Stack ’em Up

Maui (1535 of 664)2119
Balconies of the Moana Surfrider on Waikiki (Honolulu, HI)
Maui (1534 of 664)2119
Balconies of the Moana Surfrider on Waikiki (Honolulu, HI)

An photo essay on vertical growth, stacking them up as high as we can…

Modern architecture. Shapes, geometry, symmetry, colours, lines of the city: a photographer’s candy store… From far and up close, we never lack for something to look at, to compose, to photograph. But soon enough it all starts to look the same, and losing sight of the forest for the trees becomes inevitable. The wide angle lens is never wide enough. Density and vertical expansion create vertigo. Noise, traffic, crowds moving at a dizzying pace; who has time to slow down? Who even knows to stop, take a breath, look around? We’re too busy.

Thankfully, a little distance provides a welcome relief from the constant din, from the incessant assault on the senses, numbing really. But to stack them up we must, to fit more and more of us in that same sought-after space. Growth is inevitable and must be embraced. Faster, faster, we go… Slower, slower, we get… but where?

Nature, beauty, solitude are my refuge. Where sounds and sights abound, senses are filled, yet where I can find a place just for me. Just to be… To discover… Thankful. Undisturbed. Quiet. Even just for a moment.

The stars are still visible in the lightening sky when I set off for a hike. Passed the floating bridge, I step off the trail into the wild prairie tall grass, shiny with giant drops of dew, and venture closer to the water. The white puffs my breath creates mirror the fog rising from the surface of the lake. The air is still. A bird chirps in the distance. A beaver slaps its tail in the water and swims off, only a few feet from me. A lonely merganser emerges from the fog, drifting. Deepening golden hues announce the imminent sunrise and the clouds shuffle over for a better view. A log—one half on land, the other submerged—provides the only seat I need for this show, just for me…

The sun has climbed high by the time I wake from my hypnotic trance, dazed, awed, enchanted, filled with joy, happy. The camper awakes to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and a smile. Morning. Unstacked. Life is good.

Sunrise_Lake Metigoshe (23 of 98)
Sunrise on Lake Metigoshe, North Dakota

Rising of the Night

 

SD2_ (961 of 1361)A corollary to Setting of the Sun

It was the time when night would rise from the gray waters of the [Saint-Lawrence] river.
“C’était l’heure où la nuit sortait des eaux grises du fleuve.” Jacques Poulin, Chat Sauvage

We are, well at least I am, creatures of habit. Often, if not always, we see things in the exact same way, and it would take quite a shock for us to think they could be otherwise. Such is the case with sunsets.

We have come to know and describe sunsets as an end—the end of day—likely because of the events that the term conjures, as that time of day when the sun reaches for the horizon, its light dimming, the colours of the sky changing, the night approaching. That time of day could also be know as “night rise;” we could describe dusk with reference to what the night is doing, instead of what the sun is doing…

Night Rises
Colours slowly dissolve, giving way to darkness
Creatures of the night shift about, mostly undetected
Movements become more deliberate, almost tentative
Sounds travel long distances to reach attentive ears
Stars brighten, twinkle, night visions
The black shroud wraps itself around our world
Signalling a time for sleep… Sweet dreams.

Where did I put it?

Maui (1347 of 2119)
A couple of Ruddy Turnstones at at the Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, on the Hawaiian island of Maui

I first met ruddy turnstones on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, at the entrance of the Bay of Tampa. From our very first encounter, it was impossible to forget their name (although I didn’t know the name at the time we met) because that is exactly what turnstones do: they turn stones on the beach looking for insects and other little creatures they can eat, quickly moving from one stone to the next, never staying in place for very long.

These two were enjoying the white foam on the shores of Keālia Pond on Maui.

Hey, look over here!
This one looks so familiar.
No, must be elsewhere…

Out of its shell…

Maui (131 of 2119)
Giant African Snail (this one was the size of a fist) on the wall

Native to Africa, this large snail was brought to Hawai‘i in 1936 as a garden ornamental and to be eaten. It is the largest land snail in Hawai‘i (can get up to 8 inches [ca. 20 cm] in length) and is considered an invasive pest because it feeds on the tender green leaves of garden and crop plants throughout the islands.

Capturing the Moment, by Daniel Perron