Random Valley Front Yard of the Day

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

-William Carlos Williams

I didn’t tweak this photo at all. The strong contrast of the looming shadow, the brilliant blue of the sky that almost matched the house, the stark upwards-reaching fingers of the black trees and the monolith-like polygons of the hedges flanking the walkway were all right there in the lens when I snapped this image on a residential street in Woodland Hills around 9am.

It was such a prosaic, simple little house, the last on the street before Bell Canyon Creek cut off the corner of the block. Morning’s angular light threw the unpreposessing little bit of suburbia into sudden drama. There was something about the play between its efforts at straight lines–the vertical detail on the upper half of the exterior walls, the super-straight walkway, the perfect little grids of the windows–against the disarray of the great shadow (from a set of eucalyptus behind me) falling over the house, the curvilinear lines of the trees extending upwards, and the plants against the front yard of the house that have clearly defied any effort at clean edges; something about the study in contrasts that made me pull out my camera for a quick picture.

Once I noticed these larger themes, I found myself drawn in to the small, humanizing details hidden in a closer view: the charming little resin or stained-glass peacock hung inside one of the windows, the tiny delicate climbing vine at the corner of the home, the pretty hanging lantern by the side door, and most human-scale of all, the garden hose no one had the energy to wind up around its hanger.

2 Replies to “Random Valley Front Yard of the Day”

  1. I love this series. The hedge row leading to the front door reminds me of castle guards.

    Of course if one is in an HOA it would not be allowed. Viva unrestrained suburbia.

  2. I believe Michele flip-flops on how frequently to post these gems. If so I say MORE PLEASE. I love the framing in the first pic of the house between the barren trees.

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