Jankel's Illustrated World
Of broken eggshells and other seminal phenomena
By: Jankel Jankelbrod

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Sunday, 25-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

the ordinary red darwin tulip
a double variety
spotted leaves they have
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tiptoeing through them
kneeling next to them
to catch their beauty
from the shortest distance
each year that explosion
of colours and forms
stored in bulbs in a heap of earth
and horsedung
stored information, to build the most delicate of structures
an onionprogramm to execute a marvel
as soon as the right quantity of daylight and warmth
touches the earth, the bulb starts growing roots
minerals are transported in water into the bulb
that produces its green prodding thick nose
sticks it above the surface
and then, nothing can stop the process
thick waxen leaves fold, some with pantherspots
some with yellowish brims
and the thick full bud is balancing
and shows already a glimp of red
and then, one morning they open
show their fresh petals, so colourfull
an explosion of botanic beauty
(and each year, their hidden promise
helps us to survive the dark wintermonths)

Saturday, 24-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

nuts on the piano
classical cracker
gripping the nut
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Winterfood. Additional. Dried phosphor and fats. Keep the brains running. Can be stored for a while. Squirrelnests full of them. Cavedwellings with coarsely woven nets filled wits nuts, hanging from the ceiling to protect them from rodents, and to bring caveman, cavefamily through harsh wintertimes.
They taste good, in autumn they are abundant. But...
One big but. They are hard! Coconuts are the hardest structures botanical nature can produce, and also the fruitprotection of our native hazelnuts and almonds and wallnuts is very very hard to crack. Beating nuts with stones to open them, must have been one of the first acts for which men (or the big apes) have invented some kind of tool. And that inventing, that trying to get into the nut was in itself already a brainy performance, from which we all still profit. Funny to see it that way.
Here you can see our usual winternutties, kept in an earthenware pâtémould. And some of the instruments to crack them. And for sentimental sake, also the traditional Eastern European nutcracker -- we know him from Tchaikovsky's ballet; originally he was a miner, from the German Erzgebirge. And with his impressive teeth, he has cracked many a big nut.

Friday, 23-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Cheekbone China

Not many objects of the kind normally called 'bibelots' in French, or 'Nippes' in German, or 'galanterieën' in Dutch, or, well those fancy figurines, made of bonechina, adorn our house, but there are some exceptions, little well formed and delicately decorated statuettes, standing on a cupboard, being there silently and shining in the incoming light. One of them is the Turk. That is to say, a bearded Turkish gentleman, of course enjoying his hookah, the way Western Europe imagined a Turk in Victorian times. And manufactured lots of them to give the interior of their homes an oriental touch.
I always thought it was an already elder person -- the grey beard, the dignity. But in photographing his face, it suddenly occured to me, how young he looked. Almost virginal, with his rosy pink cheeks and his kind joyous eyes.
And there he sits in our dining room, overlooking our meals, with a satisfied look on his face.

Thursday, 22-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

the one near the house
without directions
the one near the road
With our house we also bought two windvanes. Practical instruments, that indicate from which direction the wind blows. Everybody wants to know that -- and each village had at least one of these vanes on the churchsteeple, in the form of metal animals or saints, cocks and dragons, horses and emblems. Lucky times were that, in which from each house, the churchtower was visible, and each inhabitant of the place, really knew all about the wind, and reckoned with the same wind. As soon as the houses grew higher, the villages bigger, people posed their own windvanes in their backyards, and well, that is where the problem arises... I can see it with my two turning objects, both about sixty or seventy yards apart. They never! really never indicate the same direction, and there I have my problem to believe either one of them. So, I must admit, that living here I have grown a real wind sceptic... and use the old pathfindertrick, stick my finger in my mouth to make it moist, hold it up in the air and feel which side is cold, for that, I know for sure, is where the wind comes from.

Wednesday, 21-Apr-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
At the gas station

the gas station
24 hour service
the attendant's lobby
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No, I drive no car... my bike brings me everywhere I want to go. With good old musclepower. The gas station is nevertheles important, to get the fuel for my lawnmower, each year two gallons, I guess.
This gas station belongs to my favorite supermarket, it is not far from my home and offers the in France customary rich selection of good food. And so on my almost daily walk or ride to get fresh groceries, I have a chance to look at the low hill down yonder, at the foot of which I know my house to be situated.
The pictures here were taken in the first week of march, except for the last one, which I had the chance to catch today.

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