"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Location, Location, Location

At home in Moose Pass, clear skies brought nighttime temperatures down to the mid-twenties, effectively stamping “closed” on the summer of 2011.

A hundred and thirty road miles south and five miles across Kachemak Bay, clear skies found me taking my morning tea on the front deck, perfectly comfortable in short sleeves.   Next to me, a potted lily continued to bloom in the temperate maritime clime.

 My friends in the southern states, however, would consider fifty degrees downright chilly and remain inside.   

That is not to say that autumn eludes this cove, but there is no evidence of frost having visited here.  Though the foliage shows autumn colors,

berries continue to ripen,

flowers bloom,

and above-ground water lines flow with clean, cold water from mountain streams.  It’s far too soon for homeowners here to switch to their water storage tanks for winter.

The black pipe in the foreground is a water line.  It is drained in winter.

While I sit on the deck, I wonder—if I lived here year ‘round, would I ever take this view for granted?

Would I stop noting the changes in light?

 Would the extreme tides, more dependable than anything known in the world of humankind, become so commonplace I failed to notice them?

How could I?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Low Tide and Sunsets

I went down to the dock just before sunset this evening to check on Jim's boat.  The tides have been exceedingly low lately and I wanted to see if the boat was still afloat or resting on the exposed seafloor.

It was raining slightly, so I drove the golf cart. 

This is a "road" at Stillpoint.  They're just slightly more than wide enough for a golf cart and a snowblower.  This was taken through the plastic windshield, which is why it's fuzzy.

Good thing, because I would have missed a couple good photos.

Here's the dock as I approached and the progression of the sunset.

I took the lower "road" on the way back home and decided to photograph this narrow neck of the cove.  It goes dry during real low tides.

When I framed the shot with driftwood, I noticed the color of the mountain in the background.  I ran for the golf cart and drove home as fast as that little electric buggy would go, all the while remembering a lesson I'd learned long ago.

Not a moment too soon.  Here's the same mountain from the front deck of where I'm staying.

And a minute later.

And the final shot.

Publish Post

Oh.  That lesson?  When watching a sunset always, always look behind you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thelma and Louise Take a Time Out

For lack of anything else that piqued my interest, I turned the TV to A&E and some reruns.  I was only half aware of the show as I cruised the internet on my laptop, when the TV suddenly switched to record Thelma and Louise.

Better than nothing, I thought as I moved to the couch to watch the movie.  (Brad Pitt was so cute then.)

So we get to the pivotal scene, the one where the gals’ adventure goes all wrong.  Louise has just rescued an intoxicated Thelma from her attacker in the parking lot of the saloon.  She’s holding a pistol on him.

I waited for the impetus that caused Louise to pull the trigger.   The bad guy cuts loose with a string of profanity.  Louise shoots.

Well, by gosh, I think I’d pull the trigger too if someone yelled, “Clean my clock” at me.

Wait a minute.  That isn’t what his lips were saying.

And later on, out in the desert when the slimy long-haul trucker is getting a lesson in manners?  Well, he says, “Fry you, you witches from hell!”  Naughty, naughty.  Got his tanker truck blown up for that.

Okay, this was on Oprah’s OWN channel. (That's O-W-N, which I guess stands for Oprah Winfrey Network as well as being her own TV channel.)  Cleaned it up for the kiddies, I reckon.  We can see rape, domestic abuse, implicit sexual expressions, violence, celebrating armed robbery, and extra-marital sex (okay, just the kissing), but we can’t hear the words that usually accompany these things and impel violent reactions ? 

I’m definitely not a fan of the gratuitous profanity that has been the rage in a lot of movies for far too long.  That's the reason I never watched HBO's critically acclaimed series called Deadwood, or something.  I found it hard to believe that in those days, the Old West, everyone used such frequent and profound profanity.  

Louise was watching out for her friend.  That’s what girlfriends do. 

