Epiphytes In A Crape Myrtle, French Quarter, New Orleans

Billbergia nutans in a Crape Myrtle tree

If you were asked where is your favourite tree, and what kind of tree is it, what would you answer? This hospitable crape myrtle, growing in the garden of a purple house on Dumaine Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, is one of my favourites. I am several thousand miles away, so can only think back fondly to the last time my sweetheart and I saw it. Continue reading “Epiphytes In A Crape Myrtle, French Quarter, New Orleans”

Order and Creativity

New Orleans

This is a slice of New Orleans street pie. Throughout the picture you’ll see order: those neat rows of windows; the rooflines; the repeated elements in that lighthouse-style tower; the stepped effect of the facades and where one part of a building meets another… need I go on?

I stopped to take the picture because I loved the way golden, evening light was harmonising the reds, terracottas and neutrals of the buildings, adding warmth and softness. Reviewing the image, my eye is drawn to many patterns which I only half-saw at the time.

Each building has been conceived by an architect’s creative, disciplined mind, giving it character and style. As each mind is working independently of the others, the whole is shaped as much by chance as by design. Look for an overall pattern and you’ll draw a blank. It’s like playing with a special kind of Rubik’s cube – one without a solution.  Continue reading “Order and Creativity”

Cities at Night

New Orleans at night seen from the river

Many pictures have a hidden story. We can all see how the river softens and reflects the city lights, but this picture has a mental soundtrack for me. A wisp of smoke towards the top right brings back memories of the steam calliope playing its wavering tune of valediction to New Orleans as we paddle off up the Mississippi River on the other-worldly American Queen steamboat.

The shot below was supposed to show bats streaming out at dusk from their home under Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas. You might just make out the heads of some of the watchers peering from the top of the bridge on the left, but you’ll have to take my word that there were bats – hundreds of thousands of them – all with the invisibility cloak of my faulty technique. But no matter.

Bat vigil in Austin, Texas

While scoring nil out of a hundred thousand for the bats, by serendipity, I’ve ended up with this Gustav Klimt style view of the city and its people gathered on boats, bridge and banks to witness the little creatures emerging from their bat bridge.   Continue reading “Cities at Night”