Tag Archives: water

Splash

Water. There is something about the sound of a splash, waves curling with foam before crashing onto the shore, the white noise of the ebb and flow of tides that brings a calm and focus to my brain, causing connections to build, ideas to generate, understandings to emerge.

Maybe it is the smell, briny molecules that tickle my nostrils.  Cool, damp. Particles searching for their polar opposites, sticking together, forming droplets that create a film on my skin, a chemical change that soothes not only the body but also the soul.

Could it be the walking that makes the difference? Putting one foot in front of the other, the bipedal motion integrating the hemispheres of the brain, breathing in and out, swinging arms in rhythm. Or is it the combination of water, walking, and fresh air that energize the mind, replenish the spirit, and allow for creative thinking and problem solving?

As I walk the shore my eyes search the horizon, taking in the blues and greens and all the shades of white.  I notice the ripples in the sand under my feet, the tiny bean clams sitting up on end partially buried, the uneven terrain of pools and islands revealed as the tides pull the water back.  Seagulls squawk, shouting directions and warning to their kin,  Sandpipers whistle their concerns.  Pelicans dive and float, soar and scan, only to dive again.  Children scream and squeal as they race into and out of the water.

In all of this commotion, there is stillness and space.  I breathe deeply, taking it all in.

Splash.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

I know I often take it for granted–that precious liquid that fills our bodies, covers most of our planet, and that has been rare here where I live for the past six years.  Drought reminds you how much you depend on water and all the dead lawns in the neighborhood are visual reminders of the impact of ongoing water restrictions.  But it’s been raining a lot around here lately.  Normal rainfall is about ten inches a year…and this year we’re already over eleven and a half inches with March still to come.  We returned to school on Monday after a week off with the rain steadily falling–and it rained and rained and rained.  We had rain for nearly 24 hours straight–something our area doesn’t handle very well.  When it rains like that, a waterfall appears in front of my classroom door.  I noticed this overflowing drainpipe Monday.

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And needless to say, our students were not enjoying their usual lunch area–instead they were ensconced in our classroom all day long.

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You might notice that there are few ways to get around without getting wet when it rains like this.  Kids get soaked going to the bathroom, we all got soaked on our way to the school library.  Water was everywhere on Monday!

On the day before, it was pretty clear that a storm was coming.  A walk on the beach was an exercise in dodging raindrops (success on that point!) and reveling in the many shades of gray as the clouds gathered overhead.  The wind attracted an intrepid windsurfer with a bright green sail…and my camera followed him around as I walked along the shore.

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And after a rainy Monday, it was surprising how beautiful the rest of the week has been.  By Wednesday, I walked in the afternoon sunshine after work.  You can see that this seagull and the surfer in the background where also enjoying the water…and the sun!

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After work today, I knew I would head for the water.  But I also wanted a change of pace–a new view, something to spark my imagination and my photography.  I headed to a nearby beach–but not the one I walk routinely.  The tide wasn’t very low this afternoon so I had mountains of rocks to climb.  I also found flights and flights of stairs.  I climbed for  a view above the water–and was rewarded with a treat for the eyes!  (No editing was needed or used as I captured this view of endless water.)

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But I did play around with this shot of a paddle boarder enjoying the cool waters on a Friday afternoon.  I wanted to intensify the colors and highlight the way the sun was shimmering on the water’s surface.

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As I scrolled through my photos this week, water was ever-present in one form or another.  What role does water play in your life and photography?  Does it fall from the sky or flow from the hose in your garden?  Do bodies of water call your name or do you find water in less obvious places?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #water for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Take a look around for water–in any of its forms.  What will you discover when you look at that amazing substance through the lens of your camera?  I know I can’t wait to find out!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

When your week throws you curves…take photos of them!  It’s been one of those stressful weeks.  Our third graders grappled with the mandated state testing, tensions are running high as decisions are made about staffing for next year, and the oft-promised rain actually came yesterday…the day before our annual (outdoor) ice cream social!

In spite of wanting to go home after work and just sit…I stopped by the beach to walk.  I’m so glad I did.  The rhythm of the waves and the wind in my face seemed to wash the stresses of the week away.  I didn’t walk far or fast, but my walk was deliberate and healing.  I went as far as this “corner,” and looked back on the beach from the curves in the wall.

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There are plenty of beach warnings after the rain–the surf is rough and unpredictable and the run-off from the storm drains introduces bacteria into the ocean water.  I sat for a few minutes watching the water run through the large curved drain pipes that allow water from the watershed into the ocean at the beach where I most often walk.

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Lucky for us, the rainy morning turned into a glorious afternoon and allowed students from our other school to come down for the promised band concert.  It’s fun to watch former students play their instruments…and then stop by afterward to give a hug to their past teachers!  The towering piles of curved clouds suggested there still might be storm to come…

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Our school is a place of much natural beauty.  While I was on playground duty earlier this week the curves of these roses caught my eye.  I love the hint of pink…

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And I continue to love the way the late afternoon sun comes in through my dining room window.  That light even makes the curves of a dying sunflower beautiful!  I love the contrasts of darks and brights, reminds me of paintings of “old masters.”

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When I did finally get home last night and took some time to sit and do nothing, I noticed this shadow and the curved lines of light and shadow. Was it a reflection from the blinds? A recording of my brain waves? Abstract art?

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So, what curves were thrown your way this week?  Grab your phone or camera and start snapping!

