The Salt of the Earth

adelita_right_whale-sebastiao-salgado

“I also befriended a whale. These are the whales in Argentina. An adult like this is 35 meters long, weighs about 40 tons. She came so close to the boat, I could touch her.  And it was incredible. Such sensitive skin! As I was caressing her, I could see her tail, 35 meters away, trembling. Incredible sensitivity. We had a small boat, just 7 meters long. She knew she could have sunk us. But she never once hit the boat. Not once! As we left, she began slapping her tail.”

~ Sebastião SalgadoGenesis from The Salt of the Earth (01:33:26)


Whether you are a professional or hobby photographer, or don’t take pictures at all, this documentary on the life and work of Sebastião Salgado will leave its mark on you.  Must see…here’s the trailer:


Notes:

The early morning sun

photography-orange

“I have always loved photography. These days I spend very little time in my art studio, my passion for photography having completely taken over. With macro photography I escape to another little world. I love exploring the tiny details in nature that often get over looked. I love finding beautiful colours and abstract compositions within nature and can even get passionate about photographing moss or a blade of grass. I think I am at my happiest when I am crawling around on my hands and knees exploring a small patch of moss dripping with sparkling dew in the early morning sun.”

See Sharon’s website and her other work here: Sharon Johnstone, Fine Art Photography


Image Source: Mennyfox55

Big Blue


“When Patrick Dykstra saw a life-sized replica of a blue whale in the Smithsonian at age 16, he dreamed of having an underwater encounter with the biggest animal on Earth, according to the Daily Mail. The filmmaker, born in Denver and currently based in Dubai, fulfilled his dream in the tropical waters off Sri Lanka where he captured stunning underwater and aerial videos and images of blue whales while swimming with the giant sea creatures, which can reach 98-feet long and weigh 200 tons.

The whales are the largest animal to ever inhabit the earth, and outsize even the biggest dinosaurs. Stunning drone footage captures the enormous mammals from above, while in other shots a kayaker paddles just metres from one of the awe-inspiring creatures.

“Nothing on Earth compares to the experience of being side by side with the largest animal to ever inhabit the planet and to dive into its environment,” Dykstra, 35, told the Daily Mail. “I use my photography and videography to help study these animals in hopes of understanding and protecting them.”


Source: grindtv.com

They do. They do.

bird-singing-morning

The early morning hour
should be dedicated to praise:
do not the birds set us the example?

~ Charles Spurgeon


Notes:

Sunday Morning: We have an imperative. A duty.

little-swift-bird

Helen Macdonald teaches at the University of Cambridge and her most recent bestselling book, ‘‘H Is for Hawk,’’ has won numerous awards. In this week’s NY Magazine, she writes about Judith Wakelam who rescues baby common swifts, “birds so exquisitely aerial that they eat, sleep and mate on the wing and spend the first two or three years of their lives migrating between Europe and Africa in continuous flight.”  Macdonald calls on wildlife rehab experts to explain why people rescue wildlife:  “…there’s something inside humans when they’re faced with a helpless creature. We have an imperative. A duty…I believe most people, especially children, simply cannot see an animal suffer…The Lindsay rehab center receives everything from bobcats to snakes, ducklings to songbirds, brought in by concerned members of the public who have driven many miles to deliver them…rescuing animals draws out ‘‘raw emotions that unleash our deepest insecurities about our humanity, mortality and place in the natural world.’’ Macdonald then closes with an evocative description of Wakelam releasing rehabbed baby common swifts back into the wild:

It stares into the wind. Then it starts shivering. Nothing has visibly changed, but something is happening. On Wakelam’s open palm a creature whose home has been paper towels and plastic boxes is turning into a different creature whose home is thousands of miles of air. It is as extraordinary a thing to witness as a dragonfly larva’s crawling out of the water and tearing itself out into a thing with wings. Then the swift decides. It hunches itself forward on its wings and drops from her flattened palm. ‘‘Up! Up! Up!’’ calls Wakelam. I’m terrified it will hit the ground. But it does not. For five or six seconds it flies with halting, unaccustomed wing beats a foot above the grass, then hitches and pulls into gear and starts to ascend, flickering upward until it becomes a remote pair of winnowing wings among all the other swifts up there. For weeks it has sat in a plastic box preening and snuggling with its foster siblings. Now it is gone, and Wakelam’s hand is its final memory of earth, the last thing it will touch for two years.

