Peace Dove in Turbulent Times

Sudden death of a friend, major organization changes with departures at work and, upsetting family events all happened last week.

Peace Dove 7.16.2017

Peace Dove 7.16.2017

It shook me to the core. These are turbulent times.

Folding an Origami model was the last thing I felt like doing.

When I saw this fairly simple Peace Dove, I had to try it.

My dove looks sad rather than uplifting.  I don’t know why.

These days, I don’t even listen to national or world news because the stories can be so upsetting.

So what is one to do?

More or Less a Giraffe

This was a challenging Origami Giraffe design for many reasons.

Origami Giraffe 7.9.2017

Origami Giraffe 7.9.2017

The YouTube instruction video was not clear on how to fold the animal’s neck and ears.

And, there were many folds to shape these areas.

Thus, I decided to improvise and just turned the paper inward to form  the giraffe’s body.

I also felt rushed with folding this evening and lacked concentration.

The paper pattern with large brown splotches was not quite right for a giraffe but it was all I had.

Maybe I’ll try this design again when I have more time.

Sugar Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

Happy Canada Day – Maple Leaf

Yesterday was Canada Day.   A shout-out to my Canadian cousins!

Origami Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

Origami Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

Since a Maple leaf appears on the Canadian flag, I decided to fold an Origami Maple Leaf.

But, the Origami model in the tutorial did not look like the eleven-pointed leaf on the Canadian flag.

The more I studied the Origami design, the more I wondered:

“Is this just a very, very stylized version of the Maple leaf?”

I asked Dr. Google and what I found out was surprising.

Turns out that most of the Maples are specific to Asia!

Sugar Maple Leaf and Origami Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

Sugar Maple Leaf and Origami Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

The leaf I picked up from the tree near my house is from a Sugar Maple.

These trees can be found in Eastern North America and Canada.  Delicious maple syrup comes from the Sugar Maple tree.

Its leaves turn magnificent colors of red, burnt orange, and yellow during the Fall season.

The Origami model I folded resembles a leaf from a Japanese Maple with five points.

There are many varieties of Japanese Maples – some with red leaves.

This Origami model seems to resemble the Coral Bark Japanese Maple.

 

 

Visit the Arnold Arboretum – a Living Museum, Boston, MA

The Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Boston, is an explosion of color in May and June.

It is a living museum with collections of trees, bushes, shrubs and roses from all over the world.

 

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As you stroll along the paths, be surprised by the vistas around each corner.

Origami Dragonfly 6.26.2017

Origami Dragonfly 6.26.2017

Listen to the cacophony of birds especially in the early morning.

Be encircled by iridescent dragonflies darting in and out of the marshy areas.

Enjoy the fresh, crisp air.

Sit on a bench.  Relax and absorb the magnificent landscape.

Cog Train on Mount Washington 5.27.2017

To the Top: Mt. Washington Cog Railway

Mount Washington, N.H., is 6,288 feet above sea level.  It is the highest peak in North Eastern United States.

The top of the mountain has the worst and most erratic weather due to the confluence of storms from the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Northwest regions.

NH Mountain Fog 5.27.2017

NH Mountain Fog 5.27.2017

Our bus climbed through the drizzle towards the Mt. Washington Cog Railway’s base camp.  I wondered whether we would see anything at the summit through the rain clouds.

Cog Trains at Base Camp 5.27.2017

Cog Trains at Base Camp 5.27.2017

The four-hour trip from Boston, arranged by Mystic Valley Railroad Society, promised fabulous views if the weather cooperated.  The rain did stop eventually.  The sun struggled to come out from behind heavy clouds in the morning.

We disembarked from the bus, ate a delicious hot lunch in the visitor’s center then, viewed the Cog train exhibits.

Excitedly, we watched the colorful trains ascend and descend along the steep railway tracks up the mountain while waiting for our scheduled boarding time.

The Boston group boarded at 3 pm.  We were delighted with the train conductor’s announcement that the clouds had disappeared at the summit.

Cog Train Climbing Mount Washington 5.27.2017

Cog Train Climbing Mount Washington 5.27.2017

Spectacular views awaited us when the Cog arrived at the top an hour later.

As the train climbed higher and higher, the track angle increased substantially.  Tall pine trees gave way to smaller ones, then low brushes and a rocky, alpine landscape.

Finally, the train arrived at the summit and we were surrounded by magnificent mountain and valley vistas!

Mount Washington Summit 5.27.2017

Mount Washington Summit 5.27.2017

Thinking about an Origami design related to mountain tops, I decided to fold a Spinning Top.

Here is the colorful modular action Origami model which is quite easy to fold.

Use different colored papers to give the spinning top a really cool appearance.

Origami Spinning Top 5.27.2017

Origami Spinning Top 5.27.2017

 

The purple and white paper provide the base of the model and the blue paper, the central ring.

Then, the green paper is folded into a point at the top and slides into the blue paper.

Grasp the top, give it a twirl and watch the colors spin around.

Praying Mantis 5.13.2017

Praying Mantis – an Odd Looking Insect

I remember seeing a Praying Mantis in my mother’s garden in Barbados, West Indies, when I was a child.

The long slender insects with bulging eyes and front legs as if in prayer ate nuisance insects so adults told us to leave them alone.

Praying Mantis 5.13.2017

Praying Mantis 5.13.2017

Were they green, like this Origami Mantis, or light brown?  I’m not sure.

As children, we were fascinated by stories of how the female Praying Mantis would bite off the head of the male after mating.

The Origami model here is made from two sheets of paper.

The two models are folded independently but exactly the same.  Then, each model was modified; one to form the upper body and the other, the lower body.

It is quite neat how the bottom half of the insect slips under the folds of the upper half.  You can see this fold above the lower legs.

Of Trains and Bears

Announcer calls the 6:20 am Newburyport on track two.  Eight of us stumble to the train.  Damn, it’s cold and with the rain, raw.  We all don hats, scarfs,  gloves and coats.

Lucky if it crawls to the upper 30s.  Never trust the forecasters.

1a

Half asleep nods at recognition as we claim vinyl seats with dripping umbrellas.

Last call.

Great rumbles, clacks and screeches on the old tracks.

It’s still dark out.

Through dirty windows are leafless trees and telephone pole silhouettes.   Half hour passes to reach Salem, a few exit, two board.

Thin rays of sunshine slice the landscape.  Thirty more minutes.  Break in the light.

We approach Ipswich.  I disembark and watch the train disappear.  It’s  going to be a bear of a morning.

Bear6