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #curves for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

What curves will you document this week?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wet

Do you speak in images? Enjoy taking photos to document your experiences or just to express what you notice in the world? Love to share them with others? Welcome to the weekly photo challenge! I post a new challenge each week…check in regularly and join the fun!

Here in Southern California we’re in the third year of drought conditions…and our normal rainfall is only ten inches annually, so you know it’s dry.  So when we get a forecast of rain, it’s an event!  Yesterday we were hearing the news of the storm that hit Northern California and watched the clouds begin to gather on our own horizon.  I love the drama of the clouds yesterday afternoon along the coast with the lifeguard tower in the foreground.

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As promised, rain arrived this morning.  The morning commute was quite an adventure with dark clouds and rain making it look almost like nighttime at 7:00am!  My windshield wipers raced and my tires created plumes of water as I drove through the rain pooling in large puddles in the street.

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And in spite of the leaky roof in my classroom and a rainy day schedule with kids spending their recesses and lunch in the classroom, we had a great day.  And we so need the rain!  Lucky for all of us, we were able to head outdoors for Friday afternoon Cardio Club…into the sunshine with blue skies in evidence!

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After school I couldn’t resist heading toward the beach to take a few pictures of the clouds and sun along the coast.  This view is looking south near the mouth of the lagoon.

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And even though it hadn’t rained in a few hours, when I arrived at home and opened my car door my eye was drawn to the raindrops on the clover-like grass growing in my lawn.  These truly precious wet jewels glistened in the afternoon sun against the green of the grass.

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Where do you find the wet in your world?  (And I’d love to learn some techniques to take better photos of rain!)  It could be on your dishes as you wash them, trickling down that festive holiday cocktail, in your pet’s water bowl, or outside…in your yard, community or the natural spaces around you.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!)

I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #wet for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So follow the water and find where it pools…what does wet look like through your lens?

Water on the Brain

Water: beautiful, powerful, moving, treacherous, life-giving, flowing through our veins, through earth’s veins, taken for granted, precious, tenuous, unpredictable, limited, overflowing…

I feel like I have water on the brain.  I woke this morning to images of water flowing–a water main break in Los Angeles had me gasping at the waste of a precious resource.  Our drought in Southern California–in CA as a whole (and other western states)–is so severe that I feel the constant of thirst, in my throat, in my heart, for our plants and animals, for our people. Reservoirs and lakes have shrunken to show thick exposed shorelines, creeks are but a distant memory of a trickle.  And the flooding in Colorado has me wishing we could share in this bounty rather than experience the extremes of water.

Floods, like their cousins wildfires, remind us that there is much we do not and cannot control.

I spent time today on the banks of the Clark Fork River in Missoula, MT learning and thinking about the indigenous stories of this place.  The beauty of the river masks its troubled history and ancient lineage.  Indigenous and scientific knowledge swim in these waters that tourists may see as a playground, a place for floating on inner tubes and cooling off in the 90 degree temperatures.

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Inspired by the water, I wrote with others as part of a mini writing marathon at our Intersections meeting today.  The writing was rich and layered with stories of experiences with water…or no water.  And changing the lens…through the indigenous stories and science…prompted our memories and connections, letting the stories pour like the water itself.

Like water, there is power in writing.  Power to connect, to heal, to think and reflect.  We sometimes forget that writing in unexpected places, creates new urgency and agency for our writing.  So go outside, find a place by a river, on the curb, under a tree, or even sit on the car bumper and see what writing comes when you change your lens.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

Here’s the week 12 Weekly Photo Challenge prompt for the NWP iAnthology!

Water: essential to life, powerful, relaxing…devastating in excess and in scarcity.  It’s a source of entertainment, a source of beauty, a source of energy, and so much more.  My go-to image of water almost always has to do with the ocean–probably a side effect of living not too far from the sea.  So I had to look further to capture a variety of water images.

Here is one of water flowing down some chutes at a local water conservation garden.  I like that this image captures movement and energy.

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And here’s another with some movement captured looking into a koi pond not far from my son’s house in the Bay Area.  I like the way the bubbles sit on the surface of the water as the colorful fish swim by underneath.

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And here is another view of water…where the water isn’t even visible!  This is a water tower at a nearby golf course.  You can’t actually see the water, but the sight of the tower suggests water.  I do wonder if this is the source of water for keeping the golf course green and lush.

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And then there is that rare form of water for me…rain.  I captured this shot during my morning playground duty on a rainy morning a week or so ago.  I love that wetness is not a reason to keep our students in!  (You’ll notice it’s wet, but it isn’t actually raining at the time of the photo.)

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And of course, I can’t resist one ocean picture!  Here is a shot of a surfer riding a wave in Ocean Beach.  I took this photo from my vantage on the pier, looking down onto the surfers below.  I got a series of shots of this guy…he got quite a ride!

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So this week’s photo challenge is to find images of water in any form.  They can be natural bodies of water: rivers, streams, puddles.  It can be water from a sprinkler, a tap, your pet’s water bowl…you decide!  Post either the photo alone or along with writing inspired by the photo. I also invite you to use others’ photos as inspiration for your own writing and photography. I often use another photographer’s image as “mentor text” for my own photography, trying to capture some element in my own way.

I like to share my images and writing on social media…and I invite you to share yours widely too. (You might consider Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+) Use the hashtag #water and include @nwpianthology to make it easy for us to find and enjoy. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @kd0602. I’d love to follow you if you share your handle.

You can also share your photos and writing by linking to this blog post or sharing in the comment section below. Can’t wait to see the watery world through your lens!