A couple of weeks ago, I had a unique opportunity to view some of the works by artist and mathematician M.C. Escher at the National Gallery of Art. These pieces are currently not on display at the museum and our viewing was in a small group with no glass in the way.
It was a real geeky session for me and the other the math teachers in the group, even if we only got about 30 minutes. Below are a few photos of the pieces, with the rest (plus a couple of shots from elsewhere in the East building) in this gallery.
Part of the collection we were allowed to view up close and without glass. I’m sure the curators were a little nervous but no one in our group messed up anything.
A close up of a section of one of M. C. Escher’s most recognizable works, an amazingly detailed lithograph called Ascending and Descending.
Later in his career, Escher also worked in three dimensions. In this piece, he duplicates on a sphere his original two-dimensional tessellation showing angels interspersed with devils.
One of several self-portraits by Escher, this one with the artist reflected in a mirrored ball.
With spring trying hard to establish itself in the DC area, it’s a good time to be out photographing nature. So, here are a few shots from two visits1 to our Northern Virginia gem, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens2.
More from my gallery is here and Kathy’s much better photos are here.
Just loved the vibrant purple in these flowers.
Turtles taking advantage of the bright sunshine.
The park features daffodils (and daffodil-like flowers) in a variety of beautiful colors.
Thanks to a well placed marker, I finally learned that these growths are called cypress knees and are part of the tree’s root system.
1. Trip one, at the start of April, was cut short by a thunderstorm.
2. Right around the corner from Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, another great location for a photowalk.
Last weekend, DC hosted the USA Science and Engineering Festival. This was the fifth biennial event, which started life in 2010 as an overgrown science fair spread across the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue. I have a few images on Flickr from that year, as well as from 2012 and 2016. Not sure why I missed 2014.
Unfortunately the Festival has turned into a commercial showcase dominated by government contractors, federal agencies, and the military. And, of course, everyone was into STEM. Sorry, arts people. I only saw one reference to STEAM.
Even with the excessive weaponization of science, there were some interesting exhibits and fun sights mixed in. Here are a few images from my time in the two huge halls, with the full gallery here.
Many exhibits featured VR and this young man seemed to be having a good time with whatever was in this world presented by the US Air Force.
A cadet from the US Naval Academy helps this boy with programming an Ozobot.
An organization called Squid4Kids based at Stanford University brought, what else, a squid for all of us to touch. It’s just as slimy as it looks.
And at the Army’s huge space, this young man was learning how to drive one of their vehicles using what looked like a standard video game controller.
Last Sunday was the 5th annual Maker Faire here in Northern Virginia and I was fortunate to be one of the official photographers for the event. The Faire has grown tremendously in a short time and this year moved to it’s new home at George Mason University. Below are a few images of people and exhibits spread among three buildings and two outdoor areas. More are in this gallery.
A line up of robots waiting to come to life.
There was lots to attract makers of all ages.
One of the most popular areas of the Faire allows visitors to take apart electronic devices like printers and DVD players. Because everyone is curious about what’s inside.
I also took some 360° images at the Faire and this one of the exhibitors in the Johnson Center at GMU. Click your mouse or tap your finger in the image and drag around to see more. More 360° photos are in this Flickr album.
Kathy and I had the opportunity to tour the greenhouses where the Smithsonian cultivates the flowers and plants used for exhibits and general decoration in all their museums. It was a wonderful way to spend a cold, windy afternoon. Below are a few of my shots. More of mine are in this gallery and Kathy’s much better work is on her site.
I was working with a macro lens for the first time and very happy with the way these apricots turned out.
I don’t know what this plant is called (it was in the orchid house) but I just loved the otherworldliness of it. For some reason it reminds me of a character in the film Beetlejuice.
I see an eye formed by the water puddled in the center of this plant.
Always looking for the odd image, although I have to give credit to Kathy for spotting this one.