The mountain laurels are really wild this year. (Do I say this every year? I know there are previous posts about this plant, but really, this year is amazing.) One of the locals told me that this part of Pelham used to be called Mount Laurel and I can see why. When we look out the window it is almost like there is snow on the leaves of the plants.
I had a great dad’s day today. Peter is home from DC for a bit (the Nationals are on the road) and I got the chance to chill out and cook. I made another vegetable stock. As you can tell by the color, there were lots of beet peelings in it. You can see my previous posts about it here and here. I used some of it to make a wild rice thing for Cris and it was great.
This will be a picture heavy post without too many words.
We stopped in Pismo Beach, which is a sweet little town with a nice pier. I like being able to shoot from above, which is a great angle to document guys with metal detectors.
Morro Bay is another pleasant town. We were blown away to see these sea otters rafting at the end of the day so near to the town. The wide angle lens doesn’t make them seem so close, but they were right there.
Next stop was the amazing elephant seal beach just near to San Simeon. These seals have been coming to this location since the early ’90s. Noisy and smelly (but in a very nice way). Remarkable to be so close to these creatures.
They are molting at this time of the year and aren’t particularly active.
Next up, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park near Big Sur. Well worth a visit.
It is Spring out here and wild flowers are everywhere. This looks to be some sort of iris.
This spectacular field is just off Highway 1. We came around a corner and this scene took our breath away.
California poppys. Cris says they are the state flower.
Point Lobos State Park is a wonderful place to hike and get close to the ocean. The trails are extensive; it would be easy to spend a whole day here.
I had never been in the redwoods before. This same photo has probably been taken a million times, but who could resist. Big Basin State Park is just north of Santa Cruz.
Since I’m in California, I can get away with the word awesome. Truly amazing.
Had a nice walk yesterday from the Exploratorium up to the Golden Gate Bridge. Finally saw “The Changing Face of What is Normal” exhibit and will post some shots and my reaction soon.
I was all set to do a final post about last weekend’s trip to to DC when the news of events at the Marathon started trickling in. I just felt so bad for most of the week that anything I could say here seemed trivial. Last night I flew out to Southern California to meet up with Cris who has been staying with her sister in Orange County. Since things in Boston appear to be mostly resolved, and it is so nice to be here with family, my mood has lightened considerably. And who wouldn’t be cheered by the sight of these lemons growing in Lynne and John’s front garden. I will never cease to be amazed by this tree.
And Lynne’s desert tortoises have recently come out of hibernation. She suggested I grab a hibiscus flower and as I walked toward George here, he came to me and got right to it.
I am going to break a few of my self-imposed rules in this post. I have always assumed that the reason people come to this site was to see interesting aspects of the world that they might not otherwise notice. I have never wanted it to be about me. But this post is mostly personal.
Peter Carroll and I have been working on a project on Tilghman Island for the past several years. In conjunction with the Tilghman Island Waterman’s Museum, we have been documenting the life of the watermen for two films that Peter has been shooting. The second of those films had its premier on Saturday evening at the elementary school. The auditorium was full and everyone loved it.
Then on Sunday Cristine and I flew to New Orleans where she was to receive an award from the Commission on Adult Basic Education. We walked around the city most of the day yesterday and it was as amazing to me as everyone said it would be.
Cris got the Kenneth J. Mattran Award for “Promoting Literacy Nationally and Internationally”. I was so proud and it was great to see people come up to her and thank her for being so inspirational.
After the luncheon we bugged out and walked back to the French Quarter. I would love to have seen this neon sign lit up, but The Pearl was closed today. Next stop was Cafe´du Monde for beignets and coffee. Later as we were walking down an almost totally deserted RiverWalk, we saw a video crew doing a stand up shot of a guy with the river in the background. It turned out to be Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel.
So here’s where I really break my self-imposed rule (don’t ever have a picture of me in this blog). My great friend Tania Werbizky has at various times in her life been totally obsessed with the Weather Channel. After Jim was done with his work, I approached him and asked if I could take a photograph. He was so nice and immediately suggested that he and I be in the shot. So Tania, I mentioned you to Jim effing Cantore. How’s about that?
Our hotel is just next to the Superdome and this is the view from the 17th floor hallway. / It is impossible to walk around this city and not think of hurricane Katrina and the devastation it caused. And looking at this building that housed so many people in such great need is more than a bit unsettling. This is an amazing part of America and I feel fortunate to have finally made it down here.
