Like dust in the wind…
Monthly Archives: November 2014
November 24, 2014
A pair of them. Family? Couple? Friends? So cool to see starfish in the tide pools, and don’t you love their almost jewel-like decorations?
I have an even better photo of a different, single one, but given today’s events, I want to celebrate two creatures nestling together, no “us” and “them,” just [apparently] friendly proximity. There’s plenty of rock to snug up against, plenty of seawater, and probably plenty of whatever starfish eat. I had a strange desire to tickle them but decided against it. I don’t know what starfish do when disturbed. Don’t need to find out!
November 23, 2014
And the patterns in the sand. And the marvelous shadow. And the sprinkles of sand on the stem of the kelp. And the white rock underneath. I couldn’t decide which photo to post. Some days yield so many good ones!
End of November. Shorts and t-shirts on the beach. Wading in the water. People swimming, children frolicking. The nights are cool. The season of perfect weather: windows open during the day, no mechanical heating or cooling required. Sunshine and stunning sunsets. Elsewhere, snow and the threat of flooding. Earthquakes in Asia. Much of the world at war or in despair. I need to do my infinitesimal bit to heal the world! I made a dozen art sketches yesterday and gave four of them to friends. Today I transcribed some of my writing. I cooked two meals (that is a definition of fortunate in itself!) I have finished knitting a hat for the “homeless” and have a second one nearly done. None of this feels like enough, though. I guess it never does.
November 22, 2014
A baked potato and a big weird bug? Nope. Just a rock and some branched plant thingie and a larger orange-y rock. Very low tide this afternoon and lots of good photos of intriguing things. More tomorrow!
November 21, 2014
Happy turtle (tortoise?) and I found it irresistible.
A few weeks ago, a real tortoise. Today, a facsimile. “This is not a tortoise.” (Thank you, Magritte!)
Someone asked me today why I write this blog. Hm…perhaps to remind myself that the visual world and the written word are of utmost importance. To me and to others.
It provides a form — and a forum? — that allows me to partake of the visual and the written. And to celebrate them.
It is also a lovely brief discipline. And it comforts me when my artistic output — the “show-able” kind — is at a low. It serves as a journal of a sort; it is not about what I do, but rather about how I respond to the world around me, mostly the ocean and other art forms.
November 20, 2014
At night, sailors’ delight…but we sure could use the rain! About an hour before this sunset, the sky was heavy with gray clouds. Had we still been in the Midwest, I would have thought rain would be nearly certain. But somehow it all seems to blow on by here, leaving us with the dreadful drought. Rained today in northern California, but not here. I’d be delighted with a dark gloomy day that fed the soil and the rivers…
Meanwhile, we got to walk on the beach. It never grows old.
November 19, 2014
Cy Twombly writ by nature?
I really like his work — it is wryly humorous and somehow philosophically very accepting — but that isn’t a very articulate attempt at saying why. Some would think it just scribbles, and laugh.
Agnes Martin’s work, on the other end of the continuum, moves me . And there are those who would not understand that, either.
Somehow the sea grass, stretched out there, reaching for something, parallels a search that I think both of these artists would understand.
November 18, 2014
On a very cold winter day in the rest of the country…I wore a light jacket and light scarf at the beginning of our walk on the beach today. When the sun came out and the wind abated, I removed my jacket and scarf. There weren’t many people in the water nor on the beach, but it was probably 70 degrees F in the brief hour of sun.
I don’t much show these cliffs that I refer to every so often, but here’s a shot that shows a bit of sand, the slope’s vegetation that’s so common, and the requisite palm trees. Southern California is flaunting its charms today as the rest of the country chills and digs out from too much snow, with more to come. If the dreaded DEFF (Drought, Earthquake, Flood, and Fire) keeps its distance, we will continue to enjoy our taste of paradise — with gratitude.
November 17, 2014
With a vague resemblance to the tortoise a few days back?
The holes in this made it resemble a bead, to be strung on leather for a piece of nature’s jewelry. The shadows in the sand — cast by the rock as well as the edges of the sand itself — were intriguing to me. Those layered edges at the bottom almost seem like a smiling mouth.
I get cricks in my neck and shoulders from looking down so much. I have to remember to look out at the horizon, across the waves, and up at the sky every so often!
November 16, 2014
This butterfly was trapped by the advancing and receding waves, and I saw it and wondered if the movement of an antenna was imagined or real, and then I walked on, and then I went back to see if I should rescue it, and then I couldn’t find it, and then I felt guilty because I didn’t look very hard because I worried I didn’t know how to rescue it or was squeamish, and now I realize this is perhaps one of the most important things that happened in the four hours I spent on the beach today. And I feel sad.
We took a picnic and chairs and a blanket and umbrella and books, and we read and ate and took separate walks. The weather was perfect; there were ten surfers out, and a dozen or so small groups scattered here and there on the beach.
I also felt that the rocks, glistening in the wetness left by the waves, were not static and dead, but rather alive and active in some sense. The water moved them, changed their colors and orientation, and they caught my eye and my emotions.
Perhaps it was just a finely-tuned day.
