on a windowsill, in ferrara2nd entry – le marche 2013

DSC_6623aThis is a first – I’ve already written a prologue and two posts for the journal le marche 2013  and I haven’t even left Pittsburgh.

I was watering earlier and when I got to the Mandevillas all wrapped around the Magdalena statue, I had to get the camera. (The sculpture is Alfonso Iannelli a southern Italian immigrant who at 10 years old moved with his family from eastern Campania to the windy city. He worked with Frank Lloyd Wright creating many of the Sprite statues, but Wright never acknowledged Iannelli’s contribution.) The hair, the hair-band, the braids, the vines, the green, the cement, the discreet gesture, the turned head, the lip-stick red trumpet.

The image on the right is all about using a lens made for landscapes to shoot closeup. I discovered this in Maine. Mac and I had been out walking the shoreline in Portland and we headed up to the museum. When we got there, I realized all I had with me was the 12-24 mm lens. In statuary hall, I started getting right up to the pieces and found that the wide-angle gave me great images when I shot real close.

If this post is about technical issues and throwing around a dead architect’s name, then why the reference to the Renaissance city of Ferrara? · · · Sun-14   095It was August 14, 2011. We were on our third day in this left-leaning, Emilia-Romagna jewel and walking, in the meager shade, to the museum. And there behind wrought iron posts, on a windowsill littered with dirt, was a single Mandevilla – the image on the left. Of course I stopped the trek and shot the lone plant jailed behind rusting bars. (I had bought Mandevillas for the first time that summer and seeing them in Ferrara was a glimpse of home. I’ve planted them every year since.) It always surprises me to see plants in Italy that I grow in my own back-yard. I’m surprised because I keep thinking that the fauna and flora of Italy should be different than what we have in Western Pennsylvania.

The Mandevillas have now become harbingers of my trip to Italy and from the day I plant them, I begin a count-down to the date I leave. (I’ll have to be more conscientious and protective of this harbinger. Remember, I forgot all about the Snowdrops, the harbingers of spring, when the flower-bed on the side-yard was ripped out.)

Next week at this time I should be on plane heading for Rome.