Almost every day I go for a walk, phone camera in my pocket, wondering if I’ll see something new that’s worthy of notice and comment. Seventeen months, and I don’t think I’ve done too many repeats. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of rocks/stones, shells, shoreline marine critters, flowers, shrubs, seaweed/grasses, sand patterns, birds, sunsets, clouds, horizons…and then there’s the art in museums and galleries that I’ve photographed when I haven’t been near my beloved ocean.
And it’s all art, isn’t it? Here, the intense, vibrant, saturated yellow is just amazing, set off perfectly by the ocher central forms (pistils? stamen? buds? oh, 7th grade biology was so so long ago!) and by the shiny leaves with their sympathetic yellow undertones. The frilled floral edges and the linear pattern of the veins in the leaves? It couldn’t be more perfect.
I think I’ve done a photo of a lunch in progress before, but this was just irresistible. Unfortunately, this was human food that a little girl had tossed towards the bird. I hope it’s not terribly harmful (I know it’s not good per se) but the bird sure looked eager and happy. I think there’s too much hunger out there in the bird world as well as in the human world.
The tragedy is that there’s enough food. We can’t seem to distribute it properly nor prevent others from creating scarcity. What kind of species are we, truly? Sadness abounds in nature’s beauty…
Or buds or fruits or something. I didn’t know they could be so prolific. It was as if they were bursting with spring joy! And multiple colors on a single plant. These were huge plants and lots of them, and these red or pink or yellow or orange or chartreuse blossom things just scattered generously all over. Like someone tossed handfuls of them in general abandon!
High-density condo, don’t you think? I wonder what exactly the base was and where it was. It looks like a whole new entity. The whole is once again greater than the sum of its parts, even if it’s less. Less of the original matter? More new matter?
And isn’t that delicate pink a surprise? I didn’t notice it especially until I cropped this photo. Yes, I do some judicious cropping. Sometimes the sun is so bright on the beach that I can’t quite tell what I’m getting on my phone camera. I’m pleased when the image turns out to be this crisp!
There are hundreds (thousands?) of these creatures, apparently dead, on the beach. Never saw them until the last few days. I’m not sure how I knew they were skates, but I looked up “blue skate” and that’s what they are. They usually have a tail-like appendage, but none of these washed-up ones do. The blue is very vivid; the diagonal clear part looks like plastic wrap. Indeed, we saw some of the clear parts without the blue base and thought at first that they were discarded/stray pieces of plastic wrap. I wonder if global warming has affected their food supply as it has the supply for the sea lions. Sad. Perhaps tragic. The bell tolls for thee…
Friends invited us on a harbor cruise this evening. Dramatic sky topped off the lovely party. We met some engaging new people and feasted on excellent appetizers and desserts; all of this was aboard a private yacht built in the 70s, complete with two bedroom suites, dining area, living room, and kitchen. There were about 30 of us and it was comfortable and festive. Many people worked hard to make it happen.
It was misty, windy, and cool this morning. This evening, the air was soft, the sun was out, and the sky delightfully moody.
It’s all snugged in there. Looks like a pastry or something. It was the white spiral that jumped out at me. I didn’t disturb it to see if there was something alive in it, but usually when the stones are dry like this, there isn’t. On the other hand, it depends how far it is from the tide lines. And the tides vary considerably, and there are zillions of stones, so it’s hard to say.
Anyway, now I know why there are pastries that are called “snails!”
Saw this massive cactus/succulent and realized churros exist in nature. The fried ones are tasty; these are visually compelling. I doubt they are tasty. Now I want a churro…and the thick hot chocolate that comes with them in Spain for dipping!
It’s not just the ocean. It’s not just the desert. If it weren’t for the drought, this climate would be perfect. Sunflowers and cactus; lily ponds and lavender; statice and agapanthus; poppies and birds of paradise; daisies and rosemary; the spectacular and the ordinary, all beautiful. Visual wonders never cease!
And you can see the trunk of a palm tree in the background, so that clinches it.
Pretty saturated yellow, eh? Almost good enough to eat. Certainly good enough for a photo, and would a painter be accused of exaggerating the color? The sky blued itself up today after a gray start, so the high contrast and the rich greenery and fluff of cloud are nice counterpoints. Thank you, Mother Nature, once again!
Actually a corner of the stairway. Not even sure why I took the photo, nor why I like it. Perhaps it’s because it’s mysterious and the space is ambiguous. Perhaps it’s the pattern of the rain-pelted sand. Perhaps it’s the bolt that doesn’t really look like a bolt. Perhaps it’s the piece of twig/bamboo/root just lying there in perfect irrelevant innocence. Perhaps it’s the formal elements: diagonal, dark and light division, texture contrast? Perhaps it’s none of those things…or all…
Or, at least, wave patterns. A jagged smile? A slice of alien watermelon? A seismic graph? Or just one of the many traces left by any activity, anywhere? Nothing goes unnoticed, even if it goes unremarked.
It all matters, or so we hope.
I miss my mother. She would have celebrated her 91st birthday today. Which of course makes one wonder secretly, or not so secretly, whether…well, you know.
Who says there aren’t seasons in Southern California? Spring is pretty glorious here, too.
Pink on purple…”blue on blue…heartache on heartache.” I just checked. Recorded by Bobby Vinton (thought so) and written by…wait for it…Burt Bacharach. Of course! We heard/saw him at an outdoor concert at the Embarcadero in San Diego one of these last summers. He was/is amazing! So much of the music playing in our heads sprang from his great creativity and empathetic sensitivity. Mmmm…
Can you see the crab there? Because of the incoming tide, I couldn’t get too close, but [s]he was crawling around on the corner of that mossy rock. Yep, rock, way too big and craggy to be a stone. And Crabber seemed to be carrying something, but I couldn’t tell what it was. Lunch, perhaps?
Isn’t this a wonderful texture? More brown from the land of the- desert-meets-the-ocean. And so many shades of grey, white, tan, sienna, and a bit of yellow and green peeking through.
Then I started looking at all the other palm trunks. There are different patterns and styles of trimming, plus au naturel. And different varieties of palms have different cut patterns on their trunks. Variety is the spice…
There’s a lot of brown around here: brown cliffs, brown beach, even brown, rain-starved shrubs. So it’s delightful to see these bursts of colors, whether poppies, daisies, birds-of-paradise, the newly blooming agapanthus, or these bottle-brush varieties. It’s May 1, and this shrub looks like it wants to decorate for Christmas, all red and green and snowy white. I’ll take it!