Archive for the scent Category

i c e l a n d

Posted in architecture, art, beauty, iceland, landscape, light, lighthouse, mountains, scent, senses, symbology, time, travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by dacarc

the alchemy of a place


indescribable, dreamy, mystical, stunning, disorienting


the visible elements:

lush green fields rolling under jagged peaks, washed in swaths of violet lupine




stark glaciers falling into the ocean’s horizon







endless lava deserts, blanketed in thick moss




split chasms, cracked earth fissures


photo by tim girvin


milky blue lakes of steaming minerals, thrusting from deep underground





heavy timber structures emerging, of the earth, stone-walled, turf sheltered






rushing waterfalls, slicing over sheer rock mesas downward to the sea







mist-shrouded peaks, veiled mysteries




never-ending light, midnight sun


standing stones, cairns, and rock-circles





ice-shards, crystalline boulders streaming over black sand shores





ancient codes, runes, and magical sigals




bands of wild horses, roaming over lush green valleys




the people, shielded by the powers of their natural island-world








the invisible elements:

the scent of green, wet stone, salt-waters



the desolation of no-where




the absence of night








dark histories, volcanic destructions




the chilled misted, crystalline air




the heat of underground forces




a place of mystery


photo by tim girvin


a magic place






and the enduring strength of the people



i c e l a n d

desert vision

Posted in beauty, desert, landscape, light, scent, senses, time, travel, trees, Uncategorized on December 9, 2012 by dacarc

“one breath of juniper smoke, like the perfume of sagebrush after rain, evokes in magical catalysis, like certain music, the space and light and clarity and piercing strangeness of the american west. long may it burn.”
― Edward AbbeyDesert Solitaire

buckskin gulch 1

buckskin gulch 1

buckskin gulch 2

buckskin gulch 2

buckskin gulch 3

buckskin gulch 3

buckskin gulch 4

buckskin gulch 4

buckskin gulch 5

buckskin gulch 5

drifting in red sands before the edge of the longest and deepest slot canyon, the landscape is full of magic. rock formations hold ancient petroglyphs, telling the story of the land and people that have lived here for thousands of years.

petroglyphs near buckskin gulch

petroglyphs near buckskin gulch

sandstone formations 1

sandstone formations 1

sandstone formations 2

sandstone formations 2

sandstone formations 3

sandstone formations 3

sandstone formations 4

sandstone formations 4

sandstone formations 5

sandstone formations 5

large swaths of this land were at the bottom of the ocean that divided the continent. now, it is rich with sage, juniper, scrub oak, and cacti – even moss.

tumbleweed 1

tumbleweed 2

tumbleweed 3

tumbleweed 3

tumbleweed 4

tumbleweed 4

tumbleweed 5

tumbleweed 5

the colors, otherworldly – the designs of nature, striking.

desert cacti

desert cacti

desert flower

desert flower

desert seed

desert seed

desert cacti

desert cacti

flowering shrub

flowering shrub

climbing deep into the slot canyon, the temperature drops, shadows slide over liquid stone. echoes of the floods – walls of water and debris, their markings left as tree trunks and branches held by the narrow walls, high overhead.

slot canyon 1

slot canyon 1

slot canyon 2

slot canyon 2

slot canyon 3

slot canyon 3

slot canyon 4

slot canyon 4

slot canyon 5

slot canyon 5

“men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear-the earth remains, slightly modified. the earth remains, and the heartbreaking beauty where there are no hearts to break….I sometimes choose to think, no doubt perversely, that man is a dream, thought an illusion, and only rock is real. Rock and sun.”
― Edward AbbeyDesert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness


Posted in beauty, landscape, scent, senses, trees, Uncategorized on September 13, 2010 by dacarc

only the sound of rain, in awakening

walking out as the day opens into a lighter shade of grey

surrounded by the deepest scents of wet earth

i found the madronas in their stunning gowns of bark

shimmering wet beauties

peeling open in the rain

far east journey

Posted in architecture, china, japan, scent, travel, trees, Uncategorized on July 11, 2010 by dacarc

back in japan, 24 hours.. still, riches in scent, scene, density and intensity discovered.

roof timber coding stamp – tokyo restaurant

ravens echo their ancient reverberations between buildings, in a layered soundscape – people, cars, buses, horns – the raven call so tied to my memories of time here

shibuya streetscape – tokyo

and the layers of scent – humidity acting on the landscape and materials – waves of smoke, exhaust from trucks, sewers, and cooking vents

shibuya streetscape 2 – tokyo

the most people in an urban center in the world – and the richest choreography of a city

onward, then – too quickly, to seoul – the sister, in density, intensity, energy and creativity – another too short 24 hours..

seoul streetscape – korea

creative energy spilling over the architecture and into the streets

seoul alley stair – korea

and in the shoes..

shoe obsession – seoul, korea

vibrant colors, celebrations on the streets, loving the fun of life..

