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Fall color

Post #1409 • October 26, 2009, 7:15 AM • 24 Comments

Photos by yours truly and Supergirl, taken at the Peters Hill section of Arnold Arboretum. It's time to admit that the auto-focus on my three-year-old Nikon D50 is shot, but we preserved the colors and memories if not all the detail.



Chris Rywalt

October 26, 2009, 7:52 AM

I didn't know autofocus could go bad. And after only three years? That's crazy for a an expensive camera like that. When my previously owned Nikon Coolpix 950 died, I didn't mind so much, considering how much I paid and how much use I got out of it. And how many times I dropped it (one of the things that finally went was the battery cover). If your D50 is having problems already, I'd be mad.

You've probably Googled this but just in case, check your foam.

The foliage is lovely. Yesterday I had to go out with William selling popcorn door to door for the Boy Scouts. On the way home the sun was just about setting and the orange glow reflected off the scattering of herringbone clouds to light up the yellows and reds of the street trees. It was a lovely moment, the kind I'd want to capture if I were a landscape painter, and for once I was glad the Scouts made me leave my house.


that guy

October 26, 2009, 8:02 AM

Nice pics Franklin. It seems Corot, Monet and God got together and said lets mess with Franklin and make him a photographer.



October 26, 2009, 8:04 AM

The camera has been through some heavy shit. I'll try cleaning the contacts as per the directions at the link, though - thanks for posting it.

Photographer for a day, anyway.


Chris Rywalt

October 26, 2009, 11:43 AM

I don't consider myself a photographer by any stretch, but I am an avid amateur, and there are plenty of things I see that I want to capture. My first, reflexive thought is, "I should paint that!" but then I invariably realize what I really want to do is photograph that, since what I want to capture is probably best caught in a photo.

I'd be surprised if most painters weren't at least amateur photographers.



October 26, 2009, 2:04 PM

Nice shots, Franklin and Supergirl. I keep going to the one with the wavy clouds (#7), but they're all effective. And the out-of-focus didn't show on my 4+ yr. old Dell screen.

Chris, I've been meaning to ask you about being involved with the Boy Scouts. It seems like that would be pretty fine. I've heard dads say they wonder who's getting more out of it, them or their sons.


Chris Rywalt

October 26, 2009, 2:25 PM

Hijacking Franklin's blog ever so briefly:

Do you have a Boy Scout-aged son, Tim?

I got a lot out of Scouting when I was a Scout. I was in the program pretty much the whole way, from 6th grade to high school graduation, and I made it up to Life Scout (the rank before Eagle). I learned a lot there and had a great time with some good people.

When William was old enough to join I hesitated, though, because of the Boy Scouts of America policy about homosexuals. I think it's wholly wrong and the program's suffered for twenty years for it (membership ranks have been down, funding is lower, and so on). But thinking about it I couldn't find a comparable program -- which is part of why BSA's stance is so completely wrong.

I finally gave up thinking about it too much. I've found parenting is like that: You literally don't have the time to ponder decisions because your kids keep growing. So William started in Cub Scouts (which I didn't) and last year became a Boy Scout.

Of course since I was a Scout, a serious Scout, I ended up in a leadership position with the Cub Scouts and then with the Boy Scouts. Because I'm unreliable and forgetful I've managed to avoid major positions of authority but I am an Assistant Scoutmaster, I go on most of the camping trips, and so on.

My son loves it. Loves it to pieces. It's one of his favorite things to do. He loves everything about Scouts: Camping, rifle shooting, campfires, cooking, merit badges, Scout history (he knows who brought the Scouting program to America, which I didn't even know), following older boys, leading younger boys, all of it. Except the uniform. He hates polyester.

As far as the dads (and some moms) go, we do get a lot out of it, I suppose. There's a lot of socializing. On trips parents (usually dads but moms sometimes go) have only some contact with the kids; mostly we do our own thing. That varies by troop, though.

Whenever I meet people without kids, or parents with very young children, I find they're not rooted in their communities. They don't know their neighbors, they don't know the cops in their town, they don't know who sweeps their streets. Kids, I find, connect you to those around you. You meet other people because of your kids.

Joining Scouts as an adult, you meet the people in your community. You meet the street sweeper, the police dispatcher, the volunteer EMT, the prosecutor, the state senator.

In my town you're not allowed to park your car on the street overnight. You need to be in your driveway. If you have to park on the street -- your driveway's under construction or you have guests or whatever -- you call the police station and let them know.

Every time I had to do that I dreaded it, because whoever was at the other end always sounded to me as if they had better things to do. It was, like, "Sigh. Let me take down your license plate." And I dislike dealing with people over the phone that way.

