David Aber finds phenomenal mailboxes. Even by his usual standard, this one (a castle on top of a dragon?!) seemed too good to be handmade (which is one of the criteria for showing a box here). I'm sure there was no hint of that commercialization; if there were, he wouldn't have sent the photo. Still, I wondered: Was this mailbox really handmade?
You may not be aware of the online search services that will find similar images. For instance, you can go to one of those services, upload a photo of the mailbox in someone's front yard, and see whether the service (for example, Google Images) finds a photo of a similar mailbox somewhere else in the world. That kind of capability is used for businesses to find you, via one of their “security” cameras, in an aisle, shopping for some item, and add to your customer profile that you’re (for example) interested in baby toys.
I decided to try searching for this amazing mailbox: Is there a photo of a similar mailbox somewhere online? If I didn't find a similar photo, that doesn't mean the mailbox wasn't mass-produced, but it cuts the chances. Because the vegetation, concrete, rocks, and house number probably won't be in other photos of the same mass-produced mailbox, I used my favorite free photo editor, GIMP, to remove all of those things from the photo Dave sent. This photo is what I sent to Google, Bing, and a couple of other image-search sites. (I used the “Intelligent Scissors” tool to remove the background and the Clone Stamp tool to replace the house number with the white areas of the sign.)
I didn't find a mailbox like this anywhere else. Even if it is mass-produced, it's pretty incredible, isn't it?
Driving along Silverbell on February 2nd, I ended up taking a wrong turn and winding along a road between a bland-looking subdivision and some land that was much less developed. As I was about to turn around, I spotted this mailbox. It was for a home back in the less-developed land. (The development had honeycombed stacks of plain Postal Service mailboxes.)
Next, I'll zoom in to just the south and west sides of the box. I like the eagle carrying an envelope across the mailbox end:
I found Bucking Betty out in the desert earlier this month. There was no sight of her owner. The steel sculpture artist Pat Frederick might know something about where she is by the time you see this. Pat hopes Betty can find a new home…
(Pat is one of my favorite Tucson sculptors. I was short of mailbox photos to post online, so I asked if I could show the photo here. Maybe you'll see Betty along Pima County roads sometime soon?)
This mailbox extravaganza is inside the Far Horizons Co-Op Estates, a mobile home facility for ages 55+. There's not a "No Tresspassing" sign, and it's a nice and inviting place, but I'm guessing that residents wouldn't appreciate a parade of mailbox-lovers. (This one is close to the entrance from Grant Road, at least…)
I found it after I visited a friend in another home on July 26, 2018.
The last few months of 2018 were challenging for me. I haven't been able to take mailbox photos or post them. But things should be back to normal soon! I've pre-posted mailboxes for the rest of January, and I'm hoping that I'll be back to posting photos weekly.
After my life settled down last month, I spent two weeks in Mexico City — which, by the way, the city government now calls CDMX (it's short for CiuDad de MéXico). Though I'd been there before (the photos below are from February, 2016), I stopped in again during a tour of the city center — where our guide told us the building was constructed in the early 20th Century by president Portfio Diaz. He, she said, built grand things to celebrate his power. I believe she also said that it was the first public building in Mexico City with electricity. (With all of its ornate lights and the elevators, it must have needed a lot of power!)
View from outside
Here are a few postal-type photos of things I spotted in 2016 — when I had time to look closely. (By the way, until now I've been putting captions before photos with a colon at the end of the caption. From now on, I'm going to start putting the captions underneath the photos — assuming I remember to, that is. :)
(The wording says, literally: 1580 1st major mail;
I think it means something like 1580: first national mail)
Behind the scenes, through the bars:
a woman sorting mail
A place for third-class machine-franked mail
(Franking is mail that's sent for free)
As I was driving to a friend's home on April 26th, I spotted a woman painting a mailbox. I stopped immediately, of course. :) She was a homeowner brightening her (boring) black box with scenes of mermaids and fish:
She hadn't finished. Here are two photos at that point:
I rolled by again on May 13th to find (what I think is) the finished mailbox:
There are some kinds of mailboxes we don't show. Commercially-made mass-produced plastic covers is one thing that disqualifies a mailbox — usually. David Aber noticed this a couple of weeks ago, warned me that it's just a cover, and said he likes it anyway. I do too!