Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday Photo Shootout - Fences

This week's prompt is brought to you by me. For more Friday Photo Shootout posts, click on the camera over on the sidebar.

This is what I wrote over at FPS to introduce the topic of fences:


"All over my town there are fences - tall ones and short ones, old and new, elegant and shabby. They all have something to say - like "Keep out," "Be careful!" (like this one) or "Stay right where you are," "I'm utterly exhausted" or "Look at me. Aren't I splendid?" Some have gates; others simply define a space or support a heavy vine. What kinds of fences are there in your town? Do they really make good neighbours? Or do they just isolate us? "

So when I went out looking at fences, I tried to bear those questions in mind. I found  some very chatty fences, indeed. Nanaimo seems to attract them.


This fence winked at me and said "I've got a secret." In my travels, I was surprised at how few such fences I saw.

Much more common were fences like this one on the left, which yawned, scratched itself, and inquired, "Are you as bored as I am?"


Not far from the secretive fence was another that intrigued me. I kept hearing a small voice say "Help!" and when I followed the voice, I found this a poor, overburdened metal fence peeking out from behind some very pushy plants. There wasn't anything I could do for the poor fence except take its photo and try to publicize its plight.




I was still wondering about the real purpose of all this fencing when I came across this example, which is more of a psychological barrier than a physical one. It appears to be reminding drivers that the parking lot really doesn't go on forever, but it's doing so in the most subtle manner. Just in case, though, it changed its approach at one point and started saying "Harrumph!" in case drivers didn't get the rocky hint.

One kind of fence that appears frequently in Nanaimo is what I call the Chia Fence. Like all things chia, it requires a lot of TLC in order to look its best., and it does tend to be rather a bully (see the "Help!" fence above.)







This next fence made me sad. It just stood there, weakly, moaning "I'm so confused!"













Yesterday, I went to Qualicum with Jane, to raid the consignment store. While we were there, I saw one fence that I simply had to include in this collection, because it was too good to resist. I don't know whether it had anything to say or not. If so, I couldn't hear it over all the caterwauling.


As to the last question I posed - do good fences really make good neighbours, or do they simply isolate us?  Generally, I think they tend to isolate us, create artificial barriers to symbolize the emotional and psychological isolation we feel and, for whatever reason, want to protect. I am not prepared to say that we should take down all the fences, but I would like to see some of them, the really tall ones, replaced by fences over which we could see - peek, if you will - at our neighbours, and they could peek back. Maybe that would help us to understand each other.

I just came across this YouTube video that seemed to fit the theme. It may be naive, but it's something to be hoped for - that someday we may not need all these fences.

24 comments:

Poetikat said...

Sometimes, it's the neighbours who force you to put up the fence in the first place (loooong story!), but I do like the caterwall and the chia fence.

By the way, I posted on "Blasts" today—just for you!

Kat

Patty said...

A nice bunch of fences you have there. The weather looks so nice.

Love the cat on the fence.

AngelMay said...

Oy! There were countries in the YouTube piece that I've never heard of. How DO the globe-makers keep up? :)

Sandra Leigh said...

Kat, I went right over to "Blasts" - http://tinyurl.com/yer57gw - Wonderful post, that. Thank you.

Patty, it was a little brisk out yesterday, but otherwise fine. No snow. That's all I ask.

Sandra Leigh said...

AngelMay, I have no idea. Maybe you can buy stick-on updates for globes now!

~JarieLyn~ said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your creative commentary. Personally, I like the confused fence the best. It has a little color to make it stand out but not attract too much attention.

GingerV said...

I sent out the video to my family they should LOVE it. I loved your dialog - course you are a writer - but to find interesting fences and 'what' they say is the best.
have a great weekend.

Gordon said...

Sandra, your fence idea was inspired. What a terrific theme to pull out our inner feelings. Your photos are great, also. The last one is a classic. Thanks, for the week of fences.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Don't fence me in!

Karen said...

I really enjoyed the tour.

One of my favorite lines is still,
"Something there is that doesn't love a wall." Just that one line seems to me to speak volumes.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh, love this post about fences and their personalities! Brava! *smiling*

Kerry said...

I do like that confused fence, and I "love love love" the video--watched the whole thing!

SOL said...

First, let me say that I thought your assignment was a great idea for FSO! Second, I loved all your photos and I loved how you gave a voice to your fences--it was a lot of fun to read!

NanU said...

Ooooh, I want those fencecats!
Great Shootout, Sandra.

Chef E said...

Your perspective is so witty and creative...ummm could you be a writer? Ha, of course you are, and I love the video...was kind of a theme I was aiming for as well!

Queenmothermamaw said...

Loved the Chia fence. I love your post. That was an interesting theme. I did not get mine up until today Saturday but it is there. Stop by.
QMM

Debbie said...

I don't think I'll ever look at fences the same again! Love your photo tour and the accompanying explanations.

J9 said...

Thank-you for this week's theme, especially the philisophical aspect of fences. I think they create a sometimes unnessesary barrier to communication and community. My fav of your shots is the caterwalling fence :-)

VE said...

It's funny...some places don't have any fences at all; others have nothing but fences. When I was in Tanzania, Africa there wasn't a fence to be seen anywhere. It was quite refreshing.

Pauline said...

Thanks for a great theme. I think it's been one of the best we have had, it certainly sparked a variety of responses. Love your dialogue and titled fences.

Doreen said...

so nice of you to try and save that one fence! :-) nice series of fences and love the commentary with it. the cat one is very unique!!

Sandra Leigh said...

Hi, everybody. My apologies for not answering everyone individually. I just got home from work, and I have to be back there in 9 hours, so I'm rushing through on my way to sleep. I shall try to catch up with everybody tomorrow afternoon.

Meanwhile, thank you for your comments.

A Scattering said...

Love the "don't need it" sign!

Jen said...

beautiful...beautiful post - photos and words.

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