Posts Tagged ‘photo series’

Spray bottle trigger assembly, March 2013

The range of plastic refuse one encounters at the Falls of the Ohio State Park is both numbing (it’s obviously trash and shouldn’t be here) and morbidly fascinating (the design sensibility and colors ) catches one’s eye and occupies the mind.  Consider the variations in something as mundane as “spray bottle triggers” if indeed this is what you call these things?  I’m not sure when I started noticing these objects and photographing them…but here they are.  Each adventure to the river is sure to garner multiple images and story lines that I sift through at my leisure.  Consider this a personal cleansing of the spray bottle trigger palette.  Ironically, much thought went into designing each of these beauties to facilitate dispersal of their contents from plastic bottles.  I like the rotating tips that give me options such as “spray” or “stream” and so forth.  These triggers are ingenious and they do their jobs well.  Without further adieu and fanfare…here are more images from an admittedly odd collection.

red and black spray bottle trigger, March 2013

orange and white trigger, March 2013

dirty yellow and white trigger, March 2013

yellow and white trigger, March 2013

another yellow and white trigger, March 2013

white and green trigger, March 2013

yellow/green spray bottle trigger, March 2013

dark green trigger, March 2013

green and white trigger, March 2013

green and clear plastic trigger, March 2013

blue and white trigger, March 2013

another blue and white trigger, March 2013

white and purple trigger, March 2013


One final image in closing.  You know you have “arrived” when a cute miniature is produced.  Here’s a recent find from a sandy bank of the Ohio River at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.

miniature green plastic spray bottle, March 2013

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With the record rains and high water at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, 2011 has already become a memorable year.  Of all the wildlife I have observed this Spring, the sightings of so many Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) has added to the mystique of this year.  My history with this engaging turtle in this park is slim.  During the eight previous years I’ve come across live specimens only twice.  On two other occasions I’ve found the intact carapaces of deceased turtles, one of which had a pellet-sized hole in its shell.  Their relative scarcity reinforced the idea that although this is a widespread turtle in our country, it was becoming less common for many reasons including habitat loss, road kills, and wild animals collected for the pet trade.  What I’m about to present is a portfolio of eight individual box turtles that I have seen and photographed over the last two months.  No doubt the flooding helped concentrate them in ever shrinking territories and this is why I came to find them.  I tried to be careful in handling and left them where they were found.  The first turtle I came across was in the western section of the park and here are two images of it.

This one was found after the first flood.  It has really interesting and colorful beading on its neck.

The Box Turtle #2 was found swimming to higher ground during the height of the second flood in May and in the eastern section of the park.

Box Turtle #3, I found twice in the same day in the eastern section of the park.  Here is what it looked like. Note that the second scute bears what looks like a lower case letter “a” on its shell.

And now for the opposite side of turtle #3…

Here’s the same turtle the second time around and this time he has found a friend!

At first I thought this was a male and female turtle, but I didn’t check anything but eye color which in this case was on the red side indicating the chance they were both male.  When I came across them, they were certainly aware of each other.  The larger of the two box turtles may have been the older specimen based on how worn its shell was.  I’ve heard that counting the growth rings on these turtles is not a reliable way to determine their ages.  My field guides indicated that this is a long-lived turtle with individuals easily living to 40 to 50 years and in rare cases possibly a 100 years old.  Here are three images with Box Turtle #4.

Box Turtle #5 …I only have one image of it mostly retracted in its shell.  This one is also from the eastern section of the park. 

Box Turtle #6 is very colorful and was found near the Interpretive Center during the height of the flood.  Although it’s hard to tell…it’s standing on the remains of a refrigerator that floated in with the Ohio River.

The next two turtles are the smallest ones I’ve found thus far and each was found in the eastern section of the Falls of the Ohio State Park.  This is Box Turtle #7.

Here’s the underside of the same turtle showing the plastron and the hinge that allows the box turtle to completely hide inside its shell.

To close, I have three images of Box Turtle #8 and its the smallest yet.  One other thing I noticed about this little guy was that it was missing part of its left front foot which had healed from whatever injured it.

