Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs Along the Way

Today’s challenge is to photograph scenes that are not your destination, but are the ‘mundane moments’ in between.  This is a bit tricky, as I try very hard not to see any moment as mundane and not to focus on a destination and forget that the journey and process are very important.  I have lots of photos of the flowers along the way as well.  So, I thought I’d do something a bit different.  I’m going to show you wayside signs.  This first one is one of my favorites, located just beyond the security checkpoint at the Milwaukee airport:

RecombobIt makes you consider: what is recombobulation?  How discombobulated do you feel when you have relinquished your shoes, purse, backpack, laptop and phone and had your body scanned by electronic devices?  How about this one:

poisonHow considerate to warn cars passing on the highway that poisonous gas has leaked from these oil refineries!  But once you are passing, how do you heed the ‘Do Not Enter’ warning?  Do not enter what?  The surrounding airspace? Then there’s this:

handling batsI wonder at the necessity of this sign.  Who would manhandle a bat if they happened to come upon one in a cave?  I hate to think.  If not afraid, I would hope they’d be respectful.  And finally, consider this proposition:picnicHow would you set the table in this picnic area?  I hope you brought plenty of duct tape and napkins!

On the Way

Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs

Some signs are meant to be helpful, but come across as completely confusing.  Like this one in the Milwaukee airport, just past the security checkpoint. 

RecombobIt took me a while to think through this one.  I had just been stripped of my shoes, my jacket, my purse and my backpack, been x-rayed, patted down, swiped and wiped, and I felt….discombobulated.  So there, with a few chairs underneath, was the designated area for getting recombobulated.  See, spell check doesn’t even recognize that word!  Helpful, sort of, but mostly not.  But amusing, definitely.  And absurd. 

Another sign I found on my travels.  A possible answer to the question, “Can you handle this?”

handling bats

Turns out, you can’t handle this.  114They never said I couldn’t photograph it, though.

Some signs need translation. The town of Embarrass, Wisconsin on the Embarrass River is nothing to be ashamed of.

I wanted to go into the Post Office and ask about their deep, dark secret.  Instead, I went home and looked up the history of the town.  Turns out, it was settled by French Canadian loggers who found it difficult to get their floating logs past this point on the river because of snags and debris.  In French, “embarrass” means to impede, obstruct or entangle.  Oh. 

Will you recognize the signs of the times?  Well, the times, they are a changin’. 

leaves

By this time next week, I will be unemployed and heading toward New Mexico for the Wilderness 50 Conference.  Yes, the signs are telling me that it’s time for a change. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

“And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence” – Simon & Garfunkel

This is absolutely the first thing that came to mind when I read the prompt for this photo challenge, and the first image that I thought of is this shot that I took last Friday at the trail head to the section of the Ice Age Trail we hiked that day.

signsGraffiti….is it art or is it disrespect?  I suppose that depends on what it is and where.  How about on an ancient Egyptian wall?  Yeah, that made the news this week.  Is that a prophecy of destruction?  There are many examples of that abroad on our planet.  How about prophecies of hope and healing?  They seem harder to come by.  Here’s one I found this morning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TqFaiVNuy1k

Signs point the way; they are not the Way, nor are they the goal.  It isn’t wise to get attached to the sign and miss the reality.  It might be a good challenge to toss out your favorite signposts periodically to see if you can still find the Way….