11 Feb 2013

Red and green: a stroll in the park

There are no "proper" parks around my area, so when I feel the need to stroll between the trees, either I have to take a long ride to one of the outer parks, or I simply have to walk the urban forest instead, as I have been doing so far. But today I needed green, leaves, and ground; no asphalt or cement was allowed, so I considered my limited options and suddenly I had an idea: why not trying the small park next to the University? Last time I was there, it was closed due to some kind of renovation, but that was a year ago, so I decided to give it a try, therefore avoiding a trip much further which, truth be told, I didn't specially feel like doing. So I took my small bag, and entered the campus on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Robot pipe, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

I didn't realize at that moment, as I was more concerned about the funny E.T. shape of the pipe, but this first shot was already anticipating many things to come in the following hours: namely the predominance of 2 colors, red and green, that were going to appear in front of me, everywhere I went, in different tones and intensities.

Hedge tunnel, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm 

It rained a bit last night, so the road was splattered with puddles, here and there, big and small. And guess what? It didn't matter if I looked in or out of them, for green was present in both sides of the reflection, with minimal, subtle variations in its body. I found very interesting the mixture of color, reflection, and texture in this big, quiet puddle that spread all around the big water deposit, at the entrance of the park.

The lone keeper, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

This could very well be a cloudy sky, but nothing further from reality, as today was a cloudless and bright day. The green water deposit stood there, silent and arrogant, by the gates of the park, looking into its own reflection, maybe dreaming of something we cannot venture to guess.

Doppelgänger, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

Yes, the park had been finished and reopened, and soon I discovered what had been the cause of its temporary closure: what used to be a very small space of grass and trees around a middle sized pond,  has been turned into a jogging field. Sure, the pond remains unchanged, as does all the tall, ancient trees, but the grass has been replanted with much care, along with some new trees, and a winding, sinuous, blinding red rubber carpet invades all its extension, advancing in unlikely curves.

The snake, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

At first, I thought this was due to the proximity of the university, with its exorbitant number of students, but it didn't take long to find out that young students were not the only ones who had occupied that peaceful spot in the middle of the busy city, as almost equal number of elder people were starting to populate the crimson lane, at a slower pace, but with equivalent energy and motivation. And whenever someone needed a break from jogging, there were other facilities to help them stretch their muscles, or just take a rest.

Zigzag, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

I sat down and enjoyed the contrasts of color and age around me, but as afternoon was giving way to evening, more and more joggers were joining the club, and in such a tiny place it started feeling a bit crowded, so I decided to walk a bit more around the pond, and return home. And there, in a corner of the park, standing above the trees, dirty and mostly forgotten, I met the big screen.

Unwatched, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

I'm not sure if it is a relic of the old park or something new, and I also ignore its function; I would like to think it's intended for the screening of movies, some sort of open-air, public, free cinema, though I highly suspect it will end up embracing big, dull advertisements.

Waiting for tenants, GH3 + Lumix G Vario 12-35mm

I slowly abandoned the park with a smile, as countless athletes were running past me at different speeds. Did I feel a tiny bit uncomfortable for being one of the only people around not doing some kind of exercise, just walking around, wearing shorts and flip-flops, taking pics? Not in the slightest: there were also some kids playing in the grass, some couples sitting under the trees, some people enjoying a bit of freedom with their pets, and some solitary souls enjoying the scent of wet leaves and the sound of quiet waters, while reading the paper.

Peaceful reading, GH3 + Olympus M. Zuiko 45mm

Next time I will remember to bring along a book with me, just in case this spot is free by then.

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