Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some Fountains at Shaw's Garden

HERE ARE SOME photos of fountains at the Missouri Botanical Garden, popularly called Shaw's Garden after its founder, Henry Shaw (1800-1889). I've found that floral photos rarely turn out very well unless it is sunny, so on this mainly overcast day, I turned the lens towards a few of the garden's many fanciful fountains.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - fountain of three fish

Three Sturgeons, by the Florentine sculptor Sirio Tofanari.

As I've written before, I have a fascination with fountains and flowing water.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - Ottoman fountain

The Ottoman garden is similar to what might have been found in a sultan's garden in Constantinople. Islamic water gardens developed from the conquered Christian Byzantine empire designs, modified by its own theology.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - wall fountain

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - pond in Chinese garden

Soon after arrival, there was an intense downpour. Large raindrops can be seen here, while I was safely under a gazebo in the Chinese garden.

Overcast days are typically terrible for taking photos. Strangely, subjects that look fine to the eye turn out poorly in the camera.  But human psychology can help: when lighting is dim, the eye's sensitivity to blue light increases, while the camera has no such correction. Using the computer afterwards to boost the camera's sensitivity to blue solved the problem and rescued a number of these photos, restoring them to an approximation of what I saw that day.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - fountain of nude woman on dolphin

Young lady, show some modesty. I don't care if you think you are a “goddess”.

This is Sunglitter, by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. There are many Milles sculptures in Saint Louis; he typically used pagan or mythic Nordic nationalistic themes.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - raccoon fountain

Detail of Three Playful Raccoons.  This and the following three sculptures are by native Missourian, Robert Lee Walker.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - fountain with otter and fish

Detail of Four Playful Otters with Fish.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - fountain of geese

Three Dancing Geese.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - peacock fountain

This is my favorite shot of the day.  Two Playful Peacocks.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - sun fountain

Solar powered pump doesn't work on an overcast day.

Besides not working on this particular day, note that this fountain lacks monumental quality and permanence unlike the others shown here, and it emphasizes the least interesting part, the solar panel. My engineering and design background leads me to believe that a sun fountain could be implemented in a much more satisfactory and delightful manner. I am available for consultation.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - Japanese fountain

A bamboo fountain in the Japanese garden. Ritual purity is a significant part of Japanese religion. Water is used for purification and cleansing, and so is a natural sign or symbol for the interior cleansing of the soul. This is found in Christian baptism.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - waterfall in Japanese garden

Cho-on-baku; or, the Waterfall of Tidal Sound, in the Japanese garden.

Missouri Botanical Garden (Shaw's Garden), in Saint Louis, MIssouri, USA - trees in Japanese garden

Last year, I took a photo of this pleasant little landscape, but my focus was poor. Here I try again.

1 comment:

  1. i can't believe i've never been to the japanese gardens. wonderful shots.

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