The emptier campground is fertile ground. I could wander in places that a few weeks ago were full up with motor homes and vehicles and tables and tents and grills and tarps — and people. It’s only about a quarter full now; half of it is closed, to reopen briefly for the holidays and then again in March. At 8:30 this morning, I didn’t even catch a whiff of bacon cooking. It was quiet and serene, and this twisted, gnarly skeleton gave me pause.
There were skeletons in our closets and someone found a master key. I suspect, with great sorrow, that it will take years to vanquish them.
One of Nature’s, blown here and dropped by the wind. Doesn’t it look like it belongs on a Christmas tree, or in a lapel, or holding back a lock of hair?
Some things just stop you in your tracks. Sometimes they are big and sometimes they are small. We have to notice, and honor them.
There, that’s the good meaning of the word ‘honor,’ rather than the one that too often is an excuse for vengeance. Were I in school doing a degree in, say, sociology, or anthropology, or ethical thought, I might study the concept of ‘honor’ and learn where its meaning became so tarnished, how it is invoked to become a mask behind which evil can hide — or an excuse for not doing, not speaking.
The rain, that is. Taken while it was beginning to mist. How soft all the colors are! And the shades of blue, from that almost-bright little piece between the clouds to the deepest blue-gray indigo of the wave that’s just beginning to break. Then all those blue-grays in between, with the palest in the lower sky, just barely blue-out-of-gray. Ah, my Ocean…
Well, not really. The winding path down to the campground is packed sand, and because of the slope, it gets eroded by the splashes of rain we get so infrequently. Well, it rained last night — a pleasure to hear it splatting on the roof — and the runoff carved this channel in the path. I think the dark color is possibly black plastic under the sand so that weeds don’t come up and turn the path into beach shrubs.
I realized how spoiled I am by our usually fine weather — I started off on my walk and then turned back when it began misting. The mist can turn into a downpour in a San Diego minute, and I didn’t want to be far from home when/if that happened. Maybe I think I’ll melt or wash away after all?
We have two magnolias in our back yard. No flowers now, but the leaves are super-green, as are the palms. Green despite no rain. We are waiting for the rain, we are waiting for redemption. The rain is supposed to come within the next hour; redemption, not so sure.
Redemption? I rarely think of that word. I’m not even sure I’ve ever said it aloud, although I must have, some time, in some context. It’s not a concept I’ve considered deeply. My first response is that redemption is related to atonement, and requires the same apology/repair relationship. To achieve redemption, one must acknowledge and rectify. Collective redemption? By a community? Tougher. Hmmm… Redemption seems also to require transformation. Cooking, knitting, art-making, story creation — I do like activities of transformation. Even writing a math proof felt to me like a process of transformation. But maybe that’s another post.
“Magnolia Redemption” — sounds like a southern novel. Eudora Welty or…
Palm trunk. Nature and humans do similar things with texture, even if inadvertently.
That reminds me, is ‘advertent’ the opposite of ‘inadvertent?’ I don’t think so, as my software editor here underlined that in red. Off to Google I go to check…aha! ‘Advertent’ is indeed an antonym of an older meaning of ‘inadvertent’ — and it means ‘attentive’ or ‘heedful.’ Oooh, ‘heedful’ — that’s a great word. Not quite the same as ‘mindful’ — a little more cautionary?
From palm tree trunks to ‘heedful’ — that’s one of the reasons I like doing this blog!
Perhaps we should call it the gratitude season: grateful for the generosity of Nature, the gifts of work, the good will and love of friends and family.
The pumpkins still look cheerful and the new poinsettias on display are just irresistible. We do, after all, live in the poinsettia-growing area of the country, and our highway exit is Poinsettia Lane.
The reflected morning sun on these vivid colors gives me hope.
Another tree surface. The richness of that burnt sienna is stunning.
Don’t you remember “burnt sienna” from your Crayola box? I loved those names: burnt umber, red violet, violet red…I recall figuring out that the first term in the two-color names was the adjective, so red violet was a violet, basically, but violet red was a red. Those were also the days when “flesh” was a sunburned Caucasian. I’ll have to look at a box of Crayolas and see what the names look like now.
(I never know where my mind will wander when I look at a photo!)
Each of these seems to be a new abstract painting. There are dozens of them on the overpass that spans the railroad tracks, all with their cracks, rust, and exposed rebar. They seem like an amalgam of Rothko (blocky bands) and Johns (gray paintings) and Newman (“zips”) and maybe a bit of Twombly at the bottom?
They tell a story, perhaps many stories. Today, though, I’m haunted by the story of 53 years ago. Everyone my age remembers where we were when we heard. I happened — this is truly bizarre — to be doing a math problem in set theory, during study hall, that addressed “the set of all presidents who died in office.” He was already the stuff of legends, both good and bad, and this certainly cemented the legend, as it were. Weighted in concrete.
After yesterday’s sky…today’s couldn’t compete. So back to terra firma, sort of.
This is another contorted remainder of a shrub, whose whorling form called to me. Also, after seeing it enlarged here, I enjoy the hints of rose at the center and the vertical layers at the top left.
These (dead) remains pass nearly unnoticed, unless you are walking with your camera and telling yourself to look, really look. I’m sure there’s a whole series of them waiting for me if I had the patience and alertness to truly see.
