Orion dances with Queen Magnolia – A darkened West End street – Power outage

Yesterday we had the rather odd occurrence happen at our house of having a prolonged power outage for an unspecified reason. There had been no storm or wind to speak of during the day. It was an odd experience to see several city blocks darkened for about 6 hours. I took the opportunity to go have tea with my neighbors and do try to catch Orion as he danced over the top of Queen Magnolia, my stately magnolia tree in my front yard. Below are two images from each side of the tree and then the images mashed together to let Orion be on both sides of a mass of branches at once. Finally, there is another generic star picture and a dark picture of the neighbors’ blue house, with only some candles shining through the windows.

orion and queen magnolia-1 small

orion and queen magnolia-2 small

orion composite

power outage-1 small

power outage-2 small

Die Sonnenblume – das Haus Sunflower – West End, St. Louis

sunflower-1 small

As you may have noticed, I have been doing a little gardening at “das Haus,” the name I have given to my house to reflect my actual last name, received by way of the Dases of the Punjab, with a nod to the German ancestry on my mom’s side of the family, by way of the Bodenbachs of Southern Illinois.

This sunflower is a bit of an experiment. I have deliberately placed it on my front steps both as an act of beautification and to test the temperature of my neighborhood by seeing if it will live out its days there till the cold weather comes and not walk away. As an aside, if it did walk away I think I would be more upset at the loss of the Ikea planter rather than the plant itself, though it is lovely, is it not? I have staked it with three large bamboo stalks, both as an inducement to grow, grow, grow and to make it a little more unwieldy.

The thought of doing this experiment perhaps does a little disservice to my neighborhood and street–it is as peaceful an idyll as one could hope for in the city–but one does have to pay attention with belongings and personal safety matters. And, though I have heard gunfire only very, very occasionally, I am very happy that the pops and bangs these days are only evidence of illicit fireworks being lit for the 4th of July. As an extra blessing, the weather looks likely to be relatively cool for the 4th, which will hopefully keep the choler cool throughout the city.

No, I am very blessed and pleased to be able to live in a lovely house in the city with neighbors who occasionally leave gifts of vegetables and bread on my porch, with people who are willing to say “Hi,” and children who delight to climb in my tree–which I pray will never litigiously come back to bite me in the behind 🙂

If it does, it does. In the meantime, enjoy more shots of “die Sonnenblume!”

sunflower-2 small

sunflower-3 small

sunflower-4 small

sunflower-5 small

sunflower-6 small

sunflower-7 small

sunflower-8 small

Flowers From a Summer Evening’s Walk, for a Neglected Blog – West End Neighborhood – St. Louis

I have not been keeping up here as well as I ought, and I am afraid I do not have a good excuse. I even have the summer off (lucky me) but have found my drive to shoot wanting at times, perhaps even more my drive to process the images is even more wanting. I should note that my computer is in a room I choose not to cool, and I do suppose I could change that. In addition, I have also committed to ride 100 miles a week on my bike this summer in order to lose a chunk of weight, and, well, that does take up a goodly amount of time.

This past Saturday whilst riding through a very sketchy alley with friends I saw these amazing purple/blue flowers (photo 2) and really wanted to come back and shoot them. So, I decided to get out on foot that evening and explore my new neighborhood a bit. In truth, walking that alley alone with a camera was not necessarily the safest of things, but I decided to do a quick pass. It is hard to figure out such things in neighborhoods which are so beautiful and often so serene, but which really do have some dangers lurking in them for those who do not pay attention. I am learning.

At any rate, I hope you enjoy this rare post 🙂 and the images of flowers I was able to capture in an hour or so’s walk within a mile of my home. Some are cultivated flowers and some weeds, which are only deemed so by our definition. Alas, the purple flowers had already called it a day, but still were lovely. Finally, thank you for visiting or sticking with the Dassler Effect. It is much appreciated.

In Ruins II – The West End – St. Louis – The Artistic Appeal of Ruin – Lomography

I drive by this house and I am drawn to take its picture. You will have come to this blog and you will be compelled to “Like” this post. And I do not mean to say that as a sort Jedi mind trick, as in “You will like this post.” But sometimes I am perplexed by my own fascination with such scenes.

Despite having what I feel is a laudable desire in myself to find beauty in broken things, some of my appeal for such images is culturally conditioned, I am sure, and perhaps is a byproduct or even a luxury from living in relative affluence. Do people who may have to live in such places, or other types of squalor, feel any sort of artistic draw to them, except perhaps for a nostalgic or reflective aesthetic draw later when they have escaped from them? Paging Dr. Maslow…

I once had a friend who was bi-polar and so suffered from a fair amount of ruin and fracture in his own person. He was also from another culture which seemed to give him less of a tolerance for things not overtly beautiful being set up as art (the discussion of culture and beauty and art will have to wait for another time). He would look at my some of my pictures of urban ruins and broken glass and say that they made him feel bad.

I am not sure what to make of my own ramblings here or if I have found a satisfactory place for them to land. In the meantime, enjoy (?) these two shots of a ruined house in my neighborhood. The color palettes are slightly different in each of these images, though both are rather stylized in the lomo style.