Don’t Walk Through Those Easy Barn Doors

The Open DoorAll my life I have had the tendency to “go with the flow” and follow the path of least resistance. After a lot of years doing things this way I am finally beginning to learn that when I make things easy on myself I often learn less and get inferior results. 

Take photography for instance.

Diane Arbus once said that when she takes a picture, “I work from awkwardness. By that I mean when I stand in front of something instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.”

I take that to mean she tries to let her subjects and their environment dictate what and how she photographs. She doesn’t walk through that all too easy barn door of composing things to suit herself.

Leaving yourself open to the lessons your surrounding can teach you is VERY good advice….and hard to do.

400 Steps Down

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 400 steps down from this cliff’s edge is the Point Reyes Lighthouse clinging to the juxtaposition of Drakes Bay and the open Pacific Ocean. It’s one of the “must sees” of the Point Reyes National Seashore Park. The place is a testimony to courage and ingenuity show by early settlers protecting this rough, rocky, dangerous stretch of coastline.

Rough Rocky Sea

The cultural history of Point Reyes reaches way way back some 5,000 years to the Miwok Indians who were the first humans to inhabitant the area. Over 120 known village sites exist within the park. Sir Francis Drake is believed to have landed nearby in 1579.

Now in the 21st century the lighthouse no longer functions but the sea and the rocks remain as dangerous as ever.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Burning Off The Gas Is For The Birds

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When we walk around the bird ponds at Shollenberger Park I usually take photographs of the many waterfowl found there. Ducks, geese, stilts, sandpipers and their kin throng to this area to nest and feed.

What I have never really talked about is that, while this area looks for all the world like a wildlife sanctuary, it is actually there thanks to the farsighted environmental planning of the Ellis Creek Water Plant. (Note: Back east we would call it the Petaluma Sewage Treatment Plant.)

The different wording here sheds light on how differently municipalities can approach the same problem. Back east we’d approach it as merely a sewage treatment problem. Here in California they approach it as water reclamation opportunity.

Hooray for the western approach.

Here is a link to what I am talking about. Enjoy!

http://petalumawetlands.org/public-wetlands/ellis-creek

I Saw A Hanging Tree Today…Have You Ever Seen One?

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They grow slowly in the back of our minds often silhouetted against a stormy night sky of our own creation.

I saw this one on my walk in the hills above town today and walked by it loudly whistling a John Philip Souza march.

I find that helps a lot.

Digital Addiction

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this ever connected world we live in it is becoming increasingly obvious that we are becoming more and more addicted to our digital devices. This young lady was totally absorbed with her cellphone, oblivious of the comings and goings of the world at her elbow. A runaway cement truck could have been coming careening down the sidewalk straight at her, air horn shreeking and she wouldn’t have looked up.

Petaluma In Spring…..Opposing Points Of View

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The Vulture

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In the sky over my head a vulture is flying. Circling silently on the winds of a gathering storm. It’s waiting to feed on the helpless, the dead or the dying.

This big black bird is an omen of the harsh end that come to creatures whose luck has run out. On the ground up close, it looks ugly and cruel as it gorges  itself on rotted, bloody, fly specked flesh. In the sky it is darkly graceful gliding patiently back and forth….waiting.

The vulture doesn’t care how much money you have.

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