November 15, 2014
And what are they lined up looking for or looking at? Is it a town meeting? Will there be a vote? I may have asked this question before, but I have found no answers, and these groups still puzzle me. This is one of the largest groups I’ve seen on our beach. Maybe they are waiting for the concert or the play to start? Maybe all of us walking by them are indeed the play!
The tire tracks are made by the state beach lifeguard vehicles that roam back and forth. I like knowing there are experts around; I see the surfers and paddlers and swimmers and wonder at their courage in these cold (cool?) waters with stingrays and riptides to contend with.
Maybe the gulls help the lifeguards?
November 14, 2014
Catalina, actually. Isn’t it fun when the boats jostle each other and try to cut in line or get closer to that wharf or just nudge each other for fun? So easy to anthropomorphize!
November 9, 2014
Jewelry for the sand. Little bitty kelp pods, some with tassels. And they are sitting pretty on a neck decorated with those lovely tree-like wave patterns. There’s even an interesting shadow, which I hadn’t noticed when I took the photo. If one learns to see more, and more clearly, right when using the camera, then the photo angle can be modified to make such things more prominent. Which is why it’s good to really examine your own photographic work, even after the fact.
The other thing I like about this, though, is that it looks like some of the pods drew the patterns in the sand! They didn’t, but it looks like they could have. Ah, possibility!
November 8, 2014
The beach holds more treasures than you can imagine: meet this large tortoise, owned by Greg since he was 5 years old. Greg and Cindi were at the beach doing a photo shoot with their two young sons, their dog, and their ever-present tortoise. Greg confided that he didn’t realize Fred was a lady for many years.
Fred is a good 10-12″ long, if my memory serves me. He was in a box, and Greg let him out so I could take his photo near the jetty. More jetty photos to come, but this is my first tortoise-on-the-beach, so Fred wins the day.
And there are some who say it’s turtles (tortoises?) all the way. Could be!
November 7, 2014
I have a library of my photo images. I closed my eyes and dragged my cursor and clicked on this. Don’t know why I didn’t use it before.
What a texture contrast! The sea carries its treasures gently onto the shore and leaves them juxtaposed like carefully orchestrated compositions: The bright color and delicacy of the seaweed upon the large, pale, smooth stone, nestled into the darker bed of smaller stones. And the smaller ones are turned every which way, yet arranged so they nearly interlock, and vary in color, and are speckled or not, and are flattened or rounded.
And there’s a little pod of kelp pointing towards the large tan stone, just in case we missed noticing this juxtaposition of animate and inanimate. Although I think the more time I spend with these beach stones, the more animate they seem!
November 6, 2014
And spacious skies…I so enjoyed the singing at the World Series. It was fun to look forward to those games and then have a break and then more games.
Looking forward is often a big component of the pleasure of an event. And looking back as well! That’s all.
November 5, 2014
And more contrast. This is a man-made collection of boulders that harbors those wonderful constellations of shells — in other photos — as well as the black mussels here in the shadows.
I enjoy the hardness and texture and grayness and darkness of the stone against the fluid blue and foamy white of the water with the palest of skies to settle lightly against it all.
November 4, 2014
I find there are things I could photograph from multiple angles, with different focal points, different lighting, different composition, different cropping — and see something new with each shot. There’s so much here to think about in this image, and so much line and form and texture and light and dark to respond to!
This is much less frightening to think about than politics. I voted today. It feels both very important and very dismaying — we seem to be — no, this is an ocean blog, not a political/philosophical blog.
This formation is at the base of the cliff, where it meets the sand. The cliff meets the sand. That’s fine.
November 3, 2014
We walked out to the jetty today, about a mile each way on the beach. I’ve shown something similar before, but I guess I don’t tire of them! These little creatures, about 1/2″ in length at the most, cling to the rocks, waiting for the next surge to wash up with some nutrients. Seems like an unfriendly habitat, but they seem to thrive, all shapes and sizes of them. There are also mussels and anemones and some winkles or cockles or something similar. I love these particular little guys because of their stripes and how they’re turned every which way, and how they complement the chunky crustiness of the stone itself.
November 2, 2014
And it looks like flowers, too. Look at how they are layered and — um– interleaved. It would be fun to trace a continuous outline, leaf to leaf to leaf. And the purple and pink and green are distinct yet they seem to blend one into the other so that the outlines are fugitive. Some leaves are mostly purple, with just a day-glow green border. And some have no pink at all. Are they jockeying for better positions in the sun?
Again, I tip the screen back and the dark parts are more vivid and there is more contrast. If I tip it forward, towards me, the image is nearly whited out. I can tip the screen back and forth and change the quality of the image considerably. Tipping points. Hmmmm…
November 1, 2014
It was stunning at the beach this morning, with the ocean as vividly dark as I’ve seen it. Perhaps it is haze that usually pales it out? It rained for about an hour in the middle of the night and we hope it happens more; we need it! Strange to be in drought conditions with all that water so close by.
The sky was pretty gorgeous, too, don’t you think? And — which one is blue?!
Roses are red, the sky is blue; Despite what you think, the sea is too!