3) The Pleasures of Hope and Other Poems published by Longman, Hurst, Rees in London in 1815. With illustrations. Gilded titles and decorative elements on cover and spine. Spine is also heavily illustrated.Photo: youth


when you want to dream
of your youth

remember

you can only recall
one thing
from that time

riding on the train,
reading Dostoyevsky—
swaying as the wheat waves
of the hills staggered by

looking at you,
seeing
you.

and right then,
I tell you,
e-v-e-r-y thing
stopped
moving.

what was undone
came apart.

under each material thing
was the face
which hurts
opens you.



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: counterbalance

As darkness falls,
we remember irises
wading in their purple skirts


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: atheneum

A drive-by posting of the library at the Chateau de Fontainebleu in France. Many of you know how much I like old books, so I was pretty much in heaven when I stepped into this room. :)

This might also work for #TravelThursday if +Laura Mitchum is in the house.Photo: truth

true poems
were never written down.
they were bigger and deeper
than paper.

sometimes they were larger
than the heart that held them.
so they burst.
and exploded fiery orange poem, and cried bloodless poem, and bled broken poem.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights Reserved
+Bob Baxley and #bokehtuesday  Photo: They say that good things come in small packages. Well, this flower was one of the tiniest packages I’ve seen lately and I thought it might make a wonderful happy birthday message to +Kelli Seeger Kim  especially since she loves green and macro photography.  I also thought I might post an itsy bitsy poem to go with it since Kelli has such a lovely way with words and writes some of the most memorable posts on G+.  And you know, I don’t think you can ever have enough flowers on your birthday :)   #mskellisassypantsbdaybash 

(thanks to the wonderful +Kerry Murphy  for starting this little party :))

Happy Birthday Kelli!

atmosphere

under the soft veil of drifting mist,
a flower shivers
into cool moss.

(late shout out to the #PurpleCircle +Craig Szymanski +Sinead Sam McKeown +Alexis Coram )Photo: twilight in ParisPhoto: wonder

That moment when you catch two people at the white-foamed edge of the world contemplating eternity…Photo: um…do I look like I want my picture taken???Photo: "Surrender"Photo: wetland


there are places lost
to the world--

a loneliness built
from bridges that are
too tiny
and lead

to waters that eddy the evidence of life
unwitnessed
and forsaken by history.

here, knee-deep
in sorrow’s water,
I ask you:
where am I if I’ve been found?


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: Probably a boring photo for most people on G+, so I never posted this despite sitting on it for over a year. But hey, I just like it, so I'm gonna throw caution to the wind and post it :D

flight

Scholars explain
that for a period of time
while the body experiences
extreme levels of pain
we will actually lose
that which makes us who we are.

As the body bears down
attempting to withstand
intolerable suffering,
the outside world
falls away.
And what we call the “self”
flees.

We no longer feel pain,
but become it.



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: closer


[Lyrics by the Kings of Leon ]
Music to go with this photo:   Kings of Leon - Closer

Stranded in this spooky town
Stoplights are swaying and the phone lines are down
This floor is crackling cold, she took my heart, I think she took my soul
With the moon I run far from the carnage of the fiery sun

Driven by the strangle of vein showing no mercy I do it again,
Open up your eye, you keep on crying baby, I’ll bleed you dry
Skies they blink at me, I see a storm bubbling up from the sea

And it's coming closer
And it's coming closer

You shimmy shook my bone leaving me stranded all in love on my own
Do you think of me? Where am I now? Baby where do I sleep?
Feel so good but I'm old, 2000 years of chasing's taking its toll

And it’s coming closer
And it’s coming closer
And it’s coming closer
And it’s coming closer


Again, photo makes more sense when paired with this song: Kings of Leon - Closer

#kingsofleon #closer #song  Photo: Latona

Today is my favorite pseudo-aristocrat’s birthday—Lord +Andrew Westbury.

In honor of such an auspicious occasion, I’m dedicating this landscape shot of the Latona fountain inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses at the Chateau de Versailles to him. Andy often likes to bark at the moon, but he’s also really into sweeping landscape shots, and I figured this one at a palace that might rival his own epic estate across the pond might remind him of home :D

Here’s to one of the funniest and sweetest guys in the English peerage :)  We luv you Andy and hope you have a fabulous birthday!
#snookerizedPhoto: to autumn

Felt like geeking out with a bit of poetry today by one of my all-time favorite poets: John Keats. Below is Keats’s ode, “To Autumn,” one of the most frequently anthologized poems of all time. It’s actually the last of 6 great Keatsian odes that we refer to as the “Odes of 1819.” “To Autumn” also marks the end of Keats career as a poet because he had to stop writing poetry in order to earn a living, and it is also worth mentioning that he died a tragic death from Tuberculosis in Rome just one year later when he was only 25 years old.

