Saturday, March 24, 2012

Breadscapes (March 24, 2012)

This looks like a barren foothill at dusk.
This weekend I decided to make some bread, as I often do on the weekend, since I like a bit of a break from working (and baking feels like an accomplishment, too!).

A volcanic landscape with rumpled rock & bare ridges or...
Baking bread also means I don't have to buy what they have at the shop, which I often don't like. Then there's the added bonus of being able to sample it fresh from the oven.

A river winding its way through a rocky valley spackled with snow.
  I decided not to try to cut the bread while it was piping hot because as delicious as it is, often the bread crumbles as it's being cut since the heat makes it very spongy.

Metamorphic rock in the making, or glacial ice, the blue bubbles pressed hard into strata?
So while I was waiting for the bread to cool, I put the loaf on a counter and took pictures of it sitting in the sunlight, because the patterns and shapes looked a lot like geographic formations when I "zoomed in" on them.

Bare boulders eroded by water?
The camera had some problems focussing when I tried to get too close to the bread, but I did like how abstract and alien the images started to look, especially after I converted them to black and white so their tan-brown colouring didn't provide a clue as to what was being photographed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cicadas (January 22-23, 2010)

These pictures were taken at Old Macdonald's Farm, near the Abel Tasman National Park in Marahau, South Island, New Zealand. I was thinking of this place the other day, because I was listening to a music track that had faint cicada sounds in the background, and the cicadas in this particular place were incredibly loud.

I really miss the cicadas' collective song, how it always seemed to thicken the air like humidity, as if it were a part of the heat itself--one of the elements of summer. I took the video below so I would be able to remind myself of it later, at a distance.

I remember as a child I'd lie on the front lawn, almost feeling the pulse of their sound, like a current that moves through flesh.

And if you listened for a while, you could hear patterns picking themselves out in the massive thrum--every now and then the little waves of sound would fall into sync, one wave amplifying another, you could hear them merging into each other and then, as part of the same pattern they became syncopated again, sawing new tense patterns, moving between conflict and concert, a "movement" itself formed entirely from impressions that emerged from the grand, cumulative throb of their song.

They must have been roosting on the trees here by the thousand. Walking along the dirt driveway formed into a tree-lined avenue, we were enveloped by the sound of this mass of tiny animals that remained almost completely unseen.

Above: Another insect we found nearby--unidentified as yet (and as far as I know--not a cicada), but interesting-looking!

Update: the kind folks at "What's That Bug" identified this as a (female) Huhu Beetle!