Monthly Archives: February 2021

The Time of Sands


Sand is an ephemeral medium, intermediate in particle size between the rock which is its parent material and the ever-finer slurry of yet-further abraded silicacious dust. Easily transported by wind and water, sand flows in turbulent and chaotic motion. The emergent forms are transitory: winds and waves build and re-build patterns, sifting particles by size and weight to build dunes and ridges. The willing eye may find aesthetic pleasure in the incessant sculpting and deposition, and the imagination may be awakened to find creatures whose brief lives are rarely documented. Here are a few examples from the last week’s expeditions to Drift Inn beach, less than 2 miles from home (and see a larger sand gallery including examples from the last decade or so).

This image contains the marvelous detail below:



The lady below seems to bloom from the swirl of the upper image:


and another, a begowned goat-faced personage with claws:


A dragon materializes:



…and a rather dopey yellow being arrives as the upper image is unfolded:



Ephemerality in the woodpile

February in Maine means stoking the fires several times a day. These days it’s just one woodstove, but still a fair amount of wood moves from woodshed to house every day. Each piece has some specifics, like species (mostly maple, oak, birch) and mass (a 15 lb knot burns longer than 3 5 lb sticks), and of course there’s an art to placement and draft adjustment. In addition, there’s the occasional personality who takes refuge in the carefully-stacked woodpile. I choose to think of such visitors as looking forward to the transcendence that immolation brings, and to their further lives into which their constituent atoms are recycled (and one might apply the same expectation to other forms of organic life too…). So here are some of today’s potential immolatees:





Updates and evolutions

I just remembered another verse of Ken Stallcup’s wonderful anthropologist/linguist song, cited in a post last April and now updated with the missing bits included.


But today’s post really has to do with a succession of images emerging from an original capture yesterday at Drift Inn. The raw version as it came from the camera (a broken fragment of sea ice floating above sand):

and as adjusted (vibrancy, clarity, sharpness) and uploaded to Flickr:

and then I saw a figure within the original, and cropped and rotated:

and eventually with minor adjustments it resolved to this:

And then I wondered about that baleful yellow eye at the top, and did the by-now-familiar copy-flip-join to produce a mirror image:


And while we’re considering the experimental, a new perspective arrived yesterday in the form of a 10 mm fisheye lens that has no very serious purpose (or not yet, anyway) but does that thing of making me think differently about what I see via the medium of the camera. Among the experiments I tried was this:


Now, that’s all very meta: a photograph of a photograph, and probably of no consequence… but another example of where the feet wander as one stumbles from thing to thing.

One more image from that lens, which has pretty startling quality for not much $$:

(click on that image to zoom in, and then click again…)

Convivial: Ex-spire one week, In-spire the next

Lately I’ve been putting my contributions to the weekly Zoom Convivium (4 to 6 of us, an hour or so on Wednesday nights of freeform discussion of a Question posed by one of the participants). Two recent examples:

Death and Dying


These suites of pages and links are overkill, useful and fun for me to do, but pretty definitely in the tl;dr and Informing Others Against Their Will territory.