Yeah, I know the diction, rhyme and meter seem archaic, but if you read closely you will find a beautiful description of the three phases of the autumn through personification and might even discern that the poem is both a meditation on death as well as an allegory for artistic creation.

When I think of the magic of autumn, this poem always comes to mind, so I thought I would share it with you :) #AutumnPhotography 

TO AUTUMN.
1.
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
2.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
3.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

-----

((*Read this only if you want to completely geek out: Keats perfected what we now call the “irregular” ode in English language, which is differentiated from the Pindaric or Classical Ode in terms of subject matter and the Horatian Ode in terms of tone. The irregular or Keatsian Ode actually blends the lofty subject matter of the Pindaric ode with the informal tone of the Horation Ode. The Pindaric Ode begins with a Strophe, is followed by the Antistrophe, which mirrors the argument in the Strophe, and is completed by a third stanza, the Epode, which concludes the argument. Keatsian Odes are also distinguished by a standard 10-line stanza frame composed in iambic pentameter. *))Photo: cloak

Now night falls, its hair
caught in the lake’s eyes.


[—-Tom Andrews, “At Burt Lake”]Photo: harvest

Yeah, I know you’re probably tired of seeing pumpkin shots. I decided  to post one myself because a couple of weeks ago  I made plans to meet up with a wonderful G+ photog, +Jason Kowing  and his wife for a photo walk at the annual Apple Hill festival. At this time of year, a bunch of apple farms get together to host a joint event where you can pick apples, sample various homemade apple-inspired goods from pie to cider, listen to live music, make crafts, and go pumpkin hunting. I had never been to this event before and had a fabulous time.

Traffic prevented me from actually meeting Jason and his wife in person, but I wanted to share a photo of a pumpkin at a patch I visited while there. For some reason, out of all the photos I took, I liked this photo where the pumpkin actually fades into the background itself.

So this shot is dedicated to +Jason Kowing  and his lovely wife +Julie Kowing  Thanks guys for recommending such a fun autumn event :)

#halloween #autumnPhoto: glimpse


butterfly wings
chiming
under the shy, autumn sunPhoto: vespers

although the moon is shielded
by a tree

hiding secrets from me

I reach out
to clutch her light
that slips past tiny branches,

and recall that I too

held centuries
in my hand

when I blew  a prayer out
past the throbbing stars

and history began.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: ceremony

[took this shot at Versailles in April and I’ve been holding on to it for a special occasion]

they say swans mate
for life

it begins with head dunking
and bubble blowing

until they circle each other
and their foreheads finally touch,

wordlessly spelling out
what’s in their hearts
with silent, sweeping arcs
of white grace.



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: lonesome

Not sure if this shot sucks or not, but here it is anyway... :)Photo: purpura maiestatem [purple majesty]

Yeah I know…this isn’t some profound black n’ white photo or some urbex masterpiece. It’s just a simple photo of two things I’m obsessed with: Christmas and Purple. What can I say? This is what happens when you start listening to medieval Christmas carols on a Monday morning  :P

Speaking of Christmas, this is my inaugural post to a theme I help curate #ChristmasTown :) with +lane langmade  et al.

I normally don’t send stuff out to #MacroMonday, not because I don’t love the theme, but because I do. I know how incredibly busy the curators are and I don’t like to add to their “work.” But how could I resist when they are doing a purple sub-theme today??? I hope the wonderful and talented trio,  +Kerry Murphy  +Kelli Seeger Kim  and +Jennifer Eden ,  don’t mind that I sent this out.

