30 November 2013

Sight, Sights Unseen and Plain Sight

When 'sympatico' with a person, work of literature, architecture, or place, those who perceive see much that others cannot/do not. When standing before an exquisite Adams (James, John, Robert or William, it matters not) building, seeing with the soul, not the eyes, one can perhaps envision the fullness of the beauty as the mind of the designer saw it, even before committing ink to paper. The same may be said in appreciation of a garden, a fence or headstone, -if- the rational mind can be silenced long enough for the higher thought processes to develop the concept to fruition.

 Likewise, much the same can be said of those who 'take snapshots' versus 'create images.' These days, with the tremendous computing power within a digital camera, a four year old can produce sharp representational images. But is that capturing or understanding the object in front of the lens? Mr. Fuzzy would say nay. The sharp image on the camera's memory card is but a beginning; the creation of an image of what the photographer saw in their own mind, informed by experience and sensitivity is yet nascent, requiring deliberation, craftsmanship and inspiration.

Rather than a dry written essay arguing or belabouring the issue, Mr. Fuzzy prefers to present to the reader a few examples from Edinburgh of what he beheld in his mind's eye.
Then you, dear reader, may form your own thoughts whether this concept has any merit whatsoever.
These images are meant to be viewed much larger than represented here; please click on them to enlarge...

20 November 2013

Chicken killer

Last night saw another raid on the chicken coop, resulting in the death of the last survivor of the original chickens four and a half years ago, the big Dominique rooster. The killer gnawed through the corrugated plastic wall of the green house, a first. I'll miss that old rooster, he was a fine one.

It came from the old coop side, where the intruder could, it seemed, not be stopped from entering. After examining it myself and with two neighbors, we were baffled by where a full grown raccoon could enter. Well, a careful inspection today in the late afternoon raking winter light revealed the entrance, see the photo below. I will now board that up and hope the problem is solved.

Last but not least, the silly Forsythia bushes... whatever kind of Forsythia these are, they bloom a bit all year, except for the dead of winter. Mind you, it has been as cold as 21F here recently and yet it blooms onward... talk about optimism.

12 November 2013


Noble readers, Mr. Fuzzy apologizes once more for the dearth of postings - it has been a month since last committing pen to paper, or electrons to the ether.

Today brings the first real winter storm to Stratheden Farm with some chance of snow. Mr. Fuzzy was absent for a fortnight (more on that below) and the season went from just past the peak of autumnal colours to a bare winter landscape with no leaves or weeds. Several times the low temperature has been 24F and tonight it may plunge to 21F; the temperature has fallen all morning.

Mr. Fuzzy had scheduled a trip to Scotland last May to attend a Royal Photographic Society biennial seminar and receive an award fro the Society. Alas, some sort of infection in both lungs laid him low for more than a month and any travel was prohibited. Thus, this trip was rescheduled to October in order to not lose the entire value of the airline fares. Another example of Divine Intervention; although it would have been most pleasant to attend the RPS seminar, by autumn, Mr. Fuzzy needed this trip and the timing was perfect.

There was relatively little sight-seeing but mostly visiting old friends not seen in six years. Beginning with dear friends, nay, family, in Edinburgh, and ending in Cupar, Fife, where Mr. Fuzzy once dwelt, the entire time was simultaneously restorative and exhausting. Over 3,000 photographs were made in the fortnight and it will take some months to sort through them before presenting the very best to you, devoted readers. For now, a few images of Auld Reekie (Edinburgh) must suffice.

Scotland, the country and its denizens, have always treated Mr. Fuzzy undeservedly well and this was no exception. Edinburgh is the only large city that Mr. Fuzzy has enjoyed - or loved. She is like a first love, now absent physically but never absent from memory & desire. Hence, hiraeth is the theme.

Edinburgh has multiple personalities: the obvious tourist sites such as the iconic castle, bustling neighborhoods with services utilized only by locals, and an overlap between the local and universal, such as the fine museums. Below is a visual tour of the toun, mayhaps will bring visual pleasure or warm memories to you. Until we meet again, I remain your obedient servant, Mr. Fuzzy.