SSA Photography (378 of 400)

This photograph was taken outside of Haworth, West Yorkshire, England during a walk about the moors.  The beautiful wall has been disassembled by hand in the middle to make a small passage for wanderers, like we were, to pass through.  Many, if not most of the walls were installed in the Victorian era as a result of the Inclosure Acts, which required landowners to enclose their land to stake a claim to it – a departure from the manorial, open field system, an antiquated remnant of the feudal system.  As with many of the sturdy walls in Yorkshire, this one has no mortar, but instead relies on the skill of the stonemason to create an edifice that has lasted and will last for many generations to come.  Notably absent from this picture are the two curious Swaledale sheep (the breed most often found on the moors) that accompanied us assiduously through these large, adjoining acres.

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Ordo Saxae

SSA Photography (197 of 400)

I find patterns in nature fascinating.  “Ordo Saxae” is Latin for a row of rocks.  As is always the case, there is something lost in translation – not only is it a row, but there is an order (ordo) about the perfect arrangement of the outcropping.  These particular rocks reach out across Carmel Bay towards Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.  The linear quality of the jagged rocks is offset by the jumbled ones in the foreground, but my eye keeps going back to the organic ordo ab chao of the rocks that stretch out towards Point Lobos in the distance.

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Marine Layers

SSA Photography (177 of 400)

This photograph was taken just after dawn in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in Carmel, California.  The stratification in the photo is a result of the low “marine layer” rolling in over the bay, which layer forms in the summer months as the warmer air above the Pacific is cooled by the ocean waters.  The resulting gradient was interesting in full color, but I felt that the monochromatic layers gave the photograph a more distinct presence, which is set off nicely by the black and white gull.

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SSA Photography (368 of 400)

I had to admire (and endeavor to capture) the symbolism of this little “resurrection” fern growing on the outside wall of the priory at Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire, England.  An epiphyte, the resurrection fern curls up and appears desiccated and dead during periods of drought, but at the first rain, the fern is restored to the verdant little plant you see here.  The presence of this rebirth clinging onto the stones of the still-intact wall of an otherwise ruined monastery struck me as a fitting metaphor for an ever hopeful, resilient spirit.  I find poetry in the littlest things–but only if I permit myself the time to look.

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Murder of One

SSA Photography (301 of 400)

Taken at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve in Carmel, California, this American Crow was quite inquisitive and not frightened by the rambunctious four year old, who was hurtling smooth pebbles into the water at an otherwise alarming pace or the amateur photographer fumbling to fit his telephoto lens on his camera.

As you can see in the gallery “Birds,” I have a fascination with blackbirds – crows in particular.  Be it Wallace Stephens’ Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, or stories of crows fashioning tools or dropping walnuts in an intersection so that they could be crushed by the cars and then swooped up and enjoyed by the ingenious little creatures, I have always felt that crows have an anthropomorphic quality, a certain misunderstood humanity about them.  I think this photograph captures the beauty and thoughtfulness of this particular crow, who was patently observing me as much as I was observing him.

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