Archive for the ‘Pulliam Plant’ Category

Two images



“I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.”  Annie Dillard



I continue to return to the Pulliam Plant in search of pictures that grab me but have had mixed success capturing shots that give me full chestal thrum*. This is the first time I have tried it at night.


In this small set, the plant is a silent, hulking, mysterious presence. Or, at least, that’s what I was trying for, though the coppery reflections cancel out the whole Soviet factory vibe.


This is a strange place to take pictures. Not a soul around, but…holy cow!…loud, loud, loud. Look at the first picture and the lumpish things bisecting the river. Geese! The water is mostly open here and this is apparently a popular after-hours smorgasbord location. (You can often be rewarded during daylight hours by the sight of eagles who nest here year-around and fish the open waters.) I just didn’t think birds went out for dinner and drinks after dark.



Several earlier posts cover the Pulliam Plant. If you’re interested, you’ll find them under the Categories column on your left.

*Chestal Thrum: That feeling that a thousand small-but-invisible winged beings are doing a polka dance of joy in the general region of your heart and it is a sure sign that you are on to something good.

Tomorrow: Industrial Romantic

Water in front of the Pulliam Plant stays open all year round. While I was eying up industrial reflections in the water today, there was a fellow in an older van–and no, he did not offer me candy–who was busy with his binoculars pointed skyward, studying an eagle circling the area.

Perhaps it was a buzzard eying up Wabi Sabi.  She does not move as quickly as she once did.

No, no. It was an eagle. While it is true that Wabi Sabi moves with deliberate speed on potentially icy surfaces, there are several eagles who nest near the Pulliam Plant year round.

I find this resident population of eagles has really streamlined my spiritual life. In the past, I would have to fast and pray and then go sit under a tree and wait for an eagle to appear with a vision for my quest.

Now I grab a coffee in a to-go cup, drive down to the nesting area  and drum my fingers on the steering wheel until an idea occurs to me.

One and done.




I have returned to this site so often that Homeland Security probably has me on their watch list. My goal (obsession?) has been to make the Pulliam Plant beautiful…or at least something other than hardcore industrial gritty. 

A strange goal, I’ll have to admit, given that I love me some industrial gritty. At any rate, these three pictures are as close as I have come to my goal so far.



I may even have succeeded in a little romance on this last one, though the result feels akin to shooting an aging diva through a Vaseline-coated filter.


With Tuesday’s spring “melt”–which lasted an entire day and now we are back to freezing–I wanted to find giant puddles and shoot reflections. I ended up in the Yacht Club/Coast Guard area, across the river from the Pulliam Plant. It’s relatively deserted there with some nice paved surfaces and I didn’t have to sidestep any vehicles, parked or otherwise. (Okay…I outwaited the fool in the green van who was parked DIRECTLY where I wanted to shoot, but that was it.)


I had a good time, moving my car around the lots with both the heater and the audio system cranked up, soundtracking my work.


The snowbank-puddle combos provided some very interesting effects.


And, now that you know what you are looking at, let’s flip an image for a whole different perspective:


The entire expedition wasn’t monochromatic:

Ta-DA! The Pulliam Plant.


(I am particularly pleased with that one.)

Finally, capturing this last sign* in a watery typeface seemed quite appropriate:


And now I will return to the tugboats…which are pretty awesome.

* “Overflow Parking on Grass”

Top of the tower, two different finishes.

tower top1

tower top2

I’ve shared full-on pictures of the Pulliam Plant tower in the past–see Nov 24 and Jan 27 posts–so if you are not familiar with the structure, check it out.

Examining these shots closely, I realized–duh–that all those gauges and cages would indicate that workpersons have to get up there from time to time. A  fear-of-heights moment washed over me and I nearly did a swan dive to the floor from my desk chair.

Wabi Sabi follows a strict “bottom rung only” rule for how far up she will climb a ladder.

I’m gonna let it shine!

this little light

I really wanted that light to be blue so I could title this picture “Blue Canary in the Outlet by the Light Switch,” but another choice might be “Triangle Man.”