Different kind of flower; wasn’t there a few days ago. Need it. A burst of cheerful color.
How did a month of 2015 already happen? she asks, with out-of-proportion amazement. There’s a lot of out-of-proportion amazement going on, not all of it good. But this yellow daisy-ish flower is good for sure.
Well, spring in SoCal, anyway. Plus we’ve actually had enough rain that I can’t keep track of it. So the ice plant on the cliffs is starting to bloom in purple or yellow. Here’s a shy little purple one for you.
It rained enough today that a walk on the beach didn’t seem like a good idea. It was a mite chilly, too, relatively speaking. So it didn’t *feel* like spring even if it looked like it. That might be a generally useful statement: it did’t feel like X even if it looked like it. It didn’t feel like it was good for me even if it looked like it. It didn’t feel like freedom even if it looked like it. It didn’t feel like a bad idea even if it looked like it. It didn’t feel like the end of this blog entry even if it looked like it…
Seems like this week I have a stone thing going. There are more shapes here than you can shake a stick at. As it were… This gnarly thing is probably from the bamboo that grows at the base of the cliff. Its rootiness and texture remind me of ginger. I don’t think this is the sort of bamboo that is edible, however! Hm, bamboo shoots. Have to check that out!
Anyway, I like the stones that nestle in there, too, the littler ones, especially the one wedged in behind the stick. The waves just dropped all this and here it is for us to enjoy.
And it’s jetty/tide pool, of course. Another random choice, and when I tap on these itsy-bitsy thumbnails, I’m not at all certain what I’ll get. So this is like my writing group, in which we write to a prompt. We have no idea what it is until we get there, and then it’s just free association, heading off to parts unknown.
Looking at the thumbnail, I thought this was rock, but did not know where it was located or what the small shapes were. The ones on the right look like mussels; on the left are barnacles. They all seem ready to be swept away in a big wave, yet I know they are pretty firmly attached. Things are not always what they seem?
Isn’t ‘anemone’ a lovely word? It sounds as round and soft as it is. I liked this collection of roundish shapes in the tide pool. The anemone looks like an ‘everything’ bagel. Those white specks are shell fragments. This anemone is closed up. The interior can be brightly colored in blues, greens, and purples, rather like a peacock’s coloring. If you lightly touch an open anemone, it will close up. They range in size here in our tide pools from say, a quarter, to a big bagel. Sometimes there are rows or clusters of them. Some large rocks seem to be perfect anemone condominiums!
I think this would make a good painting. If I were still a painter…
This method I have of just swiping along the array of teensy thumbnails and choosing an image…seems to work! I like these noodle-weeds. Shouldn’t that be their name? I think I took this photo at the jetty that’s a half-mile or so down the beach. The jetty is great for climbing kids, for sheltering starfish, and for curious photographers.
Now, as I wrote that, I realized that “climbing” and “curious” are adjectives, but “sheltering” is a verb. So I’ve created a series of three short phrases that seem parallel in construction, but aren’t. Bad writing, but cool to notice. Can’t take the linguist far away, eh?
Wait a minute. “Sheltering” can also be an adjective. They are sheltering themselves. HA!
Compare to the photo of the 20th. This wood is on the stairway down to the beach; it has been milled and installed and is very weathered indeed. The sprinkling of sand is like jewels of salt. I didn’t realize the shadow was there when I took the photo. Sometimes the sun is so bright and the angle is so awkward that I just have to shoot and trust. The trust worked ok this time — you don’t get to see the ones in which it didn’t!
Natural wood, in situ, compared to human-formed wood, engineered. In both cases, the texture of the shards is compelling.
But more than two. They sat there, just like this. Look at the nesting of the three (?) shells inside the larger one. Look at the difference in the colors of white, the crinkly edges, the pinkish cast to the brownish interior shadows. And look at the cool two-toned rock that seems to have been dipped in black matte glaze.
Perhaps the shell(s) and the rock are deep in conversation, maybe about the meaning of life? Or maybe counting the grains of sand, or considering the vastness of the ocean?
Whatever. It’s my daughter’s 30th birthday today, so I, too, am counting and considering — and appreciating the wonder of her — on this special-to-me occasion.
I hadn’t known these fern-like plants had berries. The long fronds are surprisingly soft, and I can’t help but reach out and touch them. Well, more than touch. You just want to cup them in your hand and run your hand down the length of them as if you were going to strip the needles off. They’re at least as appealing to the tactile senses as the visual ones. And don’t these January blooms look like they should berry (is that a verb?) at Christmas?
I don’t remember what TV [game?] show that was from, but this wonderful piece of tree trunk/bark certainly was beckoning me. The colors, shapes, textures, and shadows are elegant. There seems to be a whole world in there, not just of biology, but of sculpture and light and tactile delight. Don’t you just want to put a fingernail under there and tug and see what would be revealed?
What would be revealed. That might be a productive prompt for my writing group.
At the meditation garden, there is moving water and water that is moving. And trees and flowers and birds and bugs and paths and rocks and views that are moving. It is one of my favorite places in the area, and I would like to remember to go there more often. It is peaceful and inspiring and enlivening all at once. It is a good example of our cooperation with nature. It speaks many languages, and no language at all. If you come to visit us, we will almost surely take you there, and it will take you, too.