But driven to pulling the trigger by “Clean my clock?”   All this did was pull my concentration from the plot and moral of the story and direct it to listening for more incredibly hilarious substitutions.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fluffle Flight

Here in Halibut Cove, I was sitting at the kitchen counter writing on my laptop, which is the only place in this multi-windowed room where I can avoid multiple reflections on the full-glare screen, when movement outside caught my eye.  There were white things in the air!

Not snow, thank goodness, not on this warm and sunny morning.  A fluffle of fireweed seeds were in flight.  Fluffle is the lastest collective noun I invented.

A couple days ago, the long, slender seed pods on the fireweed were closed tightly.  Now they were in full blossom, looking like cotton candy on five-foot tall maroon stalks.  

Even though the air seemed dead calm, the seeds were flying.  Perhaps the warming temperature created enough of a thermal to provide lift, and the seeds were taking full advantage.

Some were caught in invisible spider silk, others landed in the water.  Even more drifted straight up in the warming air.

The annual migration lasted until the sun went behind a cloud and the air cooled. 

Not over, just paused until the next opportunity.

Friday, September 23, 2011

One Autumn Day in Halibut Cove

Devil's Club

I took a walk around Stillpoint in a warm afternoon sun.  Autumn comes slowly here, the climate moderated  by maritime influences.

The fireweed is plump with seeds, waiting for a wind to scatter them hither and yon.

Current leaves.

Mountain ash berries.

In the late evening, light from the setting sun slipped through layers of clouds and circled the cove with a band of gold.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Journey to the Cove

Tuesday morning I left Moose Pass and drove 130 miles south to the end of the road in Homer.  I'm heading to Halibut Cove to house-sit for a month for friends.

Actually, I'm really there to open the door for Gerri the Cat.

Homer and the Homer Spit is at the bottom of this hill.  My destination is across Kachemak Bay from Homer.

I am quite surprised the water is so calm.  Yesterday's gale force winds should have stirred up the seas.

Cook Inlet.

I'm sitting behind Jay in the Storm Bird's pilot house as we approach the entrance to Halibut Cove.  On shore is Clem Tillion's new lighthouse, a long time dream coming true. 

Imagine renting this for a week or two.
My destination is at far left.   That's the boathouse.  Stillpoint Lodge is the brown building on top the hill.  I'll be staying in the owner's home, which is not visible in this photo.

Looks like a fine place to spend a month, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Garbage Artwork

Homer, Alaska, bills itself as at “the end of the road.”  That’s true.   It is indeed situated at the end of a road—this one the Sterling Highway.

There are a few other towns that bill themselves, or could, as at “the end of the road.”  Seward is one, located at the end of another road.  But, Seward could also call itself “at the beginning of the road” because Mile 0 starts in Seward at the edge of Resurrection Bay.  Anchorage people have a hard time understanding that the Seward highway terminates, not starts, in their city, because in Anchorage, it is a major north-south freeway.

But Homer has one a few other claims to fame.  It’s called the halibut capital of the world, too, for its incredible halibut fishery.  And, it’s known as an enclave of artists, writers, photographers, etc.
So it should come as no surprise that even the garbage can has seen the attention of an artist.

What began as a lowly 55-gallon drum, filled with whatever its manufacturer deemed, was pressed thereafter  into service as a garbage can at an overlook on the highway hill above Homer.  It was lined with a plastic bag and topped with a plastic cap—one with a swinging panel to allow depositing of trash.

What caught my eye was the imaginative use of dripping, running paint.  Kind of resembles my painting when I’m trying to do paint a wall or something else with a smooth finish.

In this case, however, it works.  Behold the designer garbage drum:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Equivalent of a Few Thousand Words

Two aspens in my yard.  Remember to click to enlarge.  This was two weeks ago.

A week ago.
My favorite birch tree.  I've been watching it through my kitchen window since it was a sapling.  It's always the brightest birch in the neighborhood.

Mountain Ash in Anchorage.
Across the highway.
Across the highway.
Mountain goats are basking in an afternoon sun.  You might have to click to enlarge this pix to see them.

All the following were taken in the Silvertip/Turnagain Pass area where I was picking up litter on an overcast day.