Monday, May 29, 2023

For The Glory 2023

One of our favorite celebrations in Humboldt County is the Kinetic Sculpture Race. It begins here and takes a 40 mile journey over three days. No motorized vehicles, just human powered joy and beautiful art. We didn't go into to town to see the beginning of this race, but we watched them as they headed down the main road in town. We walked to the corner of our street and got to see some of these magnificent creatures as they made their way out of town. Some of the photos of the race in town are not mine, but were shared on a public site. 

Update: I realize I should have put in a description of this race. This is what I found online that I think describes it so well: A local tradition since 1969, the Kinetic Race is no parade! In the Kinetic Grand Championship bodies of art and artist's bodies are put to the test. There's 40 miles to go, over land, sand, water, and mud. These intrepid Kinetinauts are a unique breed of human. With a heart full of joy and a bucket full of tools, they face innumerable obstacles for just one reason ... For the GLORY!

These kinetic sculptures will go along city streets, go through sand dunes and cross rivers.  It is a wild journey and they are cheered on all along the way. We watched a news video on Sunday of the Grateful Squid entering the North Bay Channel. A few years ago we went to watch them all enter the water. It's quite a sight!

If you click on the pics you'll see why we love this event so much. The creativity and energy are so wonderful. We stood on the corner with many of our delightful neighbors and cheered these racers on. Yes, for the glory!

Monday, May 22, 2023

Colors from Far and Near

The weather has remained quite gray, overcast, bleak, and without any hint of color at sunrise or sunset. This has been going on for quite a while. So, my older brother in Virginia sent me some photos the other day that he took from his deck. 

This is a view of the Piedmont Mountains looking east at sunset there. I was surprised by all the color in the eastern sky at sunset. He told me that the whole sky lights up at sunrise and sunset. It's so nice to see the sky again. 

When I first looked at what I thought was a sunset photo, it surprised me so much to see a hint of a rainbow in the upper left corner. It's really not possible for there to be a rainbow in a sunset sky looking west. So, when my brother explained that it was a sunset sky looking east it finally made sense. I love a nice surprise like that.

The colors reminded me of the California Poppy I photographed in our front yard the other day.

We may not have any clear skies here or sunrises or sunsets lately, but we do get to see a bit of color in the blooming beauty of our native flowers. I particularly liked this poppy because of the hues of orange. Most of the poppies are a single dark orange color. This one said, "Well I may not be a sunrise or sunset, but I'll remind  you of one every time you look my way." I am grateful for that.

Hope all is well for you, friends. Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, May 08, 2023

And So It Goes

The beauty of the sky still lifts my heart

Life is so interesting sometimes.  I failed the written driver's test for the third and last time.

In all my years as a student from kindergarten to a senior in high school, from my re-entry college student time at the age of 30 to finally getting my degree when I was 36 years old, I never failed a course. And not only that, I was an A+ student, one of those crazy 4.0 GPA driven achievers. My favorite job was when I was advisor at the university and advised undergraduate students who were experiencing academic difficulties. I helped them organize their time, their interests, their study habits. I loved it.  

I retired early and we moved to the Pacific Northwest and started birdwatching. I learned the names of birds, their habits, their nesting behaviors. I bought a camera and a pair of binoculars. I kept a list of the birds I had seen. I had a huge bird feeder.   

Then we moved to the Sierra foothills. I learned the names of native flowers and trees, and hiked in the high country. I fell in love with the sky there. I learned the names of cloud formations. I had photos published on The Cloud Appreciation website. One day I looked out the window and saw colors in the clouds. I fell madly in love with atmospheric optics … from rainbows to iridescent clouds; from 22 degree halos to circumzenithal arcs. All of which I photographed and have shared here so many times.

Then one day in 2011 I had a headache that woke me at 3:00 in the morning and caused me so much nauseating and pounding pain that I had Roger take me to the ER. They ran a scan and thought I might be having a brain aneurysm. They couldn’t find anything. The neurologist said that I had had a “neurological event.” I didn’t think anything of it until one day I noticed that I no longer remembered my dreams. Not a single second of them. I used to remember dreams in the most exhaustive detail. Now I had and still have nothing. I also noticed one day while deep frying felafel that I no longer felt burns. I had a second degree burn on my wrist from spattered hot oil that I did not feel at all, not the moment it happened or any time after. I used to be my family's resource for family history. That disappeared as well. That neurological event changed my life.

So, when I prepared for my third (and final) written driver’s test, I read that 90 page manual twice. I highlighted important parts with a yellow magic marker. I took notes in the margins. I tried to remember every last ridiculous detail.

I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles feeling as prepared as I could be. I took the test. I FAILED.  

On my 71st birthday this coming Saturday I will no longer be a licensed driver. If I want to try again I have to apply for a driver’s license, take the driving test and the written test. Well, that does not sound very hopeful to me. So, I’m beginning to think my driving days are over. 

All of my loved ones want me to try. They are supportive and hopeful. I'm not hopeful at all.

I once had such a fine brain for memory. But that was so long ago, I can hardly remember.