“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” L.M. Montgomery
Sending you wishes for a wonderful never-to-be-forgotten summer!
In the little California town where I grew up, there is a small area referred to as "China Town". Not a unique title, especially throughout the towns of the San Joaquin Valley and beyond, where many Asian communities settled at the turn of the last century, while working hard to survive and adapt to a new land.
Many of the buildings they constructed; temples, businesses and homes remain, spanning a few blocks. In some areas, only bits of the buildings bear any outward resemblance to their origins. However, along "China Alley", much has been protected and strengthened where needed. California is, after all, the land of earthquakes.
"China Alley's" board and brick structures have interesting tales to tell. Especially just before sunrise. It is no longer a bustling place in the full light of day. But, in those cloaked predawn moments, it seems almost possible her doors will swing wide at day break and another work day will begin.
"China Alley" holds on, with the help and commitment of people who believe her history, and theirs, is worth saving. Even when the determined earth attempts to have it's way.
As folks who have stopped by this blog in the past may already know, one of the places I enjoy walking and making images is Manchester State Park on the Kitsap Peninsula in WA resting beside Rich Passage. The grounds cover 111 mostly forested acres and 3,400 feet of saltwater shoreline. And while we are talking numbers, 1.9 miles of walking trails as well. To clarify, for those who might make the trip to the park for a long flat stroll, it is steep in a few places.
The historical structures in the park can be compelling to shoot in changing light and seasons. If I remember correctly, the instillation (fort) was built by the US Coast Artillery for defense of Bremerton, WA at the turn of the century to protect the Bremerton Naval Ship Yard. It was then converted to a Navy fuel supply depot. As you can see by the photos at the bottom of the group, the ship yard still functions today. I think they now disassemble ships more often than building them. When I am taking pictures of the boats and marinas in Port Orchard, the ship yard is what sits directly across the bay. And beyond that, in the distance, the Olympic mountains.
Back to the Fort; the building you see with the arched windows initially served as a torpedo warehouse in 1901. Since that time is has also been an officers club, barracks, mess hall, fire station and now, a quite place to sit. It wears it's history in interesting ways. Each visit I find something new. The layers and layers of peeling paint may take me decades to fully inspect. Through it's windows you can see the shore and off to the side another building is firmly anchored on a small hill. It isn't as welcoming, but interesting to photograph. It was built as a mining casement and later used for coal storage. There is also a gun battery on the grounds. Based on the Forts position, passing ships would have been sitting ducks.
It is a wonderful thing to have this land in State Park status and open to the public. With the funding reduction challenges we continue to face in WA, many of our State Parks have been cut from the rolls. I keep my fingers crossed for Manchester State Park. (And others.) It is worth giving Manchester a look if you are in the area. The flat portion of the walk will lead you to a great viewing spot for the Seattle/Bremerton ferries using the passage. And, from that spot you can see Seattle and Vashon Island.
Be sure and click on the photos to see a larger versions.
As a fan of kaleidoscopes, mandalas and designs in the round, I have long longed for kaleidoscope software. Plus, I just love getting lost in the possibilities of a photo. There are many, many thousands of photos I've taken through the years. When I sort through them to determine which ones are "keepers", one of the criteria is whether or not they might make good fodder for such software. Someday. The different programs have been geared for PC's. At home, I'm an Apple girl. User friendly products, from my first SE to this Mac. There were complicated workarounds for making round designs, but nothing simple. I have done them, but haven't had the time necessary to do many.
Enter Apps. I have been a bit slow in my march to App land; computer and phone. However along with some photo apps for the cell phone, I found one that is proving very fun for kaleidoscopes on the Mac. ScopeWorks. It took a little time to sort through some of it's challenges but now I'm loving it.
In hopes of using rounded designs as the base layer for some stitching, I think these are going to do the trick. The images do not end up very large but that isn't really necessary for my purposes.
Oh, and I will likely be boring you with them semi-regularly. Need be, you can use them as sleep aids. Stare at them for awhile and see if you don't feel a bit drowsy. Or dizzy.
If I had thought through the posting idea earlier, I would have tracked the photos used and included them with the end results for comparison. I've done a few hundred already so will not be able to back track on many. A variety of photo types have been used; from landscapes to images made of other things I've made. The only rules are using my own images and pushing the possibilities. Always. Pushing those possibilities. That's the jazz.
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