Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thoreau,Wendell Berry,Douglas McArthur and Me....

Cooper's Hawk in the yard.                                     
"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each. Let these be your only diet-drink and botanical medicines.  Grow yellow and ripe with autumn.  Drink of each season's influence as a vial for your especial use."
Henry David Thoreau 
Pacific Tree Frog .  So cool.
P. walks in the forest. 
  "Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay.  Want more of everything ready made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have window in your head.  Not even your future will be a mystery any more.  Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer."
Wendell Berry, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front 
 Best catch of the day.
If there is a trail, P. will find it.  She seems to say, "Let's go this way!"
And then we found this
Nature's dream catcher or Halloween remind?  There were many, many more like this in one area.

And they glistened with marine influence caught up in the webbing.  Interesting in a spooky way. 

Two pals share some late summer shade.
A Dreamer
and also
A Player
I came across this quotation I have kept in my drawer for a long time. It is by, of all people, Douglas McArthur.  No,  he is not my champion of great historical character.  I don't look for military heroes, and if I did, I'm quite sure it wouldn't be him.. I don't agree with or admire him, but somehow this piece of writing that he wrote resonates with me. 
"Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind.
Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years, people grow old by deserting their ideals.
Years may wrinkle the skin but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
You are as young as your faith,
as old as your doubts
as young as your self confidence
as old as your fear
as young as your hope 
as old as your despair.
In the center place of your heart , there is a recording chamber.
So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young.
When the wires are all down and your heart is covered with the snow of pessimism."
and the ice of cynicism, then and then only are you grown old." 
By: Douglas McArthur
And just below it in a tattered old notebook, some of my own thoughts from a time previous.  Here is one for you called
"Floating Candles"
What if you never find your way?
Like flickering lights going out one by one.
Fire and water.
Reflections burning brightly in the dark water
reaching for the sky and everlasting life,
swaying against a dangerous breeze and
only to succumb into clear,cool, waxy liquid.
Then silent as though never existed
The memory of you will flicker until the next light boasts a brave new beauty bright with heat.
Harmonious and strong with opportunity; but no meaning,
to repeat the mystery without expectation.
The harvest moon in two days. Happy fall to all.


Monday, September 3, 2012

5 days of hot balloons and a wizard sighting

It's a Beautiful Morning!  The kind that makes you think you can see heaven in the sky.
When I arrived at the airport, all was calm and quiet at 6:10am.  I planned to shoot each morning of the 5 day event so I could get the different light levels available each day. I found a spot in the field where the rising sun would be at my back, sipped my coffee, prepared my camera and threw some fetches for the semi-awake P. Dog. This became our routine each day.

The volunteers were scurrying around looking for their assigned areas as the trucks arrived.  The trucks were lined with lights like christmas trees and drove slowly around the dark field looking for a perfect spot.  A weather balloon was launched to locate where the wind would blow the big ones that day.  All morning tests were completed as the bystanders waited for the action to begin.

Rolling out the balloon.  It came out of a large sack, just like a rolled up mylar sleeping bag.

The volunteers, or balloon crew, helped hold up the edges of the balloon so the fans could blow air inside after the attachment was made to the basket.
I don't know him.  I didn't talk to him, but I had a special name for him, "The Wizard of Balloon." If you didn't look close, you would not see him.. He was often hidden behind a curtain of people, reminding me of The Wizard of Oz. The Wizard manned the final propane blasts after the initial fan blowing. This would soon raise the balloon to a standing position.
 He was probably the pilot for this balloon,
but I'm not positive. 
I was satisfied thinking of him as The Wizard; not knowing the details.
 Imagination is a gamble.  If left unsolved, it may sometimes be better than reality.
Otherwise, he might say, "Go away and come back tomorrow! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"
"The Wizard of Balloon"

               And of course, the flames in darkness are irresistible and a powerful show off tool.

And a necessary lift-off tool.

So, would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?
                                     A special viewing of the "Blue Moon" and of the mountains.

For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon
***Love is waiting there in my beautiful balloon
Way up in the air in my beautiful balloon
If you'll hold my hand we'll chase your dream across the sky
For we can fly we can fly
Up, up and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon
Up, up, and away.....

 - The Fifth Dimension

And as P. and I walked home picking blackberries to share, we watched one float away over the wheat field..

To be continued...