I used to think I didn’t like orchids. I thought they were prissy and perhaps even snobby, although why I thought a flower could have such a quality, I don’t know!
Exotic and slightly surreal they are. They vary a lot more than I realized. They seem to proclaim a miracle with every bloom. The colors seem impossible, as do the shapes of many of them, especially the smaller ones, for some reason.
I guess they aren’t an ocean plant in any sense of the word, but I’ve been able to grow them only when living here near the ocean.
The sky was glorious today at sunset — and we even saw a very distinctive green flash, but this won my heart. An enormous cycad with all this amazing texture and color at the center.
Will the center truly hold? I know that’s from a Yeats poem, “The Second Coming,” written after WWI. I need to learn more about it. A quick reading leads me to think he’s saying we need a miracle after the horror of the war. Still so. And ‘miracle’ is not common currency, to mix metaphors in a pointed way. Our problems are solvable, yet seemingly intractable. There is enough food. There is enough water. There is enough expertise. Is there enough good will?
And — The center? Whose center? And who decides? Someone always has to decide. Therein lies the problem, she says, emitting a large, time-honored sigh.
The sky is the water. The sky is indeed water where it meets the sea. It is tactile, available, right there at my fingertips. I should reach out and take some cloud and put it into my pocket. It nearly boils as it pats the surface of the water. Or does it freeze? I think the sea smells different when it reaches up to the sky. Or does the sky reach down so it can do the patting? Whichever, the air feels different and seems to smell different.
I miss real fog. It happens here, more than it did in the Midwest, but still not often enough. The softening of fog, its own wispy blurring, enchants me. When it’s foggy, you can tell where the sky starts. It starts with the fog. Where does the sea start? Does it, too, start with the cloud?
Growing near the beach. The leaves are vaguely mint-scented. There were some clusters that were just pink but none of them were just yellow. So do they start varied yellow and pink and eventually all turn pink? Don’t know. What came first…and what comes next… and how does it all turn out?
I remember once saying that what happens right now isn’t as important as how it all turns out. But that’s not always the case. It’s all important, perhaps, especially when suffering is involved. What if? It depends.
Not raining — yet. The stripes of cloud banks are distinctive, though, one at the horizon and the other broad and thick overhead. The sea takes on its steely look, the intrepid surfers apparently oblivious.
We saw whales out there again, where the water was flat and smooth and shiny. The range of texture and the variation in lighting are amazing to me — and this is just a phone snapshot. A better camera and lens would probably reveal more/other — but I don’t enjoy using big equipment. So this will suffice (neither fire nor ice, despite the continuing bad news.) May the ocean and the predominance of good continue…
Seen through plastic wrap? It’s a stone surface, I think, another mystery image. I like its depth (or lack thereof) and its swirly blurriness. As a photo, it wouldn’t be considered technically worthy. And probably not as a painting, either. But it does capture the look and feel of that surface, soft and hard simultaneously, with the acidic yellow-green jumping out from the browns and pinkish-grays. More colors that are hard to name. I like those what-color-is-it hues; they can seem bland and unappealing alone, but often transcend themselves when grouped or combined.
I once made a large art piece, on paper, collages of the least attractive colors I could mix with acrylic paint. Of course, attractiveness of colors is subjective, and also cultural and time-dependent; but those weird muddy colors found their companions and created a new world that was quite successful. The whole is indeed quite different from the sum of its parts.
I don’t know quite what this is — it was chosen by the close-your-eyes-and-swipe method. I suspect it is fiber from the fiber show I went to this fall. The scale is mysterious. Not water, not sand, not landscape. So yesterday’s image was a mystery to you and this one is perhaps a mystery to me. The terrain of fiber. It almost looks like one of those chunks of insulation, but it has too many pieces and fuzzinesses and ridges and wisps. What do you think?
From a shrub. Part of a shrub. A large shrub, actually, that’s pretty common around here. I can’t remember whether it greens up in the spring or not. It’s tangled and twiggy and almost dangerous looking, with a spikiness that I find attractive despite its probable sharpness.
Some spiky people are attractive, too. Their bareness and lack of guile, while rather in-your-face, at least feels honest and without pretense. What you see is what you get. That can be relaxing. No puzzling out what’s intended. So, this shrub has no pretense. It is what it is. And I do wonder if it becomes something else. I’ll have to remember to notice over the next few months!
Of paradise. In January. In Southern California. So much for black and white photography. It captured me, I captured it, I was seduced. There were other flowers in bloom today, wild ones, too, and the almost acrid green of carpeting new succulent growth, encouraged by the recent rains. We did a different walk: down to the beach stairs, sitting on the landing and watching, spying the white plume of a spouting whale, seeing about fifty people on the beach at the beginning of a weekend. Then we continued through part of the campgrounds and across the street near the lagoon, a path through the fields, and into our neighborhood “the back way.” Why is it the back way? Front door faces the street, back door is opposite. The back way.
The restaurant owner tonight assured us that it would indeed be a happy new year, better than last year. Chinese astrology so indicated. I would like to believe her. Bird of paradise.
To begin the new year…although I have thought seriously about limiting my photography to black and white. I like the quieter nature of black and white, and often find color to be distracting if not garish. Black and white concentrates form, lines, texture, and mood — in a way that color seems often to mask; and when richness can be unearthed in black and white, it’s very rewarding. So perhaps tomorrow.