Readers’ wildlife photos

According to our new policy, both landscapes and photos of people count as “wildlife.” That’s good because it enables me to post some lovely photos.

This batch comes from Joe Routon, and the subject is arches.

I’m always excited when I find a scene with an arch—it reminds me of a doorway to something beyond. I imagine passing through the arch and entering something new, something perhaps unknown. It adds anticipation to the photo.  Here are a few of my favorite arch photographs.

A city filled with arches is Florence, Italy. Here’s one at the Palazzo del Bargello, one of my favorite museums in the city.

Also in Florence is a series of arches at the complex of Santa Croce Church, the burial place of Galileo, the composer Rossini, and Machiavelli.

One of my favorite art museums in Florence is the Pitti Palace. I made this picture as we were leaving the museum. I purposely made the colors intense to give it the feeling of a painting.

In Sicily, this is the Ear of Dionysius, a cave carved out of a hill in the city of Syracuse. It was given its name by the painter Caravaggio because of its similarity to a human ear.

Moving to Moscow, here’s my photo of St. Basil Cathedral in Red Square. The turbulent sky and the ominous figure standing at the entrance give the picture a foreboding, almost unsettling, feeling—perhaps a gateway that one would be reluctant to enter.

Looking through this arch in Budapest, we see the Parliament Building.

Going through this arch, you enter the walkway of the Manhattan Bridge in NYC.

In Vacherie, Louisiana, there is an arch leading to the Oak Alley Plantation.

One of my favorite photos, this shows a shepherd with his sheep, after they’ve passed through the arches of an aqueduct in Rome. Watching it was like traveling back in history—I was witnessing something relatively unchanged that had happened every day for thousands of years.

These arches remind me of today in our country’s history. We’re about to enter a doorway into something new, something unknown. Let’s hope that a brighter, happier, more pleasant view awaits us on the other side. Vote!


  1. Mark Jones
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Lovely shots!

  2. GBJames
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Wonderful photos.

  3. Posted October 1, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Beautifully done! And once again plants a travel bug in me…..

  4. Jenny Haniver
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    These are great! The Ear of Dionysius. Ineffable.

    I’ve long wondered why some arched recesses set into the sides of buildings such as the one in your photographs don’t themselves seem to be windows but have actual small square or rectangular windows set into them.

  5. Cate Plys
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Each photo more wonderful than the last. And yes, the last one of the shepherd and aqueduct is mesmerizing. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Posted October 1, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I love the photos, cousin Joe! Love the commentary as well. The light touch of the stable arch is a beautiful metaphor for our republic. Right now, our democracy is over a barrel, and I hope we aren’t kicked collectively in the groin. I’m a big fan of Biden and hope he can corbel something together to smack Donny in his McRibs. (Did you see what I did there? The architects in the crowd might be smiling.)

  7. Ruthann Richards
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The photos are wonderful. I also love arches. There are many smaller tree-lined roads in northwestern Germany where the branches hang over the road to make arches.

  8. Posted October 1, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Wow! It’s a very interesting view. I wish I had traveled half way too.

    The above was what I wrote, then filtered thru japanese in Google translate, then back again to english. Not as odd as I’d hoped.

  9. Posted October 1, 2020 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Arches really do have a transporting effect. Lovely. Except the NY one…that one just seem bleak to me, grey and impersonal. The others, I could stare at forever.

  10. scruffycookie
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    These are stunning! Thanks for sharing!

  11. rickflick
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Great shots. Arches are good for framing a shot.

  12. phar84
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Lovely fresh look at arches!
    Like the idea of expanding this section into photography in general. May get some pictures of readers as a lagniappe.

  13. Posted October 1, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Very nice, especially the Oak Alley Plantation shot.

  14. Posted October 1, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Whoa. I have nothing coherent to say, but so be it.

  15. davelenny
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful pictures. Yes, the intense colours in the Pitti Palace photo are gorgeous.

  16. ploubere
    Posted October 1, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing them, they’re a good set. Interesting theme.

  17. Posted October 2, 2020 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Fantastic photos.

    Maybe the Moscow one might have been the last arch a lot of people ever saw. Imagine you’re (well, anyone in gvt) in Stalin’s time and you’ve been summoned to the Kremlin. You’re in the back of a speeding black Zil limmo with no tags at night on your way to see the big guy, through that arch and then through the Spasky Gate beyond it. There are curtains on the car windows but you see THAT view through the front windsheild ahead.
    D.A., NYC

  18. Posted October 23, 2020 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Beautiful images! If you’d ever consider submitting some of your work for publication, Dixie State University has an online literary journal and is currently open for submissions.

    You can check us out at The deadline to submit this year is November 6th.

    We are in dire need of fiction and nonfiction submissions like this. We also accept memoirs, audio recordings, visual art, book reviews, multimedia (video/audio), photography, etc.

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