August 28, 2007
Late last week a dear friend who is more familiar with C scales than sea life visited from the San Francisco area. The weather here could not have been more beautiful, and her arrival was the perfect reason to book a whale-watching tour. Even in these famously cetacean-filled waters of the northwest, there’s never any guarantee that large mammals other than over-fed tourists will be on display, yet on a gorgeous afternoon, the boat ride alone is always worth the ticket.
Well, we were thrilled to come upon the amazing sight of a pod of Orcas swarming just south of Lopez Island, not too far from Anacortes. Clinging to the rails of a modest boat, we ooohed and ahhhed as every direction we looked, there were more and more of these nattily dressed creatures. The first photo above was the best my amateur camera and more amateur camera skills could muster. But the incredible shots below taken by the skilled marine naturalist on board that day, Nan Simpson, do a great job to sum up the absolute joy of being so close to the Orcas and their world:
One word: yippee!
And you thought whales only did this for union scale and some fish from a smelly bucket at Sea World.
As I type this at 2:15 a.m. early Tuesday, another natural, black and white phenomenon is occurring directly in front of my eyes: a total lunar eclipse. How is it that this event– not that uncommon– is always so fascinating? To my delight, the moon has risen right in front of my desk window. Wth one eye on th kyboard andd the othr to teh skyy, I’m marveling as a larger and larger bite gets taken out of this formerly electric full moon, causing the surrounding woods to dim dramatically.
Opening my door and stepping into the forest that shrouds my studio, I realize that it’s the first time I’ve been in such a relatively isolated natural environment while experiencing this sight. It deeply struck me just how frightening these inexplicable skyward events were to our ancestors, whose lives were tethered to the rise and fall of the sun and moon. Watching an unidentifiable mass of dark grey begin to swallow up the rock above your head on which you’ve always depended must have been very scary. Watching it consume that orb and then turn it copper red must have been nearly terrifying. Oh, the relief they must have felt in an hour or so, as the world they knew was returned to them.
I attempted to take a good photo of tonight’s special moon to post, but since I can barely capture something as huge as a whale in broad daylight, you can only imagine how pathetic my lunar pix turned out to be. I think I’ll buy myself a tripod someday. Holding my breath as I strain to keep the open shutter totally still just doesn’t seem to do the trick.
Standing outside, utter silence and the swath of glitter made by a now-bright-again-for-a-short-while Milky Way were a great balance to the happy chaos of the noisy home renovation that’s now going on, amidst which I am trying to continue my music work. Perhaps my next piece will be for percussion: “Double Concerto for Nail Gun and Air Compressor.” Thus, fewer posts than usual on this URL recently, but made up for, I hope, with a report from a bedazzled person in the wooded and aquatic landscape to the north of many of you. Clear skies, fair winds, and good night for now! accept free card credit payments401k credit taxcredit 1 per report year free1st finance credit ltdcard credit 1st bankcredit 0alabama credits graduationcredits abo Map