And of course, I had to give a shout out to my Purple Peeps at the #PurpleCircle +Craig Szymanski and +Sinead Sam McKeown :)

To a wonderful Christmas season :)Photo: chillin'

This little guy was just chillin’ on this strawberry flower in my backyard. Looked like a nice place to be–surrounded by juicy ripe strawberries.  I mean, if I were a bug, that’s probably where I would hang out too :)

+Shawn McClure  and +shane holsclaw  like to tease me a lot about my fear of spiders. I told them I shoot bugs all the time, but don’t post 'em because I don’t like to scare people. When I told them about this photo, they said I should give it a shot. Since this little guy does seem pretty harmless, I decided to make it my first post for #buggyfriday +Ray Bilcliff  +Sherry McBriar  and +Dorothy Pugh Photo: water like stone

[This week's contribution to #ChristmasTown curated by +lane langmade myself, +Tom McGowan +Brad Buckmaster +Michael Albrecht and +Shantha Marie Fountain ]

"Noël" by Ann Porter

When snow is shaken
From the balsam trees
And they're cut down
And brought into our houses

When clustered sparks
Of many-colored fire
Appear at night
In ordinary windows

We hear and sing
The customary carols

They bring us ragged miracles
And hay and candles
And flowering weeds of poetry
That are loved all the more
Because they are so common

But there are carols
That carry phrases
Of the haunting music
Of the other world
A music wild and dangerous
As a prophet's message

Or the fresh truth of children
Who though they come to us
From our own bodies
Are altogether new
With their small limbs
And birdlike voices

They look at us
With their clear eyes
And ask the piercing questions
God alone can answer.Photo: driving home

The highway bled out
before us,
black against a blacker night.
Our truck broke through
the valley with ferocity,
searching for some place,
any place,
which would not hurt you.

As we whispered,
we were more than aware
that you lay spread out in the back seat,
buried in blankets,
rocking like a dead thing.

This was an ambulance
whose silent siren
echoed
your empty womb.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2012 All Rights ReservedPhoto: medieval

in your chest
heroes roam
looking for a war.

I gather them close

--let them bleed
all over me.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights ReservedPhoto: I. Illumination

that which sent you around
to the front of the house
may have sounded like an owl,

but you should have known better.
for the day
which broke and skipped
effortlessly across the clouds,
was too hopeful for an owl’s hoot.

no, not an owl, but a bird
calling
to a sun
still drenched in a purple moon.

just a bird not realizing
what it sounds like when a song
is being sung.

—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights ReservedPhoto: II. Meridian

at the highest point
on the white birch
a creature feathered in grey
did what birds tend to do
and perched.

its position,
poised at the edge of pink light,
seemed to indicate
longing
for some kind of escape:

a solitude that comes
from contemplating flight
just before things that fall apart
begin to break.


—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights ReservedPhoto: III. Gesture

when you bowed,
hiding everything that made you
what you were,
I fell in love with your quiet glance

at small things.

your tail feathers, pointing up
at the apricot-colored sky,
gestured to a kind of optimism
inherent in reflex.

you knew with your whole body
where you would be going,
so you relaxed,
waiting with patience
for what you could not leave
behind.



—Photo and poem by Lynn Langmade © 2013 All Rights ReservedPhoto: "Sundown"Photo: the winter of my lifePhoto: sundownPhoto: PinkPlosion

Yup, it’s my twin sister’s birthday today :) She’ll probably hate me for posting this pink flower in her name, since she’s all grown up now and thinks pink isn’t as cool as she used to. But I’m posting this shot because it reminds me of how she and I used to have pink and purple cakes on our birthday. Her cake would be covered in ice-pink frosting and it looked so good that even I became a fan of “pink”.

So here’s to +lane langmade  my sis and partner in life, on her birthday :) #happybdaylane #happybdaylaneandlynn

Resident “pink ladies” alert: +lane langmade  and +Cheryl Cooper  who curate the #PinkCirclePhoto: more than meets the "eye"

I’m happy to be participating in #MacroMonday again curated by three of the most awesome people/photogs on G+: +Kelli Seeger Kim  +Kerry Murphy  and +Jennifer Eden  (oh and the fabulous +Jake Easley )

This week’s sub-theme is curls. Well, I thought I might go out on a limb and take a photo of Blake’s eye. Certainly his eyelashes qualify as “curls”, right?

Anyway, this shot is doing double duty as both a portrait and a self-portrait in a way. I loved how I could actually see his arms and hands in the reflection of his own eye ;)Photo: double up

It looks like +lane langmade  wants to play a little #CloverPoker for the first day of spring :) She sent me some luck in the form of a cool three-leaf clover and I thought I would up the ante by sending her back not a three-leaf or even four-leaf clover, but a double clover. Yep, I saw this bizarre clover with two heads rather than one when I was out hiking. Maybe this is more common than I think, but I hadn’t seen one like this before. I just hope it brings her some luck!