Well, after the sunset, actually. Wow, what a sky. The Midwest does not have a monopoly on gorgeous skies. The clouds were afire after another beautiful day in Carlsbad, with cooler temperatures and the prospect of ***rain!*** Sunday night into Monday, perhaps even a whole half inch. That would be happy. Meanwhile, this.
This stunning view preceded a green flash, the phenomenon that consists of the last teensy bit of sun turning bright day-glow green as it disappears into the horizon. Doesn’t happen unless conditions are perfect: if it’s cloudy or too hazy, or too bright at the horizon, no flash. We thought it a myth until we saw it. I have no photos, but this drama preceded it and was just as good!
Near Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, the town just to the south of Carlsbad. We got lunch at a great diner, then went to the art supply store, where we met the lovely owners. Followed that with ice cream cones (three scoops of Mocha Madness! and they call it a single scoop!) which we took with us as we walked to the beach, sat on a bench in the sun, and watched a volleyball game, birds, and children playing.
The joys of a SoCal beach town in mid-November. I’d like only two more things: rain and progressive government, one provided by nature and the other provided by our better nature. If only.
It even looks a bit like a snake’s head peering over the horizontal limb. The wind does strange things to the beach shrubs along the cliff, bending them into contorted shapes that don’t look at all natural — but they are.
With that great succulent in the foreground. Not much beach to walk on, and what was there was pretty rocky. The rocks have been there for so long, very different beach than when we moved here three years ago. But the water was gorgeous today.
And quite a scraped one at that. Elbow joint. Elbow your way in. Funny-bone (but it isn’t.) All knees and elbows (sometimes I think I still am.) Elbow room. My spirit could use some elbow room right about now.
This is a pretty bad wound. Will it heal? How can I help it heal, or do we wait, or do we accommodate? Wounds heal all time? (What would that mean?!)
You could almost say it’s getting to look a lot like Christmas, but it’s not even Thanksgiving.
I want to say these are chokecherries; are they chokecherries? Probably, with what I could find on the internet. It’s one of those things I didn’t know that I know. If indeed I do. “Chokecherries” just appeared in my verbalizing brain. If you’d asked me if I knew what a chokecherry looked like, I would have made that eyebrow-raised, skeptical face.
I’m nervous, and so I’m chattering. Tomorrow makes me very nervous. I hope we don’t choke.
Well, sort of park. We went to the Carlsbad Fair today, an enormous thing with hundreds of vendors, mostly clothing and crafts and soaps and suchlike, with some food and a few artists. Even the crafts weren’t exciting. I think we have street fair fatigue; it all starts looking the same. There was a Republican party booth and a Democratic one; this is *not* a juried show!
However, it was another gorgeous day to be out, and this elegant bloom and its companions graced the park-planted shrubs along the streets. Maybe not exactly parks, but public greenery nevertheless.
The campfire smoke drifts faintly in our still-open windows as we wait for the much-delayed cooler weather that we hope will come. At least we no longer need our air-conditioning! And I’m hopeful we won’t all need attitude reconditioning come Wednesday.
The campground is just about full this weekend and it’s in the 70s out. The water temperature is low 60s. The sun is still strong and it’s sure not like November in any of the other places I’ve lived.
The wood bundles are piled up in the camp store, which is open on weekends during the so-called “off” season. It’s never really off season here. We saw a Minnesota license plate, two from British Columbia, and the usual assortment from Arizona and Utah. What’s astounding to me is the number of campers who come from within twenty or thirty miles — you can tell by their license plate holders!
This wood makes for nice-smelling (even if polluting and allergy-provoking) smoke. The cooking fires in the morning (bacon!) and in mid-to-late afternoon are drool-inducing. The evening smoke makes me think of camp songs…even if I have to close my windows.
So my two pumpkins are sitting on the stoop and I think, “Well, that’s a good seasonal photo, but really, what’s new about it?”
Then I realize that the shape and texture of the stem is what’s possibly of interest, looking a bit like a sawed-off tree trunk, in green and silver, set against that deep vibrant orange. So there it is.
We always ask ourselves how long to keep the pumpkins. Will they rot and then stain the concrete? Will they moosh and attract bugs? So my answer is to dispose of them on the trash day preceding Thanksgiving.
I guess I’ve been drawn to (yep, said that) monotones again. The sun was at just the right angle to throw these sharply and deeply across the sidewalk at about nine this morning. The grass was about as long as it gets, because today is neighborhood common-area mowing day.
It would be a fun composition to re-capture in charcoal. Hmm, I propose that sort of thing and never do it. Maybe someone else does?
Teensy ones. In the sand. Scale is a funny thing, eh? I guess the little white pebbles are a give-away. But I do like the repetitious pattern, the subtle color variation, and the distribution of lights and darks. Things to think about in my own compositions. Sure is hard to come up to Nature in her native artistic abilities!
The decks at the top of each stairway have this pentagonal center, and most of them have a bench so you can sit and watch the ocean. It’s still around 70 by the time we get out to walk, so it’s very pleasant.
The campground is less populated now, with many campsites empty, and the camp store is open only on weekends. It’s as if a town shuts down, or at least pulls up some of its stakes (literally here, in some cases) and hunkers down for the non-winter to come. What a terrific time to visit, with fewer people, still-balmy weather, and, at many hotels, reduced rates. You are welcome!