May the New Year hold golden light, creativity, friendship, growth, health, and peace!
Well, there is a downtown Carlsbad, known as “the village.” But it has no real skyline. Nothing is more than two or three stories tall. There are some taller hotels here and there, but not in the village.
Besides, this is what I’d always think of as skyline here. Look up and over in any direction and there are palm trees of one sort or another. There are rows of them that can be seen from the hills just east of the water — with palm trees regularly spaced as if to protect that beach/waterfront, a sentry of trees. Yet there is a contradicting sad truth: those palm trees need lots of water and provide little shade. They are not ecologically sound. So I am enjoying their visual presence while they are still here.
You know, the kind that’s growing in the cracks in the concrete. I’m sure most people don’t even glance at them, but this one got my attention in its lushness and salad-like appearance. Don’t these look like artisan-type greens? Nope, I wasn’t about to feast on them — except visually. Eating them is left to a braver (foolhardy?) soul.
I thought I might have done a photo of these before…and I found some that are similar, but not quite these. Their brilliance in the morning sun is in good contrast to the red succulent blooms at night in yesterday’s photo.
Glory. To be just what you are. Here I am, face to the sun, out there. In here, out there. At the same time. Grace, too. Glory and grace. Could use more of them. Everywhere.
After dark, in our teensy yard. The Christmas cactus is quietly green with no blossoms, but this one is doing its thing and then some. Roses, daisies, and this. Pretty nice for late December. The splendors of Southern California. Thinking about the weather disasters in so many places and hoping for the safety of all.
Lots of wind made for lots of foam. The rock looks like a stalwart island in a roiling sea. It was about 20 feet out from the sand. I like the patterns and the extremes of light and dark and the interplay of negative and positive space. Scale ambiguous again — are we getting tired of that?
The lagoon was golden just before sunset, and there were more sand bars exposed with the very low tides. It was windy and cold; I needed both hat and scarf, and it was just lovely.
There were fewer people about than I expected; it seems that a walk just before or after Christmas dinner should be just the thing. Perhaps it was just too nippy for the SoCal natives. But golden!
The storms leave all sorts of things strewn on the beach. Parts of the cliff, parts of ramps, parts of stairway supports — all kinds of pieces of structures array themselves on the sand, tempting me to make sense out of them.
These two pieces of aggregate were just sitting there with those lovely streaks of darker sand and the stones as punctuation. Who knows if they’ll still be there when I return; there are beach clean-up crews and state park rangers who come through periodically, so things come and go. They come; they go. We come; we go…
Yesterday it Providenced; today it just threatened to. I love this kind of sky, and especially so when it is juxtaposed with the silvery-gray water. And sand. It made for lovely walking. Isn’t it funny how it’s almost pink by the horizon? And it’s about 2 in the afternoon. Tugs at my eyes and my soul.
For a gray, drizzly day. And yet just over 1/10th inch of rain. You could almost say it’s been Providencing here for the last 24 hours. Providencing = drizzling, about to drizzle, just drizzled. We get the occasional burst of rain, but it’s always short-lived. The weather folks report it in .01 inch increments per hour.
Yet these were blooming cheerily yesterday morning. Strange climate zone, this is, even without considering the climate changes that worry us so.
Thank you, daisies!
So this was another storm remnant at the other end of the size scale. So delicate, and with that lovely shadow, plus the marks in the sand, and the light-colored strands horizontally at the base. I think they are strands, anyway. It’s almost like a boat and sails. But there I go, leading the viewer. What do *you* see?
The ‘storms’ create great sculptures. This was one of several uprooted trees lying on the beach. Monochromes at their most intriguing?
Sometimes I just tell myself I have five minutes to find something interesting to photograph. So, what’s ‘interesting,’ anyway? Well, old and rusted and geometric and textures and sorta monochromatic — that will do for a start. For me, anyway.
I did like those embedded edge-on pebbles. Probably human-done, but still. Because I myself didn’t do it, just found it this way, it counts. Well, anyway. Anyway. Today’s tossed-off word, with this tossed-off image?
Don’t know why, but that’s how it seemed. The sun could burn it all — the clouds, the water, the air itself. We are at its mercy and we should acknowledge it as our doing and our undoing. Burning bright indeed.
Well, not really a trick. But the setting sun does some very selective lighting, and picking out this curve of branch seemed rather peculiar. Another shot, I think, where scale is a bit ambiguous. The lights and darks are even more vivid on the screen than they were in “real life,” and I love the golden loop backed up against the gray above and the reddish bark chips below. Feels almost like it’s about to burst into flame — like the sunset.
I think I took this photo so I could title it. ‘Whisps’ is such a good word. Sounds like itself. The sky was so delicate today and the horizon crisp — we could see nearly twenty miles of coast both north and south. But the sky took the cake.
