The Palavas swamp is a habitat for all manner of birds on account of the shrimp and other tasty morsels that thrive here. The glassy surface at dusk caught my eye as I drove past. Those houses on the other side sit along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, this is a popular destination for vacationers in summer. However I was here in the off-season which afforded me an opportunity to see a slightly different side of life in southern France. Quiet walks along the beach or simply watching the night set in across the swamp.
Other swamps around this area are used to cultivate salt. The nearby town of Aigues-Mortes is where some of the finest salt in the world comes from. I’m not a good judge of salt but it seems to me refined and smooth. nevertheless but we bought a little box to bring home which we use sparingly for special dishes.
Aside from the salt, several little aspects of French culture rubbed off on us while we were here.; cheese, wine and baguettes be chief among them. But other things like slowing down to enjoy a meal which is something we don’t always do back home. In the end we came back with just enough to whet our appetite for more and the thought that things taste better when we slow down and, use a dash of good salt.
I get up early because I find solitude at dawn, more so than any other time of day. The energy is fresh and going for a walking or doing something alone informs the rest of my day.
Like this picture, I think each day we have some place to go. For me, having quiet time is setting aside the space to contemplate my next steps and put in motion a direction of travel for the remaining hours.
Sometimes I don’t go very far in a day, but that’s okay. I might look back and think I didn’t accomplish much and then feel stressed or disoriented because I’m not where I thought I’d be. But my thinking is that I learn from my missteps or detours just as much as anything else. That’s part of growing, learning to take stock and continuing to persevere. So even if I don’t reach the far end that day, something was gained in the journey. That’s what I tell my self, and in truth, that’s what I believe.
I took a picture of this lady walking along the beach in Fort Lauderdale just after dawn. I could tell she was enjoying her alone time and I felt compelled to capture it. However in my minds eye I thought of this dreamscape as a metaphor for solitude and what that means to me; that we each must find some time alone to set and / or readjust the course of our day, and possibly our lives.
The Riverwalk Fishing Pier is in Bradenton not far from my home. I love coming here early in the morning when everything is quiet and the water is still. The way the weather works, as soon as the sun rises it generates a breeze which ripples the water, so the only way to see it glassy like this is before dawn.
The river flows into the Gulf of Mexico so it rises and falls with the tide. At high tide the pilings are mostly submerged. I’ve heard that decades ago there was a hurricane in the gulf and the water drained from the river before the onslaught of the storm surge. It was said you could walk across the riverbed. I’ve only lived here about ten years and not seen anything close to that, hopefully I never will.
I walk my dog here, he is a rescue. For some reason he is afraid of any walkway above the water and so piers are difficult for him. I’ve worked with him over the years to overcome that fear and now he’ll walk out to the end with me. I don’t rush him and I give him plenty of positive reinforcement. Whenever I see this pier it reminds me of how much progress he’s made. Life’s little pleasures.
These are the Manatee River Crossings between the towns of Bradenton and Palmetto in Florida. The furthest bridge is for cars and the closer one for trains. I am standing on a taller third bridge looking down. The river is so wide here that I think before these bridges were built, the two towns must have been quite different, as they were only accessible to each other by boat. Now the towns are in the same county and we cross the bridges without a thought. As the towns grow a new bridge is under construction up stream from here.
To take this shot I walked to this spot atop the third bridge using the bike lane. I then stood here with my tripod taking in the scene as the sun rose and the thick clouds hung in the air. These along with the still morning surface of the river created an ethereal quality that I wanted to capture. After taking the photo I walked back down off the bridge against the flow of early morning commuters. At about the same time the upraised span of the rail bridge lowered for the first train as it crossed the river.
These are the moments when the day begins. Many things happen during the day as we live our lives in close proximity, passing each other going this way and that. Then, at the end of the day, the crossings empty of trains and cars, and below them the calm waters of the river return.
While in San Francisco I just had to “do the bridges”. By that I mean, drive over and take pictures, …just like everybody else. I went through the motions but I didn’t have my heart into it. I mean, it’s only been done one-million-and-four-hundred-and-sixty-two-thousand-and-seven-hundred-and-ninety-two times (excluding Andriod devices). Not like it’s popular or anything. Even when I showed up at 5AM on a MONDAY MORNING there were three other photographers there. I mean, don’t these people have anything better to do than get up early on a MONDAY morning and take yet another picture of the bridge? Good grief, some people.
Anyway, I stuck around looking for a unique angle that hadn’t been done before, how hard could that be? Those other pesky photographers finally left and I was about also when I looked back and noticed that the Blood moon had popped up over the bridge. How lucky is that? I quickly took my shot and I think I may be the only person in the world to have a shot of the Blood Moon over the Golden Gate.
I’m currently in negotiations with Hogwarts to have this hung in the grand hall, but I wanted you all to be the first to see it.
Adjacent to Big Sur on the pacific coast is the Point Sur Light-station. I know that because I looked it up on Google before I drove about a hundred miles to come visit it. Little did I know that it was closed to the public except for certain times during the week. It was afternoon so I headed on down the coast and into Big Sur for more pictures. By the time I got back it was near midnight. I was pretty happy with the way it worked out because I thought this scene was pretty awesome and I would have missed it during the day. So I pulled out the tripod and took plenty of shots from the side of the road. The light rotated every 15 seconds so I waited until it passed then took a 10 second exposure which ensured I caught the beam as it pointed north. I hope to come back someday and take the tour, but for now the view from the road wasn’t too bad after all.
This is another long exposure of an old pier at Gasparilla Island State Park in Boca Grande. There’s something about making time stand still that I find appealing. In any case, this is one of the last images I took before smashing my camera on the seawall. Don’t ask, it was my fault. Lucky for me I had an extended warranty and Sony fixed it good as new. Now that I have my camera back I’m going to look for more of these images, only this time I’ll stay off the seawall.