Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winter Isn't Going Without A Fight

Almost every day since the start of spring has been cold and windy. We had snow last week. I tried to photograph it, but it  wasn't that pretty transforming snow that makes everything seem special. It just made my garden look dirty. The mystery tree in my neighbor's yard is sprouting buds, though, so I am staying hopeful that spring will eventually arrive. I started digging up the soil in the garden over the weekend, unearthing the usual nyc detritus; broken glass, cigar tubes, bricks. There were worms which is really good news.

I planted some of the cuttings for my next street art foray. There are only four pots because I am having trouble keeping the cats from playing with the plants, as can be seen below.

They pull the stems out of the water and leave them on the floor to dry out. Cats can be so cruel. Some of the cuttings were a bit traumatized and they are taking longer to grow roots.  I also have a new crop of cuttings that I have hidden on the window sill behind the curtain in back bedroom. They haven't found them yet. Luckily these cats are not really bright.

I used the bottoms of Perrier bottles for the pots. For fun, I stacked the tops on a bottle. I plan to use the tops as shades of a string of lights I have. Maybe it will go in the garden, once there actually is a garden instead of a plot of mud and rubble.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Las Fallas

As I mentioned in my last post, I made an effigy of winter to burn on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph which is called Las Fallas in Valencia. I took pictures of the spirit before, since there would be no chance after.

I left the newspaper base in its natural state. Crumpled newspaper seemed to evoke winter in New York. This spirit was all about the decay of winter.

In the traditional celebration the Fallas are paraded around town before they are burned. They are wildly elaborate. Mine was going straight onto the fire, so I kept the details simple.

My sister and her husband came over to watch. They are photographers too, we had lots of pictures.

 photo by Kip peticolas

The night was windy and cold, with a supermoon in the sky.

The spirit caught on fire easily.

The wind blew the spirit off the flames.

photo by kip peticolas

The beloved placed it back on the flames with his bare hands.

photo by Kip Peticolas

 Then the spirit seemed to settle into the flames and let the spring take over.

photo by Kip Peticolas

photo by Richard Megna

photo by Richard Megna

photo by Kip Peticolas

At the end, the young son poked at the blaze to make sure that winter was really gone. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Signs of Spring

They were selling "shamrocks" at the farmer's market in honor of St. Patrick's day. I brought some home to the delight of the kitties. It is possible to see the tooth marks on some of the leaves. Now there is nothing left but stems and few clovers.

 Plants are sending out green shoots at the nearby community garden.

I can't wait to see everything blossom.

I am making a figure to represent winter which I plan to burn this weekend in celebration of the equinox.

There is a festival in Valencia, Spain called Las Fallas during which people display huge paper mache figures that are burned at the end of the festival. It is supposed to be in honor of St. Joseph, but its origins were pagan. The figures in the Spanish version are usually satirical, and very detailed. Mine is simpler, although I am planning on adding some hair and wintry draperies, but it won't be poking fun at anything. I used flour for the paper mache paste so it should smell really good while it is burning.

Friday, March 11, 2011

This week there have been a couple of bouts of epic rain, with wind. This morning on the J train I saw the sky begin to clear.

With the drenching rain and beautiful post storm light, the illicit posters were looking unusually beautiful.

This set of building permits was also charming in its way.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Morning Light

I had wanted to post the scans of the prints I made from my last roll of color negatives, but I had technical difficulties. So I decided to photograph the light as soon as it came the next morning.

One of the cats ensured that there would be still more cat blogging.

Later, when I came out of the subway, the light fell on a ghost bike, one of the white bicycles placed in memory of a cyclist killed on the road. The bikes are often decorated with flowers, they are beautiful in their sadness.