It’s that time of year in southern California. Extra high tides (the so-called king tides) alternate with spectacularly low tides (anarchist tides?), revealing tide pools teeming with fabulous occupants. I’ve never seen starfish out in the world, before!
The colors. The patterns. Everywhere.
A person can stare a long time waiting to see one of these gals move. Here’s evidence that movement recently occurred!:
These mussels have worked around a band of white plastic:
Amazing to see anemones with soft sticky outsides that are sludge-free. (Perhaps these critters live in deeper water than the sludged ones?) (I’m making that up.):
Anybody know what these translucent donut creatures are called?
I was not alone enjoying the tide pools:
Look, a tar bat!
These craters formed when water dropped from the rock above:
During a sunrise walk by the ocean, fog poured onto land as the sun rose bright and hot above it.
The ocean near vanished for a time.
As fog and sun continued to dance, a fabulous thing appeared, which turns out to be called a fog rainbow, fog bow, white rainbow, or (best for last) ghost rainbow.
It persisted for half an hour, still dominating the view when I was a mile from shore.
To add to the spooky magic of the morning, local spiders had been quite busy.
My walk was eerie, but never threatening, as I was home before the Maskless Hordes arrived at the beach for the day.
Low-angle, early morning light in my home reveals mysterious ghostly presences where mere furniture and structure otherwise stand.
Inside the China cabinet…
…Now, this ghost seems explicable. It seems to live in my grandmother’s sole surviving crystal glass:
But on the wall, a graceful heraldic figure materializes from no discernable source:
And on a floor, with no nearby surfaces to reflect or refract, an excitable presence scrabbles near a cabinet’s leg:
Meanwhile, this remarkable flying creature appeared on my ceiling today.
None of the ghosts have yet tried to make contact. I’ll let you know if/when they do.
(This post responds to Discover writing prompt Day 12: Light.)
(The WordPress weekly photo challenge was Corner.)
Like many a gardener, my appreciation for insects was transformed when I began spending time around plants. I’m downright proud that so many plants in my yard have bees buzzing around them all day.
My impression has always been that the bees browse and linger over their meals.
But I’ve never tried to photograph them before.
Turns out they move all over the damn place.
My mad plan to photograph bees at a variety of flowers began while out for a walk this morning. A distant neighbor has a spectacular hedge of Matilija poppies (a southern California native plant), which tower ten feet tall, invade for a few weeks each year, then disappear. But I digress.
Anyway, I liked this bee. See it? On the yellow globe center of that Matilija bloom:
So then I wanted more photos of flowers with bees. I kept my camera/phone ready, but for the rest of my walk, I saw nothing but yards devoid of bees. Why would bees ignore all those flowers? Perhaps those yards use pesticides?
(If only someone would invent something like the internet so I could investigate such questions.)
Back home, there were plenty of bees around my plants but. They. Would. Not. Hold Still.
I took a whole lotta photos and got two that sort of included bees. Can you spot the bee butt near the bottom of this photo?
Zoom in he’s going to land no, wait, ahhh, there he goes…
Perhaps my next photo project should involve snails.
(The WP Photo Challenge is Partners.)
There is so much beauty in modern infrastructure. No wonder I take so many pictures of that stuff.
Admittedly, I’m obsessed with subways. I could fill a whole other blog with subway photos and videos. (<– Hmm. Am I the only one who thinks that’s a good idea?) Meanwhile, here’s a recent moody image from NYC:
This power line runs through my neighborhood (although not precisely at this angle):
Can you guess what this is?:
It’s the crumbling (sideways) letters of a storm drain warning. NO DUMPING DRAINS TO OCEAN.
And how about this?:
Well, if you’ve been a reader of this blog for long, that’s an easy one to answer. It’s part of a pair of decaying sea walls that fascinate me. (Fascination is a kinder word than obsession.) Here’s a wider shot of the same wall (earlier that same sunrise):
If you ever want to visit this wall, it is just east of East Beach in Santa Barbara, CA.
(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge was Abstract.)
This bleak landscape is the exterior stucco wall of my house:
It is apparently an excellent venue if you are a ladybug larva ready to transform:
It is a short flying distance from a native sage crawling with kinfolk:
(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge is Abstract.)
Until a couple weeks ago, I had never been to Hawaii, which has always seemed terribly wrong, given that volcanoes and oceans are two of my favorite things. Also, I love that Hawaiian slack key guitar sound. So I was thrilled to get a chance to go to a conference in Honolulu, on Oahu, even though I knew that these were the Hawaiian island and area least likely to interest me.
