Saturday, January 21, 2006

The wren and the snake 1/21/2006


I stopped to photograph the cholla cactus. Then I saw what I can only assume is the nest of a cactus wren. In fact, three cactus wren nests! Who else would dare to go in there?

Well, apparently this snake, who never made it out.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The photo of the day is inside my head - Friday 1/20/2006

I saw a beautiful thing die today. A falcon darted out of the darkness that flanks Sierra Highway and into the light from the stream of cars heading down below. I thought he was going to make it. Enjoyed a second’s thrill in his flight before he connected with the windshield of the truck in front of me.

The photo of the day is a triple exposure.

Imagine the bird, alive and flying straight against a backdrop as dark as this exposure. Imagine the bird vaulted twenty feet straight up into the air. Imagine the bird, wings blown back from its fall, landing on the asphalt off your right fender.

It happened too fast for any shutter to catch, but it’s all there in my mind.

I burst into tears. I thought about turning around, braving the onslaught of vehicles, calling for animal rescue. But I know the falcon was dead before it hit the ground. The sound of the impact had reached me over the voice coming from my CD player. There’s no way that fragile body survived a sixty-mile an hour blow.

The rest of my drive felt like a funeral procession.

Usually, I’m good at rationalizing road kill. It’s part of the natural progression that things will die and that other things will live as a result of that death. The falcon was probably drawn across the highway by the shining eyes of a rabbit. I’m not a vegetarian any more, so how outraged am I allowed to be?

But something deep within me cries that falcons are supposed to be long lived. They’re supposed to glide and soar and cull the weak of other species.

And I’m not supposed to have to see one die. I’m not supposed to have to see my own beautiful fleeting life in the final flash of its cinnamon and rust wings.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

When good fruit goes bad - Thursday 1/19/2006

It’s not my job to provide social commentary.

I just take the pictures.

How does he know? -- Wednesday 1/18/2006


In the nearly 13 years we’ve had Dodger, we’ve probably had a cake box in the house 3-4 times. As soon as he saw this, he went over and started trying to get into it. When I was putting things away, he went back and made a little progress.

It’s leftover coconut cake from Sweet Lady Jane’s. Wow. He’s right, it’s delicious. I gave him a sliver with some milk in a little bowl.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Traffic Cop -- Tuesday 1/17/2006

At the corner of Barham and Cahuenga.

I want to take more pix of people. I think FrannieGirl’s fireman shot put the thought in the back of my head that cops and firemen, etc. are a little more public figures than just the guy drinking coffee at the cafe.

Almost got a shot of firemen down at the coffee shop, but then they saw me and started milling. This guy had to stay put.

Shot below is on Highland heading south, just past Highland. Sunset in Hollywood. Could today's road look any more different from yesterday's?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Roadrunner - Monday 1/16/2006

I was out for my little solo birthday hike around midday yesterday, and a roadrunner appeared in the path ahead of me! They are a pretty rare thing to see. Until we moved out here, I’d only seen one in my life. Since then, maybe on average once a year.

She popped into view at the left side of the trail, glided a few feet forward, turned and looked at me. Tail up, tail down, tail up. Repeated this about three times until she crested the hill.

I hope you haven’t strained your eyes looking for her. No, I didn’t get the shot. My camera was in my backpack and I just stood there grinning.

Of course, she was nowhere to be seen by the time I went over this rise. Wonder if she was watching me.

It felt like a very good omen. When I got back home, I checked my Medicine Card book to see what it means when a roadrunner wanders into your live. Had to check the table of contents three times. No roadrunner! I even had a picture in my mind of what the card looked like.

The creators of the book/cards provide blank cards so you’re free to design your own if an animal speaks to you. I never thought I’d have occasion to do it, but I sat down yesterday afternoon and wrote a preliminary interpretation of what the roadrunner means.

The whole encounter and subsequent thought processes gave me a big lift.

Bonus photo: tenacious weed.

N's cool cake - Sunday 1/15/2005

It was his first birthday. They didn’t have a Curious George themed cake, so his mom—my friend and coworker MM—put this together on top of a Madagascar themed-cake. I like the way he’s rising out of the lagoon.

The birthday boy was one of two babies whose moms brought them to work for about the first six months of their lives. We had a great time with them. Little S, who had also been in the office, came and sat on my lap twice! Quite a privilege.

It was a very relaxed, fun party. I ended up with lots of little cakey-fistprints on my dark brown shirt. Pretty perfect, really.