Another image to help provide scale using a quarter for a guide.

Of all the info I learned about box turtles, the fact that most surprised me is that if left alone they can live their entire lives in a relatively restricted area the size of a football field. They become so habituated to this territory that if they are moved from their familiar surroundings they can become dislocated and fail to thrive.  This is a good reason not to take these turtles out of the wild. I placed #8 on the ground wishing it well.  It pleased me knowing that there were at least this many box turtles in this small park.  I wonder how many others I will come across before year’s end?

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As I write this post the Ohio River is still high and lingering due to unexpected heavy rains.  I’m anxious to see what the new standard will be along the riverbanks.  Until my old haunts are once again accessible, I’m forced to dip into the old archives.  Here’s a selection of images made between October 2010 and February 2011 of a sculptural grouping I came to call “The Choir”.  Some of the members of this group made appearances in my last post and were in fact made from Styrofoam and other found objects I collected along the river and kept at the plein air studio.  Each began as a unique piece that was constructed and photographed on site at the Falls of the Ohio.  After each piece fell apart or was destroyed by other park visitors, I retrieved the parts and moved them back to the studio.  I didn’t try to repair them but instead chose to stand them back up to see what would happen.  Happily, people interacted with them by changing, rearranging, and adding new figures to the grouping.  On the down side, they were also attacked several times, smashed and eventually knocked down.  Now, who knows where they are, but it’s possible I may find parts of them in other places of the park.  In my imagination I see “The Choir” being lifted by the water and floating away piece by piece.  Here are the images which are in chronological order except for the very last picture.

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The Ohio River is even higher now than my last post.  I hope to venture out today and snap a few pictures to share later.  It’s sobering watching nature do what it can do.  I began the morning looking online at the damage the earthquake and tsunami have wreaked upon northern Japan.  Those folks need our help…please contribute however you can. 

Back in Kentuckiana, we are safe.  The flood gates are up and we are not expecting any heavy rain showers that would further swell the river.  Low-lying areas such as the aptly named River Road are under water.  Residents who live directly by the water have either evacuated or moved their possessions to higher ground which in some cases is the roof of their homes.  For these people, their love of the river is worth the periodic inconveniences it can pose.  The Ohio River is expected to crest today and begin falling back to normal pool which will take several days.

Until then, I have had the opportunity to look through images from the past year and put together a few “scrapbooks”  This one is of my plein air studio that I extensively used for ten months beginning in June 2010.  It’s now gone.  I’ll know more when I get the chance to visit.  I originally selected this site because it was relatively out of view, but close to where I was finding my materials.  Having a somewhat “fixed” location also gave the public who stumbled upon this spot, a chance to interact with the materials I was finding and provided more choices than finding the single figures I made throughout the park.  People could make their own sculptures…happily some were made.  So, here are a few pictures taken over the course of several seasons or about nine months worth.

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I debated what to call or title this post and I had other ideas which included “Bowled Over” and “Kicking the Bucket”, but decided “Beyond the Pail” would work.  I chose my post’s title because as word play, it also suggested something beyond acceptable standards perhaps even implying complicity.  When you see the images perhaps they will “speak” to this?  As it goes, this is a relatively focused set of images.  They were all taken within a few hours of one another in a relatively short expanse of riverbank at the Falls of the Ohio.  I call this area the “Elephants’ Graveyard of Plastic” because it seems a lot of plastic washes up here to die and the scattered remains are hard to not notice.  This post features common containers and I’ve organized them by color.  And now, without further ado.

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It’s not everyday that you come across a conceptual hot dog and so I couldn’t resist recording this image.  What follows next are some recent river treasures I’ve discovered on my wanderings throughout the Falls of the Ohio State Park.  We haven’t had any flooding recently which is the easiest and quickest way to find stuff.  I still subscribe to the theory that the objects you are meant to find call you on a subliminal level.  I will happen by some spot and for some unvoluntary reason  will look down and there “it” is!  Here are a few more lucky finds courtesy of the cosmos. 

