Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Peek Into My Kaleidoscope Florals

I REMEMBER the wonder I felt as a child when I first peered into a kaleidoscope and saw magical shapes dance before my eyes by rotating a small device on something that looked like a telescope. The pretty patterns moved in unison and were constantly changing.

The word kaleidoscope came to mind when searching for a letter beginning with “K”. The word also inspired me to create less traditional patterns reminiscent of a kaleidoscope.

I selected triangle portions of the photograph I took of a floral bouquet and digitally duplicated and built on those shapes with a computer arts program. The result is similar to angled mirrors reflecting bits of colored objects.

Scientist David Brewster is said to have invented the kaleidoscope in 1816, naming it after the Greek words kalos for beautiful, eidos for form and scopos for watcher. Watching these beautiful forms is fun but so is making them.

Societies exist for those who are spellbound by the views inside the cylinders. There are complex varieties to simple options where designs can be created instantly HERE.

I think there is much more to how a kaleidoscope works than meets the eye. The patterns not only delight visually but perhaps also give us a peek into the mysterious workings of the universe. Although such details are apt to give anyone "brain freeze", there is discussion in some quantum physics circles that revolve around the kaleidoscope.

We are more familiar with microscopic scientific studies, however, that show particles of matter are composed of repeated and transforming patterns. Patterns can also be seen everywhere in nature with the naked eye. Not surprisingly, we humans seem innately attracted to symmetry.

I think if I were inclined to design extravagant floral wallpaper, the bouquet of flowers I picked as a base for my kaleidoscope patterns might do nicely.

This photo shows how I started the project with four duplicate triangles pieced together. I am as mesmerized now by these effects as when I was a child.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "K" for kaleidoscope. If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, March 26, 2012

1001 Steps Down & Through The Tunnel

CHECKERED SHADOWS lined the way as I carefully walked down the 1001 Steps in Ocean Park with my neighbour. The afternoon was sunny and a long awaited spring feeling was in the air.

Although there are probably fewer than a thousand steps, it is still a long way down zigzagging through trees and shrubbery.

We reached the slender path that winds along the bay and railway track.

Soon we arrived at a tunnel beneath the track that leads to the beach. Young people gather there leaving bold indecipherable messages.

The tunnel is only a few yards long.

Rocks made it difficult to leisurely walk so we sat on some stones and listened to gulls cry out and water flow along the rambling shore.

The tide was high but the waves were low and gently lapping.

A pet chewed on a log intently as if it had a rare magnificent prehistoric bone in its grip. An inukshuk blended in with the scenery.

We lingered letting the warmth of the sun wash over us. The tunnel in the background was a beacon of color and an entryway to climbing back up the challenging but doable 1001 Steps.

To view more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Friday, March 23, 2012

Playing Hide & Seek With Birds

I SPOTTED AN EAGLE high up on a tree branch during a recent stroll through Elgin Heritage Park. Its eyes were focused on the sky view and all I could see was its hunched feathery back.

It turned but I still could barely see it through the tangle of twigs. The majestic eagle largely ignored me and all the other passersby who looked up to catch a glimpse of it perched above their heads.

The bird's focus didn't waver as I played hide-and-seek trying to get a better look between the thick web of branches.

I glanced downward to discover a different bird with a similar attitude on the muddy shore. As I tried to quickly focus my camera, the heron moved away. Non-threatening people in the park are mere passing shadows to wildlife absorbed by their own dramas in a deep other world.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rain Cloud & A Puddle Of LIght

IT WAS LATE afternoon at Elgin Heritage Park where I walked recently. There was a lull in the snappy weather. A rain cloud hung in the sky like a large woolly blanket over Nicomekl River.

The tide was so low in spots it seemed I could walk to where the sailboats were docked. There was just enough sheen on the spongy mud floor to cause reflections.

Water trickled into nooks and crannies.

The bench was soaked from a previous rainfall so I stayed standing ...

and watched a break in the cloud dab a soft puddle of light onto the river.

See more skies from around the globe at Skywatch.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tears Of Joy

WHEN I was a little girl giddy with uncontrollable laughter I was told to settle down at times. The theory was that the more excited I got the sadder I would eventually become.

