SPIRIT STANDING STILL - a blog about photography, mostly
"No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen." (Minor White)
"The valley of the San Joaquin is the floweriest place of world I ever walked, one vast, level, even flower-bed, a sheet of flowers, a smooth sea, ruffled a little in the middle by the tree fringing of the river and of smaller cross-streams here and there, from the mountains." - John Muir
Today is the birthday of John Muir. Everywhere I’ve looked during this extraordinary flowery spring, I remember Muir’s words. The San Joaquin valley is no longer that “floweriest place” but, just to the west of the San Joaquin, there is another valley which, in a good year, is deserving of the title: the Carrizo Plain. Shown here are some of the images from my visit there earlier this month. Happy Birthday Mr. Muir!
“Well may the sun feed them with his richest light, for these shining sunlets are his very children -- rays of his ray, beams of his beam! One would fancy that these California days receive more gold from the ground than they give to it. The earth has indeed become a sky; and the two cloudless skies, raying toward each other flower-beams and sunbeams, are fused and congolded into one glowing heaven."
This is what I think of, when I think of California. Timeless scenes that have endured, and even improved, over the years. Velvety green hills dotted with oaks - fields of wildflowers along Shell Creek Road - sea otters taking a morning bath. New images from the Central California coast, just added to the California Spring collection.
Since today is officially Fun Day (or Fun at Work Day) here’s a bit of abstract fun - a new photomontage. This one started (I think) with a bit of texture, and grew into something which has a sort of midcentury modern feel. Maybe it’s the simple shapes and retro colors (avocado green, anyone?) - or maybe it’s that hint of naugahyde. Makes me want to put on a shirtwaist dress and relax on the davenport with a martini.
I must have flowers, always and always - Claude Monet
Southern California’s wildflowers continue to color the landscape. If the orange poppies of Lake Elsinore embody the inland heat, then the purple hues of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve reflect its cooler ocean climate. A different color palette, but the same painterly feel. Mother Nature is a masterful impressionist, but I enhanced the feeling by adding a little photo impressionism of my own to some of the photos. As an added bonus, the thick fog rolled in, setting the stage for my favorite image of the day (with nary a flower in sight). The images seen here, and several others, have been added to the California Spring gallery. I hope you’ll take a look.
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© Fay Henexson
Favorite Sites / Recents Reads
In the Moment: Michael Frye's Landscape Photography Blog
Carol Leigh photography blog
David du Chemin photography blog
Fine Art Landscape Photography of Seung Kye Lee
My Modern Met "where art enthusiasts and trend spotters connect over creative ideas"
Ian Plant Dreamscapes photography blog
William Neill's Light on the Landscape photoblog
Art Wolfe blog
Recently read, and highly recommended:
The creative habit (Twyla Tharp)
The museum of extraordinary things (Alice Hoffman)
Snow hunters (Paul Yoon)