Life in Motion

Sometimes life seems to be taking place in fast forward–moving at speeds that make it impossible to  catch up (or keep up, for that matter).  Weekends offer opportunities to reconnect with loved ones, squeezed between chores like laundry and grocery shopping…and when I’m really lucky, time for an adventure or two.

I love the way my camera makes time stand still for an instant, but today I was trying to capture moments of motion.  We headed north to the San Onofre State Beach, also home of the now defunct nuclear power plant.  I’m always surprised by the multitudes of treasures I’ve yet to discover not far from my home…how have I missed this place I have passed by on the freeway so many times?

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The day was gray and threatening.  The weather forecasters had dismissed the rain for the weekend, but the clouds hung dark and heavy in the distance.  We saw a couple of cars with surfboards on top heading away as we pulled in, and my husband joked that the surfers were done for the day.  Until we turned the corner and saw the sea dotted with wet suited surfers afloat on their boards.

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And a few were in motion.

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I love watching sea birds, and I wasn’t disappointed today.  I saw egrets and cormorants as well as the usual seagulls and pelicans.

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I also caught this sandpiper frolicking in the surf.

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Further north, we strolled out on the San Clemente pier with the wind whipping my hair and making me wish for the heavier jacket in the back seat of my car.  The colorful flags danced in the breeze, in constant motion.

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Surprisingly, there were no seabirds on the pier.  But there were lots of pigeons.  I noticed these bobbing their heads to drink from this sink.  (Notice the sign…hmmm, were they drinking salt water or were they sipping from tiny pools left from the increasing drizzle?)

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I love to go under a pier.  There is something about watching the waves through the mussel-laden pilings that I find mesmerizing.  The color of the water, the sound of the rocks, and the rush of the waves creates a musical performance of constant motion.

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As we headed to the car, the rain began in earnest.  And after all that motion, I am now sitting, near motionless, listening to the rain fall outside as I cuddle with the cats, chat with my husband, and try to stock up on some much needed rest to fuel the week ahead.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Sometimes it seems like I go through phases with my photography, taking lots of shots of similar things.  It wasn’t too long ago when I was obsessed with taking photos of seagulls…in flight, in crowds, eating, posing–you get the idea.

Lately, my eye seems to be drawn to color.  I noticed the brilliant red of this community sign just the other day.

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And the nearby artist supply store was awash in color from ceiling to floor.

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Flowers are blooming around here too.  I couldn’t resist the way the light made the orange of these flowers glow.

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The sharp spines and the vibrance of the red flowers make an interesting composition.

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I love the surprising patches of wildflowers that grow in unusual spots, cuddled up to rocks, brightening the landscape.

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And the unexpected red roof on the lighthouse, highlighting the classic white building below it.

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Where are you finding color?  What colors do you find yourself drawn to time after time?  Are they colors in nature or the ones that people use to decorate or draw attention to their spaces?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!)

I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #color for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So, start looking for color…and share your images with the rest of us.  What colors will we see through your lens?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sparkling

Today I found a quote that resonated…filling my mind and heart with images of warmth and light.

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.  Theodore Roethke

And I started thinking about my week off from work…which was filled with light and sparkling images.  A long winding drive through a forest of redwoods showered us with shards of light filtered through those tall majestic trees.

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And who knew that wild raspberries grow on the tops of the sea cliffs that overlook the fiercely beautiful waves of the Northern California coastline?  They seemed to wink as I stopped to take their photo!

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How have I missed quaint sea towns like Mendocino, a jewel of weathered historic buildings, sparkling blue water, and tall water towers.

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Even in the shade, an inner glow seemed to sparkle through this luminous purple flower.

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And when we arrived at our destination, Glass Beach…near Fort Bragg, we were greeted by smooth, tumbled beach glass that covered the sand.  This place that once served as a dumping ground is now seen as a treasure.  I watched children clamber up rocks, pretending to be pirates high above the sparkling glass.

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The glass beckoned, urging fingers to search for unique shapes and colors, letting the bits and pieces trickle through our open hands.

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At the end of the day, through the window of our hotel room, we were treated to the sparkling sun dipping down into the Pacific as the fishing boats came in from a day on the ocean.

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So this week be on the lookout for images that sparkle in your life.  Is there an inner light, the sun shining through, or maybe a sparkle less literal that only you can see?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!)

I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #sparkling for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

What is sparkling in your life this week?  I can’t wait to see what sparkles through your lens!

Staying Afloat

I love my job. And yet, I still need time off to refresh and recharge…to stay afloat amid the demands of the work I love. Sometimes I am tempted to use my time off to catch up on the work details that build up in the course of my daily work life or to tackle those cleaning and organizing projects that take so much time. But this week, I mostly spent time exploring, enjoying…and not too much else.

And for this week staying afloat meant climbing the California Tower with my sister and looking out over the beautiful city where I live. The tower, that has been closed to the public for most of my life, offers 360 degrees views…to the ocean, to the mountains, and more. And because of the unique flight path in San Diego, I was watching planes descend right over the city skyline.

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We also met up with this mallard duck couple enjoying a private swim in the small garden fountain. The morning light in this unedited photo seems to emphasize the beauty of the ducks and the surrounding fountain and gardens.

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We found these overturned boats and flowers near the place where Geoff and I lived many years ago, right after we first got married. In the background you can see the boats that are afloat and the brilliant blue of Mission Bay.

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And as much as I love this place I live, getting away helps me to unwind and push work into the background. So afloat, high in the air (is that a stretch of the word afloat?), we journeyed up the coast to San Francisco. This is one of those places I have been to many times, but sometimes forget to “see” it. As we headed out of the city to a destination further north, we took the time to stop and appreciate the towering icon that is known as the Golden Gate Bridge.

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I love San Diego beaches…but northern California beaches are a different breed. These are rough and wild…and in the springtime, adorned with beautiful wildflowers. As we stood looking off the cliff near the Point Cabrillo lighthouse, we watched an osprey soar toward us with a fish gripped in his talons. We heard about the migrating whales another couple had just seen, and watched this squirrel nibble near the edge of the cliff.

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A highlight of our trip was a visit with my son and daughter-in-law. They treated us to a hike up a local mountain…Mt. Diablo. As we drove the curving mountain roads, dodging intrepid bicyclists, my son told us about this peak’s unique qualities—including unobstructed views for miles around. Our day wasn’t crystal clear, but the views were breathtaking!

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And all too quickly, our trip must end. As we drove back to the airport for our trip home, I caught another glimpse of beautiful San Francisco and its golden gate…from the Bay Bridge. And with a bit of editing on my iphone photo, you can see what my eyes noticed as we said goodbye.

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I’m wishing for one more day…to wash clothes, pick up some groceries, and maybe catch a nap. But alas, I will be back at work tomorrow…loving every minute and squeezing those essential chores into the creases of my day, and I think that’s where they belong anyway.