... 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 [...]
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 [...]
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.
We're packing up for a move to the Northwest. It will be a year-plus endeavor -- a relocation based on pragmatic considerations. I've been a Californian for the better part of 20 years, so the best way to embrace a transition across state lines is to see my future there as a photographic adventure. That part is undeniably alluring. Orcas come to mind. In the meantime, as I'm busy packing boxes, injuring and hobbling my [...]
A photograph's true essence is visceral: How does it make you feel? What does the image inspire? It's an impression that defies pixel peeping -- where the mood and meaning of a photo can be crushed in a haze of digital noise, scrutinized at 100 percent.
"It's the magic towers of a steel fairyland -- the beacon atop the proud Mark, the red, thermometer-like cap of the Drake, the sturdy, four-square crest of Mother Russ, the sudden, blunt end of Coit Tower -- that make up the minarets of a metropolis . . ." "It's the indescribable conglomeration of beauty and ugliness that makes San Francisco a poem without meter, a symphony without harmony, a painting without reason -- a city [...]
This was a first for me . . . witnessing a down and dirty fight between American Coots intent on keeping each other off coveted turf. Neither bird was hurt. Well, maybe emotionally. The loser scrambled across the water to escape the victor. American Coots can drown in territorial battles, although it's not common. They pound each other with their huge, feet (and those lobed toes) and sometimes one coot is held under water in [...]
Refined carbs aren't any better for pigeons than they are for us. But urban birds, used to groveling for handouts, will take what they can get. This mottled pigeon person stumbled upon a bounty in Mission Bay. We could hear a gang of gulls on the approach so the pigeon was in his own Amazing Race to stuff this broken baguette into his crop. I'm not sure about the plumage variation on this pigeon -- [...]