Yesterday I happened to be looking out the kitchen window at the lake cottage when I saw that a large bird was flying directly toward me. The Great Grey Owl flared its wings at the last second - when I could see the yellow of its eyes - and swooped up to land on our roof. What a majestic sight. And Me With No Camera...
Our last evening on Sanibel Island we took a break from buttoning up the house for hurricane season to take a last beach walk. It had been rainy on and off the past few days and there were lots of clouds in the sky so we weren’t expecting much from the sunset. Boy, were we wrong! As the sun neared the horizon, the gaps in the clouds lined up just right for a spectacular color show, perhaps the best sunset I’ve ever witnessed. And it went on for a long time, with clouds all over the sky reflecting pinks, oranges, reds and yellows, with some purple mixed in for good measure. We watched transfixed, while I silently kicked myself for leaving the camera back at the house.
Maybe we should explore the possibilities of getting small cameras grafted to the shoulder of certain anyporters who titillate us with photo descriptions but were without their cameras at the salient time. NB emoji demonstrating flash photography.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
I just walked down to the zócalo where the teachers are all camped. I wanted to see it because a friend had described it as "the worst chaos ever" -- a reference to the fact that the teachers do this every year.
Anyway, it was as bad as she said, with entire streets blocked, vendors squeezing into every available space, and the stench of unwashed bodies penetrating past the aromas from the food stands.
My poor mutts were freaked out by the crowds, so I just did a quick survey and started back home. The "no camera" part of this is coming upon a man pushing one of those trike carts up the hill. The cart portion was completely filled with live white chickens who seemed to be enjoying the ride.
I can just about guarantee that if I leave my camera home for an ordinary walk, something out of the ordinary will occur. Happened again today.
Our walk took us through the grounds of the Wisconsin Grand Army Home, a retirement home/nursing home for veterans. As we neared the chapel, we noticed a small gathering outside. Four uniformed soldiers with rifles and an officer waited on the sidewalk as a chaplain and four family members exited the chapel. Two soldiers in dress whites, one of them a woman, carried a folded flag which they ritually unfolded and held open as the riflemen fired three shots in unison and a bugler standing nearby blew taps. They then the two in dress whites ritually folded the flag back up and exchanged a series of very slow almost robotic salutes before spinning smartly on their heels and presenting the flag to one of the family members, and the funeral party broke up. There was no coffin or urn or hearse to be seen. I imagine these ceremonies happen at least several times a week, but it’s the first one we’ve happened on.
It happened again today - another walk, another me-without-my-camera moment. Though it’s probably just as well, as I’d have embarrassed myself and Mr. Kimby by trying to photo-document all the wonders we saw today.
We were walking past a particularly nice Frank Lloyd Wright-esque house with a yard graced with interesting modern sculptures. There was a man pulling weeds out front so I asked if he was the sculptor or the collector. Actually he designs them and has various artisans fabricate them. He asked if we wanted a tour, and being total strangers and not wanting to inconvenience him we tried to demur, but he wasn’t having it. He invited us inside to a fantastic architectural wonder filled with custom made furniture pieces, stained glass windows in unusual places, decorative motifs of wood and metal, salvaged architectural elements from public buildings and structural elements (beams, mostly) from demolished factories. There were dozens of different types of wood used, and our jaws were hanging open. I ran out of ways to say “wow”! And the collections! Art objects: Large carved wooden bowls, fine baskets constructed of stitched together birch bark, art prints from Matisse and others, photos of musicians, a collection of wooden pens made from wood from each tree that died or that he cut to build his house on the lakefront lot. Pocket knife collection in an antique quarter-sawn oak dentist’s drawer cabinet, carved duck decoys, weather vanes, Turkish rugs, all beautifully displayed. We were swooning. The man loved talking about his collection, and we loved hearing about it. I just wish I had photos of it all. I’m still overwhelmed.
Kimby, fanny pack? I carry mine over my shoulder when I want my phone or camera handy and don't have any pockets. This place sounds fantastic. And it's right in your neighborhood? Please go back and tell the man about all the avid anyporters who'd like to see his collections without leaving home, and would he mind if you took photos?
Here’s a 15 minute video of a bench made in the same style as a table we saw in the house we visited. It is created entirely of one piece of wood, entire, steamed and bent, with no fasteners. The table was more delicate than the bench but the process is the same.
So there I am at the local street market with no camera. A lady was standing in front of a butcher's cold case that was full of all kinds of sausages. She had a little -- smaller than average -- shiny black girl dachshund with her. The little dog kept jumping straight up so she could see inside the case, her little sausage bod going up and down as though on springs.
I almost never go out without my camera, since you saw in person that I don't mind just jamming it in the pocket of my jeans with no regard for propriety. And yet every now and then I do go out for a brief errand without my camera, generally just a round trip to a local supermarket. You cannot imagine the number of times I have regretted not being able to capture an image that I saw during that 15 minute period.
Coming back with the dogs from their walk this evening, we passed the cruz de piedra (not my photo) -- a popular spot for people to pose for pictures. There was a very little girl, maybe three years old, dressed as a nun, with two hovering photographers and a stage mother who fiddled and adjusted the wimple, veil, etc. The kid looked miserable. When her mother finally got the clothing fixed to her satisfaction, the child stood there in her little mary janes, quite still as directed. ......... and then they wanted her to move a few inches to the left.
If I'd had the camera with me I could show you three adults all happily oblivious to a patient little girl's feelings.