Night Beauty

moon and fantasy art moon flower

“Moon Flower” by Arlene G.

 

 

Though you shun

The moonlight glow

The heavens and I know

Your shining beauty

Try as you might

You cannot hide

Your intensely lovely

Inner light

Even under

The dark veil of night

My soul still sees you

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A Glimpse of My World: Downtown Sacramento

This week I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse of Sacramento. A few years ago, I had to visit downtown Sacramento to complete an assignment for one of my graphic design classes. Sacramento may not be as glamorous as San Francisco or Los Angeles, but it is not completely boring either. This city has some strange claims to fame. For example, someone tried to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford here in the 1970s. Sacramento even had its own serial killer. In the 1980s, a woman named Dorothea Puente ran a boarding house on F Street in downtown Sacramento. Her tenants were elderly and disabled people, and the police found the bodies of seven of them buried in her backyard. She was also charged with murdering two other people. She was convicted for some of the murders and spent the rest of her life in jail. She died a few years ago, and someone bought her boarding house recently and turned it into a macabre tourist attraction.

On a lighter note, movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger worked in Sacramento when he was governor of California from 2003-2011. When I worked as an office assistant at one of the state government offices in downtown Sacramento, I had the opportunity to see him in person when he visited the office. He seemed tired, and, of course, he looked older than he did when he was doing action films in the 1980s and 1990s. My supervisor said that Arnold Schwarzenegger looked smaller in real life. I don’t think he had a lot of time to pump iron while he was governor of California.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos.

 

Murals

Downtown Sacramento is filled with colorful murals. Here is an old neglected one that I found on a closed-down store.

 

colorful mural on a closed-down store in downtown Sacramento

 

Even the ceiling above the doorway of the store was painted too.

ceiling mural of a closed-down store in downtown Sacramento

 

 

Theater Signs

I like looking at vintage and vintage-inspired signs, and Sacramento has a lot of them.

Crest Theatre

crest-theater2

The Crest Theatre is one of the more well-known buildings in town. According to the Crest Theatre website, it was built in 1912, and it was originally a vaudeville palace called the Empress Theatre. It also operated as the Hippodrome Theatre. The art deco look it has now resulted from renovations done in 1949. The Crest Theatre website notes that “during the 1950s and 1960s, it was one of the premier first-run movie palaces in the Sacramento area.” The Crest Theatre shut down in the early 1980s, but it was successfully reopened in 1986. It still remains open today, but once again it is “currently undergoing a modernization project.”

Source: “About” page – crestsacramento.com

 

Esquire IMAX Theatre

Esquire IMAX Theatre, Sacramento

I could not find out a lot of information about the history of this theater except for a short description on a website called localwiki:

The Esquire is a beautifully restored Art Deco movie theater that originally opened in 1940. It was closed for many years and remodeled into an IMAX theater around 1998-1999.

This is a huge movie theater with a huge IMAX screen that is several stories high. Specifications (75.7 ft. wide by 59 ft. tall) It plays 3D movies and 2D movies. There is comfortable stadium seating and digital surround sound.

Source: “Esquire Imax Theater Sacramento” – localwiki.org

Odd Fountain Sculpture

fountain-sculpture1-opt
fountain-sculpture2-opt

 

After doing some research, I found out that this fountain sculpture is called “Time to Cast Away Stones.” It was created by a local artist named Stephen Kaltenbach. The photos above show only half of the fountain sculpture. There is actually another companion piece to this one, and there is a walkway that separates both parts.

According to a website called Pedestrian Art, Sacramento, the “sculptures evoke Greek or Roman ruins,” and “you can find many interesting images within the seeming jumble of stone.” In addition, there are some questions carved into the fountain, which are hidden by the water flowing from the fountain:

Where are we going?
What have we wrought?
How are we loving?
What have we thought?

Here is an interpretation of the meaning behind this statue:

On her blog, Jenny Arnez describes how the title of this piece reminds her of a biblical quote and the affect it had on her:

“Time to Castaway Stones” brings to mind Ecclesiastes 3:5. The New King James version says, “A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” The sculpture causes me to think and question not only our society’s actions but my own daily choices as well.

Even with some effort, I cannot see this fountain sculpture from Arnez’s perspective. This strange display of disembodied heads and body parts surrounded by a pool of flowing water seems kind of creepy to me.

 

Source: “Fountain: Time to Cast Away Stones – 13th & K” – Pedestrian Art, Sacramento

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Fossils

shell fossils

“Shell Fossils” by Petr Kratochvil

 

As I gaze upon you

My mind intertwines

With ancient history

Back to a younger age

When nature freely reigned

And your life was sustained

By a world of

Lush trees

Warm seas

A paradise indeed

Until your story

Came to an end . . .

