Posts Tagged ‘Pelicans’


October 12, 2014

Visit From My Angel (East Beach) 080 (1024x991) (2)

Since losing my little dog, Star,

my attempts to depict

her dear and funny figure on a pot

have been futile.

Finally facing a particularly challenging bowl

in a particularly challenging time,

she came to help.

She came as she had always done,

as comforter

and gentle prodder when her human needed prodding.

Visit From An Angel Bowl 047 (1024x656) (2)Visit From My Angel bowl (detail) 037 (1024x683) (2)As in the days of her bright living,

her sweet presence came.

I only needed

to wake up and live…

to let the spirit move

on earth as it does in heaven.

Visit From My Angel 090 East Beach (1024x694) (2)I carried on with faith that carrying on

would get me somewhere.

Whatever gift or capability I had

would see me through the task

however arduous it proved to be.

My little angel’s plumey tail wagged happily

when I thought “beach” and drew a spiraling sun.

Pelicans and drifting clouds were fine.

Small waves and several “stars” were also good.

Star’s sensitive nose tipped upward in approval

at salt-scented air.

Visit From My Angel Bowl with Pearl 041 (1024x683) (2)

Pearl thought she smelled a dog

when I brought the finished pot home

and placed it on the floor for her approval.

My own approval…

or acceptance…

was slow to come:

The glazes were not bright enough, etcetera.

But apparently, my little dog angel

was still whispering possibilities,

and what I heard

as clear as clear can be

was “BEACH”.

Take Music to the beach…

and take that blessed bowl.

Take that infernal camera, too.

Have “FUN”!


We did have fun,

Music doing doggy things,

and me with my little camera

playing with my beach bowl on the beach.

My mind grew quiet.

My heart was softened by salt-scented air.

And back at home,

I brushed the sand off of the beautiful pot…

and placed her in the showroom….

Visit From My Angel (exterior) 078 (1024x644) (2)

…where on that very morning

a woman recently bereft of her dog

purchased “Visit From My Angel” as a memorial

to take back home to Michigan.





January 12, 2014

Inner Harbor Transformed 046 (1024x768) (2)

Last week’s visit from the ice queen

hovers like a dream.

Here on the Mississippi Gulf,

we rarely get such drops in temperature.

(Today the early chill is softened by a generous sun.)

So to be greeted in the morning two days running

by the frigid beauty of her majesty’s passing

is like a miracle

that later one may doubt.

Pier Posts on An Icy Morning 024 (1024x768) (2)

Even photographs –

evidential as they are

of my brave venture with my camera

and my frozen fingers –

are dream-like in the after-viewing.

It has taken several days for me to truly see

the images as my reflected feelings;

to bring them forward and to claim them

as my personal response to ice,

to sun and shadow on ice,

and to exquisite cold.

Ice with Tree Shadow 022 (1024x768) (2)

Numb as they were,

my fingers must have been

completely sensitive to what I felt.

Extremes are evident:

the urge to fully engage,

the urge to flee from the intensity…

seek comfort in the heated confines

of a human dwelling.

I chose to stay and shiver

in the fleeting ecstasy of my belonging.

Icy Reflection 053 (758x1024) (2)

To gaze in awkward amazement

into winter’s challenging eye

until she let me go.

Ice Magic 030 (1024x767) (2)Branch Held by Ice 025 (1024x741) (2)I saw her magical design

within her abstract patterns.

I saw and felt the power

of her grip,

admiring broken shards

that still held fast.

I knew the beauty

of her harsh effect

upon the natural world.

Huddled Against The Cold 056 (1024x767) (3)

I wondered further into Inner Harbor,

to find a flock of pelicans in huddled stillness…

below the bridge.

By then I could not feel my hands,

yet when they chose to fly

from my encroachment,

I swung my body,

raised my camera,

caught their ascent above the ice.

Workshop windows, Clouds, and Ice on Inner Harbor 064 (1024x906)


September 14, 2013

Clouds and Pelicans (black & white) 053 (1024x561) (3)




Let There Be Clouds 056 (768x1024) (2)




Cloud Reflection 033 (1024x660) (2)

The Approach of Spring

February 8, 2013

Leif in Red Hood (Black & White) (2)Last weekend a chill wind caused me to don my red c0at and put up the hood for my evening walk to the beach. A wintry feel to the air denied the obsvious signals telling me spring was near. The red-winged blackbirds at the top of the oaks were announcing it loudly from tree to tree, and the fluffy yellow warbler – buffeted by a strong wind off the water – was not deterred from singing of his arrival on the southern gulf coast.  I could see these birds with much more ease through the new lens in my eye than through the camera lens of my little Canon S-100. And fortunately. I had discovered other signs of the season shifting into renewal mode.

