Tag Archives: eucalyptus

Weekly Photo Challenge: On and Off the Wall

This week I’ve been working on reminding myself to take pictures, even when they seem ordinary.  Today I got lucky and had a bit of time to spare as I headed off to get my hair cut.  I knew I would stop and get some coffee…and remembered some wall art I had seen some weeks before but hadn’t stopped to look more closely.  I parked near my coffee place, but headed off in search of the walls I remembered.

As I walked, I noticed some other places to explore.  When I saw this wall, it was even better up close than I had noticed at a distance.  I love the way this painting on the wall also interacts with the planters jutting off the wall and the building features.


I crossed the street and headed back in the other direction where I had seen another wall mural.  But first I came across this incredible Eucalyptus with a huge trunk, rounded by years, thick and sturdy.  I started to think about the ways our bodies change with time.  And even if we work to stay thin, mature bodies thicken and bulge as time passes.  I always feel like I want to judge my thickness, push it away, hide it…but admiring this incredible tree made me start to rethink my attitudes.  I’m still working to embrace the aging process.


Apparently this wall mural is part of an ongoing art contest, featuring a local artist’s work on the side of the building.  On the side of a local restaurant, this larger-than-life art helps to draw attention to the business.  I didn’t get close enough to read carefully about the contest, but the art is interesting and definitely attracted my attention.


I cut through the parking lot and remembered another painting on the side of the liquor store.  I turned my phone sideways to capture the perspective of wall, liquor store, and parking lot.


Around the corner from the coffee place, I remembered this wall painting of cats with colors raining down onto them.


And remembered the deluge of rain on Monday at school–water poured off the roof and the walls.  I have yet to master the art of photographing rain, but I think you can see the water pouring down.


So take a look at the walls around you.  What’s on the walls…or maybe off the wall in the places your frequent? Maybe you won’t find wall murals…but as you look closely, what will you find? Will you notice a rounded mature eucalyptus tree–and rethink the shape of your body?  Will you notice the beauty of randomly stacked odds and ends?  Or maybe the sun slanting down on an old building?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #walls for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So take a look around…what’s on or off your walls?  I can’t wait to see walls through your lens!

Rubbing Elbows with Nature

The Wabi Sabi photo-a-day challenge has me looking at my surroundings differently.  I find myself looking for beauty that presents itself in unusual ways.

Today I had the opportunity to head out around the UCSD campus for a short learning walk in conjunction with a demo presented by a kindergarten teacher in our SDAWP Summer Institute. She explained how nature inspires her own writing and some of the ways she inspires writing with her students.  As I headed out with the charge to spend some time in nature, tuning in the sights, sounds, smells, and feels, I also had my phone/camera in hand ready to capture evidence of my experience.

Down the metal stairs, past the row of ATM machines, across the cement walkways, sandwiched between the architectural wonder of the Geisel Library and the tall buildings that are Warren College, lies a secret garden.  Garden often conjures lush foliage and brilliant blooms, but the space lives under a canopy of Eucalyptus trees.  And to my surprise, growing from a fallen trunk were three new tall, thin trees.

eucalyptus growing from a stump

Heading off to the Snake Path, an art installation leading to the library inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost, I found the natural beauty and familiar smells of the native plants that thrive in our arid, coastal climate.  With phone/camera in hand, I noticed the contrast of the angular, metal and glass library poking up behind the fragrant, wild-ranging brush.

library ucsd

As I continued my walk, I came around the front of the library and found myself drawn to to the barrier poles laying on their side…with flowers growing nearby.

flower and pole

flower and pole 2

As I headed back to our meeting room, I noticed another of our participants lounging on some large boulders and working on her writing.  I admit, I snuck up on her–wanting to capture the image that tells a story in one frame.  (She does know about the photo…and has approved of it!)

writing on the rocks

I find myself looking for the Wabi Sabi of nature rubbing shoulders with the not always so beautiful man-made.  And some of that Wabi Sabi I noticed was not only visual…I heard the buzzes of insects and the chirps of birds joining with the melody of car engines, back-up beeps, and snippets of conversation in the songs that are uniquely UCSD.

Where do you find nature rubbing shoulders with man made structures?  Have you noticed any Wabi Sabi?