Don’t miss Helen Mcdonald’s full essay here: Rescuing Wildlife is Futile and Necessary


Image Source: Margaret Westrop – “Little Swift

Hello… they seem to cry, who… are… you?

Also invariable present at some indefinable distance are the mourning doves whose plaintive call suggests irresistibly a kind of seeking-out, the attempt by separated souls to restore a lost communion:

Hello… they seem to cry, who… are… you?

And the reply from a different quarter. Hello… (pause) where… are… you?

No doubt this line of analogy must be rejected. It’s foolish and unfair to impute to the doves, with serious concerns of their own, an interest in questions more appropriate to their human kin. Yet their song, if not a mating call or a warning, must be what it sounds like, a brooding meditation on space, on solitude. The game.

~ Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire


Notes: Related posts from Edward Abbey: Desert Solitaire

Suddenly it lay before us, restless, mighty and unending.

ocean-sea-wave

The sea came towards us like an immense silver sail.
Long before we reached it we could detect its salt breath;
the horizon became ever brighter and more distant,
and suddenly it lay before us, restless, mighty and unending.

~ Erich Maria Remarque, from Three Comrades


Notes: Prose – the distance between two doors. Photo: Shae Fierce

Sunday Morning

delicate-arch
Many have made the climb to Delicate Arch, so many that the erosion of human feet is visible on the soft sandstone, a dim meandering, path leading upward for a mile and a half into a queer region of knobs, domes, turrets and coves, all sculptured from a single solid mass of rock.  What do the pilgrims see? The trail climbs and winds past isolate pinyons and solitary junipers to a vale of stone where nothing has happened for a thousand years, to judge from the quietude of the place, the sense of waiting that seems to hover in the air. […]

If Delicate Arch has any significance it lies, I will venture, in the power of the odd and unexpected to startle the senses and surprise the mind out of their ruts of habit, to compel us into a reawakened awareness of the wonderful – that which is full of wonder.

A weird, lovely, fantastic object out of nature like Delicate Arch has the curious ability to remind us – like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness – that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men as sea and sky surround and sustain a ship. The shock of the real. For a little while we are again able to see, as the child sees, a world of marvels. For a few moments we discover that nothing can be  taken for granted, for if this ring of stone is marvelous then all which shaped it is marvelous, and our journey here on earth, able to see and touch and hear in the midst of tangible and mysterious things-in-themselves, is the most strange and daring of all adventures.

~ Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire


Notes:

Let’s just say: Wow!

whale

Don’t miss all of the 2015 Winners: National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

This photo, Whale Whisperers, was taken by Anuar Patjane, who was diving with a humpback whale and her newborn calf at Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo [Islands], Mexico.  Be sure to check out his other whale shots here: Anuar Patjane.


Thank you Eric.

Sunday Morning

moab-utah-arch

These are natural arches, holes in the rock, windows in stone, no two alike, as varied in form as in dimension … formed through hundreds of thousands of years by the weathering of the huge sandstone walls, or fins, in which they are found. Not the work of a cosmic hand, nor sculptured by sand-bearing winds, as many people prefer to believe, the arches came into being and continue to come into being through the modest wedging action of rainwater, melting snow, frost, and ice, aided by gravity…

Standing there, gaping at this monstrous and inhuman spectacle of rock and cloud and sky and space, I feel a ridiculous greed and possessiveness come over me. I want to know it all, possess it all, embrace the entire scene intimately, deeply, totally, as a man desires a beautiful woman. An insane wish? Perhaps not — at least there’s nothing else, no one human, to dispute possession with me.

~ Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire


Notes: