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Film + Fall = Happy

4.November 2010

This week is crazy here at Darby O’Shea HQ.  Alas, it’s not busy with cooking or coming up with delicious plans for the holidays or even with eating.  It’s busy with the kinds of real world work things that make me wonder why I don’t just scrap it all and head off to cooking school and yet more debt.  But, I’m not going to leave you with nothing to look at!

The next few posts will likely appeal most to my photography buddies, but hopefully you’ll all enjoy them.

Today I’m bringing you some film shots from a trip to Newport a few weeks ago.  It was a weekend that reminded us that fall was underway – very bright blue and cold and sunny, with just the tips of leaves turned and things still looking mostly alive.  The above conditions are also known as my Favorite Photo Conditions.  So, I was thrilled to see how the pictures came out!  Hope you enjoy!

Fig. 1. These pictures were all taken on an afternoon stroll along the Cliff Walk.  There are lots of interesting plants clinging to the cliffs, including some escapees from the mansions’ gardens.  Everything was turning colors at a different rate, which made for interesting photos.

Fig. 2. Here is a semi-wild rose clinging on to Summer.  On a photo note, I don’t know what happened with the color here that it’s so crazy blown out.  Some combination of slide film and scanning, perhaps, but I like it.

Fig. 3. These things were everywhere I looked and I love them very very much.  Anyone know what they’re called?  Liz?

Fig 4. More changing leaves.  This one plant was indecisive and splotchy, but rather beautiful.

Fig. 5. More of these lovely little guys.  The light caught their seeds (are they seeds?) and illuminated them in this beautiful way.  I think I lost the sun before that happened in this photo, but they’re pretty all the same.

Fig. 6. The water was impossibly blue and clear.  I love the juxtaposition of the water with the rock and the bright green moss and brown algae.

Fig. 7. I don’t know what this wall said, but here’s an A, shot from above.  And more impossibly blue water.

Fig. 8. Last, but definitely not least, this is the photo I’m most proud of from this day.  Walking along between the ocean and the elite’s ancestral mansions, it’s hard not to think of The Great Gatsby and feel like Nick Carraway, looking in from the outside.  The fences and thickly planted garden borders seem to shut them in and us out, even if they are mostly museums now.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 4.November 2010 22:18

    Lovely photos! That deep saturation of the first one, and the jewel-like detail of the leaves, is really wonderful. I also like the abstract rocks.

    Okay, plant ID:
    Your rose is rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa, aka beach rose)

    The plant with the seeds you like is, I am sorry to tell you, almost certainly japanese knotweed, which is a nasty invasive species (though the fact that it blooms in the fall should be kind of nice, it follows the flowers with lots of viable seed). On the positive side, the new spring shoots of japanese knotweed (or Polyganum cuspidatum) are edible and supposedly taste like asparagus. I’ve never tried them but I’m all for eating up invasives if they’re tasty.

    The plant with the flame-colored splotchy leaves is one of my favorite native shrubby trees, Rhus typhina or staghorn sumac. You can use the astringent berries (if you catch them earlier in the summer, before buggies have gotten into them) to make a naturally pink pseudo-lemonade, or dry them and use in middle eastern cooking (where sumac is called for, it’s a bit different but I am told makes an okay substitute).

    Keep ’em coming! More photos and chances for me to do plant ID! ;)

  2. 4.November 2010 22:21

    Yep, I looked again. Definitely japanese knotweed. Let’s plan a menu featuring japanese knotweed next spring?

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      10.November 2010 10:36

      You know, it’s really handy being able to just ask you what a plant is. Watch out – a girl might get spoiled!

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