Thursday, April 28, 2011

Seal Pups and Poppies at Point Lobos State Reserve

On Wednesday afternoon a very kind friend reminded me that all work and no play makes for a dull Jeannette and she took me to the neighborhood state reserve to walk and spy upon the springtime bird and bee energy of nature.

  I was snap happy with my camera and it was such a pretty day lots of my pictures came out plenty pretty.  The distant curve of land is  Pebble Beach and Carmel.  Beds of kelp float near the shore.

Momma seals and their pups are taking a little afternoon snooze on the protected beach.   It is important that visitors  stay back from the areas where the seals rest and sun, so this photo was taken with zoom aplenty.

  The poppies ( Eschscholtzia californica) smell spicey to beetles which, once attracted, help pollinate the poppies.  Did I learn this by sticking my nose down in the blooms?  No, I was checking on the spelling of  "Eschscholtzia" and learned about the fragrance and the dutiful beetles.

Even from a distance the golden blossoms glow.

We have a lovely state flower, and the state metal is gold...but do you know what our official state mollusk is?

Do I have a picture of one?  Hmmm...some recent children visiting saw several in our forest and they said regarding the official native... "gross!"  Apparently the abalone competed for the title, but the state mollusk title belongs to the land loving frequently visible banana slug.  Here is a short movie on youtube starring two children and three banana isn't my movie, but the children remind me of two little girls I used to know, and it is charming whereas I don't know where  the photos are of  the banana slugs that have posed for me. Slugs are actually a good subject for new nature photographers; it's not  like trying to capture the image of a hummingbird.  At top speed a mature slug can travel 6.5 inches in a minute. It gives you time to compose your picture and focus without rushing.

The other thing I learned, ( I know you are just longing to know all about them, aren't you? )
is that slugs like to eat mushrooms.   They are an important part of spreading nutrients and spores around the forest floor.  Now that you know they are official and functional maybe you will treat them with more respect than a "blick" or a "gross" next time you see one.  Or maybe not;  visceral responses are pretty hard wired. and silly words tonight... but as I walked in these pretty places with my kind friend, I thought especially
 of people I would love to walk there with...

like Beth...and Sarah Beth and name just a few,
so this blog is for you.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Precious in the Light

Yesterday, in the afternoon, the light was so stunning I took my camera out and snapped away at almost everything that delighted me.   I did, I took seventy-six pictures.   In part it was possible because a friend had come over to make dinner for us.  With fresh strawberries, cilantro, feta cheese and young green onions  as a pre-walk appetizer...and knowing dinner was merrily cooking away, we wandered down to the rocks on the water.

There are many jokes with groanings in them about people sharing their home movies.  What brought that to mind?  I won't show you all seventy-six.  I haven't decided which ones I will post...but here I go wandering into the visual archive of yesterday.

   This was my first peek at an artichoke on its way.
 And although I was taking a macro photo of this  Julia Child rosebud, a little green bug was getting a much closer view.
Kitty Bumpkins knew about the artichoke already before I did, I am sure.

Back to the archives...but not before popping out the front door to take a sunset  picture.  " What will you do with all those pictures of the sunset?"  I've been asked.  What do we do with all the sunsets?  Stop and feel, marvel and thank, praise and reflect and tonight, hurry back in because it isn't quite as warm as the day we had yesterday.

The Pride of Madeira was buzzing with bees and hummingbirds again.  My attempts to capture the birds did not result in any good photos, but trying was good watching.

~spiraling umbels of color~

dizzy with close up close up beauty...

 I look up

                           and down below my feet...

every direction is ....well...remarkable

  I want to say something about the foot inside this boot...and it's mate too...these feet have trod many miles, stood and walked by me and for me.  Not my feet..."his" feet.   I love these feet.

~our contemplative artist chef ~                                   


remarkable....                                                     remark as you will!

Do you remember the sound of home movies?  My father had a little snippet of film where I, four years old or so and naughty, turned the garden hose toward him.  He liked to show that bit of film backwards.

Oh, just a few more pictures...there is one of the light coming through the trees...maybe I can find that one without too much delay and then I will do whatever else I am supposed to be doing....and hope you will be glad that  you stayed to the end of the movie.

 Gideon wants to be in the picture show too...

And one more close up to end ...the wild iris have been lovely this week.  They are one of those delicate realities, so true to life....appreciate them when  you see can't take them for granted.  Their time is short, they bloom and they wither and their season  passes quickly.

~that's all~ and yes, dinner was lovely too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

They speak for themselves...

                     The flowers...the bees. the butterflies, the hummingbirds
the evergreens, the rocky cliffs
 the fragile wings

 the crashing waves, the vapor skies,
the shining sun
the golden poppies...they all speak for themselves and their Creator.