Monday, November 01, 2004

photo of the day: is it dreamy, or is it creapy

I'm trying to find out which of the photo-blogging tools (Hello and Flickr) works better... In terms of the quality, I'm completely for Flickr, but I don't like the way it places the photo and the text. Another drawback of Flickr is my narrow-band connection. It takes minutes to upload a single picture. Probably I should learn HTML to have a better control over what I post.

I took this picture about ten days ago (and have been a slacker), when I went out for a walk around Skokie Lagoons in Northbrook. Several pods of lady's slippers have just popped open, and the fresh, white fluff of thier seeds was absolutely beautiful, without any hint of moisture, dust, or anything else. (The white hair can be VERY nasty when it's wet and dirty, believe me.) I thanked my good luck and took several pictures of them. I continued the walk, and then some other newly-popped pods caught my eyes. In a corner of my blurred eyesight, I saw something very bright and animate. All curious, I slashed my way through tall weeds (picking up a bunch of prickly seeds, of course,) to the tiny orange objects, and found out that there were tens of orange and black insects, about half an inch in length, busily toddling among the gorgeous white fluff. Even under the overcast sky and poor light, it was a fascinating sight.

住んだことのない土地に住む楽しみの一つは、何もかもが新鮮に見えること。実際 に見たことのないものもあれば、見慣れない背景を与えられたことで新鮮に見 える、見慣れたものたちもある。この前衛芸術のような奇妙な植物は、私にとっては(おそらくはほとんどの日本人にとっても)前者に属する。実の形から lady's slipperと呼ばれるこの植物、日当たりを好むらしく、開けた平地に群落を作って生えていることが多い。6月に小さな花がたくさん集まって大きな鞠の ように見える花が咲いたあとに、ベルベットのような毛の生えた固い殻に包まれた種ができ、10月頃になるとそれが次々と弾けて、白いふさふさの綿毛のつい た平べったい大きな種が大空に放たれる。すっくと伸びた茎についた鎧のような殻の割れ目から、整然と並んだ清潔な綿毛が風になびく様はまさに壮観。そこに オレンジの地に黒い模様の婆娑羅な虫まで加わって、幻想的なような背筋が寒くなるような。この奇妙なミスマッチ、確かに私を捉えて放さない不思議な魅力を 持ってはいた。(Skokie Lagoons, IL. Oct./22/2004)
Originally uploaded by uBookworm.


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