As always, after dropping my wife off, I loitered about Marywood University, across the street from our house, wearing my face mask per university rules. Here are some of the things I saw and photographed: come walk with me.

Figure 1. Wee trees. Marywood University. Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Walking south from Nazareth Hall toward the Rotunda, and I confess this was from Saturday, I caught sight of a pleasant stand of wee trees (maples?) to the north of the Learning Commons (figures 1, 2). The windy day had all the trees in the grouping shaking, and they turned color depending upon which sides of their leaves the wind was exposing to view.

Figure 2. Wee trees blowin’ in the wind. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

I think figure 2 catches some of the energy of the wind, which was stiff to the point of blustery.

Figure 3. Learning Commons (with wee trees). Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

But in the first picture I took today (figure 3) I caught the wee trees and the northern corner of the Learning Commons in the reflecting pool monument in the Italianate garden.

Figure 4. Learning commons and wee trees in reflecting pool. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

I never tire of exploring the possibilities of that little reflecting pool. It’s the size of one of those shield-shaped snow sleds and is constantly but gently fed with water from deep in the bowl. In calm weather like today’s it always presents a glassy surface. My Nikon’s lens is physically too wide to easily get right down to the water and get a seamless reflection, alas! But my iPhone can scrootch right down to the water’s edge. However, today, I propped it up in portrait orientation with the lens iPhone-height above the water. I wanted to capture the closest tree of the Italianate garden top to bottom in life and in reflection (figure 4): usually, like the typical amateur photographer, I cut off the head. The speckle pattern you see in the pool is the fabric of the monument, a type of granite, I think, seen through the clear, shallow water at the edge.

Figure 5. Wasps in an art. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Leaving the reflecting pool I headed over toward one of the arts in the Italianate garden. I very much like its colored glass inserts, but I REALLY liked the wasps’ nest. And somehow (gratefully) I did not see that it is an active wasps’ nest until I blew up the picture in post! They are, however, wonderful.

Figure 6. Woodear funghi on beech trunk. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Exiting on the south side of the main (Marian) gate, I stopped to see the cadaver of Beechy Keen, the felled diseased beech bits of whose limbs, not unlike saints’ relics (this is a Roman Catholic school, after all!) I have in my possession at home. Beechy’s been busy sprouting some woodears (figures 6, 7) that have literally encompassed the little clovers and parsley-like things they’ve bumped into while growing.

Figure 7. Woodear funghi lower angle. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

I kind of liked the side view showing the woodears’ undersides. I do regret failing to get the front of the large woodear fully into focus (figure 7).

Figure 8. Decorative grass with Rotunda in background. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Passing through the gate (which to date has resisted every effort to find a good angle or light to do it justice), I captured an image of the decorative grasses that have been planted for late summer at its sides. Figure 8 shows the grass on its south side. Is that the dome of the rotunda out of focus behind the grass? . . . .

Figure 9. Rotunda with decorative grass in foreground. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Why yes, it is! (figure 9). I’m just playing with the focus mechanism of my camera here. I then headed north past the arch of the gate to the decorative grasses on the north side.

Figure 10. Decorative grass. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

I did want to let the tassels of the grasses shine on their own, and a big expanse of lawn furnished a blank canvas for them (figure 10). If you raise your head up from the image of figure 10 directly you see . . . .

Figure 11. Japanese Maple showing color. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

. . . . a gorgeous Japanese Maple which I was able to frame in front of a couple of large trees (figure 11). In post I dulled the greens down to let the maple pop and dimmed the bright drab uniform overcast sky with a strong vignette. If I were artsier I’d have turned everything but the maple grey, but I was too lazy.

Figure 12. Flyblown sheet music. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

There’s a bus stop immediately to the north of the arch, and there, under some roses, I saw an apposite piece of fly-blown sheet music (figure 12). This was the spoils of the winds plucked from the hands of some luckless singer over the blustery weekend.

Figure 13. Dandelions just opening at bus stop. Marywood University, Scranton, PA. Photo: author.

Finally, in the moment before leaving campus and crossing the street, I spotted some dandelions which were just opening for the day (figure 13). Dandelions are quite pretty up close, but the plant is usually so scrappy that it has a tawdry reputation. But these little cups, just opening, had a fresh, lovely look about them. Indeed, with its long, hairy stem, the closer one looks like a yellow poppy.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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