Sometimes I forget that the group of people who read this blog and the group who see what I put on Facebook overlap but are not identical. I posted this on Facebook one day last week, so some of you have seen it. Here it is for those who have not.
I was sitting in my portable chair working by the bay one day a couple of weeks ago when this heron landed nearby. That's a bit unusual, so I took out my phone and started recording, mainly for the benefit of my local grandsons, who have seen these birds but not so close. I wish I had zoomed in before the bird caught the first fish. Probably someone who knows something about video could bring out more detail in the bird, which is mostly in shadow. But I decided not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
For several weeks now I've established a routine of going down to the bay every morning with a folding chair, a cup of coffee, and my notebook, and writing for a couple of hours. I also take my phone with me, partly because someone might need to contact me, and partly so that I can set a timer to keep myself from sitting for too long at a stretch (back problems). That obviously presents a great danger of distraction, but so far I've managed to keep it mostly under control.
What did begin to distract me, though, after the first few days, was my surroundings. There is the constant activity of gulls, pelicans, herons, ducks, geese, kingfishers, and the occasional osprey over and around the water. There is the water itself, the changing light and textures. And a bit to my surprise, the sky, with its constant movement of clouds--not surprise that it is beautiful and changing, but that I find myself paying so much attention to it. Of course that may have something to do with the desire to avoid work. And sometimes I can't resist picking up the phone and taking a picture.
This has nothing at all to do with the season, but I was retrieving these photos from my phone and thought I'd post a couple of them. Last weekend I was visiting in the Silicon Valley area and we went to Santa Cruz one day. It's the sort of place that you immediately wish you could move to. The first picture is looking southward toward the high rocky point which is seen from much closer in the second picture. On the other side of that point there were real surfers, surfing. People surf in the Gulf of Mexico here but it's pretty mild, almost funny, stuff, unless there's a hurricane coming. These were way out from shore--somewhere between a quarter and a half mile, I'd guess. And the waves were several feet taller than they were. It looks scary, but it also looks like a whole lot of fun.
That little black smudge on the point is a person, which gives you an idea of how high the rocks are. Sometimes the waves would send spray almost to the top.
There are several sets of photos similar to this one that I've seen here and there on the net, color photos taken at a time when color photography was almost unknown. I think they're fascinating, and very valuable, because early photography, in ironic contradiction of what was thought to be its startling realism, has given us a very distorted mental image of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Even now, I suspect too many people think that everything in the 1950s looked like a faded Kodacolor print. At any rate a lot of movie-makers seem to think it's appropriate to use those tones for that period. Anyway: 1913: Christina in Red.
When I got this off the camera I thought it was more purple than it should be. Still pretty, though. I remember as a child with a coloring book and crayons coloring something dark green and dark purple, and someone telling me those colors didn't go together. Every now and then over the years I've seen that combination and thought "Yes they do."