Olympus 12mm at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Olympus 12mm at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

This is (alas!) not food. Food will definitely make its return to this here cooking blog. But in the meantime, I spent yesterday afternoon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with a new (to me) camera lens — an Olympus 12mm f/2.0 — and I thought I’d share a few pictures.

I bought the lens for another project, and I haven’t really had time to use it very much for the past couple of weeks. So the museum — with its well-illuminated interiors and well-considered design — seemed like a perfect opportunity. And the Olympus 12mm didn’t disappoint.

Walt Whitman, Now in 3D

There is no originality at all in this, but as part of a quick experiment, I’ve taken a stereo card from the 19th century, and turned it into an animated GIF.  I really like the effect.  It looks very much like a photo in three dimensions.  And seeing as how it’s the Fourth of July and all, the stereo card I cut up is both taken by a famous American, and of a famous American.

So without further ado:  Walt Whitman, by Matthew Brady.

Walt Whitman, Now in 3d

The file turned out to be a tiny bit large. And for that I am very, very sorry.

Spring is here!

Philadelphia’s weather report may call for one last coughing gasp of snow on Tuesday, but in my house, it’s feeling particularly vernal.  The first seedlings — cucumbers, I think — have pushed their little heads up out of the soil.  And the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are following hard on their heels.  I would never tempt fate by making a bold prediction.  But if things continue on course, the state of Sarah’s garden may signal tasty times ahead.

Spring is here! Our first seedlings of 2014

Here’s hoping. (Knock on wood.)

Fowl is Fair

The residents of the McNeil Avian Center at the Philadelphia Zoo were particularly friendly on this visit.  It is an excellent exhibit, anyhow, in which most of the birds roam free with the guests, bobbing across the walkways and peering back at cameras with a kind of frank, birdie curiosity.  But today — perhaps because it was a winter weekday and the crowds were thin — the birds seemed in a posing mood.  Here are two, snapped from no more than an arm’s length away.

Fowl is Fair: Victoria Crowned Pidgeon
Victoria Crowned Pidgeon
Fowl is Fair: Ringed Teal
Ringed Teal (this was one happy duck.)

It’s neither food nor politics, but I thought you all might enjoy them, anyway.

Fall Fungus, by the Wissahickon Creek

Ever since Elizabeth and Hana each made their posts about foraging last summer, I have been unable to turn off the part of my brain that notices interesting mushrooms.  This one I found poking out of some leaves along Philadelphia’s Forbidden Drive.  I have no earthly idea whether it is edible.  But I wouldn’t.

Fall Fungus at the Wissahickon Creek


Help Replace the Twice Cooked Camera

Help Replace the Twice Cooked Camera

The end, dear friends, is nigh. After three and a half years of daily use — after tens of thousands of photographic exposures, and no small amount of detrimental exposure to flour, hot oil, and all manner of other kitchen nastiness — the trusty Twice Cooked camera, the little Olympus that could, is coughing, and sputtering, and well on the road to snapping its last shot.