The majority of what I’m going to present in this post are toys.  Take for instance this bright yellow toy truck that rode in with the river’s waves and nearly buried itself in the sand.  The yellow color practically screams!

For those of you who occasionally follow this blog might recognize that I have photographed many of the petrol containers that I have come across.  Those images can be found in my special collections area under the About section. To me, gasoline is one of those substances that define the times we live in.  By far, this is the smallest such container I’ve come across and has a treasured place on my windowsill with other favorite finds.

For awhile there was this pirate craze inspired by the Johnny Depp movies and I can recall my sons and nephews being enamored by the Jolly Roger.  I came across this plastic skull mixed among the driftwood and after taking its picture…picked it up and dropped it into my collecting bag.

There’s a nice patina forming on this Tasmanian Devil character head.  The use of popular cartoon characters to sell stuff is a tried and true marketing strategy.  I will guess that this is the screw on cap to a bottle of children’s shampoo?  I’m surprised that I found this mingled with the neutrally colored driftwood since it doesn’t possess a color that screams at you.

Honestly, I’m not sure what this is?  Yes it’s a toy, but from what cartoon series?  For now, I’m just calling it a yellow plastic “star” toy.  It’s quite small and the grains of sand speak to that.  Anyone have a guess?

I have a collection going of these small plastic figures meant for the smallest among us.  After so many years, it still disarms me somewhat to find toys meant for toddlers and babies mixed with the driftwood.  It makes me feel as though there are unsupervised kids playing by the river which in our hyper fearful times seems inexplicable.  Here’s something else…

I find many toys meant for infants such as teething rings.  This one features a leaping happy cow with colorful plastic keys.  Now all this stuff is what can be found on the surface of the driftwood.  In places the deposited wood can be several feet thick and you just know that scattered in between those layers are more potential discoveries.

I also have a penchant for photographing lost footwear.  I believe this is one of the two smallest shoes I’ve come across thus far.  I nearly saved this one for “The Shoes You Lose” collection, but couldn’t wait to post it!

This could be either some exotic blue fruit or seed pod…or potentially a prickly chew toy for your dog?  I’m leaning towards the dog toy idea.

As doll heads go…this one isn’t as frightening to me.  It’s very cheaply made and the painted blue eyes aren’t very convincing.  Over the years, I have found many, many dolls and doll parts.  Practically every time I visit the river I find a doll arm or leg.  The frequency never ceases to amaze me.  To end this post, here’s the latest image.  I found this plastic hubcap for an expensive and real truck and liked the play of light over its surface.  Seems like it should be made of metal?  Well, dear readers…where ever you go…happy finds to you!  I’ll bet you have found a few interesting items in your corner of the world?

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The last several weeks at the Falls have yielded many favorite images that don’t always make it into my posts. Until now.  Here’s a collection of found objects photographed in situ at the moment of discovery.  Most of the items are lost toys that have travelled with the Ohio River to be washed up here and mixed with wood chips and fragments of our material culture.  An example of this is the so-called “Sand Lion” I discovered on the riverbank.  It’s rubbery and sticky and the sand clings to it easily.  It’s meant to be inflated by blowing through the mouth piece located at the tail.  Reminds me of a horned toad the way it lays in the sand.  I also came across this variant of a sand lion with its punkish hair style.

This sand lion is hardly fearsome with its child friendly smile.  I later found another animal object on the driftwood.  It’s a bear with a twist having been formed with polystyrene foam.  This was premade and I didn’t have to do anything else with it except to take its picture for my collection.

And now for a series of images of circular and spherical objects.  These are the things that catch my eye.  Of course the artificially colored plastic stands out nicely against the natural tones found at the river.

One final image before eye fatigue overwhelms you!  More flower images, but this time its decorations on the side of a plastic Barbie cup found on the riverbank’s mud and offered as “Cheers!” to you.  I’m looking forward to this weekend to see what is different at the Falls since my last adventure.  The forecast, however, is calling for temperatures around 100 degrees fahrenheit.  I don’t expect much will be moving quickly on this day.

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