Wanna play along? Why not send a friend on G+ a little luck in the form of a clover to celebrate spring's arrival? :D

Happy Spring! And thank you +Lane Langmade for making the first day of spring such a wonderful day.

#spring #firstdayofspring #clover #macroPhoto: the flaming sword

One of my favorite quotations from one of my favorite books… Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin:

“Perhaps everybody has a garden of Eden, I don't know; but they have scarcely seen their garden before they see the flaming sword. Then, perhaps, life only offers the choice of remembering the garden or forgetting it. Either, or: it takes strength to remember, it takes another kind of strength to forget, it takes a hero to do both. People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence; and the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. Heroes are rare.”

Which one are you? A madman of forgetting or remembering? Or that elusive creature, the hero?Photo: "Train for Gene Bowker"Photo: parabola

just a photo of a bee I took about 2 years ago. As I said in other places, didn't think it was good enough to post. But my eye kept getting drawn back to it, and I think that has something to do with the comp and the colors, so hey, here it is :)

#bee #flowers #macro #orange  Photo: Tree-HorsePhoto: "precocious"Photo: "negative capability"Photo: "dumb bee shot"Photo: "never"Photo: "whitespace"Photo: "Heaven & Earth"Photo: "Jelly Belly"Photo: "Cosmos"Photo: "Remnant"Photo: "Chalice"Photo: "Transaction"Photo: "crack"Photo: "Songs of Innocence"Photo: "Dorigen's Lament"Photo: "Liquid Gold"Photo: "Rock"Photo: "Nothing Else Matters"Photo: "Blaze"Photo: "Ornament"Photo: "Eternity"Photo: "Night Light"Photo: "Majestic"Photo: "Metamorphosis"Photo: "After the Storm"Photo: "Forgetfulness"Photo: Feeling BluePhoto: "Echolocation"Photo: "Asleep in the Sun"Photo: Winter's TalePhoto: "remains"Photo: "Blend"Photo: "Remains"Photo: "Red Shoes"Photo: "The Possibility of Everything"Photo: #RememberingLeeDaniels
*tears for Lee*
I just learned that a good friend Lee Daniels, a social luminary on G and photographer, passed away from a long battle with cancer.
Sometimes something is so powerful you just can’t talk about it. There are no words that could fully encapsulate what a loss this is not just for her friends and family but for all those whom her photography touched. No words to describe her amazing spirit, especially in the face of such great adversity. 
I can only let my body and my photography express my grief today. 
[Lee loved to photograph flowers. This one is for her]Photo: spring green

There’s a certain kind of green that happens only as spring begins to take hold—I call it “Spring Green.” It’s that kind of thing where the grass is so “full” from drinking rain that it turns almost yellow. It’s positively bursting with energy and life.

The photo I took this morning that I include here isn’t remarkable except that I think for the first time I was able to “capture” this special moment when Spring Green has transformed an otherwise unremarkable landscape into something marvelous—indeed, something magical. One of my favorite poets, e.e. cummings, would say it’s a time when the world is “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful.”

I hope you have a wonderful Saturday and happy weekend :)

#green #spring #spring2014 

For the following amazing themes:

#QuirkyNature +Quirky Nature curated by +Carissa Braun
#ruralsaturday +#RuralSaturday curated by +Mario Cerroni and +Linda Stokes
#hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape curated by +* , +Eric Delcour , +Blake Harrold
#hqspnonnaturephotos +HQSP Urban & Street Photos curated by +Rhea Surgimath, +Alexandre Fagundes de Fagundes and +Michael Sonntag
#landscapephotography +Landscape Photography +Landscape Photography Show +Margaret Tompkins +Jim Warthman +Kevin Rowe +Johan Peijnenburg +David Heath Williams +Tom Hierl +Carolyn Lim +Tom Sloan +Howard L. Smith +Kai Kosonen +Tony Heyward +Sheila B. DuBois +Sandra Brown +Vishal Kumar +Toshi NakamuraPhoto: "Easter Bunny"Photo: Speckled SpectaclePhoto: "Soul Mates"Photo: "Conspiracy of Night"Photo: "Sunshine for the Soul"Photo: "Emergence"Photo: "Patriotic"Photo: "A Father's Love"Photo: "From Sunrise to Sunset"Photo: "Wild Turkey"Photo: "Opening Up"Photo: "Opening Up"