We are heading North today after an amazing, recuperative stay in South Carolina. Spring has arrived in full force; trees are budding out and the weather has been beautiful. / I got a ton of work done on the suitcase project while here. The American Society of Picture Professionals is featuring the project in a story in their next publication. They are the first to have focused on the preservation aspect of the materials since many of their members are curators. I am so happy to get this side of the story out. And I have sent six images to the Exploratorium that they will be using to produce postcards to sell in the museum store. Finally, today I got a nice email from Yvonne Boots-Faubert who looked at some of the fabric/sewing based contents of the cases and wrote a nice post on her blog. Check it out. I am so happy when people look at the photographs and are stimulated enough to get creative and apply it to their own interests. Thanks, as usual, to all of you who are following this site.
Cris and I celebrated our 25th anniversary yesterday with a very long walk on the beach. It was a beautiful day and the light was perfect for me. And as you can see, it was mostly deserted.
When we walk, I am constantly stopping to take photos. She usually just keeps moving but I eventually catch up.
Some of these guys are really tiny. The shell on top with the red bit was no more than an inch across. The guy above was probably 3 inches.
I have only occasionally seen the above type of shell. Reminds me of an exotic African cat.
This shell was very small, but so beautiful.
There is usually quite a bit of plant matter laying about. We saw what was left of a huge palm tree at the high tide line. I am not sure if the plant above is a water or land based plant.
Sand dollars are somewhat rarer this year. We didn’t see any until yesterday.
I say it to people all the time when I am complimented about my photographs, because it is important for me to give credit where it is due. I absolutely could not do what I do without the constant support and encouragement from Cristine. Not just emotionally, but in practical terms as well. She works very hard at a demanding job to provide us with all the things that a photographer with a spotty income could never provide. For that and the last 25 years I am more grateful than I can say.
Cris and I are in South Carolina for a bit. My brother and sister-in-law generously invite us to stay in their place down here and it is amazing. We usually come in January, but since Cris is on sabbatical this semester we decided to come down in March. We were walking on the beach the other day and talking about flotsam and jetsam. I was spouting off about the distinction between the two. A few minutes later Cris looked down and saw this. It was clear that it wasn’t just dropped on the beach; it had been in the water a long time and was quite near the water line having just been washed up. It is completely dead, but we couldn’t help wondering about the life of the owner. 21st Century jetsam (or is it flotsam?)
I am sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for my redeye flight home. This morning’s quick meeting with the team ended well. I know know pretty much what I need to do in the next few weeks as far as printing goes.
I had yesterday pretty much to myself. Around noon I met with an old friend from Ithaca, Katie Harhen and we ate a couple of dozen oysters in the Ferry Terminal and had a great time catching up. She is a really wonderful person and has created a great life out here in the Bay Area.
I had been hearing about the Sutro Baths from the Exploratorium folks and Stephanie Bailey said it was her favorite place in the area. I hopped on the Geary bus and after a long ride out to the western-most part of SF got to a cliff above the ocean.
I especially like the fact that except for a few spots one is totally free to roam around the ruins without having to be warned of imminent danger. It is part of a National Park, and for now the only areas that are closed off are to do with a river otter that has taken up residence. (He wasn’t there when I showed up.)
There was a little tunnel through the rocks that was kind of eerie. You could hear the waves crashing and in a few spots could actually see the water.
The ocean was a steely gray for most of the time I was there.
It was foggy and quite cold when I arrived and just as I was leaving at about 5.00, the sun came out.
The flora reminded me a lot of what you would see on the Cornwall coast.
It is a very special place. And the gift shop at the top of the hill is way cool. I got a great mug and a bunch of vintage postcard reproductions. It is always completely baffling to me how something as cool and popular as the baths can virtually disappear. Check out some other links to the history of the place and be sure to visit if you are in the area.
Well, it happened again today (click on the “it”). When I posted a similar occurrence last year, my friend Alex reminded me of a “Twilight Zone” episode where a guy threw a quarter into a newspaper vendor’s box and the coin stood on its edge. All the rest of the day he had the power to read minds. As was typical of that program, it didn’t turn out so well. I was in the process of putting a quarter into a parking meter this afternoon and it dropped into the snow and landed this way. I wasn’t able to read minds, but it did make me happy.
I think I posted a shot of one of these a few years ago. I can never remember what this small plant is called but I seem to remember seeing them in terrariums back way back when. They are all over the woods above my house. I’m pretty sure my sister will chime in with the correct answer. Anyone else care to enlighten me?