 

As my fingers follow

Your rough curves and ridges

I trace my fate in you

Though I laugh and breathe now

I won’t be

For eternity

One day

I will reach

The turning point

When life reels

And death rules

Then time peels

My essence away

Leaving only

A shell of myself

Behind.

 

Until then

I must wander upon

The winding way of life

Knowing

All my thoughts

All my dreams

All that I am now

Will not last

And I will

Eventually become

A dim imprint

Of the past.

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Heart and Soul

The Heart and Soul nebulae are seen in this infrared mosaic from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE.

Heart and Soul nebulae.jpg
By NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA (WISE) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Heart and Soul nebulae are seen in this infrared mosaic from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Also visible near the bottom of this image are two galaxies, Maffei 1 and Maffei 2. Maffei 1 is the bluish elliptical object and Maffei 2 is the spiral galaxy. All four infra-red detectors aboard WISE were used to make this image. Colour is representational: blue and cyan represent infra-red light at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is dominated by light from stars. Green and red represent light at 12 and 22 microns, which is mostly light from warm dust.
24 May 2010
Source: WISE

 

Cosmic heart and soul

Made of

Shining stars

Swirling gases and

Stardust-filtered light

Be not

A dark universal reflection

Of love

As a smoke-and-mirrors illusion

Seen by those with jaded vision

But let me be

Starry-eyed

And envision you

As an ethereal re-creation

Of an enduring bond

That may

Bend with age and time

But remains

Unbroken

By life’s pains and tragedies

Or even

By the rough grip of death.

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week’s post features photos of naturally formed heart-shaped lakes. Strangely enough, many of them are located in mountainous regions of the world.

Lake Herzee

Heartlake "Herzsee" in the Region Montafon (Hochjoch) in Vorarlberg/Austria.

Herzsee HeartLake Montafon Hochjoch.jpg
By Bauken77 (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Heartlake “Herzsee” in the Region Montafon (Hochjoch) in Vorarlberg/Austria.
August 2005

 

This description of Lake Herzee is an excerpt from a tourism website called tyrol.tl:

The lake is particularly popular with hikers, as there are numerous hiking paths leading past Lake Herzsee, which is of course a popular resting place. This is where you can perfectly enjoy nature, sit back and relax and enjoy the surrounding mountains. For its main purpose, which is pisciculture, it attracts a large number of fishermen. The wide variety of fish species as well as the enorm[ous] prescence of fish makes Lake Herzsee a real paradise for fishermen. However, only members of the Association Fischerverein Tyrol are allowed to fish in this lake.

And if you’ve got a really good imagination, you might recognise the heart-like shape of the lake, as “Herz” in German means heart and this is probably where the name derives from.

Source: “Lake Herzee” — tyrol.tl

 

An article called “For Valentine’s Day, Five Heart-Shaped Lakes” by Daniel Kelly provides brief descriptions of the following four lakes. It was published in Lake Scientist, an online journal about lake science and research.

 

Heart Lake, Olympic National Park

Heart Lake, Olympic National Park, Washington

Heart Lake, Olympic National Park (Washington) (456501128).jpg
By brewbooks from near Seattle, USA (Heart LakeUploaded by Hedwig in Washington) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
DSCN6374
20 September 2003, 12:57
Source: Heart Lake

 

Located in the Seven Lakes Basin of Olympic National Park, Heart Lake is named for its distinctive shape. The basin is mostly barren, but surrounded by old-growth forest and alpine meadows. Though there are fish in other lakes in the basin, Heart Lake has none.

 

Lago di Tom

Lago di Tom with Lago Ritom in the background. Two lakes in the Piora Valley, Ticino, Switzerland

Ritom01.jpg
By Tici23 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Lago di Tom with Lago Ritom in the background. Two lakes in the Piora Valley, Ticino, Switzerland
14 September 2008

 

Sitting in Switzerland’s Piora Valley, which has a mild climate, Lago di Tom takes in high amounts of sunshine and warm temperatures. Much of its surroundings are considered part of the Alps, and are prone to fierce storms. The region is known to have the most lightning discharge in Europe.

 

Trnovacko Lake

Trnovacko Lake

Trnovacko Lake (3886672219).jpg
By NH53 (Trnovacko LakeUploaded by Smooth_O) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Trnovacko Lake
24 August 2009, 15:22
Source: Trnovacko Lake

 

This lake in Montenegro is surrounded by mountains and sits at an altitude of nearly 5,000 feet. It gets its water from the peaks. Trnovacko Lake is known for its shape, but also the deep blue-green color of its water.

 

Green Lake (Zemra Lake)

Green Lake captured from a mountain nearby.

Green Lake is such a heart!.jpg
By Elbunitkrasniqi (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Green Lake captured from a mountain nearby. [Kosovo]
21 August 2010, 12:54:05

 

Also known as Green Lake, this lake rests within a Kosovo mountain range, only a few hundred meters from the country’s border with Albania. Many smaller lakes are found in the region, but none have its shape.

