Photo Shoot: Galactic Squash

My neighbors gave me a squash from their garden. A squash with a fantastic and evocative skin.

(Hide? Rind? Pelt?)

The squash’s bottom suggests something enslaved by Maelstrom (a villain in my speculative detective series FRAMES):

But don’t worry, the squash turned out to be delicious and benign.

While we’re on the subject of produce eye candy, let’s close with this glam shot of a peach:

A Message, Should I Receive It

Last night, the nearly full moon illuminated a sky full of amazing clouds.

It all really looks like… something. In fact, it feels fraught with meaning. And I’m almost getting it!

Except. I’m not.

It’s – right behind the curtain. It’s – just past the tip of the tongue.

Fortunately, at the time I was able to just enjoy the view. All the hand-wringing about meaning and what-does-this-looks-like came later.

Low Tide Magic

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:

I could be friends with that one in the middle.

Look, a tar bat!

These craters formed when water dropped from the rock above:

Ghost Rainbow

During a sunrise walk by the ocean, fog poured onto land as the sun rose bright and hot above it.

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The ocean near vanished for a time.

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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.

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It persisted for half an hour, still dominating the view when I was a mile from shore.

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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.

Ghosts of the Morning

Low-angle, early morning light in my home reveals mysterious ghostly presences where mere furniture and structure otherwise stand.

Inside the China cabinet…

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…Now, this ghost seems explicable. It seems to live in my grandmother’s sole surviving crystal glass:

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But on the wall, a graceful heraldic figure materializes from no discernable source:

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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.

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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.)

Habits of the Unwatched Bee

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:

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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?

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Zoom in he’s going to land no, wait, ahhh, there he goes…

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Perhaps my next photo project should involve snails.

(The WP Photo Challenge is Partners.)

Exotic Infrastructure

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:

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This power line runs through my neighborhood (although not precisely at this angle):

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Can you guess what this is?:

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It’s the crumbling (sideways) letters of a storm drain warning. NO DUMPING DRAINS TO OCEAN.

And how about this?:

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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):

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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.)