No no no…I’m not here anymore.

March 5, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve moved to

Categories: Uncategorized


June 21, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve always been intrigued by crypto-forestry, the resurgence of nature in environments that had been shaped by humankind. A few short years ago there was a supermarket here. It was demolished and the land has been unoccupied ever since.

Nothing here was ‘planted’ by humans. Nature is reclaiming the property. The cement is cracking, plants are finding welcoming niches and taking root. There is no guiding hand of landscape design. And yet there is a strange sense of order as the plant life asserts itself around the framework left behind by people.

Categories: industrial, landscape, nature


June 14, 2010 Leave a comment

There’s a bike trail I frequent that runs alongside a creek. A couple of months ago the creek flooded. Seriously flooded. There is still detritus jammed in the fence that tops the flood wall.

For some reason, that makes me happy. It’s not that I’m in favor of flooding, it’s just that I appreciate the reality that nature is unruly.

Categories: nature, suburbs

where i removed a stone from my shoe

June 7, 2010 1 comment

I had a small stone in my shoe. It was unpleasant. So I stopped here, sat on the steps, removed the shoe and removed the stone. If only all our problems were so easily resolved.

Categories: buildings

manure cart

June 4, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve a passion for the buildings found at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, especially the older structures. There’s a strange sort of practical beauty to them. I’m completely smitten with the massive barns with their beamed ceilings and skylights and interior stalls and pens.

On my most recent visit I noticed these very cool red carts situated in strategic points among the stalls. When I got closer I saw they were all labeled “For Manure Only.” Not a very appealing thought, but I love the communal attitude behind it. The people who bring their livestock to exhibit at the fair are the sorts of people who will clean up after themselves–not because they’re forced to, but because it’s the decent and respectful thing to do. The people who operate the fair understand that, and provide them with some of the necessary materials to do it.

These aren’t just manure carts; they’re an expression of consideration.

Categories: buildings, found object

modular world

May 6, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m torn between admiration for the clean, simple efficiency of modular buildings and horror at their utter lack of architectural soul. These buildings mean nothing as buildings; they exist only as a quick and inexpensive means to house stuff. They are the anti-Bauhaus.

From that perspective, modular buildings mean a lot. They speak a great deal about our culture. These structures aren’t built to last; they’re built to last long enough. No matter how long they remain standing, they’ll never end up on some registry of historical buildings.

But photographs of them will find their way into the historical record and museums and galleries. It’s odd to think images of these soul-free structures will, in the end, receive more attention than the structures themselves.

Categories: buildings, industrial, suburbs

turning lane

April 17, 2010 Leave a comment

More and more, it seems, cities and towns are bumping up against farmland. A couple years ago, I’m told, this used to be a poorly maintained two-lane county road. But a farmer sold his land to a developer, who built a few dozen suburban-style homes. And now there are street lamps and a turning lane.

Nothing new there, really. Before the poorly-maintained county road, there was a dirt road. And before that, probably a path of some sort. The new is always bumping into the old, and the old is always giving way. Everything turns.

Categories: buildings, landscape, rural, streets