Friday, December 5, 2008

Beauty in Urban Industrial Photography

Decaying cities, abandoned factories, glass-covered empty lots -- what could be uglier?

But, being an engineer and urban creature, I've actually been fascinated by the industrial zones of cities. Here in New England, many of the river cities had an extensive network of canals. In the 1900s, the factories were powered by canal water passing through turbines.

I just returned from a trip to Lowell where I took some pictures of the canals and factories in the fading light of late afternoon with the oncoming of winter.

As with people, with the right lighting, even the ugly can take on a striking beauty.

Above: Dam building over the Hamilton Canal, bathed in the warm light of a setting sun.

Below: Another canal in Lowell

Below: Old factory, reflecting the setting sun. Even the grass in the abandoned lot takes on the look of "amber waves" when bathed in such warm light.

water rushes out of a conduit below the dam.

Below: waiting platform for a trolley shuttle service that uses historic cars from the same era as the factories.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Friendly Felines, Carnivorous & Cohabitating

The world is more or less divided into those who love cats and those who hate them. Well, I fall into the first category, and cohabitate with 2 carniveorous friendly felines. They are part Maine coon cats, and come with lots of fluff. (And my clothes pick up lots of fluff, too!)

But, as the weather turns cold, there's nothing like a fluffy, purring lap cat (cuts down on heating bills, too!).

"Fluff #1" on the left is the affectionate, but skittish one we call Scout. "Fluff #2" on the right is the smarter and more self-reliant Maggie. They were litter mates, but have grown apart and each has its own territory. About once a day they pounce on each other.

The funniest thing is when we actually get a mouse in the house, and they try to take care of things. One will catch the mouse, walk around with just the tail sticking out of her mouth, and then let it go. Then they paw at it, and maybe catch it again or just loose interest. Good thing they are fed cat food, as they might not survive on their hunting sills.

Here are 2 cats who know how to keep warm in the mountains of Peru. Comecuye is sitting on top of the wood stove while kitten #2 sits under the stove with just his head sticking out. They keep their welcome by staying out of the way and catching any unwelcomed rodents. (But not the guinea pigs, which share the kitchen and courtyard – they are a delicacy in Peru.)

Later Comecuye curls up to keep warm in the kitchen.