cute pop – seoul, korea

on again, to the largest city proper in the world – shanghai! buzzing intensity, the high wattage energy of this city

blue-lit underpass – shanghai, china

everyone is working hard here, night and day

dumpling shop – shanghai, china

making things, selling things – mom and pop retail is still alive, while the encroaching developments transform city blocks overnight

extruded steel shop – shanghai, china

oasis of quiet can be found, if you look carefully

urbn hotel – shanghai, china

urbn hotel lobby – shanghai, china

and beauty found even in the working industrial facilities

furniture makers warehouse – shanghai, china

and in the re-purposed old industrial buildings

1933 – shanghai, china

this old slaughterhouse in hongkou district is a stunning piece of architecture, and now filling up with shops and cafes

restaurant at 1933 – shanghai, china

cast concrete forms – raw reminders of the building history – give this place a powerful energy

entry columns at 1933 – shanghai, china

another re-purposed district, shanghai sculpture space – a large park, filled with installations and surrounded by old buildings now full of galleries, shops and cafes

shanghai sculpture space – shanghai, china

shanghai sculpture space gallery – shanghai, china

sculpture and bench – shanghai sculpture space

in the galleries of shanghai sculpture space

shanghai sculpture space entry

still there are a few untouched residential districts, living.. while others have been converted into shopping districts

street scene – shanghai, china

and thankfully, the communists do drink coffee..

commune coffee shop – shanghai, china

modern artists like their babies – in sculpture and painting, everywhere

red babies – shanghai, china

shop stair – shanghai, china

shop girls – shanghai, china

there are beautiful old shikumen houses converted into specialty boutiques in tian zi fang

tree binding – at the dunhill mansion – shanghai, china

and, as always – endless beauty in the care and support in tree binding

street trees – shanghai, china

and creative electrical wiring schemes – an endless series of artistic compositions

onward, again – the last landing, hong kong. more striking that before – the density, this small perch for millions – between the harbor and the mountains. so unique in geography and urban development — impossibly narrow and tall buildings, densely packed against the strikingly green hills

harbor sunrise – hong kong

wandering up the hills in a deluge, finding amazing surprises on the way – in colors, tree roots growing out of walls, and the unique compression of buildings against the vertical rise of the landscape, all in the layered urbanity of millions

hill wandering – hong kong

small buddhist temples found, surrounded by shops, restaurants and residences

street-side temple offering – hong kong

retaining wall tree perch – hong kong

street sign layers – hong kong

doors – old and new – hong kong

bamboo scaffolding – hong kong

construction continues, and continuous repair as the intensity of the climate wears away at buildings, streets, and the landscape. the incredible complex layering of this city is magnetic – drawing me deeply, again..

until the next time

hong kong street scene

the scent of summer’s end

Posted in fragrance, light, memory, scent, time, Uncategorized on September 20, 2009 by dacarc
fall opening light

fall opening light

i wished to capture the smell of today in a bottle. inhaling,
i was transported back in time to my earliest childhood.
i became  that child, in breathing that scent. 
the slight cool crispness, freshly harvested earth, grasses gone to seed,
after the rain of the night, heated by the sun at just that angle –
and all the other magical notes, the alchemy of the fragrance that is only this moment.
and that moment of being that echoed forward to today.


Posted in china, scent, travel on August 24, 2009 by dacarc

being here

morning mist - nanjing

morning mist - nanjing

in the eucalyptus breeze, heat rising
summer palace - beijing

summer palace - beijing

warming sunstream, inhaling sweet pine
morning lotus bloom - summer palace - beijing

morning lotus bloom - summer palace - beijing

distractions dissolve in opening sunlight
summer palace temple buddha - beijing

summer palace temple buddha - beijing

awakening here now

spirit in place

Posted in architecture, bhutan, china, dreams, fire, florence, japan, java, light, memory, morocco, scent, senses, symbology, time, travel, turkey, Uncategorized on June 14, 2009 by dacarc
hassan II mosque, casablanca, morocco

hassan II mosque, casablanca, morocco

reading william lethaby’s “architecture, nature and magic”, along with essays on architecture by ananda coomaraswamy, the act of architecture as a human reflection and vision of the universe is clear, powerful and ancient. experiencing places that capture this reflection has been a life-long attraction, a quest to understand the alchemy of materials, the orchestration of proportion, the creation of beauty, of deep and richly memorable places. i’ve gone looking for them – and found them everywhere.



how do places capture human spirit? what universal human character lines weave and wrap around the globe, connecting istanbul, tokyo, paro, delhi, jakarta, bangkok, marrakech, kyoto, paris, hong kong, new york, singapore, yogyakarta, seattle, sao paolo…
incense offering - man mo temple, hong kong

incense offering - man mo temple, hong kong

incense coils - man mo temple, hong kong

incense coils - man mo temple, hong kong

rene guenon’s “symbolism of the cross” dissertation on the universality of this symbol across cultures and religions contemplates both the commonality and the individuality – global and local – nature of human existence.





architecture begins with the need for protection from the elements, made with the materials at hand – stone, clay, wood.  architecture evolves through ideas and experiment, discoveries in geometry and structural laws, reflecting ritual and the order of nature.
sacre coeur, paris

sacre coeur, paris

kiyomizu temple, kyoto, japan

kiyomizu temple, kyoto, japan

the layering of detail reflects the time and craft of the individual spirit.  amazing beauty is wrought into the art, craft and culture reflected in great buildings. layered on structure as protective symbols – based upon natural elements such as plants, water, guardian animals – these layers deepen the human connection to a place.
temple of heaven, beijing, china

temple of heaven, beijing, china

prayer wheel, changangkha lhakhang temple, thimphu, bhutan

prayer wheel, changangkha lhakhang temple, thimphu, bhutan

borobudur, java, indonesia

borobudur, java, indonesia

the quest continues – looking for inspiration, light, spirit, beauty – in every place, every culture, every people.