In Cub Scouts I met two of the full-time dispatchers who usually answer the phones. Now I know them by name, and they know me. We've gone camping together, laughed at each other's jokes, made fun of the horrible noises we make in our sleep. It's a huge relief that now, when I have to call the police station, I know who's on the other end.

All right, I've gone on long enough. It might not be as interesting as the pots. If you want to discuss it more, Tim, you have my e-mail address.



October 26, 2009, 2:49 PM

Thanks, Chris.



October 26, 2009, 5:38 PM

I kind of like this:

Green pot 1
Green pot 2
Green pot 3
Green pot 4



October 26, 2009, 7:52 PM

Those photographs of the fall foliage are lovely, but then I'm at one with Joyce Kilmer. I could look at trees for hours.


Chris Rywalt

October 26, 2009, 8:01 PM

When I think of Joyce Kilmer, I think of the New Jersey Turnpike.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as the New Jersey Turnpike
On a Friday afternoon
Round about quittin' time.



October 27, 2009, 9:17 AM

The verse I heard was

I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree
In fact, unless the billboards fall
I'll never see a tree at all.

What is this fixation with knocking New Jersey?


Chris Rywalt

October 27, 2009, 9:36 AM

Joyce Kilmer has a rest stop on the Turnpike named after him, which is the only reason I know he's the guy who wrote "Trees". Otherwise I might only have known the poem through Bugs Bunny.

Also, I live in New Jersey (and in fact just got home from driving the Turnpike, where I paused at the Grover Cleveland rest stop -- Cleveland having been born in Caldwell, New Jersey) but grew up in New York, so I sort of reflexively mock it here.

When Joyce Kilmer was my age, he'd been dead for eight years.



October 27, 2009, 11:54 AM

A friend of mine in Penns Grove sent a fine description of an evening sky on her way home from work in Philadelphia, red lace clouds against blue sky. Made me want to see it. It was nice to have her mention something besides her disdain for that state's government, an ongoing drama from what we see, hear and read around here.



October 27, 2009, 2:29 PM

Speaking as a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, I regard New Jersey as a parasite state, leeching off NYC at the north end & Philadelphia at the south end (commuters come into the cities to make money, then go home to the suburbs to spend it). But it does have some pretty countryside & some fine people have lived or currently live in it.



October 27, 2009, 2:34 PM

Wow these are some very beautiful scenes. Thanks for sharing!



October 27, 2009, 5:27 PM

Well Piri, for a New Yorker, that is rather high praise for New Jersey.



October 27, 2009, 5:39 PM

And to hell with the trees, I'll take the sky in the 7th one down.



October 27, 2009, 5:52 PM

John, be careful, you're starting to agree with me. (re comment #5.)



October 27, 2009, 5:52 PM

My friend Gabriel always says "I live in New Jersey, God's country."


Chris Rywalt

October 27, 2009, 6:11 PM

Having lived in New Jersey for over half my life now -- and god I never thought I'd have to say that -- I can honestly say I don't think anyone actually likes it here. Most of the people who defend it do so more to be contrary than any other reason. New Jersey sucks, but it's ours, so fuck you! That kind of thing.

It's honestly not that bad. It is something of a compromise state, as Piri says. It certainly is for me and my wife, since she's from Philadelphia and I'm from New York. (Lucky for me, with the World Series coming up, she's a Mets fan. Philadelphia sports fans are COMPLETELY INSANE.) We live here basically because it's where we met, and partway between her family and mine.

Alas, her family moved into the state and mine moved to Virginia. But now we're stuck here.

I actually like where I am in Jersey a lot more than where I grew up (Staten Island) and where my studio is (Brooklyn). Staten Island is the armpit of the universe. Not even the armpit -- armpits have a purpose.



October 27, 2009, 6:58 PM

I have relatives in NJ. I've visited, but it's not the sort of place that makes you want to return. I'm sure parts of it must be nice, or nice enough, but it has issues.



October 27, 2009, 7:01 PM

And Chris, I think people who take mainstream pro sports seriously are insane in general, but let's not go there. It's not exactly apt here.


Chris Rywalt

October 27, 2009, 8:09 PM

I drove across the country from San Francisco back to New York last August. I would say the same thing about every state I went through that you said about New Jersey, Jack.

Particularly Nevada. I'm convinced Nevada isn't a state so much as it's the space on the map surrounded by all the land people actually did want.



October 27, 2009, 8:40 PM

Chris, you must've taken different roads than I did.



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