northern california

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Bird Verse: Eastern Gods

They are eastern gods -- they meditate. (Yes they are.) "The Owls" by Charles Baudelaire (translated by Edna St. Vincent Millay) The owls that roost in the black yew Along one limb in solemn state, And with a red eye look you through, Are eastern gods; they meditate. No feather stirs on them, not one, Until that melancholy hour When night, supplanting the weak sun, Resumes her interrupted power. Their attitude instructs the wise To [...]

2012-12-13T21:10:57+00:00 December 13th, 2012|Uncategorized|5 Comments

Texturizing a Storm

Memory is quite central for me. Part of it is that I like the actual texture of writing through memory. ~ Kazuo Ishiguro I saw a crow yesterday, seized in midair by a gale. Just five feet from her tree, she paddled against the swell like a swimmer in an Endless Pool. I may not remember her well, except as form and contrast against the texture of turbulence . . . or later, as a [...]

2010-11-18T00:36:16+00:00 November 18th, 2010|Uncategorized|2 Comments

So Long, Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt was the first place I touched soil -- or rather, marine sediment --after returning to the Bay Area from Los Angeles. We were perched above Oakland in a hotel room with just a sliver of a view, looking at the lake through what amounted to a castle loophole.

2010-08-07T23:45:37+00:00 August 7th, 2010|Birds, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Dragonfly or Damselfly? A Few Clues

Re-posted from last year -- in tribute to burgeoning life on the springtime pond. In this melee of global strife and catastrophe, there's at least one thing you can know for sure: dragonfly or damselfly. I blame the awesome macro of my telephoto lens for this post. I went to UC Berkeley Botanical Garden for a walk and some flower macro practice. I was barely 100 yards inside the gate when I noticed the thinnest [...]

2010-05-25T00:05:31+00:00 May 25th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Ravens of Ocean Beach

With onshore winds, Ocean Beach is my favorite place to photograph ravens. Along the Great Highway, these feathered balls of onyx launch into the wind like superheroes, hovering over the beach below with tails trailing like capes. I had some time to kill after an appointment in the Sunset. I grabbed my camera and headed to a drizzly beach -- uncommonly drizzly and cold in May, even for San Francisco. I saw just [...]

2010-05-22T02:35:17+00:00 May 22nd, 2010|Uncategorized|2 Comments

The Saucy Sailor Boy

I have a weakness for bad lyrics, and 18th century sea chanties like The Saucy Sailor Boy probably take the prize. If you live here in San Francisco, you can take the kids (or just your own self) to Hyde Pier for monthly (and free) Sea Chanty Sing-a-Longs. You'll get hot cider if you bring your mug. I can't say if the sailor boys (and girls) aboard these container ships are saucy. But you can [...]

2010-05-19T02:21:38+00:00 May 19th, 2010|Uncategorized|1 Comment


I'm keen to see eyes peering out of mudflats . . . the creatures from the bog, the foraging carp, the bullfrog in camo, a Pacific chorus frog in a dewdrop. I shot this photo at Blake Garden, just north of Berkeley in the Kensington Hills. My vision is tuned to anomalies and, sure enough, there was one: a frog basking unnoticed, up to his eyeballs (literally) in spring mud. Blake Garden -- [...]

2010-03-21T11:02:57+00:00 March 21st, 2010|Uncategorized|1 Comment