storms

Wild, Wild Sea

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Stormy beach 2016

Give me a wild sea with boiling clouds, wind that lifts my hair and shuffles the birds around willy nilly.  Give me a wild sea with chocolate waves, briny foam and pelicans diving between large waves.  Give me a wild sea in the middle of winter and an empty space where I can breathe.  Give me a wild sea where salty air is forced into my nostrils, down into my lungs cleansing my body.  Give me a wild sea.

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Paradise

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The beach is my meditation.  Admittedly, a blue sky/hot beach/perfect day bores me to tears.  I’m not a lay-in-the-sun kind of person.  Can’t think of anything more boring than that.  Okay, okay, I can see where it would be relaxing to many…but not to me.

The kind of beach I love are sunrise and sunset beaches with few people.  Stormy beaches that kick up sea foam, with wild clouds and wild sea.  Foggy beaches that stir my imagination.  Beaches with birds and crabs, dolphins and whales.  Cloud parades on the horizon.  That interests me.

The Shrimp Boat

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I waited forever for the shrimp boat to glide into the silver shaft of light created by a dimmed sun over stormy seas.  The resulting images were disappointments – many shots hurriedly taken could not compare with any of the before shaft/after shaft shots.  But I was not disappointed overall for the experience, which turned out to be rather surreal.  The light was exquisite.

Reflections

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It’s all in how you see things….

Recently, we shared our home with two friends; Bo from Wisconsin stayed one week followed by Al from Texas who stayed the following week.

Early in Al’s visit he and I walked the beach looking for shark’s teeth and treasures.  He remarked that the beach isn’t his favorite place because it never changes.  Imagine my surprise.  Our friend is an avid explorer with a remarkable curiosity that I admire.  All environments change daily, minutely, assuredly.  Because I photograph this beach on a weekly, sometime daily basis I have never been disappointed by its diversity of mood.  Our amazing earth delights me – desert, prairie, river, sea …. meadow, mountain, forest, canyon … grassland, farmland, tundra, rainforest.  This planet changes daily, either minutely or in grand ways.  The trick is to sit still and notice, appreciate them all for what they are without judgement.  Al has documented incredible beauty in Texas with the promise to introduce me to the luscious diversity of his environment when we visit.  I am really looking forward to seeing his world. 

The week before our Texas friend arrived we had the pleasure of hosting one of my Wisconsin blogging friends for a week.  Bo, a remarkable woman and incredible nature photographer – had shared with me through our many animated conversations her thoughts on taking that first shot in the wilds.  First, she sits quietly until the buzz and hum of nature creeps into her soul.  She listens for birds and insects and the cracks and snaps of nature.  She smells the air for subtle scents.  She journals her feelings about the place and how it makes her feel.  She begins to look closely at her surroundings, noticing the light, angles, shapes, geometry and colors.  Only then does she consider her first shot. That, my friends, blew me away. I often simply begin clicking just because it’s there without actually noticing what’s before me.  That sounds odd, but its true.  Five years ago I found Bo’s blog skimming the blogroll of another friend.  Its title caught my attention – Seeded Earth.  Well, that is just so “me.”  Over time we have become fast friends – soul friends. 

Certain people have a gift for truly living and seeing our world in all its glory.  Bo and Al’s visits freshened my vision of my beach and its various habitats – maritime forest, salt marsh, brackish river, ocean and sand – and I fell in love with it all over again.  Al eventually saw the beauty of salt marsh and beach after a week of “immersion therapy.”  He left here refreshed and fully appreciative of the beauty of this place.  Thank you my Texas and Wisconsin friends for your wisdom and your forever friendship – you both bring such joy into my life.  Each of you in your own way reassures me, accepts me, lifts me up and teaches me new appreciation for the blessings before me.