Originally published at The Wild Beat in 2013 I stepped out of a mist and I knew I am. I am what I am. And then I thought, 'But what have I been before?' And then I found that I had been in a mist, not knowing to differentiate myself from things; I was just one thing among many things." ~ Carl Jung, The Red Book I used to think about Jung and bird [...]
I recently had the opportunity discuss photography and field craft with International Bird Rescue. Many thanks to Russ Curtis and International Bird Rescue for the generous and lovely presentation. They do the work of angels -- for the many wild ones among us.
I saw this group of cormorants off the coast of Oregon, framed by the tumult of the Pacific. It struck me how nonchalant their poses were as they preened their plumage in the midst of raging sea. Where we might crumble under the power of these swells, the pelagic beings thrive here, in a sheen of feathered wet suits. We're tiny beings, really -- we humans who claim dominion. We're specks on a loom, where the feathered ones weave their patterns on waves ... and fling themselves [...]
Great Blue in a single-wing stretch ... reflected in Elliott Bay like an ink blot.
... at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California I originally named this portrait "Standing Room Only." I'd never seen a Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) creep chest-high into a pool -- then just stand there forever like a Japanese snow monkey. This pose made me laugh as I watched the heron soak up the swirls of his own private day spa. One of my Facebook friends wrote, "what is this lil man doing?" That comment captured [...]
In my previous post, I mentioned a Western Gull I managed to rescue ... by true luck. Here's that story. We were in Los Angeles all of January and part of February, and in the context of a chaotic month, I stole an hour to go strolling on the beach. On my walk over through Redondo Beach, I saw two Black Phoebes (Sayornis nigricans), one who preferred automobile side mirrors as perches. She'd flutter [...]
First there was Blue. She came to us from the great blue, the wild blue, as blue as Lightin' Slim, singing pigeon blues, not Rooster Blues. She came on banded foot, born of two other Blues who gave our Blue her azul feathers and fuchsia feet ... in a lineage that swept back through the blueness of her grandparents and past the great grandparents before them. They all commanded the skies and taught Blue, [...]
The color white represents catharsis in alchemy. It's the point at which a blackened substance, through heat and reactivity, develops a white crust and then puffs into a cloud inside the alchemist's flask. It's the stage at which future possibilities become apparent as a material is transformed from one to the other. And it's symbolized by a white swan or white eagle. In Arthurian tales, it was believed the elusive white hart (or stag) [...]
"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."~ Artist Georgia O'Keeffe Gulls are among the birds I call "gateway birds." They're common and accessible. They [...]
A friend linked to this story in her Facebook feed today: Why do Photo Contest Winners Look Like Movie Posters? Post-processing is obviously not a new topic ... and it's one that's been evolving alongside digital photography and darkroom skills. This particular piece questions the lighting on the winning image in the World Press contest, citing photojournalistic ethics in the critique. (The World Press winning image and other entries are here: World Press Photo.) I've [...]