Am I the only one feeling scattered and distracted lately? Probably not.
So in keeping with being more distracted than usual, here’s a series of photos that don’t have much in common, other than the fact that most don’t seem to fit into the kinds of posts I typically publish. A few were made last year; most are recent. Some were taken inside but most, as usual, were taken outdoors.
Speaking of outdoors, we’re not completely confined to our homes here in Washington State. The governor’s edict ordering people not to leave home unless they’re participating in essential business went into effect a few days ago, but there are exceptions. One is that you may leave home to engage in outdoor exercise, such as walking, hiking, running or biking, as long as appropriate social distancing practices are used.
Common sense says don’t stray too far from home and most parks and wilderness lands are officially closed, so we do what we can. The other day we drove to a nearby preserve that is maintained jointly, by the Swinomish tribe and the Washington State Parks Commission. We knew it might be closed because state parks are closed. Also we had heard that tribal leaders are being careful, which makes sense, given the history. When we reached the preserve we were confronted with the confusing prospect of an open gate, four cars parked in the lot and a sign stating that the preserve is closed due to a storm!
We decided to chance it. Soon we passed a cheerful park ranger who greeted us and encouraged us to enjoy the day, while keeping her distance. That was both reassuring and puzzling. We found out later that though the preserve is officially closed, they’re not enforcing the closure. This is the new normal: figure it out as you go along! Happily, the few individuals and family groups that we passed were all careful about keeping their distance.
Maintaining distance from other people is easier here than it would be in the crowded suburb where we used to live, and it’s far easier than it would have been if we hadn’t moved out of New York City eight years ago. It’s really hard to go out and keep away from people when you live in a city, especially one as densely populated as New York. That’s one reason it’s now the virus epicenter of America, with more deaths from the virus in the last two weeks than from homicides all last year. People are pulling together though. Free airfare, free hotel rooms and free rental cars are being offered to health care workers who are willing to come to New York to help out. I’m sure you’ve heard stories about people stepping up in your neighborhood, too.
But let’s not dwell on the news. I hope you’re finding other ways to stay sane and healthy if you can’t get outside as often as you’d like. This pandemic is bound to last longer than we’d like, but ultimately it IS temporary – as temporary as clouds sailing through brisk March skies.
- An office in town on a sunny afternoon. I’ve been preoccupied with patterns since early childhood and with shadows for 50 years or more. Samsung phone photo.
- Under the dock at Bowman Bay, Deception Pass State Park. Once in a while I like to tilt the horizon. Samsung phone photo.
- Budding twigs in the fog at home in March, 2019. (Processed with the antique plate filter in Silver Efex Pro).
- Same day, similar subject. I came to photography as an end in itself (rather than as documentation) rather late. Right away I wanted a camera I could control, not a point and shoot, because I longed to photograph flowers and leaves closeup with a very shallow depth of field. I’ve done that thousands of times and I haven’t grown tired of it yet.
- At home. A dried narcissus flower rests on a book of Japanese calligraphy. I’ve been interested in calligraphy, especially the looser, cursive style for a long time.
- At home. The bright but chilly light of March reflects on the shiny surfaces of the washer and drier. Reflections! Another fascinating phenomenon that can be found everywhere.
- Taking shelter in the car on a rainy afternoon in the park. In my Lightroom catalog are hundreds of photos tagged “through” because looking at something through any kind of barrier – a rainy window, a fence, a scrim of tree branches – fascinates me.
- Professional tree work. A diseased Western Redcedar was determined to be dangerous and taken down. Thank fully almost all the wood was salvaged.
- Looking down at a boy playing at Bowman Bay, Deception Pass State Park. People aren’t my usual subject and I encourage myself to photograph people more often. It stretches me.
- A gas meter and fire hookups outside my favorite bookstore, now sadly closed. Samsung phone photo.
- A potted plant and its elegant shadow are also outside the bookstore. Samsung phone photo.
- At home. A small, framed piece of blue glass rests on a window sill. Outside, the Douglas fir trees stand tall and scruffy.
- Last year’s rose hips at Rosario Beach, Deception Pass State Park. Another preoccupation is fine lines and flattened surfaces. I like to think of the fine lines as text.
- “No Hunting or Trespassing” sign at March Point, Fidalgo Island. Sometimes I try to imagine a world without private property.
- An abandoned building on Swinomish tribal land sits at the head of a bay that is full of driftwood. One piece landed right by the building, perhaps during a winter storm. I’m sure that going to school in New York in the midst of the minimal and conceptual art movements had a profound influence on me. To me this scene is like a minimalist sculpture in a well-lit gallery.
- A tugboat heads towards the San Juan Islands under changeable March skies. Washington Park, Fidalgo Island.
- Skies brighten as a sailboat motors through the same passage. As you might guess, I lightened this image and darkened the preceding one to emphasize the feeling I had when I took each photograph. It was an exciting day of intermittent rain squalls, and patchy, fast-moving clouds. I was glad I happened to be close to the water then, and glad too that so far, that park is not closed.