 

  I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day! :)   

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Living Bridge

Double living root bridge in East Khasi

Living root bridges, Nongriat village, Meghalaya2.jpg
By Arshiya Urveeja Bose (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Double living root bridge in East Khasi
16 May 2011
Source: Flickr

 

living root bridge made of woven Banyan tree roots

Double Decker Living Root Bridge2.jpg
By Ashwin Kumar (Flickr: Double Decker Living Root Bridge) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Great Engineering! The Bridge is constructed by weaving the roots of Banyan trees and allowing it grow and thicken! Typically take about 50 years to construct!
28 May 2012, 12:37:48
Flickr: Double Decker Living Root Bridge

 

Come

Let us ascend

This living bridge

And feel the green roots

Under our feet

Hold the root rails

In our weary hands

And marvel

How they

Pulse with life

Like the rushing blood

In our veins.

 

We feel no fear

In this odd safety net

High above

Our broken world

Fragmented by hate and decay

For one suspended moment

We are whole

We are still

We transcend

The turbulent flow of life

Always moving

With an undercurrent of sorrow.

 

We do not dismay

That we may

Never come this way again

Instead we live

In the newness of now

Renewed by the energy

Of this elevated ever-growing sanctuary

Though we cannot stay

Our lives and love

Will remain

Uplifted by

The surreal vitality

We discovered

On this out-of-the-way bridge

Suspended between heaven and earth.

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A Colorful World

It has been raining on and off for the past few days here in Sacramento. The one bright sight I saw today was a rainbow that appeared down my street close to sunset. I did not have my camera with me, and I rushed inside the house to get it. You can probably guess what happened next. By the time I went outside again, most of the rainbow vanished. All that was left of it was a fading pink streak.

To cheer myself up and hopefully other people stuck in dreary winter weather, I decided to do a post featuring colorful images. I am looking forward to spring coming next month and seeing more color in my part of the world.

 

colorful umbrellas hanging over a walkway in Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar

Souq Waqif, Doha, Catar, 2013-08-05, DD 11.jpg
Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar
5 August 2013, 09:19:15

 

Pillars of Sagami Temple at Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan

Sagami Temple 2600px.jpg
663highland [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
Pillars of Sagami Temple at Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan.
27 January 2007

 

The meaning of the word Tinku is "encounter" (from the Quechua word tinkuy, found) place: religious feast of the Candelaria, Copiapo Chile

Baile tinku.jpg
By Juan Pablo Gallo (originally posted to Flickr as baile tinku) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
El significado de la palabra Tinku es “encuentro” (de la palabra quechua tinkuy, encontrarse)
lugar: fiesta religiosa de la Candelaria, Copiapo Chile.
English translation: The meaning of the word Tinku is “encounter” (from the Quechua word tinkuy, found)
place: religious feast of the Candelaria, Copiapo Chile.
3 February 2008, 17:40:55
originally posted to Flickr as baile tinku

 

Straw bears in the street in Walldürn (Neckar-Odenwald district, Baden-Württemberg), Germany, with brightly dressed attendants

WalldürnStrawBears&LollyGirl.jpg
By Photographer:SiGarb (scan from my own 35mm negative) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Straw bears in the street in Walldürn (Neckar-Odenwald district, Baden-Württemberg), Germany, with brightly dressed attendants.
18 February 2011, 12:54:49

 

   "Hawaiian leisure suit". A bar patron in the Mission in San Francisco.

HawaiianLeisureSuit.jpg
By Ian Ransley [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
“Hawaiian leisure suit”. A bar patron in the Mission in San Francisco.
8 September 2007, 19:18:17
originally posted to Flickr as Hawaiian leisure suit

 

A hopper (Phrictus quinqueparitus) at La Selva Biological Station, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica.

Phrictus quinqueparitus (Puerto Viejo, CR).jpg
By Geoff Gallice (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dejeuxx/6355785177/) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
A hopper (Phrictus quinqueparitus) at La Selva Biological Station, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica.
4 October 2011
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dejeuxx/6355785177/

 

Harlequin bug instar

Harlequin bug instar (Explored) (8600292294).jpg
By James Niland from Brisbane, Australia (Harlequin bug instar (Explored)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Didn’t have any eggs to paint but I thought this bug might make up for it :) Cotton farmers don’t like them though as they can be quite a pest.
6 January 2013, 01:10
Source: Harlequin bug instar (Explored)

 

Panther Chameleon

Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis).jpg
By Tom Junek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Furcifer pardalis
Panther Chameleon
5 May 2003

 

Synchiropus splendidus, Callionymidae, Mandarin Dragonet; Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe, Germany.

Synchiropus splendidus 01.jpg
By Llez (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Synchiropus splendidus, Callionymidae, Mandarin Dragonet; Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Karlsruhe, Germany.
17 July 2010

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