I am a churlish tourist who hates being with her own kind. For me, the best way to travel is to plant myself somewhere for a stretch of time and get a sense of what it would be like to live there. During this one week trip I did get a couple chances to escape the tourist centers where my hotel and meetings were sited, and venture into areas where people actually live.
One dawn I walked east, away from the beach into a neighborhood of boxy tired apartment complexes. At 7 am everything was dark and closed except for the bus stops with folks headed away to work. I happened by a park with some amazing graffiti. Note that the white form is some kind of creature with a tail.
I’d heard about the fragrance of plumeria in Hawaii, and I adore the scent of the small, captive plant a friend somehow keeps alive in a container in his non-tropical garden. I was disappointed to discover that on Oahu, the plumeria are trees with blooms too high to smell! (Turns out I should have bought a plumeria lei, to envelop myself with the scent as I went through my day.)
My last afternoon on Oahu, a Hawaiian coworker drove me around the eastern corner of the island. We stopped at a viewpoint with trails that could have taken us even higher up the mountain.
A hang-glider happened by.
From the viewpoint, I caught my first look at the north side of the island. After ogling the view, we headed down the hill, west and north, to lunch in a working class community nestled behind that beach.
We stopped at a local hangout of a takeout restaurant.
After ordering the barbeque chicken platter, we had lunch in the adjoining, semi-open-air dining room. There, between the walls and ceiling, dwell scruffy and bold pigeons who come out to forage for scraps. According to my local pal, pigeons are a new addition to the island, and they are quickly becoming a nuisance. (No. Really?) Over the last few years, the finches have disappeared from his bird feeders, crowded out by the pigeons. Turns out finches are plentiful in Hawaii. People trap the finches and sell them to pet stores. There is no market for pigeons.
The dining area walls are painted with scriptures and lightning bolts.
And the walls are covered with scriptural graffiti – Bible quotes in the handwriting of countless patrons.
After lunch, we took the highway back to Honolulu. The mountains are actually the back rim of an ancient volcanic crater. The rest of the crater rim collapsed into the ocean, many thousands of years ago, in a massive landslide that created an enormous tsunami.
The highway cuts through the mountains in a looooong tunnel. Here is the tunnel entrance
and this is the view upon exit.
The area looks remote but is scant few miles and minutes from Honolulu’s congestion.
These glimpses of Oahu away from Waikiki Beach gave me a better understanding of why people so love these islands.
See? Churlish. I told you.
There are a lot of great scenes waiting for cameras in Hawaii as I learned when I visited the Hawaiian island of Oahu for the first time. I made the trip for work, so I spent most of my time at the convention center, or near my hotel on Waikiki Beach. My last day there, I walked a few miles from my hotel to another set of meetings near Diamond Head, and took lots of photos.
That distant hill and point is Diamond Head. I took this photo from the harbor near my hotel on the afternoon of my arrival. I didn’t see any bugs in Hawaii but saw much evidence of their existence, such as in the trunk of this tree.
The walk to Diamond Head was the most ambitious excursion of my trip and most of it took me through spectacular scenery. in the distance is my goal, lit by dawn sunlight.
The banyan tree is a common sight on Oahu. Older trees have roots that grow up and add themselves to the trunk, creating a broad, ropey base, like this tree en route to Diamond Head.
Whatever you do, don’t feed those …. um …. those…. Altered signs seem to be a trend here.
And then there are signs that promise other alterations. Why wait until dinner? I call this one cutting to the chase.
I loved the rough surface of this jetty, which exists to protect tourists from slipping into the sea. It may be too close to the lunchtime happy hour to succeed at all times, however.
Now I’m on the Diamond Head side of my earlier photos, looking west and back toward the Waikiki Beach hotels.
The road took me uphill through neighborhoods that reminded me of Santa Barbara, California. Only 9a but it was getting warm.
I went past cliffside parks with trails down to the ocean, some of which were not safe to hike. Or anyway I think that’s what the sign was trying to tell me.
There was an old lighthouse, now occupied by an island bigwig.
Surfers in Hawaii have so many choices of places with great waves!
During my week on Oahu, the weather fluctuated continuously although the temperature held to the high 70s, low 80s. Sunny then cloudy then drizzle then wind. Blasts of rain punctuated with balmy breeze. Humid then less humid then more humid again. Clouds from the north were always piled up against the mountains that stretch along the center of the island. I took this photo of the clouds and mountains from the glass elevator at my hotel.
Here is a cloudy moment near Diamond Head.
It came amidst the sunny moments like this one.
This is the second of three posts about my trip to Hawaii.