Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kudos to Kelp

Three Stones and Surf

The Point Lobos was described by Tasmanian landscape painter Francis McComas as “the greatest meeting of land and water in the world.”  He left this earth in Pebble Beach so he certainly thought so. Still that’s some lofty lingo to describe a tiny, rocky headland.  There are legions of Mainers who would put Acadia and Monhegan into the ring with the Central Coast contender any old time.  Weston battles Wyeth in a steel cage death match.

Sea Foam

Part of the rocky part of the rocky headlands

Kelp in black and white

Kelp in Color
Unhappily for me I erased two memory cards from our recent California sojourn, erased that is before downloading the images.   So half of what I could have shown and told about Point Lobos has vanished into nothingness along with half my shots from the former Fort Ord where I majored in Army Basic Training and minored in AWOL on Carmel's Main Beach during the summer of 1960.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

California Dreaming

Point Lobos Morning
To say that California is a trove of topographic diversity puts it mildly.  With Mediterranean, Alpine, and three desert ecosystems to mention just a few the Golden State has about every kind of terrain you could want.  In the course of three trips there since November I’ve spent five weeks seeing just a fraction of its bounty and reckon I'll be back for more. So much state and so little time.
Within this wide array reside two iconic photographic locations, Point Lobos on the Central Coast and Zabriskie Point in Death Valley.  Both have lured generations of photographers most notably Edward Weston at Point Lobos just a football throw away from his house on Wildcat Hill.
Zabriskie Point
Here are three images from a week ago, one from Point Lobos, one from Zabriskie Point and one from the oak flecked hills above Carmel Valley.  The soft shouldered meadows of California’s Central Valley represent the Golden State like nothing else to me.   They may lack the drama of the shore and desert but they color my first childhood memories in Salinas and San Leandro.
Oaks and Meadow, Coastal Range
Remember to click on the images to see them full size.  The tall state needs a big screen.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cactus Flower

After a week in California you’d think I’d post something from the Golden State but, alas, the computer gremlins have been in attack mode so I’m going with something from the archives.  The cactus hails from Ghost Ranch and, since we were just there, the image seems timely or at least excusable.  There’ll be precious little verbiage with this one since the gremlins have prevailed and I'm retreating to fight another day. 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Working Hands

From time to time I pull a golden oldie out my hip pocket.   Such is the case with this one of a codger and his pen knife making a whistle from a pea pod.   We found our fun anywhere we could back in the hardscrabble 1830s I can tell you that. 

The scene was Old Sturbridge Village in western Massachusetts in the early 1970s and may have been at Thanksgiving.   We enjoyed several Thanksgivings at Sturbridge when we westerners gloried in the colors, tastes and rich history of New England.  New England became our true home, the place where we spent thirty years, our children became adults and my restaurant career flourished and flagged till I rode off into the sunset 10 years ago.

Our gambrel colonial home in Ipswich was the Dennis Dodge house built in 1740.  Replete with seven fireplaces, a Jacobean staircase and a walk in fireplace with a beehive oven in the kitchen the house was magic to me.  My drive home from my office in Burlington was a 45 minutes of freeway travel and never did I regret the trip or stop relishing my return.  Garrett was baptized by Edward French at the Episcopal Church down the street.  French who had been John Updike’s Harvard roommate drove a 1968 Mercedes convertible, my favorite vehicle ever, and was married to a fiery redheaded Ballantine heiress.  Updike had also lived in Ipswich but had moved to Georgetown, Massachusetts with his former mistress and now wife.   I could write a book.  Oh wait, Updike did that.  It was a potboiler called Couples.

Old Sturbridge Village is a living museum in Sturbridge, Massachusetts which recreates life in rural New England from the 1790s through the 1830s. The Village includes 59 antique buildings, three mills and a working farm.  Customed interpreters like our old friend share the mysteries of early nineteenth century life with visitors from around the globe.
This image unlike the large format portrait posted on March 18 is from a scanned 35mm negative.