Things I learned by watching soap bubbles.

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  • their existence is delicate and fleeting, and must be carefully observed and appreciated.
  • they’re incredibly adaptable and efficient in their use of space.

 

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  • it only takes a little light to make them shine.
  • each one is a mirror to the world.

 

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  • when one departs, the others cluster to fill the gap left behind.
  • big or small, and no matter how densely packed, they always make room for one another.
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Drab to fab.

I don’t have grand, elaborate entrances this week for my submission to Norm’s Thursday Doors. In fact, today’s doors are pretty inconspicuous. They’re hidden inside a work of art.

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For that, we can thank artist Stephanie Boutari. This mural transforms the rear of this bland and generic strip mall into a unique and colourful canvas. Street art can truly add personality and interest where they may be lacking. I like the vibrancy and sweeping curves of this piece.

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The details were carefully considered to ensure the look is unified in the big picture. The lines are sharp, clean and vivid – even up close. Only the metal ring in the bottom photo, jutting from the wall, shows a little wear and tear.

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In this week’s post, the walls are more impressive than the doors themselves, but given the state of these walls, I didn’t think you’d mind. Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

Looking up.

The photographer was mildly injured during the production of today’s photos (more about that in a second).

The exterior of this old building features two perfectly straight rows of rectangular indents in the stone. I’m guessing they once supported wooden ceiling beams for a room that no longer exists. The notches aren’t useful for holding up beams any longer, but they sure make great nesting areas for the birds.

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For a half-hour, I watched dozens of these birds chatter and flit around. Birds and wildlife are not my photographic strengths, but it seemed like an opportune time to practice. Unfortunately, the birds are pretty much the same colour as the wall, so my photos were lacking impact (that’s a nice way of saying they were crap).

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So I changed tack. I pressed myself right up against the wall in a manner that surely looked inappropriate (or at least odd) to passersby. I pointed the camera up and rested it flat against the wall. I waited. I made my shots when my subjects landed in the notches above me. I know the results aren’t award-winning or anything, but I liked the effect of the unusual angle.

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Which brings me to my injur(ies). Holding this position – standing while pressed flat against a stone wall and looking up at an angle of 90 degrees – is not ideal for promoting neck comfort (I may need a heating pad tonight).

I’m not sure whether getting hit in the head with bird excrement counts as an injury (I may need a shower tonight, too).

Fifty shades of green.

For this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, we were asked to think about green. Easy – my favourite colour! I made some photos of the emerging daylilies, allium and tulips in my garden, thinking they’d be ideal to show off green’s welcome return.

Then I forgot about it. I took the kids to school. I washed the dishes. I went to Home Depot to buy some potting soil.

On the way to the garden centre, I passed through the paint aisle, where I made an abrupt halt. There, on each side, were rows upon rows of paint chips. In every colour and every shade – of beige, of blue, of yellow.

Of green.

Back at home, I spent an absurd amount of time photographing patterns of paint chips in various shades of green. I wasn’t really happy with my shots, and figured I’d go back to my original idea of posting spring flora for the challenge. In one last attempt, I purposely threw everything out of focus and, surprisingly, ended up liking the soft, abstract result.

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And because my hands had been holding so many interesting shades of green (“Intoxication,” “Chard,” “Tuscan Herbs”), I pondered about this colour and its multiple personalities.

When green is ugly, it has a nauseating, radioactive glow. It’s the corrosion of the copper pipes in my basement and it’s the revolting squish of seaweed between my toes. It’s the fuzz of mold feeding on stale bread, and the soft rot of spoiled fruit. It’s the bitterness of Brussels sprouts and the wrath of the Incredible Hulk. It’s my exasperation with the immortal dandelions choking my garden and the embarrassment of spinach stuck in my teeth. It’s the blasted grass stains that refuse to budge from my kid’s jeans.

But let’s not forget: where there’s darkness, there’s also light.

Green is the shimmering, otherworldly gleam of the northern lights. It’s the crunch of a Granny Smith apple and the sinus-clearing freshness of peppermint. It’s the luck of a leprechaun’s four-leaf clover, and it’s squeaky Palmolive clean. It’s a crude but big-hearted animated Scottish ogre. It’s the traffic light granting permission to proceed, and the exit sign for those who can’t find the door. It’s the lush, humid heat of the tropics. It’s smooth, velvety moss and sharp, pungent pine. It’s the impossibly iridescent emerald feathers of a mallard duck, and it’s a seedling rising from the ashes of a forest fire.

It’s envy and greed, sickness and decay. It’s renewal and progress, opportunity and hope.

I think it may have a bit of an identity crisis.

No matter. Green: I will love you unconditionally.

P.S.
Dear readers – let me know if you want to paint a wall green. I’ve got a few extra paint chips hanging around.