Sunday, January 09, 2011

Tree shadows and a bonus spaceman

My mom had two trees removed from her front yard about a month ago.  One was a pine tree that was at least as old as her house - 43 years old.  Another was an oak tree that was planted in 1977.  (I remember reading issue 5 of the Star Wars comic book adaptation as it was being planted.)  Both were strong and healthy, but a bit large for a suburban development - and, frankly, we've been increasingly concerned about one or both toppling in a windstorm.

Her front yard still features one large and impressive tree:  a Japanese Red Maple.  Long thought to be a sterile dwarf, it is now probably some twenty feet tall and regularly presents us with offspring.

I stopped over her house after clearing the light snow that fell overnight from my porch, steps, and sidewalk.  I had not shoveled her walk at all from yesterday's dusting, and had to remove both that and the overnight snow from her front sidewalk.  As I stepped out of my car I noticed a complex tracery of shadows on the snow from sunlight shining through the branches of the red maple.  For the last third of a century this view would have been compromised by the oak tree, but now that it's gone, there are new vistas to be seen.

By the time I pulled out my phone, activated its camera, and fumbled to get the leather case out of the way of the lens, some clouds had passed over the sun, making the shadows fade.  I waited until the sun was in a relatively clear spot and then realized that my polarizing sunglasses were rendering my view of the screen completely black.  I took them off as quickly as I could, re-aimed the camera, and took the picture.

(Compare to this painting from four years ago.)

BONUS:  Back in August I was delighted to find the retro-cereal Quisp in my supermarket.  It was in an aisle-end display, and had the look and feel of a limited-time offer.  The special display soon disappeared, and in October I found myself wondering if Quisp would continue to be sold with the other breakfast cereals.  A quick scan of the sugar-frosted corn by-product section failed to turn up any Quisp.  But then I decided to look in a less-likely spot.  And there it was, hidden in the health-food section.

No, I did not put the Quisp there.

See also:

Quisp! Orange County Mexican Restaurants
(Note that this second link is to a post from the May 2006 limited release of Quisp that shows a box with the same comic strip on the back panel that was on the box I bought during the October 2010 limited release.  I wonder if I should be concerned about this.)


dee said...

That's a beautifully shaped tree. It makes quite a statement in every season, I imagine.

dCe said...

Love the shot of the Tree. Shadows somehow bring even a solid old tree to life! Nice job... and good for you for shoveling moms snow.

Marvin said...

Great capture of the Japanese Red Maple shadow. All paths converge on the trunk.

D.B. Echo said...

Thanks, everybody!

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for linking to my blog. Did you see that Target was recently selling Quisp in newly designed boxes?

D.B. Echo said...

I knew they were selling it, but I didn't realize they had new box designs. I'll have to look for it once our Target finishes constructing their grocery department!