creatures of convenience

April 10, 2017  •  4 Comments

All creatures on this earth, including humans, are very practical.  Our mission is, first and foremost survival, and all that entails.  In order for birds to successfully breed, they need a nest.  This week, we have watched chunks of wood flying from a hole in a piñon tree as nuthatches decorate the room, while robins yank mats of thyme from their roots, delivering them to their nests. The detritus of grasses and dirt clods pasted together as the Say's phoebes construct their home in a wooden box are spread far and wide.  They are utilizing what is readily available in their immediate surroundings.  

Although humans have been able to use building materials from a much larger geographic circle for thousands of years, the most expedient and convenient construction methods use products surrounding them. In environments where tall trees grow, wood has been used since humans had tools to cut it into timbers.  In deserts, in the Southwestern United States, and in Mediterranean climates, soil of many types has been and still is used in home construction. Whether for structural or aesthetic purposes, it has proved to be a most practical and convenient building material.  It is workable with the human hand and non-metal tool, can be shaped at will, and mixed with colors to great effect.

A modern adobe brick, below, is semi-stabilized and brushed with water to create a mud plaster.    

Another modern wall with colored plaster creates a warm tone at the Hotel Los Gatos in California.

wall and candleswall and candles


Layers of white and more white on buildings in the Mediterranean, along with pastels in blue, brown, and pink give Santorini much of its character.

vault, Santorini, Greecevault, Santorini, Greece


Probably as a protective coating from ample moisture in Germany, the colored plaster wall around this window enlivens the sometimes monochromatic sky.

window box and stucco, Germanywindow box and stucco, Germany


A wall at Chaco Culture National Historic Park in western New Mexico stands as a testimony to the resilience of stone and timber in the dry Southwestern climate.

wall, Chaco Canyonwall, Chaco Canyon

 These eminently convenient materials are still part of our lives in the 21st century, and I am grateful for them.

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]


Lawrence T. Jones(non-registered)
Daryl, lovely as usual.
Fred Barraza(non-registered)
Great images Daryl! Narrative as well!
Steve Immel(non-registered)
You are on a roll, chica. These are super compositions. I'm especially taken by the one from Santorini. I don't recall it. I love the way you've framed the village on the hillside and the table and chair on the balcony. It lends a human touch to the fine architectural photograph.
Chuck Woodburn(non-registered)
Wow! Those pics capture the essence of simple exquisite beauty expressed in architecture. I find a deep spiritual connection to the regenerative nature of simple beauty.
I love those photographs Daryl and miss New Mexico.
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