Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #182: Interesting Objects

It was Patti this week who got us to search our photo files for unusual items for the 182nd Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Interesting Objects. Turned out to be really fun since so many places we’ve visited have been interesting — for one reason or another.

Art is continually working to take the crust of familiarity off everyday objects.

Rudolph Arnheim

Take, for instance, the sculptured babies (one at top and two below) by artist David Cerny. Babies are everyday subjects, right? But when enlarged and place out in the open near an art museum in the Mala Stana section of Prague, they become . . . well, interesting. (To say the least.)

Crawling Babies by David Cerny, Prague
Often touched and discussed, two sculptures of babies by David Cerny “crawl” through Mala Strana, Prague.

Something else of interest caught our attention while driving through a subdivision in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. A simple red basket became a safe nesting place for a baby white owl. (Can you see him in the basket on the right?) We weren’t even considering a better, closer shot of it once we spotted the mama owl nearby, but we all agreed it was clever of the neighbors to help mother owl protect her little one.

In Hanoi during Chinese New Year, many small furnaces were for sale but had no idea how or for what they were used. We later found that they’re for burning paper in tribute to loved ones who have gone before. As the smoke and bits of paper waft upwards and away, it’s an interesting way of expressing love and respect.

Burning paper to honor dead, Hanoi, Vietnam
Portable incinerators used in Hanoi to send smoky tributes to departed family members.

On our recent trip down the Elbe River for the Christmas markets, we stopped at Polabske Muzeum in Czechia. After roaming through numerous outbuildings filled with antiques, implements, and Christmas vignettes, we came upon this set of mannequins representing beloved Christmas figures. But behind them were what we had heard of but really hadn’t fully processed: frighteningly dark figures intended to scare children into being good so Santa would come to visit on Christmas Eve. (I would have been good as gold to avoid these scary guys.)

Christmas icons, Polabske Museum, Czechia
So what’s interesting here? Check out the dark figures in the background. Part of the lore of Christmas in Czechia, we think.

Another object — a simple flower — caught our attention as we were returning from the beach at Pawleys one especially hot, still afternoon. What made this sight so interesting was the emergence of a colorful, little blossom, growing deep inside cracked concrete asking nothing in return except to be noticed!

Flower in sidewalk crack, Pawleys Island SC
A lone flower emerges from a rocky crevice in the sidewalk.

And finally, a trip to the bathroom after a bountiful breakfast at Tally’s Silver Spoon in Rapid City, Iowa, brought us squarely in front of a couple of doors marked “Whichever.” Perhaps now that the volatile controversy over who potties where has calmed down, this wouldn’t attract much notice at all. But when we first saw it three years ago, we definitely did a double take.

Bathroom sign in Tally's Silver Spoon, Rapid City, ID
An interesting bathroom sign at Tally’s Silver Spoon, Rapid City, South Dakota

Thanks for taking a look at a few objects of interest that we’ve encountered in our travels. And for more, please go to Patti’s PilotFish Blog to see what others have posted.

Travel interestingly,

Rusha & Bert

24 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #182: Interesting Objects

  1. kzmcb

    Very entertaining. My father was from Poland and told us of the visits on Christmas eve of a devil (he was struggling to find an English equivalent)and St Nicholas. If your parents said you’d been naughty you would be spanked by the devil and if good, then you’d get an apple. I thought an apple was a bit of a jip, but he said fresh fruit at Christmas was rare.
    Loved your ‘whatever ‘ toilet sign.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      What an interesting story. I hadn’t heard of these “Dark Santa’s,” but a friend told me about them. Whatever they are, they’re pretty spooky!
      And we were told the same thing about fresh fruit that you heard. Maybe that’s why my mom always put an orange in the toes of our stockings!
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. pattimoed

    What fun, Rusha. The “whichever” sign is great. I had heard about burning the red papers, but never saw it in a photo. Thanks. Now I’m wondering if the giant baby in from of the MFA in Boston is also by the same artist. A great post!

  3. Amy

    Wonderful selections, Rusha. These are interesting and fun. 🙂 The burning paper … is a great way to express love and respect. The Whichever sign is quite different and creative. 🙂

  4. Toonsarah

    Those crawling babies are certainly interesting and would have captured my attention for sure! I love that people are helping that little owl chick, and of course the toilet sign made me smile 🙂 An interesting selection indeed!

  5. PGo

    I enjoyed the babies and the boy/girl sign. I hope you both are staying healthy. I really need to get back to my blog.

It makes our day to hear from you.