Aug 12

Into the Woods

Part three of three — Into The Vermont Woods.  ©Leili Towfigh, 2012. All rights reserved.

Maidenhair fern.


More lacy ferns.



Magic hour.



Tinder Polypore fungus – whilst on the tree. Amazing!


Tinder polypore whilst off the tree. Look at all the tiny pores.


Tinder polypore broken in half. Each needle-like thing is a “pore”, in stria.


More of the tinder polypore, called “amadou” in Europe, and used as … tinder.


Bearded hipster bark.


Rushing river.


Suffused with light.




Erosion from Hurricane Irene. There was a huge oak at the bottom of the ravine.


I liken lichen.


Glinting, late-afternoon light in the woods.


Heather in the magic hour …. Tall grass in the field.

Aug 12


Part two of three — Thanks to inspiration from Samimi-Extremie. Photos of Vermont scenes – second section, Inside.  ©Leili Towfigh, 2012. All rights reserved.




The light at the end of the hall


Lots of guests


Flash of light


106 degrees




Stripy velvet


The Trusty General


Painting, as they are wont to do


Kitchen TV


Stained glass window made by hand, © Patricia Towfigh


Bluebell wood ©Patricia Towfigh


Art everywhere


Childhood sheets


Aug 12

Around Town

Part one of three — Thanks to inspiration from Samimi-Extremie. Photos of Vermont scenes – first section, Around Town.   ©Leili Towfigh, 2012. All rights reserved.

Vermont chedder cheese meats


petrol, petunias


classic little vermont river scene


dollar gener


new england candies


It’s crooked. I was driving.




Find the wee bird




It’s a face!




SuperSuds Laundromat


green mountain state


Bar the door, Katie


Belmains, formerly known as Ben Franklin


Riche’s Furniture


Old train car




Mar 07

no matter where you go, there you are

I think a lot about the concept of placeness, and what differentiates one location on the planet from another, beyond what you can see. Isn’t it interesting that in certain places you can sense stories humming in undertones? And that the spaces in which we move, physically, effect our activities and emotions and aspirations in radically different ways, via so many variables: geographical location, physical and natural features, human culture, history and migration, climate, pollution, design … and many more?

Some physical places look mundane, but have witnessed horrors and can make you shiver just to enter them. Some places make you feel elated and free.

moss-covered wall
Originally uploaded by .Leili.

Some crowded, whirring places simultaneously press on your soul, and awaken creativity. If there is no personal space for you in the crowd, in order to survive, you might have to make psychic space and distance around you.

Kampala Old Taxi Park (Matatu Park)
Originally uploaded by Kattaka.

Boston Symphony Hall

In addition to these physical features, it seems that each place could also be said to have a spiritual history – a history of human relationships, advancement, interactions, choices, conflicts, innovations, struggles and love.

I went the other day to Boston Symphony Hall. We saw Fidelio with the amazing Christine Brewer in the Leonore/Fidelio role. Symphony Hall really has placeness. I grew up hearing stories about music heard in that place, towering musical figures encountered in that place. The building even had a role in my parents’ marriage.

So what constitutes “placeness” for you? What locations stay with you, and why? Do these places look unassuming, or might the uninitiated be able to tell that there is something special about that place from just a glance? Are your thoughts about placeness connected to ideas about home?

Mar 07

Tundric adventure

Morningside Park
Morningside Park.

On Friday, I had to get from the upper west side of Manhattan down to the UN, over to Brooklyn, and back, and happened to pick a miserable, urban ice storm in which to do it. In addition to subways, that’s about 40 blocks of outdoor walking. I had not come to the City with the right gear, either (dramatically incorrect footwear, no hat, flimsy umbrella). I felt, as I often do these days, culturally ill-equipped for my re-entry into US society — Martian, even — as though I have never had to be out in snow before and could think only of the 78 varieties of coconut that grow in my fictitious backyard.

eighth of a block took 25 minutes

As I walked down 42nd Street, I couldn’t help but notice that my face was being bombarded with tiny stinging ice pellets (Mum helpfully pointed out that said pellets are called “rime,” but the fact that they have a name that appears in 19th-century poetry does not excuse their behavior).

stationary bus

As we stepped gingerly through the gunmetal slush, trying to find a bus – any bus – to catch, a recent transplant from Canadia confessed to me that she had dismissed that morning’s severe weather warning as the paranoia of wimpy Americans. Then she got to work, and started noticing colleagues arriving at the office covered in, well – rime. With wet feet. And then she realized her only shoes were buttery-soft leather flats. I should add that the addition of ziploc bags used as socks did not help (is that some sort of Canadian trick?). The one who fared best among us was, interestingly, from Perth, and had never been in such weather in her life. She was wise enough to have invested in granny boots at the first signs of winter.

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