Companions – Boon and Otherwise

A “boon companion” is usually one with whom you have good times. There are many boon companions to be seen in readers’ contributions to the current Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge, whose theme is “Companionable.”

My boon companion and I snapped a photo of our shadows one cold day in Manhattan:

These guys may not be boon companions, but they sure make an interesting pair:

I imagine these men that I noticed in a back alley in Seattle spend companionable time together every day – maybe not such productive time according to some people’s standards, but companionable nonetheless:

I’m not sure how much of a companion – boon or otherwise – this man thinks the Great Blue Heron that waits patiently beside him, hour after hour, really is:

On Captiva

These are most certainly boon companions – what trust – a calm face as the toenails are clipped:

Now, to throw a wrench into the flow of this post, did you know that gardeners talk about companion plants? Here’s a perfect example – only foliage, and what harmonious companionship they exhibit:

Back to a more typical view of companionship – this man can often be found playing his portable piano on the sidewalk outside Seattle’s Pike Place Market.  He plays as though there’s no better companion than his piano, and his music draws people whose companionship seems to grow deeper as they listen:

On a lighter note, these guys appear to be great companions too, don’t they?

Tomorrow another Weekly Photo Challenge will be posted. But meanwhile, there are a multitude of photos from last weeks challenge of companions to be found here.

PATTERNS

This week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge  is Pattern.  It’s everywhere.

Ponder this:

Does the key to the ubiquity of patterns in our world lie within our perceiving brain, or outside of us? Both? Is there any way to know?

And this:

“How is it that a man made, artificial, technological system is behaving like a natural system?  The more efficient it becomes, the more it looks like nature…”  From a video by Jason Silva called, TO UNDERSTAND IS TO PERCEIVE PATTERNS.

Watch it – it’s only 105 seconds long, and it will set your brain spinning.

Read about Jason Silva, who’s been called and “Idea DJ” whose short videos are “shots of philosophical espresso.”  Hey, no wonder I liked that video!

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Patterns have always motivated artists. Whether you locate them inside your perceiving brain, or outside in “nature”  (however you define that), they’re ubiquitous.   I need to narrow down this vast subject, so I’ve chosen patterns in leaves and branches, because they have interested me as long as I can remember.  I’ve abstracted these photographs in Photoshop, mostly using the Posterize and Cutout filters. It’s clear that the patterns I perceived here are at least partly inside my head.  I suspect some will resonate with patterns in your head, too.

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More PATTERNS await discovery at the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.

To spin your mind harder, try googling “Pattern perception brain” and then add “Philosophy.”  The two links below look interesting, but it’s warm and sunny out, it’s spring, and I think my brain’s telling me it’s had enough of the computer screen. For now.

http://nivea.psycho.univ-paris5.fr/Synthese/MyinFinal.html

http://www.newdualism.org/papers/J.Smythies/Perception_1-1.htm

Travel Theme: Foliage

Ailsa, at Where’smybackpack, has given bloggers a new challenge:  Travel Theme – Foliage. Anyone who knows me, knows I love all things botanical. I must have close to a thousand images of foliage of one kind or another, so I’m going to restrict my offerings to foliage seen while traveling – but you’ll see that restriction still permits quite a bit of latitude.

A yucca plant in Colt’s Neck, NJ, a township in rural Monmouth County.  Love those curls!

Sensitive fern on the Buffalo River in the Ozarks, in northern Arkansas. The Buffalo River “flows freely for 135 miles and is one of the few remaining un-dammed rivers in the lower 48 states.”  The National Park Service warns visitors not to rely on GPS in this remote area, but to use Arkansas road maps. Remember road maps? Flooding caused some of these leaves to be covered in mud; later, new leaves grew among the old.

On the edge of a parking lot in Fort Myers, Florida, tropical foliage is torn and caught on a bamboo stalk.

This old home on Whidbey Island, off the coast of Washington, is almost invisable under layers of moss, bushes, weeds and trees.

More rampant foliage takes over another overgrown roadside attraction – an old tobacco barn in rural Duplin County, North Carolina.

Foliage of a completely different sort – a Tillandsia – an “air plant” that grows by anchoring its roots in tree branches for support while its leaves absorb nutrients and water from the air.  When I placed it on a map of the area where I found it, its leaves seemed to echo the roadway lines.

Undersea foliage: kelp and a bull whip plant lie on a beach on Whidbey Island, Washington.

Western Hemlocks, their foliage drained of color in the gloom of the forest, tower over Lodge Lake Trail in the  Snoqualmie National Forest, in northern Washington state.

You can find more bloggers’ foliage photos at:

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/09/28/travel-theme-foliage/