Aesacus

SSA Photography (253 of 400)

This panorama was taken near Carmel Point, the southernmost point of the coastline in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.  The title, Aesacus, alludes to the myth memorialized in Chapter 11 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.  The youth Aesacus fell in love with Hesperia.  As he pursued her, she was bitten by a snake and died.  Aesacus gives a brief soliloquy lamenting her death, which he says was caused by him and the snake equally.  The sentence after his speech contains one of my favorite images in Augustan-era poetry: “Dixit et e scopulo, quem rauca subederat unda, se dedit in pontum.”  (“So he spoke, and from the cliff, which the rough waves had eaten away below, he gave himself to the sea.”)  As Aesacus fell, the ocean goddess Tethys took pity on him and changed him into a diving bird.  Watching the five diving birds in the photograph flying between rocks (eaten away by the sea) made me think at once of the Aesacus myth, which gave the scene such a mournful subtext.

Click here for a larger version.

 

Down East

SSA Photography (11 of 400)

This photograph of a squat lighthouse was taken in southeastern Maine, where my dad was born and raised.  Hundreds of these lighthouses dot the rocky coast, and each one of them is unique and picturesque in its own right.

Click here for a larger version.

Pebble Hill Cypress

SSA Photography (221 of 400)

This photograph is a morning panorama of the Pebble Hill golf course just outside of Carmel, California.  In fact, the photograph was taken on the beach of Carmel Bay.  Beyond the point at the far left of the photograph is Spyglass Cove, where I have sat a number of times and just watched the sea otters and harbor seals bob between the long, whip-like strands of bull kelp.

Click here for a larger version.

Rhododendron

SSA Photography (157 of 400)

This photograph of a rhododendron bulb was one of the first macro photographs that I ever took.  It was taken in Deep Gap, North Carolina (near Brevard and Cashiers) on the property of a very close friend where my family spends two weeks in July and again at Christmas each year.   The word rhododendron is Greek for “rose tree” and counts azaleas among its many varietals.  The beautiful white-petaled flowers on this Rhododendron Maximum (“Rosebay” or “American” Rhododendron) had not yet emerged on the trees on the property, but the compact tulip-like bulbs were ripe to bloom very soon thereafter.

Click here for a larger version.

Pisgah Bridge

SSA Photography (114 of 400)

This photograph was taken in the Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina, near Asheville and Hendersonville.  The Pisgah, as it is known, is a stunning forest with dozens if not hundreds of waterfalls and scenic trails.  There are multiple creeks and rivers running through the forest, with the Davidson being the primary tributary to the French Broad that runs the length of the forest.  The simple beauty and shadow-play of this stone bridge struck me to such a degree that I pulled off the side of the road to try to capture the chiaroscuro in a photograph. I may have nearly fallen down the embankment, but I got the picture…

Click here for a larger version.

Jewel

SSA Photography (26 of 400)

This photograph was taken in a fjord near Skagway, Alaska while on a cruise up the inner passage.  The colors and striations on the ice, especially on the glaciers (which you can see in my gallery “Ice“) were simply breathtaking.  This little iceberg was no exception.  The deep teal of the water and the smokiness of the ice made the ice look like an uncut gemstone.  The reflection on the lower left side of the ice gives it some depth, and alludes to the ninety-percent of the “jewel” which remains unseen under the water.

Click here for a larger version.