Category Archives: beach

A Sunday Morning on Venice Beach

imageWhile staying at the Maggart’s, my extended family in Venice, I took a Sunday morning walk on the beach. I was surprised by how early the beach was alive with activity. Since I moved away in 2000 some things have changed, but not too many. It’s still Venice. The homeless sleep under what ever material they find, towered over by tall palms, joggers sprint through tourists on the boardwalk, vendors roll up the metal doors to reveal rows and rows of sun glasses, tank tops, and tee shirts-3 for $10.00. Artists paint, and skaters, some as young as six or seven, zip through the concrete gullies of the skate course, launching themselves into the air as if they had wings.

I saw a fittness commercial being filmed. Twenty or so folks raced through the sand to the surf and back, did jumping jacks, and raced again. The instructor barked instructions, the camerawoman, hauling her heavy Nikon with a lens as long as my forearm, did her best to keep up.   Continue reading

Musings; Birds, Relaxation, Impending Danger

It’s a quiet day here on John”s Island, on my back porch office. This morning was a lazy one, filled with reflection. It’s possible to be grateful, content, meditative, fearful and angry within just a couple of hours.

 Back porch office, Casa de Updike, Johns's Island

Back porch office, Casa de Updike, Johns’s Island

The birds are apparently not hungry. I hear them calling to one another in the woods. It’s a language I don’t understand, but wish I did, a melodic cacophony. Walking through a mall in Beijing comes to mind. Probably they will come down soon for lunch. Peanuts and sunflower seeds every day free for the taking, first come- first served. image

Brash handsome  jays calling, jeer, jeer jeer, graceful doves, cardinals, (love to watch the mom feed her loud, demanding babies), woodpeckers: a downey woodpecker and what looks to be an endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, which will both soon be gone due to developers denuding the surrounding forest, a pileated woodpecker, yik-yik-yik,  that was the inspiration for the infamous Woody the Woodpecker, juncos, and other unidentified chirpy sparrows, loud barking crows…  and then, a large predator swooped into the forest. Too much in the shade of other trees for me to see what it was with my binocs, but the crows knew. They gathered together screaming and flapping like regiments in battle,  and forced it back, and off. 

We should be able to do the same to the Tea Party that threatens our way of life in America, just as  the Taliban are in the Middle East. Think about it, & check out the similarities at Politburo of Teabilly Mockery.

*open carry of military weapons, despises and wants to topple the US Government , supports the death penalty, opposes women’s rights, anti-abortion, wants to teach religion in schools, integrate religion and state,  no respect for law, authority, or the president, views homosexuality as evil. Scary.  

Casual Guns

Casual Guns

 

I  can’t imagine the bird scene in the jungle or even the town that is built on the Amazon River in the jungle,  but in seven weeks I will be there. First a few days in Bogota, then fly to Leticia, Amazonas. Can it be anything like I imagine it? image

Walking through the Amazon forest en route to an indigenous village, paper and pencils, maybe a portable CD player, teaching them  our language-learning theirs.  It makes the dreaded yellow fever vaccine, and the mosquitos worth it. 

I spent Sunday with my daughter and her boyfriend at a lake home she is going to buy. In the back is a 12X20′ cookhouse that I’ll turn into my studio. It won’t be the first house I’ve transformed, but probably the last. It will allow me freedom: to be with my family and friends, write, travel, kayak; what else could a nomadic gramma ask for? Lucky me.  

Relaxing with Anna.

Relaxing with Anna.

Dock, Goat Island.

Dock, Goat Island.

Abrazos.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Itanuas

Itaunas, Espirto Santo Ruby on the beach. Itaunis I’ve spent 7 days here.Unfortunately Google won’t post my photos. It’s too bad because the place is gorgeous. I leave today for Porto Seguro, about half way between here and Salvador. The owners of That Hostel in Itaunas, Grant and Paula have been gracious and generous.

Grant, Paula, with Peanut, Butter, & Jelly at That Hostel

Grant, Paula, with Peanut, Butter, & Jelly at That Hostel

He is an American-she a Brazilian, both travelers with an understanding of the frustrations and immense rewards. I could get lost here on the East Coast of Brazil on the southern border of the state of Bahia, in this dusty, rural town with no paved roads and exceptionally friendly folks. Thick vegetation begins at the deck and stretches to the horizon, broken only by the lovely Rio Itaunas that snakes through it. A short walk away are the dunes: shifting and changing minute by minute, fringed by the Atlantic Ocean.

Ruby on the beach.

Ruby on the beach.

Last night, led by our gracious hosts, Grant and Paula, we trooped to the dunes to lie under the stars. I wished my friend, Dave Boulden, had been there to guide us through the brightly lit, wondrous ceiling of the Southern Hemisphere. The dunes now cover the entire original town because the founders removed the trees and diverted the river.

A dip in the river.

A dip in the river.

It took a few decades, but still, if you have a 30 year mortgage and the house disappears before it is paid for you would, with good reason, be pissed. If that isn’t a lesson in what will happen when you mess with Mother Nature I can’t imagine what else might wake us up. On my first walk on the beach I found a perfect small, fragile sand dollar, not bigger than a quarter.It didn’t last long in my pocket, but I had the sense to take its picture. image I noted the absence of gulls, tankers, off-shore platforms along the coast. Noone I asked seems to know why there aren’t any. The water here is warm, as are the hearts of the Brazilians I’ve met. Sebastian, from Argentina and Isabella from Austria, my roommates in the 4 bed dorm, told me yesterday that the night before I woke them with an apparent bad dream. I was struggling with someone. “ Who are you!?. What do you want?! Help me!! Isabella said she was alarmed and thought maybe I needed help just then, but decided it was a struggle with my dream weavers.

Travelers at That Hostel.

Travelers at That Hostel.

They’ve gone. Last night there was not sign of them. Good riddance I say. Itaunas has so many birds. Flocks of parrots have flown past, canaries are plentiful as are colorful finches, and the beautiful red and black Corrupiao with some white on its wings.image Vultures rest in the trees as do a smaller, green parrot. Troops of marmosets apparently visit when the red goiaba tree that hangs over the deck has fruit.