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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