Sunday, June 18, 2006

Gazing Globe Self-Portrait

This week's Tuesdays Photos theme is SELF-PORTRAIT. Alright then. Here you are:

This particular garden ball is in a neighbor's yard that I pass every time I take my daily walk here in Atlanta. When Donica first saw it awhile back, she winced. She said it brought back memories of a certain period of time that, she felt, "dated" the owners. Kinda like polyester suits and avocado-colored appliances.

Actually, gazing globes have been an important part of gardens, spiritually and aesthetically, since the 13th century (if you want to talk about dating something!). Even European kings chose them for their gardens as magical/mystical pieces, believed to "ward off bad things like disease, evil spirits, attackers, and even ghosts" or, in some legends, to keep the witches away from one’s home.

"It has been said that many kings from the regions of France to the Netherlands demanded gazing globes in their palace gardens. They were thought to have brought prosperity and good luck to any who owned one." Once they were a status symbol in America, signifying wealth and success. Now they're in gardens all over the world. So much for history!

Just for the halibut, if you want to see LOTS of "blue balls," click here (but be forewarned, there's noise). My son Mark, who's a computer programmer, sent this to me awhile back. He said, "It's easy to stare at this page for 10 minutes before you realize how much time has passed." (Hint: the pattern repeats itself 3 times vertically, so just stare at one third of the page.)

And then stare at the gazing globe, in case you have something to ward off!


  1. Very cool! What a neat idea for a photo...

  2. Very nice shot. Garden balls are indeed quite popolar in Germany. It's not my personal taste of garden design, I find it a bit childish or kittenish :-)

  3. Great photo! Remember when we saw those balls in a couple of gardens when you and Dixie came to visit? They're still all the rage here.

    (The Finnish chocolates are lovely, BTW - forgot to tell you)

  4. Garden balls are unknown here or not very popular. It is the first time I see one.

  5. Mr. Fab: Just think how FAB you'd be to have one in your garden :)

    KPK: A good German word might be

    Christina: Hmm. Why don't I remember! What color(s) were they? So glad you liked the chocolates.

    Mei: Hmm. Let's see if MP or Clo have seen them.

  6. Yes, Kitsch is exactly what I mean!

  7. Something in me really likes these mirroring balls, and something in me doesn't. I've never quite been able to reconcile it. But I like this one with your reflection in it!

  8. Nice pic, Ginnie!

    Gazing balls have gotten very reasonably priced in recent years.

    Aren't they also meant to reflect the flowers in the garden?
    I think they often look funny to others because they're held up like trophies rather than nestled among the blooms. It does depend on what the owner wants reflected.
    I like them anyway I see them though!
    I believe in fairies so anything with extra properties is welcome in my garden.

    Happy Father's Day, I hope you're having some nice reflections of your dad. <3 Jz

  9. I love the pic. Can't decide what to post yet but I actually slept in until 850am, first in over 4 wks!

    It's sunnier here so we must get out!

  10. Hehe!! cool photo, i have a similar one:

    I'm so behind on my photo challenges!

  11. Great idea for Self-Portrait. I have never seen one of those globes before, so I guess they are not known (or not popular) either here or in South Africa. Unless ofcourse I am really unobservant and just never noticed :)

    I'm fascinated by that perpetual motion machine. Someone went to so much trouble constructing that.

  12. Hi Ginnie, my baby thanks you for the "blue ball machine". You just made his day. :)
    As for me, I like your self-portraint in blue.

  13. Jozee: Yes, on the reflection, esp. with a wide-angle view of the garden! Some butlers in years past used them to see what guests were arriving. I like the idea that maybe fairies use them for mirrors :)

    ET: You obviously needed that sleep! Good for you.

    Tim: Thanks.

    Mad: Awww. Your photo is cool! Love the idea of self-portraits from these.

    DW: Hmm. Maybe these aren't as worldwide as we thought. But they sure are fun in their place. And yes, about that machine. Actually, I think my son would enjoy making one of those himself!

    Elle: HA! Anything to make your son sit still for a few minutes, right?! And thanks for the compliment :)

  14. Great Self Portrait. I have just submitted my contribution (the picture from yesterday)

  15. So glad you joined the challenge, Gustav. I love your the water, of course!

  16. No, haven't seen any of those here. But now that I heard of it, I'll try to find some...
    And it's a really nice selfportrait. I like Ginnie in Blue. :O)

  17. Ha! And I always thought they were pure decoration. Good to know about the history. Great photo! :)

  18. CS, we learn something new every day, right :)