Fairy Moss (1024x768) (2)This soft green moss appeared suddenly on the still cold surface of the earth, prompting me to fall to my knees and stroke its softness with delight. As a child I called it fairy moss. Well… I still do. Even now, I imagine tiny feet skip-skipping over the verdant turf; trilling laughter rises as they celebrate spring’s arrival in a dance of joy.

Japanese Magnolia (The Eye of The Flower (768x1024) (2)I can also imagine them garbed in the fallen petals of the Japanese Magnolia, the luscious pinks, purples and whites a swirl of color against the fresh green of the moss.  I have visited trees in the yards of strangers to photograph the extraordinary grace of these flowers. Even without the color, the delicacy and poise of the blossoms on their stems entrances me.

Japanese Magnolia (Stark Loveliness) (1024x915) (2)I don’t really know where I am going with this…except that with my newly opened eyes I am entranced by all I see, am possibly newly opened in my mind as well to the manifestings of new life in the world I inhabit. I want – like Alice in onderland – to nibble a cookie, shrink to fairy-size, wear velvet petals and dance on the soft green moss. I want magic laughter to rise from my throat and mesh with the air that others may drink my joy. It seems almost possible when I take in the natural beauty of creation. When my fascination and delight turn into a photograph in which I can see again and possibly share the perfection of form that I have been fortunate enough to notice, I do want to leap for joy.

Young and Curious Pelican (776x1024) (2)And yes, I continue to visit and wonder at my attraction to the pelicans I wrote of recently. They seem to be absolutely one with the burgeoning awareness I am celebrating, this springing into newness. During my last visit I was getting rather caught up with my photographic dance, turning this way and that – perhaps striving a bit much to capture something special – when suddenly I was stilled, felt my gaze pulled down, and practically at my feet was this adorable creature. His look – so quizzical and direct – made me almost embarrassed at my compulsion, but I had to laugh. He (or she) was just so cute, and seemed to see as children can see what is true. He brought me back to myself, reminded me that it is all right here, Something special is right where we are…if only we will see.

At Home With The Pelicans

February 3, 2013

??????????????????????As I recover from the removal of my second cataract, I find myself drawn to the pelicans that bask on the pier at the Inner Harbor Park. Without the little dogs, I am accepted. The relaxing birds are not threatened by my slow approach. With silent steps I move closer, fascinated by what I can see through the camera’s eye.

I went the first time two days after the surgery, weary of being inside, needing movement and the beauty of nature to remind me of my place in the dance. The left eye was still very sensitive, the pupil not yet adjusting to light. Yet my need to be nourished by the awkward grace of these creatures was greater than my lingering frailty. I needed to focus on something more than my self in order to realize myself.  Besides, nature heals. I know from experience that recognition of my spiritual connection with nature makes me feel more alive.

Why pelicans? Well, I admit to going first to a Japanese Magnolia, knowing that the blooms would not last very long. Their fleeting beauty would be a pleasure to photograph. Then walking back to the place where I had left my car, I thought of the pelicans. I have seen them so many times when walking the dogs…just on the other side of the harbor, tempting me to use my inadequate zoom. Without the dogs to limit my proximity. I could drive around and park near to the place they gather. I was free and they were there.

But now that I have experienced their nearness, and the charm of their inimicable behaviour, it is more than their availability, more even than how priviledged and fortunate I felt to be among these wild beings. In a sense, I could share their sudden and inexplicable urge to soar, to swim, to return, to stretch, to cackle at a neighbor that came too near. The more I lingered, the more patient I was about aiming and taking shots, the more I felt that I belonged. I was almost at home with the pelicans as they went about their simple mode of existence. And they know when to rest, when to huddle down close to the warm boards of the pier, even if they need to keep a watchful eye.

When I finally left them that evening my new eyes seemed to have undergone some sort of initiation or christening. I took home with me a frisson of joy that would spark again when I looked at the photos the next day on my computer screen. Here they were: my friends with their gorgeous feathered raiment, their clumsy stance, their penetrating gaze.  I admired again the strange beauty I had walked amongst, the gestures I had witnessed. I thought of my father, wading amongst them on Horn Island, clipboard and pencil in hand, and felt I understood his long-standing passion for this particular bird. My heart soars with a sense that I may have landed in the strange new land Walter Anderson spoke of in his Horn Island Logs “…where everything I see is new and strange.”