Thursday, September 10, 2009

Paying Attention...

I pass this fire hydrant a lot. It's on the sidewalk near Orange Grove Park. You might just walk right by and never notice the Tiffany box blue top, flecked with rust and age (and stories, no doubt, because all old things have stories) and even if you noticed, you might not really look at it because, after all, who stops to look at fire hydrants?

Well, I guess I do.

And I'm glad, too, because isn't it grand? It's nice to come across a perfect rose or a spectacular sunset. Sure, those beautiful things delight ... but they don't necessarily surprise. I think it's much more cool when something ordinary sneaks up on you with a loveliness you never expected.

17 comments:

Judy Williams said...

When you look at it in large format, it kind of takes on a life of its own. I'm particularly taken, like you, by the intense aqua in contrast to its complimentary golden wheat yellow. I also like that the raised word:OPEN is visible too. Good eye.

“I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere near the place.”

Stephen Wright

B SQUARED said...

Making the ordinary, extraordinary. Love it!

Trish said...

In the house I grew up in, we lived on a corner. On that corner was a hydrant similar to this one, though not so bling-ing-ly decorated. In that I grew up in a time where I could leave the house in the summer at 7am, play all day and be home when the streetlights turned on, and had no video games, computers or internet to play with---I had a LOT of time to myself.

I spent a lot of time playing with "our" hydrant, learning about each part and trying to figure out how one would use it. One neighbor was sure I'd become a firefighter when I grew up because I spent so much time out at the hydrant.

The good news is, I never had to see that hydrant in use---ever. Several others in the neighborhood---like when the bamboo in someone's backyard up the street caught on fire, a closer hydrant was used.

I did, however, relish in running out to see the SoPas firefighters come by and do their tests of the hydrant. Open the various ports, use their special tool to open the valve and woosh!

Thanks for the memories L!

Yakpate said...

L, when it comes to seeing the sublime in the mundane, you have no equal!

Like Judy, I love the complimentary blue and yellow... and I ESPECIALLY love the lavender tint of the sidewalk.

Add this to my long and growing list of shots I'd like to see framed and hanging on my wall!

Margaret said...

You: so clever.

Anton said...
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Anton said...
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Anton said...

I'm fascinated by its apparently arbitrary asymmetry. Would they refer to this as a "frontward, backward or left, but not right" design? So, if your house happens to be burning, but is located to the right of the plug you are out of luck?

(I am equally fascinated by the fact that I can't seem to type in a straight line for the moment...)

Yakpate said...

Anton... remember L's rule... no drunk commenting! (Although the headiness of your musing leads me to consider other reasons why you may be writing spherically instead of left to right!)

Anton said...

...and only the smile remained...

dbdubya said...

I believe I've figured out why the top is painted blue. Since everyone knows what dogs use fire hydrants for, at least male dogs, the blue top serves as an aiming point for boy dogs wishing to leave their mark in the neighborhood when being walked by their owners.

I appreciate Laurie's comment about something ordinary sneaking up with a surprising loveliness. Old things, like this well worn hydrant, are much more interesting than something right out of the box. Sort of like faces - the wisdom found in the lines of a mature face can be far more enchanting than one that's youthful in appearance.

Mister Earl said...

Remember back in 1976 during the bicentennial how they painted fire hydrants to look like revolutionary war soldiers or other 1776 figures?

Jean Spitzer said...

Beautiful shot. I've become an appreciator of fire hydrants, thanks to my dog.

Petrea said...

This is the most beautiful fire hydrant I've ever seen.

Mister Earl said...

1976 hydrants:

http://www.firehydrant.org/pictures/bicentennial.html

Mister Earl said...
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Laurie said...

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for the comments today! Mister E, I remember that several of the fire hydrants in Austin were painted for the bicentennial. I was in the 6th grade that year and played Betsy Ross in the play. Good times...

DBdubya, I'm with you about old things. And people. Though I am a sucker for a shiny, new penny.

Anton, I was digging the asymmetry, too. It's part of what made me keep noticing this hydrant. Well, that and the blue top. Honestly, how wonderful is that blue?!

It doesn't take much to make me happy...

Til next time!


I appreciate all of you! Until next time...