It seems that even extreme delight can be viewed as harmful when emotions swing from one mood to another. I don't know if there is a cap on gladness but I hope that laughter leads only to tears of joy.

When searching for a word beginning with "J", joy quickly came to mind. This little word with large implications rings like a musical note to many ears. Most of us like to see the word on various paraphernalia as a reminder of what we want to achieve. It makes me wonder if people named Joy are more cheerful.

Although joy can be heartfelt without the glee I expressed as a little girl, it does tend to reflect the carefree abandon of a child. More than a smile flashed for a camera, joy is internal and deep. Happiness is fleeting caused by events but joy is longer lasting and felt most often by those who are easily content.

Author Anais Nin explained joy elegantly when she wrote: "A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked. " - Anais Nin

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "J" for joy. If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bright Spots At End Of Tunnel

I TOOK THE SKYTRAIN at Bridgeport Station into Vancouver last week. It was a cold prickly day and there were strong winds.

The train was nearly empty at the start but filled up quickly. Not accustomed to traveling on the Skytrain, I expected some blue vistas along the way.

Moletrain might be a better name for this ride. There was no sky to see as we burrowed beneath city streets along a winding tubular tunnel stretched out for miles like a Slinky toy. The only views were of lights flickering in the outer darkness and reflections in the windows. Heads were bent and most passengers were deep into their books and electronic gadgets. Some people seemed asleep.

I got off at Vancouver City Centre Station and headed for the escalator. A huge poster of a man lying flat on his back was eye-catching. I don't know what it was intended to portray. The image reminded me of Gulliver's Travels and the tiny Lilliputians who captured Gulliver by pinning him to the ground as if he were a mammoth butterfly.

I exited the building to see the city sparkling at my feet. But it was very chilly and everyone was in a hurry.

People were intent on getting from here to there. The rain needling down was far from the soft squishy kind I am used to in Vancouver.

A colorful umbrella sprung open like a flower in the gray.

A woman with a suitcase full of treats sprinkled cupfuls of seeds on the sidewalk. Her kindness was a bright spot for the pigeons on that bitter day.

To enjoy more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Soft Touch Takes The Sting Out

THE FEATHER was really such a tiny thing and a joy to behold ...

when I noticed it yesterday on a bench at Elgin Park fluffed up by the breeze.

I wasn't sure what bird it belonged to and hoped it wasn't missed.

In the forest around a corner a pussywillow stem caught my eye.

Ice had melted into a teardrop on this fuzzy bloom.

It was hard to believe a few hours earlier sleet and snow made a comeback outside my door in southwest BC. I'm glad it faded soon and soft signs of spring took out the sting.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Think, Therefore, What Am I?

I THINK, THEREFORE, I AM is a famous phrase associated with philosopher Rene Descartes. It has been quoted throughout the ages as humanity ponders its existence. While searching for a word beginning with "I" it is this single letter in the quotation that stands out in my mind and causes me to examine what it means to be me.

How else would I preface every thought and sentence that I utter? It is, after all, all about me. As my baby picture shows, I was born an individual and I am not a "we". No one can see things exactly as I do from my wide-eyed perspective.

How different this world would be if every sense of self were abandoned for the global we. We would function more efficiently like bees in a hive working for a greater good. But it is the "I" in me that delights in its uniqueness. And although I think I am separate from others, I suspect trickery conceals that I am but a tiny droplet connected to one shared sea.

Perhaps the "I" in me is part of the grander "we". But right now I'm the star of my own reality show on live tv. And although my story is not the same as yours it is likely similar, which is why most of us can relate to the twists and turns and the ups and downs in Dr. Seuss's book: Oh, the Places You'll Go, so brilliantly interpreted by Burning Man 2011.

Click on the link above and see if you agree.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "I". If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Time Circles Forward At Elgin Park

A tousled branch at Elgin Heritage Park bows towards the river.

A bird scans the clouds from its lofty perch.

A pond murmurs deep in the forest where new life is about to unfold.

The inner clock of the natural world rolls to its next cycle without a care. We humans, on the other hand, are a little disoriented this morning because time “sprang forward” by one hour on Sunday. Moving from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time each March carries on a tradition based on outdated energy saving factors that make a lot of people lose sleep and energy. The process is reversed in November when time “falls back”.

To enjoy more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms