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#a424 :: Fruit pit

April 16, 2009

This also came home with the kids from their hike – I’ve always liked the unforgivingly ugly shape of seeds. They are meant to be discovered by accident (bite into a delicious fruit, find a nasty, woody chunk of bitterness) and discarded as useless – the better to propagate their kind.

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#a423 :: Marah Macrocarpeae

April 15, 2009

Or at least that’s what this blog points to. Wild cucumber tastes and looks nothing like its namesake. It is a 4-inch-long, egg-shaped handful of misery, with cactusy spines that puncture your skin if you grip it too tightly. A taste of the juice inside (for they prove to be very juicy when dissected with […]

Filed under: Found Object, Green, Life form | Comments (0)

#a400 :: Black widow

March 22, 2009

This one has been hanging around the handrail on our front steps for a few weeks, always skittering away when I want to photograph and then attempt to kill it. I failed miserably at both, until this past weekend. I don’t feel good about having ended such a magnificent creature, but I decided I’d feel […]

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#a390 :: Skullpture

March 12, 2009

My good friend Yaron built this out of some stuff he had lying around the shop and what I’m guessing is a deer skull. I love the way the metal shavings (springs?) he mounted the socket on echo the sutures between the bone plates. Write your own microfiction for it below in the comments – […]

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#a375 :: Grass frond

February 25, 2009

I walked back to the house this morning after dropping the kids at school. I brushed the foliage outside our house with my hand. This came loose. Keeping my rhythm so I could square up head-on with the workday, I stuck it into a clutch of hibernating agapanthus and kept cruising down the front steps […]

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#a358 :: Palm fragment

February 7, 2009

Los Angeles jetsam reminds me daily that I live in a freakish magpie’s nest of a city. Stolen from aboriginal people by Spanish missionaries who gave huge chunks of it away to soldiers, whose families then sold it off in ever-decreasing slices and slivers, Los Angeles has always been shaped by grabbers, opportunists and self-reinventors. […]

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#a340 :: Potato gun ammo

January 19, 2009

Here’s the other end of this equation – a fine brown potato, now pocked with the wounds of a thousand battles … well, not really. This is simply what it looks like when your son swipes your Christmas present and gets crazy with a hapless spud … the potato’s a couple of ounces lighter, there […]

Filed under: Life form, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a332 :: Palo santo

January 11, 2009

These chips of palo santo – “holy wood” was a gift from my good friend Spencer. Light it and it burns slowly, giving off a crisp, aromatic smoke that’s said to have been used since the Incas in purifying and cleansing rituals. Spencer is the just-now-new father of young Vajra Weiner (barely 2 weeks old), […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Life form, symbol | Comments (0)

#a323 :: Acorn caps

January 2, 2009

Pixie hats, lost on the forest floor ‘midst a drunken stumble home one night. Carousing from tree to towering tree, they were, blasted on acorn wine – a giggling, staggering, pissing little chorus line barely six inches high. They were arguing, as usual, and someone took offense, or umbrage, or a poke at someone else […]

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#a317 :: Bluetooth and coyote jaw

December 27, 2008

I rarely post two distinct objects together – usually it’s a thing or a group of like things. But these two landed on my desk last night – a gift from my son and a piece of office equipment (you decide which) and they spoke to one another.

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#a308 :: Urban humus

December 18, 2008

A pocketful of stuff from my morning ride, which takes me up a fire road through Griffith Park to to a little copse of live oak at the top of a big hill. I hang from the biggest tree by my hands to stretch my spine a bit after the long climb. Then I touch […]

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)

#a303 :: Cactus limb

December 13, 2008

I knocked this off of a fine old fingertip cactus today while gardening. I don’t usually drop the boom mike into the shot, but here’s a good idea of scale for the camera space where HLO lives. Note the fingerprint whorls. Then count the cactus spines.

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#a302 :: Chinese bee pendant

December 12, 2008

My son’s collecting these – Chinese insects preserved in two layers of resin – a clear dome over a glow-in-the-dark bed.

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#a299 :: Decaying orange

December 10, 2008

I was going to wax philosophical about the inevitability of decay, the magnificence of biology doing its tiny job, about the way ashes do always turn to ashes and dust to … But I’m halfway through a 3-day business trip, I’ve been working till 11 every night, and, well, I’m bushed. (In more ways than […]

Filed under: Edible, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (2)

#a289 :: Mystery seed pod 2

November 29, 2008

This is a bit larger than a chicken egg – and completely mysterious. I know of no fruit this size that grows in the brushy hillsides around Los Angeles, yet here is what seems to be its skeleton: the flesh has worn away in rain and mud, leaving a fantastic fibrous mesh enclosing four ovoid […]

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#a288 :: Mystery seed pod

November 28, 2008

We hiked up to Griffith Observatory for Thanksgiving, and collected a few seeds along the way. I’m ignorant to so many worlds, not least being the very wildlands I bike through every week. What is this?

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#a287 :: Acorn

November 27, 2008

This woody little pod reminds me of a vintage Chriscraft speedboat, a rigid, slick, hydrodynamic monocoque of finely grained wood, designed for swift transport. Like the previous object it is also something of a time machine.

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#a286 :: Pine cone

November 26, 2008

This is a building kit for the construction of two to three dozen 120-foot-tall Douglas firs. You will require loamy soil, water and sunlight. Please allow 4 to 6 decades for completion.

Filed under: General, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)

#a282 :: Seed pod

November 22, 2008

It erupts in a fur of orange, from a black pod. The skin is avocado-like. The seed is barely a quarter-inch in diameter. And it mystifies me.

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#a258 :: Dessicated green bean

October 29, 2008

Don’t ask me how it got from the freezer to the cupboard, but my son brought me this earlier today. I’m trying to picture it as an oblong green asteroid, and failing. You?

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#a254 :: Bird of Paradise blossom

October 25, 2008

Scrabbling up the wall to festoon the entryway with cotton-silk spider-webbing, he grabbed hold of a fistful of rubbery plants in the wall-planter on the ledge above him. He gained his footing above, but a chunk of colorful bloom snapped loose. He turned it over on his palm …

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#a253 :: Desk cleaning time

October 24, 2008

You own a lot of shit. You accumulate more of it every day. Sometimes, you have to pick through it to get your desk clean. And you make little piles. That might or might not be photographs of your life told in debris. And yet, you never seem to get rid of the things as […]

Filed under: Adornment, Art, Artifact, Blahg, Ephemera, Facsimile, Fetish, Found Object, Instrument, Jetsam, Life form, Miniature, Model, Objet, Part, symbol, Tool, Toy, weapon | Comments (0)

#a243 :: Seed pod

October 14, 2008

Hollow, papery pods fall by the thousands from the trees lining Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Barely weighing an ounce, they float down on the wind, carrying precious seeds to the cement-lined gutter, to be gathered roughly by street-sweeper brushes or washed down the storm drains and out to sea. Millions of years of evolution […]

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#a188 :: Common spider

August 20, 2008

I cannot tell you its age, genus or class, but I can tell you this specimen of the species arachnida is the fastest spider in Los Angeles

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#a172 :: Butterflies

August 3, 2008

The British Natural History Museum did something extraordinary on the grounds outside its magnificent building – a diversion from the ossified remains of dinosaurs and sloths and the over-loved “interactive” displays of swimming hippos and oversized scorpions: They built a hothouse, filled it with plants, and started cultivating butterflies. These were just two of the […]

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