[IMAGE] Green point
Warning: objects in photo sound louder than they appear…

[IMAGE] Steller sea lions

…click to listen:

…about the music

Roar, groan and moan…

I admit it: I am a wildlife paparazza. Giddily obsessed by my surroundings even at the eleventh hour of a deadline, I find myself unstoppably drawn to my camera whenever I see, or hear, something fascinating. And to me, just about all of it is fascinating. My favorite studio companion (ok, next to Smudge, who will become even more favorite once he learns to extract parts from scores), is my telescope. With a variety of eyepieces I can zero in on the action and hover, mesmerized, for far too long. And then of course, I’m compelled to get my camera to see if I can capture what I’m seeing to share it with you.

Some people over-eat. I over-gaze.

I did purchase a camera mount for the scope, but since this is a perfectly nice but low-on-the-astronomical totem pole model refractor, the weight of the mount plus the camera send the scope tipping up, which, while perhaps a nifty film technique, is not particularly helpful when one is attempting to take a still picture. Thus, I have a silly habit of standing on my tiptoes, carefully holding the smaller of my cameras against the eyepiece and moving it just so, until I can block out enough light and get it to focus on the subject at hand (which is always a lot further away than my hand). I am a ridiculously goofy composer. And a fairly short one, too.

I’ll keep trying for better, closer shots––especially an action pic of a male Steller sea lion thrashing in the water with a large squid clamped in his jaws, slapping him in the face with various tentacles. You now know why I neither have nor need TV reception. But for the moment, here are a few glimpses of the scene across the water (where the rainbow ends in the first pic is where the 1 ton, 9-foot long critters are resting). In place of my usual Shapiro-created musical offering, I thought you’d enjoy the music that has been accompanying me as I work late at night: that of the Steller colony itself, over 30 of them, hauled out on the rocks nearby. I recorded this on my iPhone a few nights ago, and you’ll hear the water and the bumps of wind along with the featured vocalists. As I type these words, I’m enjoying yet another free concert. And you can bet that my sonic pilfering abilities may be put to use in a future piece with this and other similar tracks I’ve snagged. Hey, they’ve got quite the rhythmic sense.

I often say it’s amazing I get any work done at all. But work, I do––I think I’ve delivered seven pieces, new ones and adaptations, in the past four months. I’m guessing that this place is more than a little inspiring, despite the endless, sometimes very loud, and always fascinating distractions.

[IMAGE] Steller sea lions
ah, nothing like the shade of a dayboard beacon for romance.

[IMAGE] Steller sea lions
A raft of ‘em, often seen with their flippers up in the air…

[IMAGE] Steller sea lions
lunch time… today’s menu: fish!

[IMAGE] gulls
…for the gulls, too!