Six (Christmas?) Trees Above Berkeley

Two of my past St. Lawrence University students are working on their Ph.D.s at Berkeley and I discovered yesterday that one was giving her Graduate Research Conference (Berkeley’s version of a thesis defense, but earlier) while the other was in the audience. I’m very proud of both of them.
Understandably, this had me thinking about my experiences at Berkeley. In this picture from Grizzly Peak, the perspective folds together Oakland, San Francisco, and Berkeley. In the foreground, look at those gnarled trees—they’re weird but they’ve grown tall. I’ll take that visual metaphor for the grad school experience. I took this picture on Christmas Day in 2016, so I guess that makes these Christmas trees, too.

Six (Christmas?) Trees Above Berkeley

Lighted Path

Getting into the Christmas spirit with some pictures from Longwood Gardens’ Christmas display! I always enjoy the holiday display, and photographing the lights was a lot of fun, getting the contrast between the motion of people in the center of the path with the stationary folks on the sides.

Lighted Path

Saturnalia Sunset

One of my favorite times (of the entire year) for photography is after Christmas dinner. Life is slow and sedate, and it matched the placid(ish) rolls of the Gulf of Mexico perfectly. Even the shapes of people are soft and indistinct—an impressionist’s idea of a family playing in the waves. Spending the holidays in Florida has a certain appeal.

Saturnalia Sunset

After Christmas

One of my earliest posts displayed the surreal beauty of Christmastime in the frigid suburbs of Chicago; given that much of the country is experiencing the balmy joy of summer, I thought a wee reminder of chillier times might be appropriate. (This photograph also continues what has apparently become a series, “Trees Next to Buildings.”)

After Christmas

Christmas Purple

Though the suburbs can be an ugly place, at times, there’s no time when they become more attractive than the Holiday season. I was particularly fascinated by the way the individual red, blue, green, and yellow lights in the front porch of this house blended together to dye the whole scene violet. It speaks to the spectroscopic subtleties of Christmas lights that a similar display in the adjacent house produces very different results.

Christmas Purple