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Being retired gives me plenty of time to take long, long walks around my hometown of Seattle, Washington. I always have my little Canon digital with me, so I can capture the strange, the weird, the strikingly ugly and the oddly beautiful. Here are twenty of my favorite finds from recent Shank’s Mare trips. With commentary.


Fixing a hole.

I have no idea what this is. — Actually, I do. It’s to shore up the wall. Keeping old infrastructure working is one of the themes of this photo montage.


Window, decommissioned.

This window stopped being needed and/or wanted. A view to the world, no longer.


Only time can achieve this look.

This fence is just too pretty in its own rugged way, to be torn down.



Greetings, people. These things always seem so alien.


It looks old because it is old.

One more gnarly fire hydrant. I just like they way the look….


Fill-er-up at the fire department.

Still fire-fighting related: this does something for the fire department. I’ll assume it fills the trucks with water for fighting blazes. Notice the color scheme is so similar to that of the fire hydrant.



I thought this would be the right photo to come next, since it too has to do with addressing danger. I can only imagine that some terrible driver has had one-two-many run-ins with this fence.



If this was 1960, I’d say, hands down, this is a fallout shelter. People built them in their yards, so that, when WW III happened, they could go into their fallout shelters and come out when everything was OK. Whenever that was. But it’s not 1960. So I’m guessing it’s a root cellar.



These huge tubes are situated at a very large Seattle medical center. They must be attached to a gargantuan incinerator.


Soon to be a view, obstructed.

Seattle, Washington, framed by new construction. The gent on the ladder has a dilemma: concentrate on the work, not the view.


I’m still standing.

The Port of Seattle’s historic grain elevator dominates this photo of Seattle’s Elliott Bay area. In the background, huge cargo ships, and a Washington State ferry can be seen plying the waters of Puget Sound, under cloudy Seattle skies.


Reaching for the sky.

A strikingly beautiful, sleek TV tower looms high, high above the street, in a mixed-use neighborhood. I love the way it looks, framed by the green of leaves and the blue of the sky. This is now old technology; but it remains vital to our communications industry.


Television station gear, obsolete.

On the other hand, this satellite dish came and went. While it was once new, indispensable technology for bringing breaking news to thousands of Seattle homes, it now lies in a pile of surplus, next to cheap pre-fab sheds.


Appropriated by the proletariat.

Hopefully this sign was not vital to anyone’s safe commute. Multiple folks seem to have found a new use for it, as canvas.


Odd assemblage.

This makes no sense at all to me; thus its inclusion. It’s just another item that makes me wonder why people do things.


And why do they do this?

Add a little color to your world. And put it out there for all to see.


Speaking of adding color to the world….

Now this item really jumped out at me. It was situated near an ultra-modern Queen Anne Hill home. Where was my tab of acid when I needed it?


A truly bizarre photograph.

Because I love to walk and ride my bicycle (because at 67, it’s such a joy that I can), I almost never take the bus. And I don’t like taking photos on the bus. There’s little chance of framing an artistic shot while riding public transportation. But we had a sky in August that was just unbelievable. I had to take photos. And I’m actually pleased the way it came out. Imagine being the bus driver, and having to cope with this, right in front of your face.


Here it is.

If you were waiting for the strikingly ugly, here it is.


Honorable mention:


This is on the side of one of Seattle’s most-popular diner-style cafes. They have to turn customers away, so why fix it? (Not sure what that ghostly shadow is….)

I always like to add a song to help you interpret my stories. So, here is a pretty one, just for you!