(With the appropriate attribution and apology to Mr. Buffett)
One of the podcasts I listened to yesterday afternoon was the latest on David DuChemin’s A Beautiful Anarchy. In it, David talks about the concept of Gargoyles as it relates to the “demons” we face in our lives, mostly as they relate to our creativity, but also as they relate to the filtering of all the so-called scary stuff we read and hear about daily.
Kathy & I have recently been having discussions about the idea of the ‘boogieman,’ or ‘monsters under the bed,’ as it relates to all of the conflicting information flowing from all corners of the world, and the fact that all of this stuff sounds scary until you figure out whether it is real or just stuff that is made up to scare us. My thoughts are percolating on this subject and I may have more to say about it as I give it some more time. Suffice it to say that a lot if the stuff that we react to – even if it does happen to be true – is way too often irrelevant to our own circumstances and only stands to get in our way.
Along similar but different lines, we struck up a conversation yesterday with a family who happens to have reserved beach chairs to ours that was interesting. She happens to be a news anchor for a television station in Youngstown, OH, and was remarking about how few masks they saw on people down here. She said that in Ohio it was unusual for people to not be wearing masks and that she was surprised. Yesterday we were at the beach from about 8:00am until about 6:00pm and saw a total of 4 people wearing masks, out of the hundreds we saw parading up and down the beach. Now, those same people might still be wearing masks to the grocery store, I don’t know. And of course we’re all outside and the beach – except at high tide – is pretty big. But still. Things have appeared to be quite a bit more relaxed here, whatever the reason. It’s been nice to be away from all of the boogieman talk.
Kathy & I arrived in Hilton Head Island, SC yesterday for a week. Hilton Head is our absolute favorite beach destination and we love to come here as often as we can. There are other beaches that are “hoitier” and “toitier” than HHI but we find this to be just right for us. Beautiful beach, nice restaurants (when we want to eat out) and convenient grocery stores and other services.
Our rationale is that we’re going to live here for a week just like we would live at home…with a better view! We brought a supply of food so we can minimize our going out – just like home. Interesting so far that – other than one gas station just south of Columbia – we haven’t seen a single person wearing a mask. Take that however you want, but things are overall a bit more relaxed here than in the Big City. We are on Island Time, after all!
Here in the southeast US, winter takes two forms. The first is “the leaves are gone and it’s cold,” and the second is “OH !@#$%.” This coming weekend appears to be “OH !@#$%” and it isn’t even officially winter yet! The forecast is calling for 8-12″ of snow and low temperatures in the 20s. We’ll see, but it looks like the confidence is pretty high. Yikes.
One of the things that Kathy & I have been talking about for this winter is what temperature to set the thermostat at. Now that we’re home every day we don’t want to leave it set at 65 degrees like we did when we worked. But we don’t want to keep it set too high, as we’d like to keep from blowing the gas bill out of the proverbial water. So ‘what to do’ has been the question.
Perhaps not coincidentally, I have found myself somewhat more sensitive to the cold this year (yes, I know that it hasn’t gotten cold yet!). While my philosophy has always been to make sure I am wearing adequate clothing before turning up the heat, I’ve been finding it necessary to resist turning it too high this year.
At one point I told Kathy – jokingly – that maybe we should think about moving to Arizona. But at some point yesterday we decided that even if the gas bill doubled – which it won’t – it would still be cheaper than moving to Arizona! Although I will admit to looking at cruises leaving this weekend to see if we could escape to the Caribbean! But we opted to tough it out here at home, and turn up the thermostat if we need to.
I don’t get bird photos like my buddy Don Brown, but once in a while I see birds. This flock passed over us one evening at the beach – I’m pretty sure they are some kind of geese, but looked too dark to be Tundra Swans or Snow Geese. Probably Canada Geese. They were going the right way, though – South! They were so high up that I couldn’t hear them squawking over the sound of the surf, but I’m sure they must have been noisy.
There were so many of them in so long a line that I couldn’t get them all in one shot. Who ever thought of shooting birds with a wide-angle lens?!?!
I mentioned in a previous post about how I happened upon this scene and wanted to share a few more of the resulting photos.
Kathy & I had made a day trip to Beaufort, SC and stopped by Port Royal on the way back. In Port Royal we had stopped at a little park with a boat ramp, boardwalk and an observation tower. It was really buggy there so we didn’t stay long, but while we were at the top of the tower I noticed that there were some fishing boats farther along the river.
We stopped in town and took a little walk, then when we were back in the car and getting ready to head back to Hilton Head, I decided to just go down one of the side streets to see where it lead. As it turned out it lead directly to the dock where the fishing boats were! And just in time to make some photos of a beautiful sky before heading back to our “home away from home.”
A technique that I love to use at the beach is motion blur. This can take the form of long shutter speeds on a tripod, or panning the camera along the scene or with a moving wave. It can convey a feeling of motion, simplify a busy scene or just look “pretty.” It doesn’t work just anywhere, and I’ve become pretty good about knowing when to use it.
I hadn’t tried using motion blur much this trip until I was reminded of it in a recent Instagram post by William Neill. Bill originally inspired me to try using motion blur years ago, and his work continues to inspire me.
Last night while we waited to see if the moonrise would be visible, I tried using a slow shutter speed on the water, the sky and even some sea oats blowing in the wind. A few of them came out OK, so I thought I would share.