blackshadows, midtoneshigh and lightswhite (cattails)

Several days ago I found myself explaining (or attempting to explain) to Oliver Fern how all of the information contained inside of a histogram on a camera-back can be interpreted visually which I suppose isn’t quite romantic as the analog of anything if his raised eyebrows and crinkled nose were any indication. When I saw this frame from a walkabout last week, I wondered. Is it a histogram? I’ve never relied upon them with much regularity, inside of the camera. Histograms, I mean. Not cattails.

April 2020 - Sewer Pipe Walk 883-2

This was in the Arboretum below our neighborhood, last Tuesday. Or was it Thursday? Since the shelter-in-place began for Seattle, the boys and I have tried to come down here several times a week, for fresh air and exercise. One of the themes last week might have been all the skunk cabbage. Away from the main paths, a little creek twists and turns on itself, fallen-tree footbridges provide excellent opportunities for observing the unfurling of this aromatic perennial plant, up close. When I say aromatic, several times the smell was so powerfully pungent, I looked about for someone smoking a cigar! But we rubbed the cabbage between our fingers like Grandma dared us and found it didn’t super-stink like we thought it might. At the edge of water lilies and reeds, a Canadian goose eyed me with suspicion and grave reproach as I captured this frame.

5 thoughts on “blackshadows, midtoneshigh and lightswhite (cattails)

  1. I know that watch-goose stare, doesn’t bother me, it’s like walking through a residential neighborhood in Boston, but I give Canada geese a wider berth once their eggs hatch, and they get protective & hissy!
    Never would have thought of that, but darned if it doesn’t look like a histogram, not that I’ve ever been clever enough to use one of those on a camera or photoshop. Kind of like a hectic bar chart.
    The skunk cabbages always seem pretty potent when I’ve tripped over one, amazing you can rub it on your fingers and still be allowed back in the house. Looks like a good arboretum, with some wild spots.

    • Your remarks reminded me of Robert McCloskey’s popular book Make Way for Ducklings which takes place in the Boston Public Garden, the boys always enjoyed that one, I read a lot of McCloskey’s great books to the boys. Unfortunately, several years ago my old neighbor who’s from New York City but also spent a lot of time in Buck Harbor because they had an old family cabin there (or is it Bar Harbor? i can’t keep ’em straight) which I believe is where McCloskey lived, informed me the author wasn’t as wholesome of a father as portrayed in his books but I had the distinct feeling maybe he just had some sort of axe to grind, an old village clan animosity, maybe a lemon spark plug from the Condon garage, because far as I can tell based on available evidence, McCloskey appears to have been quite an upstanding figure and besides all that, no one’s really an angel.In reading for the sake of curiosity more about McCloskey, I did find it humourous that in one of his popular stories featuring a bear on a local hill, there couldn’t have possibly been bears, in fact it turned out they were based on a family story from Deer Isle.

      • I love that book, with the cops scrambling to get the ducklings across the street safely etc. I think I remember the bear one also, a bear cub and child swapped places while everybody was getting blueberries? I don’t think I realized it was the same author. Yeah, you hear a lot of things, Dr. Seuss didn’t like children, etc. I wasn’t Mr Rogers watcher, I was pretty addicted to Sesame St, animal and dinosaur programs at that age, and for several months watched nothing but videos about heavy construction equipment, but when this Tom Hanks movie came out, I think the word was that Mr. Rogers was the real deal? Watching the movie, I did wonder how much time he had, in the course of such a busy day, for his own kids, but basically, it looks like he was just a really nice guy.

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