Those pinks are pretty vivid. The days are crisp now, after the drizzle-downpour, and the colors seem to match. The sky was clear and the horizon sharp this evening for sunset, but I was doing other art (cooking!) at the time. So this is today’s art. Our highway exit is Poinsettia Avenue; nice, eh?!
After the rain, the runoff from the cliffs made intriguing patterns in the sand. This is another instance of the scale being ambiguous; could be an aerial photo from hundreds of feet up? I particularly like the dark/light contrasts and the textures.
Or perhaps it should be called, “Before the Tease.” We had .08 inches. Really. The sound of the rain is so enticing and promising — and it never seems to deliver. But this was certainly gorgeous at 4 pm, and there were just a few people on the beach. The pelicans were having a grand time swooping with the winds, wings spread in delight, hovering where the water meets the sand.
This is a triple crop of an old image. I want to get to the core of things, to the center, to the essence. Perhaps I’ll do another crop, just of the yellow and red, which will undoubtedly be even more blurred. But blurred can be revealing. Blurred and distorted can abstract in a way that just cropping can’t. OK, here it is;
Wish it were the same size. I don’t know how to do that. But isn’t it rather yummy? Perky and defiant — and who would choose saffron and gold and pale pink together? Maybe one more:
Reduction. What shall we think?
And after the rain. Again, just a cloudburst that lasts five minutes and provides about .03 inches. Yep. No significant drought relief there. But it sure does clear the air. And intensifies the colors.
If you look closely at the sand bar exposed in the center of the picture, you’ll see the many birds that perch out there on their temporary sanctuary. Committee meetings for sure.
A lot of the beach has been washed/swept/blown away, with strange results like this. I’m glad I wasn’t nearby when this was uprooted and came tumbling down. We also notice there are lots more exposed stones and rocks, making beach walking a bit less comfortable. The same every day; different every day.
Well, not quite. Piled up in a corner at the campground above the beach. We love the state campground. It means there aren’t parking spaces at “our” beach, which in turn means a less-crowded beach. When we walked today around 3 pm, there weren’t even half a dozen people we could see (for a few miles in each direction!) It was about 70, sunny, light breeze — couldn’t be better.
I have no idea what these barrels are for. Their form and varied surface colors and textures beckoned me. Fire pits? Maybe. A pile of them is pretty seductive.
The political horizon looks pretty gray, too, but that’s not what this blog is about.
The sky is the clouds is the water is the waves. I want to be the sky and the clouds and the water and the waves. Beautiful.
Well, that’s what I call it, anyway. I first saw this in Spain. It is sumptuously gorgeous. And. a bit like the raking, such a demonstration of care and attention. I wonder how long it takes, what the training is, how much practice is needed, whether there are specialties? This was at the Huntington — what a rich source of images that place is!
Also in the Huntington gardens. Great negative spaces. Incised Chinese glyphs. These things are huge and imposing and wonderful sculptures, nature’s sculptures. They must have stories to tell, many stories.
And elegance. Near the bonsai were some raked gardens. If that’s their name? Sand garden? Gravel garden? Grave, to be sure. A deliberate serenity, precision without measuring (I assume), just care, ordinary or extraordinary human care.
Focus. I think of the maker and the making when I look at art, and this is no exception. What happens when it rains? What does the wind do? Or a scurrying squirrel? Ah, I might have to write a story or a poem about a scurrying squirrel — another day, another time.
And does it get re-made periodically? How often? By the same person? In the same pattern? I would guess you can take classes in raked gardens. And perhaps there are raked-garden masters, national treasures, deservedly.
Back to the Huntington. This photo lets you see one of the ways the bonsai were presented.
Isn’t this little grove of trees — well, cute? Quaint? Darling? Sweet? Should be part of a Gulliver story. Or scenery outside a dollhouse. Or part of a set for a model railroad. But they’re not fake/artificial trees — they are REAL. Amazing, yes?
Moving away from the Huntington gardens, and on to an architectural salvage shop in Little Italy, downtown San Diego:
The colors, the lines, the rust, the textures, the beckoning latch. I’m not always drawn to old stuff just because it’s old, but this has character of a sort that appeals to me. A lot.
The greens are vivid. The double trunk is fun. there must have been 100 different bonsai. I photographed only a few. They demanded much more time than we had to appreciate them, but it was still a treat. This one seemed like majesty in miniature.
This one has both. Is both! Long white prickles, tan prickles, golden yellow prickles. White fuzz. Dark brown dotted fuzz. I so wanted to touch this, but I didn’t. It looks a bit like roasted marshmallow? Or a collection of lint, perhaps. There’s a lot going on there. I wonder if they give guided tours of these gardens. Much to learn.