A full-scale fireworks display is usually “far away”—over a park or a body of water, perhaps. When St. Lawrence University puts on a fireworks show for graduation, however, the fireworks are right on campus. Imagine watching that show from your dorm-room window!
Fireworks are lovely displays of chemistry and physics in action on their own, of course, but there’s an extra dimension of enjoyment from being part of a crowd and feeling the shared excitement.
Congratulations to St. Lawrence University’s Class of 2022, who graduated yesterday. Celebrations on campus included this fireworks display. Huge arcs of chemical light across the sky look particularly appropriate over Johnson Hall—the chemistry (and biology) building.
Walking home through the blue hour at the height of spring, the momentarily deserted campus made me feel as though I’d passed into some alternate fey dimension—as though I might emerge at some radically different position in time or space.
Is lunch better taken beneath the golden leaves of a tree in the open air, or inside a dining hall filled with friendly faces? The answer all depends on the season.
Does anything say “college life” more than an afternoon nap in the sunshine beneath autumn foliage?
I recently returned to this shot from 2015 to reprocess the original raw for a calendar of B&W images for St. Lawrence. While it may not have Iwan Baan‘s level of people in the image, the bicycle adds a nice sense of quiet, human scale to the setting.
St. Lawrence’s campus emits white light at night, while Park Street uses orange sodium lamps.
A well-stocked and well-arranged chemistry lab tends to accumulate localized collections of one specific part that wind up looking like a page from a scientific supplies catalog.
The most senior faculty member in St. Lawrence University’s Department of Chemistry is preparing to retire and I selected this image to present to him. (Shhh, keep it a secret for a few more days.) He often looks out from Johnson Hall of Science, the building in the foreground, north towards the older parts of campus (like the chapel spire above the horizon.) In this image, I hopefully captured for him both where he stands and what he sees so that he can take them with him when he goes.
A big, dramatic sky after a fresh snow matches the mood of St. Lawrence’s chapel.
April Fool’s Day played a prank on the reemerging plants of the North Country, dropping ice and snow onto green grass and growing buds.
This is my Schlenk line; there are many like it, but this one is mine. The double-manifold design allows my students and me to expose samples to either vacuum or inert gas (argon, in this case.) Every line has little tweaks and customizations made by the scientist using it, and is thus inevitably a work-in-progress. This particular line very much needs a full-time vacuum gauge as its next addition.
This tiny warm spot near both a vent (for heat) and a downspout (for ample rainwater) continues to have green grass while the rest of the campus is locked beneath a blanket of snow.
The classic winter picture of clean, fresh snow and bright blue skies seems much easier to come by, ironically, under less-wintery conditions near the beginning or end of the season. Under the snow at the edge of the patch in the foreground, you can see that the grass is still green.