Sunday, January 20, 2008
On the road down the mountain in the middle of a narrow blind S curve there is a small yellow gate. I drive past it at least twice a day. It intrigues me. It is never open. It has 2 cement steps leading to it and beyond it a path towards a house. The front door of the house matches the gate. No one comes or goes from that house. Yet it is not abandoned or even very old. Why would they have put a gate in the middle of an S curve that cannot possibly be used?
I have stopped my car many times in the middle of the curve (keeping one eye out for cars) and photographed the gate. The shots are clear, crisp, perfectly composed and bad everytime. It has gotten to the point that I slip into the S, roll down the window, snap a few shots and drive on. I do it regularly-both coming and going. There is no reason for this gate to not be photogenic. I don’t get it. It is not ugly. It is like those people that always blink in pictures or turn their faces away.
In the spring the gate and the Forsythia hedge are TOO garish. In the summer the gate shouts out its strident color from the tall green arching branches of the Forsythia. It is not a meek mild-mannered quiet sort of gate. But one that demands attention every time you go into the S. It is almost like a flashing yellow caution light. Perhaps that is why it is bright sunshine yellow. You cannot miss it.
One morning after a winter storm I slipped into the S curve. The gate was surrounded and covered in fresh snow. It looked subdued in the gray winter light. I rolled down the window and snapped a few shots as usual. That night when I got home I discovered I finally had a good shot. Several days later when the snow melted a little, the gate was back to its unattractive self.