Companions – Boon and Otherwise

A “boon companion” is usually one with whom you have good times. There are many boon companions to be seen in readers’ contributions to the current Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge, whose theme is “Companionable.”

My boon companion and I snapped a photo of our shadows one cold day in Manhattan:

These guys may not be boon companions, but they sure make an interesting pair:

I imagine these men that I noticed in a back alley in Seattle spend companionable time together every day – maybe not such productive time according to some people’s standards, but companionable nonetheless:

I’m not sure how much of a companion – boon or otherwise – this man thinks the Great Blue Heron that waits patiently beside him, hour after hour, really is:

On Captiva

These are most certainly boon companions – what trust – a calm face as the toenails are clipped:

Now, to throw a wrench into the flow of this post, did you know that gardeners talk about companion plants? Here’s a perfect example – only foliage, and what harmonious companionship they exhibit:

Back to a more typical view of companionship – this man can often be found playing his portable piano on the sidewalk outside Seattle’s Pike Place Market.  He plays as though there’s no better companion than his piano, and his music draws people whose companionship seems to grow deeper as they listen:

On a lighter note, these guys appear to be great companions too, don’t they?

Tomorrow another Weekly Photo Challenge will be posted. But meanwhile, there are a multitude of photos from last weeks challenge of companions to be found here.

ABOVE IT ALL – BUT JUST A LITTLE

Another Photo Challenge is sparking ideas and sending photographers hunting for images taken “FROM ABOVE.”

Here is a collection of images, almost all from nature, that I have taken while looking down on my subject.

Since I was young I’ve liked looking down. Sometimes looking down flattens the space and creates interesting abstractions.

Sometimes looking down just keeps me anchored to the earth, or affords a view I hadn’t seen before.

Or, when there’s water involved, it’s a roundabout way of looking up.

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These photos were taken between January, 2010 and a few days ago, on Captiva Island, Florida, on the High Line in New York, at Bellevue Botanical Garden in Bellevue, Washington, at Snug Harbor Botanical Garden in New York, at Anthropologie in Philadelphia, in Spring Lake, New Jersey, near Tannersville, New York, along the Dosewallips River in Washington, in the Marckworth Forest in King County, Washington, in the Quinault Rainforest in Washington, and in old Robe Canyon on the South Fork Stillaguamish River in Washington.

More interpretations of this challenge can be found here.

CHANGING TIDES

Tides nourish the land, and their dependable changes remind me that if life is difficult now, it will get easier…

Sunset at Lemon Creek Pier

This week’s Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge is “Change.”  The serene view above is minutes from a  busy New York City highway. Maybe the beautiful colors were caused by pollution, but that thought was far from my mind as I sat on the beach that evening, lost in the sound of gently lapping waves and the changing hues of sunset.

A receding tide offers foraging opportunities for Willets on Captiva Island in Florida.

The ebb tide lends itself to soft focus, also on Captiva.

Just after high tide, the noise is deafening as waves crash hard onto the rocky Washington shores of Rialto Beach.  Bit by bit, centuries of changing tides have carved a dramatic seascape here.

Happily, the only buildings in the area are well out sight – it’s just rock, water, and sky as far as you can see.

Deception Pass divides two northern Washington islands. Water from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, separating Washington from Canada, is sucked in to Skagit Bay through this narrow passage, creating whirlpools and eddies.

The bridge whose shadow you see was built in the 1930’s – it’s WAY up over the pass, but if you’re not subject to vertigo you can walk across it.

On the  bridge, you can look east towards Swinomish Indian lands,

watch the incoming tide as it ripples and flows,

and gaze straight down into paisley water swirling a tidal song of change.

Just to the north, on a rock in Rosario Bay, a gull perches precariously as an incoming tide approaches gently, leaving soft herringbone patterns on the Pacific blue waters.

In the intertidal zone the tide pools are slowly filling back up, wafting kelp in open circles.

Sea anemones (Anthopleura elegantissima), packed tightly into the tide pools, have closed up shop as the tide is out, but a few are starting to reach their tentacles out into the shallow, nutrient rich water.

At Salt Creek Recreation Area on the Olympic Peninsula the tide is halfway out, exposing a dizzying variety of colorful seaweed on the rocks.

Mussel shells tangle with seaweed on the rocks at my feet. It’s getting late, but gulls, cormorants and ducks will feast here til dusk. Tidelands along the Strait of Juan de Fuca  support a complex ecosystem of plants, invertebrates, numerous species of fish and shellfish, porpoises, whales, sea otters, birds…I’m sure there are other living things I left out. People, for example!

In Seattle the ocean is a hundred miles away but the waters are still subject to tidal changes.

Looking west towards that distant ocean, the Olympic Mountains draw a ragged edge on a golden sunset as a lone pleasure boat heads north on an ebb tide.

More Weekly Photo Challenges on the topic of Change – a BIG one! – can be found here.