it’s in the details

We went to Longwood Gardens in Chaddsford, PA yesterday. It’s one of the world’s great botanical gardens, and we’re fortunate to have it close by. We’ve been able to visit in every season, and it is beautiful and different every time. This trip I decided to try to look past the waves of color and get up close and personal. I wanted to work on creating compositions that were almost more like abstract paintings then photos. I haven’t published anything for a while, nice to get back out and shoot some.

almost ready

A landscape was the assignment for today in the photo101 challenge. I chose this image from several I shot; not because it was the best photo really, but because it brought back so many “warm” memories for me.

I grew up outside Philadelphia with three older brothers during the heyday of the Flyer’s Broad Street Bullies. We loved playing pond hockey when ever we could. We would scramble to find enough kids with gear and take over any frozen surface we could locate. From the local quarry to the turnpike underpass, to just a flooded frozen grass area, we played them all. Our favorite “big league” venues were the local ponds. The Smith’s farm pond in Worcester was home ice, and the Heyser’s Mill Rd. pond near the high school was away.  A pretty fierce rivalry brewed between the two pond’s locals; with teams of brothers on both sides. (It was like the Hansons from Slapshot on both sides of the pond- “old time hockey, coach!”)

The goals were home-made from two-bys and chicken wire, and were only knee high. Since no one had any pads; penalties were handed out for any high “lifters” (shots that got over your ankles). Actually having hockey gloves meant you were like a semipro. In the summer the same “crews” played some vicious street hockey games, but I loved the pond hockey. After the games the Smith’s often had a bonfire and hot chocolate out near the pig barn, and they’d graciously garden hose “zamboni” the ice for the next day. Those losers over on Mill Road had none of those luxuries!

The ponds didn’t always freeze over thoroughly, and I still laugh thinking about some of the swims that were taken. My favorite was a kid name Mike whose gear had frozen solid, trying to get his legs to bend enough to sit on his minibike and ride home, cursing all the way. If I ever make a movie, that scene will be in it.

Played a lot more hockey- a lot more organized and expensive- but never more fun than that. I think that sentiment is shared by tons of hockey fans, which is why the Winter Classic is such a huge draw. Pond hockey on a pro level.

Ice Ice Baby!

 

still standing

For today’s architecture theme I went farm fresh. I really love the texture and angles and lines of the old barns in our area. I have a real artist friend who finds the whole barn thing cliche, and I’m sure it is, but I guess I just relate to them. Not very fancy, kind of missing some parts, and lots of things broken. They keep standing though, maybe not as straight as they once did, but then again, neither do I.

We had lots of farmer friends and relatives growing up, and I loved going and playing in the barns. So many places to hide and build forts in, things to climb and swing from, and enough dangerous parts to make them exciting.

This one’s probably not long for this world though, as the lot is for sale, and more McMansions need to be built. Hopefully the wood will get salvaged and remade into something beautiful and useful, just like the barn it came from.

©2014 Scott Sharadin

painting fire

For the assignment “pop of color” I pulled one from last weekend, as I got rained out yesterday.

One of our favorite sections of the Perkiomen Rail-Trail goes over this old railroad bridge above the creek, and it’s flanked by these flaming red-orange trees that gamely hang on to their leaves well past most of the others on the trail. Show-offs!

Our old dog Maddie loves to walk this section with us, but the outings are getting shorter and shorter as her hip gives her more trouble. Maddie and Cheryl and I have covered this same section of trail probably hundreds of times, but we never really tire of it. It always makes us laugh how Maddie treats the other dogs she meets along the way. They’re all excited and she just gives them sort of an over the shoulder glance and a sniff, like she’s the queen mum and just can’t be bothered with the riffraff. Going to be some sad walks there when it’s just the two of us.

maddie

©2014 Scott Sharadin

above or below

For today’s theme, a mystery.
Old trees along the river always fascinate me. They twist and turn and hang on as the banks get washed away. Just one storm away from being washed down river. I love how the tree’s reflection spirals back toward itself, creating a visual portal to another place. What lies on the other side, maybe somebody looking back out, wondering about us?