Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Some Pretty Pictures

We live in a state of suspended animation but photographs must be taken all the same. A moored boat at dawn, bathed in the weird pink glow of early morning light. Bear in mind that temperatures are in the 90s by the middle of the day so if you were thinking dew or frost or visible breath, that wasn't happening. Thank God.
There has been the beach opening fiasco in Jacksonville where the governor said open the beaches if you can do it safely and of course it was about as unsafe a display of crowding as the Sunshine State can put on. If you live in a boring state that never makes the news I can only sympathize. I thoroughly enjoy a pratfall (my wife abhors this trait in me) and to live even only peripherally in the afterglow of the exploits of Florida Man tickles my funny bone. I managed to annoy my colleagues by looking at the link and falling out of my chair laughing. Feel free to react with disdain.
So when the Governor says he is allowing beaches to open "if  it is done safely" you just know it will be a train wreck and of course it was in best Florida Man style. The pictures of people crowding the beach was a throwback to the world before coronavirus. Before you get all sniffy at Florida and our capacity for stupidity, much as my relatives in North Carolina like to do, consider the lock down reaction Up North  where people carrying guns marched around waving flags and looking grim and serious protesting the usurpation of their various constitutions. I much prefer the Florida way of mass cheerful stupidity. 
The beaches in Key West are still closed the mayor hastened to proclaim after barricades started to be moved gently aside and people took to the sand.  Nothing has changed here. On the plus side the Governor has made it clear that schools will not reopen this semester so that issue is settled. My wife has found teaching from home far harder than doing it in the classroom even after we set her up with a desk and monitors and a lovely view across the canal. As much as she knows she has to stay isolated as she has a compromised immune system, she is looking forward to being in her classroom again. Safety first and teaching from home is the best solution for her, certainly.
I continue to hunt for unconsidered trifles on Rusty's mangrove walks. I have seen videos from European photographers, many of them professionals, who are earning no money in this long anxious lock down over there. They can't leave home, they can't work and they can only photograph their gardens at best. I at least get to walk my dog with a camera, go to work with my camera and be socially distant with my camera. Even so I am learning that whether or not you photograph people, human activity leaves behind much of interest to the lens. You notice things in their absence. 
I am struggling to notice things that are more apparent that have always been lolling there pushed into the background by more absorbing activity. Ooh look, a cement crack in a utility pad!  Excellent, how can I make that look like the Grand Canyon? I can't? Oh well. 
The inevitable spandex warrior swished by as I stared hard seeking inspiration from a bright orange leaf....Hey! I wanted to call out, come back, can I photograph your sprocket?  But he was gone, a disappearing speck of high visibility yellow taking all his photographic possibilities with him. Drat.  
 I have noticed this past weekend how dark it is outside when the moon is new as I live on a street with no street lights. A couple of nervous neighbors have outside lights on as though to attract burglars like moths but most of the street is pitch black. Rusty disappears into the void and I follow with a flashlight. So it is that I am missing the moon for a few days. If you can't remember what it looks like here it is:
 Lacking people trees have figured prominently in my repertoire, sunrise in color...
 ....windy in black and white:
Coronavirus? I can't remember anything about that while I'm looking for beauty in this messed up world.