Beau: Blog en-us (C) Beau (Beau) Mon, 08 Mar 2021 04:37:00 GMT Mon, 08 Mar 2021 04:37:00 GMT Beau: Blog 120 120 Dances with birds Like so many of us, I've been sheltering in place for the past year or so. Most of the photography and videography I've done has been limited to my backyard. The video I've posted here shows birds dancing around a bird feeder that looks like a one-room schoolhouse.

Cutting video to music is one of my favorite things to do. The challenge here was to make the birds dance to the music. It's subtle, but if you follow closely, I think you'll see it's fairly close. Enjoy.

Around the feeder


(Beau) Mon, 08 Mar 2021 04:37:04 GMT
Action at the bird feeder  

(Beau) Wed, 27 Jan 2021 02:49:05 GMT
My Southwest Portfolio in Shadow and Light Magazine Many thanks to Cygnet Press for including a portfolio of 10 of my images in the January/February 2021 issue of "Shadow and Light" magazine.

(Beau) Sun, 24 Jan 2021 05:12:50 GMT
World Saved/World Doomed: A story for our times

Continuing with our themes of climate change and an uncertain future, I’ve been reminded lately of an old film, “The Day the Earth Caught Fire” (1961). The movie made an impression on me when I first saw it, and it continues to resonate after repeated viewings through the years. Although its premise is somewhat far-fetched, it’s a well-told tale of dystopian science fiction; literate, sophisticated, mature, all atypical characteristics of the genre. To its further credit, the film has a clearly anti-establishment agenda, with especially pointed disdain for nuclear testing.

Here’s the plot in case it's been a while since you've seen the movie. Unaware of each other’s plans, the United States and the USSR test two atomic weapons of incredibly destructive force simultaneously. The resulting explosion shifts the earth off its axis by a few degrees, leading to severe weather and catastrophic climate change. The only way to avoid a worldwide extinction event is to blast more nukes on the other side of the world, hoping that the explosive force will knock the earth back onto its original axis.

The film ends on an uncertain note, closing with a scene in a newspaper print room where two versions of a front-page have been prepared. One headline reads “World Saved,” the other “World Doomed.” The film ends without revealing which one will be published.

A similar inflection point is near. If the current occupant of the White House is re-elected he will continue to gut whatever environmental
protections he hasn’t eliminated already, and the climate situation will just keep worsening. All in the name of commerce.
Vote Blue, y’all, as if your life and the life of the planet depended on it.





(Beau) Thu, 22 Oct 2020 18:25:41 GMT
What have they done to our fair sister? Pt. 2  

Firelight through an etched-glass window.

This period of my life is best described as one of holding in abeyance. I’m waiting for wildfire season to subside. Waiting for the plague to pass. Waiting for the right time to retire. Waiting to decide where to retire. That last one, where to retire, depends mainly on the outcome of the election in November. If by some catastrophic twist of fate Trump is re-elected, my wife and I will have to face the possibility of retiring somewhere abroad.

There are so many reasons why I’m praying that this is not a decision we will have to make. I’m too old to be contemplating such a move, and the logistics from the outset seem overwhelming. Then there’s the matter of where we would go. Where would we be welcome if Trump is re-elected? Americans at large will become even more undesirable than they are now.

And how far away is enough? If he is re-elected, the entire world order will be thrown into more dangerous confusion than it is at present. Most importantly, the rape of the environment will continue without constraint. There is no running far enough away from that. No escaping a deteriorating planet.

I am somewhat heartened by the latest polls that show Biden well in the lead. I’m trying my hardest to imagine a world without the constant barrage of Trump’s hateful rhetoric and petty vindictiveness, and I look forward to that world as if it were some Edenic paradise shimmering in the distance. But at the same time, I know that that vision of paradise could so easily be stolen away.

I don’t think anyone could have imagined how fragile our system of government could be when the wrong person is allowed access to the halls of power. Our government relies on unspoken protocols and tacit understandings that are too easy to exploit by someone who’s spent his life’s energy searching for loopholes and gaming the system. He exploited the vulnerabilities of our government just as cannily as he exploited the vulnerabilities of his constituency.

