20 thoughts on “Under (and over) the bridge again…

    • I try to focus on whatever is around me. Trying to see around or through the visual assumptions that we societally impose (interpolate?) between us and our visual world. There is a kind of beauty to be found I think in all things and the way in which they fall before our eyes.
      I am very fond of this quote by Stephan Mallarme:
      “It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things.”

      And I think (strangely?) that this applies equally well to photography.
      Thank you for your insight and inspiration.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The gritty city, I love it. My favorites are the 3rd photo – with the bridge reflection – and I lost count, so the others with bridges and refelctions. 😉 I see above that you have new digs – I hope you’re enjoying the new house and neighborhood.

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    • The trains are our constant aural companions…..they sing to us in the night…..and given our proximity to this not-so-picturesque “river”, there is a noticeably higher-than-usual incidence of wildlife. Fox, a Barred Owl resident in our yard that reared a babe last summer (the babies sound like two crows fighting….not like mom’s usual “who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all”), Herons and Egrets in the river, little brown snakes in the yard, ducks and geese of course, the occasional Brown Pelican, a pair of Bald Eagles flying by up the way, a Sharp-shinned Hawk that banged into our window (thought it was a shotgun…woke me out of a lovely nap) and sat stunned on the deck for a good 30 minutes, plus all the little birds…..

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      • I hope some local group comes together to clean the river up. How wonderful to have more wildlife around. (That’s interesting about the Barred owls’ juvenile sounds because we had a pair of young’uns here last year. I should listen for that). Herons we have in abundance but I envy you your egrets. 🙂 I assume the Sharpie was OK, just had to get his head together. 🙂
        When we moved up here to Fidalgo Island, it was so, so quiet. We’d been living only blocks from Washington’s major north-south highway before. Only at 2 in the morning could you count on not hearing the constant rush of traffic. Train sounds are nice though…so are many city sounds…the highway noise grated. But the silence here at night unnerved me. it didn’t feel quite as vast and comforting as desert silence. But I’m used to it now, I think. And always grateful for any daytime quiet.

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        • Don’t know if anyone will bother with the river. It’s not very pretty for most of it’s length. No real natural shore to speak of mostly. At some point many years ago, its banks were basically “paved”, I believe for erosion-prevention reasons. It’s not much more than a rather giant sewer, though all grey-water/storm drain/street-runoff stuff so there’s not supposed to be anything super-yucky in it.
          This is a dirty city though so you never know what people put down the sewers….
          It can get really quite smelly in the warmer months. Doesn’t seem to stop the wildlife from utilizing it. I have been meaning to do a post–maybe series of posts–specifically on the history/story of it. It’s kind of simmering in the back of the brain somewhere…..

          As it happens, I believe our little juvie Barred is back….and trying to get at our birds (we have two parrots) through the windows! Scared the bejezus out of my daughter and I the other night. Has come back a couple of times. Quite relentless but I’m afraid she’s going to hurt herself if she keeps hitting the window that hard! I have to keep shooing her off. Haven’t seen her in a week or so. Hopefully the “hard air” and my antics have convinced her the parrots aren’t worth the effort.
          The Sharpie flew off on her own power. 🙂
          After living on Kingshighway (a six-lane thoroughfare) for so long, we actually had trouble sleeping the first few weeks it was SO quiet. That said, There is never anything close to silence here. I have been trying to capture the sounds of the trains but the highway noise is near constant here as well and only ever dies down a bit between 2-4am. I am often up at those hours so I am still recording the trains from time to time, trying to find ways to incorporate their music into mine….
          I remember the silence of the Pacific Northwest. All those conifers make the best mufflers…..


          • The Los Angeles River is like that…I think, or I like to think, that creative people can still do things with rivers that have had the life wrung out of them. It’s not surprising that wildlife can make use of it.
            What a story about your owl!
            I like the idea of working the train sounds into a recording…today I was walking on a fairly pristine trail on a cliff, with water lapping at the shoreline below, the sun slanting across it, and it felt very peaceful but I was aware of traffic noise from a highway not far away. It was way in the background and I didn’t mind it at all. It all depends, doesn’t it? And we layer other impressions onto our ideas of sound, don’t you think? When does one ever have a purely auditory sensation or a purely visual one?
            Good talking to you!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes. I think context and expectations have a lot to do with our perceptions of and receptions to “noise”. After living here a year, it does seem rather noisy, pretty much all the time. And last fall we took our semi-annual cabin-in-the-woods trip to a local state park and I was struck by how prominent the highway noise was compared to only a couple of years ago. That plus the campground was absolutely over-run. Very strange that only two years ago over basically the same weekend it was a ghost-town. One of the main reasons we like going at that time of year–last weekend in October. And I swear, NONE of them were wearing masks……uugh. I had hoped to get some good field recordings but it was just too much the wrong kind of noisy…..

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              • I’m sorry you guys didn’t have the good experience you were expecting. State parks (and other parks) are overrun in general since the pandemic, it seems. You probably have to go far from the usual haunts to find the kind of peace you used to find there – until the pandemic is over, everyone goes back to their normal routines and forgets about visiting parks. (Is that cynical and sad or what? But the NY’er in me never dies…)

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