And so, I await the outcome. I am holding my breath, betting it all on a relatively fair election, a decisive majority, and a peaceful transition. I'll know my fate in a few short weeks. Will it spring the trap I’m in, allowing me a clearer picture of the future and my hoped-for retirement? Until then, I remain in abeyance.

And of course,

Vote Blue, y’all

A yellow-orange sky streaming through my office window.
Before the wildfires, a central coast sunset at Pismo Beach, California.


(Beau) Fri, 09 Oct 2020 01:22:20 GMT
What have they done to our fair sister? Pt 1. Picture of the sun taken from our backyard in Sunnyvale, California, September 2020.

There's a definite pattern emerging here on the west coast. We were always aware of the dangers of wildfires, but like earthquakes, they seemed so infrequent we could overlook them for the time being. But the occurrence of wildfires in California has increased to the point that it is no longer something that can be compartmentalized. What makes matters particularly ominous is that these frequent wildfires are clearly linked to accelerating climate change.

These thoughts have crossed my mind now that I'm approaching retirement and must decide where I want to spend the rest of my life. I naturally assumed that that place would be California. Now I'm not so sure. There are actual health risks someone of my age must consider. And there is the increasing disappointment of watching the California dream disappear behind a thick veil of smoke.

I purposely settled in northern California rather than southern California because of the difference in air quality. Of course, there were many other factors behind my decision to settle in the San Francisco Bay area, but the clean air and temperate climate certainly had a lot to do with it. Now I'm faced with making a decision about staying or moving I never thought I would have to make. I may have to accept the reality that I'm simply one of this planet's many inhabitants who has been forced to move due to climate change.

Stay tuned...

and Vote Blue, y'all.

(Beau) Thu, 01 Oct 2020 18:55:47 GMT
Western scenery Scenics from some of my favorite places, way out west.

White Sands National Monument, Alamagordo, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Chaco Canyon National Monument, Farmington, New Merxico

Great Sand Dunes National Monument, Alamosa, Colorado

Sawtooth National Forest, Galena, Idaho

Date Palms, Indio, California

(Beau) Tue, 19 Mar 2019 16:54:09 GMT
Trippin' Down the PCH A trip down the PCH featuring stops in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Point Lobos State Marine Reserve, BIg Sur, Julia Pfeiffer State Park, Morro Bay, etc. etc.

Cottage by the sea — in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Mid-winter beach scene — in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

After the storm — in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Sandworm — in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Whale watchers... — at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.

Moby rock... — at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.

Underwater abstraction... — at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.

McWay Falls — at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Catching some rays... — at Elephant Seal Rookery.

Trump and Nancy discussing the shutdown, while Mitch looks on with feigned indifference... — at Elephant Seal Rookery.

Morro Bay Harbor with Morro Rock in the background. — in Morro Bay, California.
Another view of the rock. — in Morro Bay, California.
Sea Otter — in Morro Bay, California.




(Beau) Wed, 23 Jan 2019 02:27:00 GMT
Private Idaho I’ve always thought of Idaho as the final frontier. Like, if you fell asleep on a bus or a train and the conductor has to wake you up because it’s the end of the line. And there you are, in Idaho. Proceed any further north and the state narrows into a chute that ejects you into the frozen wastes of Canada.

Much of what I’ve seen of the state so far has been pretty grim, but that will probably change over time. Idaho seems to be something of a cross-bred region, somewhere between the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain states, but with a peculiar identity of its own. It has a large population of Mormons who constitute a powerful, majority voting bloc, which I suppose accounts for the state’s ultra-conservative politics.

The only town in Idaho of any appreciable size is Boise, the state capital. Boise is undergoing a bit of a boom right now. Oddly enough, it reminds me a lot of Atlanta in the 1970s, when burgeoning Atlanta was called the "capital of the new south." Perhaps Boise has become the "capital of the final frontier."

Boise is attractive to young families and escapees from less affordable parts of the country, especially California. The influx of Californians into Boise has become both an inside joke and a cause for alarm among the natives. Property values are of course skyrocketing, and it's evident that the inherent nature of the place is changing as well. Prior to all this growth, Boise was primarily a college town—Boise State University is one of the city’s largest employers—but it was a college town with a rural feeling. And of course, as is typical of state capitals, there was little to no night life with a downtown that was mostly deserted after dark.

But all that is changing rapidly. There is constant, ongoing construction of high-rises in the downtown area, and there is a much more cosmopolitan feel to life on the street. Fortunately, even with all the development, there is a 21st-century-outlook on planning for sustainable growth while maintaining community cohesion. Boise frequently appears in top-ten lists for favorable quality of life, much to the chagrin of long-time residents who, in their attempts to discourage newcomers, often make exaggerated claims about the pitfalls of living in the area. Probably to little or no avail. Growth is inevitable, even here on the final frontier.

(Beau) Wed, 28 Nov 2018 03:36:10 GMT
Household scenery Tasha in the round...

Tasha, the expert tree climber...

Tasha and the elusive butterfly...

Tasha's fountain... 

Rustoleum's lofty perch...

Rustoleum on patrol...
Squirrel-proof bird feeder...

Thirsty bird...

(Beau) Sat, 21 Jul 2018 22:48:15 GMT
We are, all of us, missing a feather or two...   

(Beau) Tue, 01 May 2018 15:42:19 GMT
Cherry Blossom Time Harmony and tranquility are difficult to find these days. All the more reason to seek and find solace in the stillness and beauty of nature.


Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough...

And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide... Now, of my threescore years and ten, Twenty will not come again... And take from seventy springs a score, It only leaves me fifty more... And since to look at things in bloom Fifty springs are little room... About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow. Rhyming couplets are from A. E. Housman's "A Shropshire Lad." little tree, big rock... rice-paper parosol... Photos taken at Hakone Gardens, Saratoga, California.

(Beau) Mon, 02 Apr 2018 14:24:18 GMT
Paying homage to Lawrence Ferlinghetti on his 99th birthday. Lawrence M. Ferlinghetti (born March 24, 1919), is an American poet, painter, activist, and co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers located in San Francisco, California. Ferlinghetti has authored numerous books of poetry, including his best known work, A Coney Island of the Mind (1958), a collection of poems that's been translated into nine languages, with sales of more than one million copies.

City Lights Bookstore — at Broadway & Columbus, San Francisco.City Lights Bookstore — at Broadway & Columbus, San Francisco.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, born March 24, 1919 in Yonkers, New York, opened City Lights Bookstore in 1953. City Lights Press was the first to publish Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956), resulting in Ferlinghetti standing trial on obscenity charges. After a lengthy trial Ferlinghetti was acquitted, paving the way for publication of other controversial but important works of literature. The poetry room at City Lights Bookstore.

(Beau) Sat, 24 Mar 2018 21:13:00 GMT
The walls that limit our being... A two-thousand-year-old wall separates us from the future. That old wall is starting to crack, and through its cracks I can see the possibilities: people accepting each other for who they are, unconditionally; no one condemned for believing in scientific inquiry; religion simply a private matter; problems solved rather than perpetuated; the earth respected rather than ravaged; people pursuing their own vision of happiness, rather than accepting a manufactured reality they despise; children no longer afraid to wander outdoors. I can see all that there, on the other side of that cracked and crumbling wall.

A two-thousand-year-old wall separates us from the future. That old wall is starting to crack, and through its cracks I can see the possibilities: people accepting each other for who they are, unconditionally; no one condemned for believing in scientific inquiry; religion simply a private matter; problems solved rather than perpetuated; the earth respected rather than ravaged; people pursuing their own vision of happiness, rather than accepting a manufactured reality they despise; children no longer afraid to wander outdoors. I can see all that there, on the other side of that cracked and crumbling wall.


(Beau) Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:14:51 GMT
Women's March, January 2018, Pershing Square, Los Angeles Women's March, January 2018, Pershing Square, Los Angeles, California

(Beau) Tue, 20 Feb 2018 16:36:03 GMT