Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sometimes, it's all about Texture

... but a lot of times it's about something else entirely, and the texture is just a bonus.  These pictures, for instance, are actually about Life.  Appropriately ... or not ... they were taken at a cemetery.  This is a Resurrection Fern.  Yes, it is growing in the fork of that tree, no dirt required.  Don't worry though, no harm will come to the tree.  It is an air fern, it takes it's nutrients from the air and water. 

It's name comes from the fact that it survives periods of drought by curling up and appearing dead.  Then when it get just a little water the fern will uncurl and reopen, appearing to resurrect.

You know the drill ... click the button ... join the fun
This weeks theme is "Rough".  With that in mind I'm going to suggest that if you are squeamish, or have creepy crawly phobias, you might want to skip this post and come back in a day or two.  "Rough" is not always pretty, and after these first few shots I have some that might creep you out.  I don't want to be accused of giving anyone nightmares.  So consider yourself warned:  There be monsters. 

Not your every day sand castle.  The lighting was WAY harsh when I came upon this construction at the beach on  Sullivan's Island, but you know, sometimes you just have to take what you can get ;)  It was there and so was I, and even if "I" could have waited for the morning light that would have made this picture SO much better, the tide would have taken it long before dawn arrived.  This baby was big too,  maybe 3 or 4 feet high with a similar diameter.  It kind of seems odd to think of wet sand as rough, nor would sand castles be the first thing that came to my mind at that word either, but you know if the shoe fits....

Same day, same beach.  The tide pool and it's path to the sea was my subject here, but the barnacle covered rocks pretty much steal the show

Wandering the beach along the inter-coastal waterway while my friends were casting nets for shrimp I came across this one and titled it "The Boneyard".  It's grizzly, and gross, and kind of haunting.  To this day I can't explain why it caught my eye, or I felt the need to record it, but if this guy didn't have it rough, no one ever has ;)

Like the Resurrection fern, this critter also "curls up and appears dead".  I can assure you this one is not actually dead although he does look rough, he's just "playing possum".  It looks like he may have had a narrow escape before I stumbled up and surprised him.  I'd always heard about this trick but had never seen it before.  In other shots taken at the same time he's eyes were a bit more open, a paw or his tail in a slightly different position.  Yet I never saw him move the entire time I was shooting.  I was careful not to get too close (I have a very good zoom lens).  I hear opossums can carry rabies and can be very vicious.  They prefer, however, to play dead and hope you'll go away.  After just a few shots I did just that.  He looked like he needed to find his way home.

Some of you are going to hate me now, but I think I've saved the best for last.

Remember way back there at the beginning when I warned you there be monsters?

If you're going to freak out ... go ahead and leave now

Go on, it's okay, nobody will think less of you


Are you ready?

It's time ...

This little guy ... what was that?  Yes, LITTLE.  I told you I have a very good zoom lens on my camera.  He's really smaller than the eraser on the end of your pencil.  See those "rough rocks" he's climbing on?  That is the edge of a cement sidewalk that looks perfectly smooth to the naked eye.  I LOVE my camera.

For you new folks, I quite often will throw in what has become known as "the obligatory spider shot" in my picture posts.  I've been neglecting that lately.  I don't usually do a disclaimer, but these big eyed jumping spiders tend to freak people out.  They are scarey looking up close.

Go see Carmi @ Written Ink for more "Rough" stuff.  Don't worry, nobody else is as warped as I am.


  1. Your photography is amazing and I love how you tell the back story behind each image.
    I am always fascinated by bones on the beach. Most of the time we just find fish skeletons. But, when we took a walk on my parents' beach in May, we came across a canine skeleton. It was tangled in the weeds and rocks in the water near the shore. My 12 year old, Henry, dragged it to the sand with a stick. It was so haunting. And it gave us chills to hypothesize how it arrived there. My mother said that often times the carcasses of coyotes from the Canadian side of the bay end up on our shores in the spring :-( I know it is so morbid- but I really regretted not having my camera with me. Still, the vision of its rib cage will be burned in my brain forever.

  2. Those jumping spiders were a nuisance when we lived in charleston. We had them all over our condo. Not here. Instead we get alien bugs and creepy big hairy spiders.

  3. Very nice work.
    I'll even forgive you for the spider.

  4. Sally. OK, first please allow me to say the I am an ignorant fuckball. I looked at your choices for posting ID and didn't see the correct choice for me. I looked three different times and for several minutes each time. After our email exchanges, I thought to myself, I thought, "Mooner my man, you have ADHD and why would you be able to post comments elsewhere and not over to Sally's place?"

    "A very good question," I answered myself. So I came back over to here and looked again, and voila, a "Name/Url" ID choice.

    I R DUM, and fuck Rick Perry.

  5. Excellent set of photos. Textures are great, and I am impressed with your zoom lens, the clarity of the spider on the cement is amazing. I've been known to take pictures of bones too, we don't have many fish here in the desert, but sun bleached bones in the desert are not rare.

  6. You really are a gifted photographer.. Such clarity it's almost as if I can touch the different textures. beautiful work and thank you for sharing with us all:-)

  7. I LOVE the spider shot! I love looking at spiders-they're fascinating, although I prefer that they keep their distance!

  8. These are tremendous photographs and you have put together a fine collection on the theme To begin with I thought that fern was artificial. The spider tops the lot!

  9. To those of you who were earliest, Thank you for wading through the horrendous amount of typos. I don't know how I missed them (distracted I guess) hopefully they're about cleared up now.

    @OT: Thank you, glad you liked them.

    @ A Cappelli: Thanks, I feel exactly the same way about your illustrations that so visually enhance your stories to perfection.

    I'm always asked "why" I took a picture that many consider morbid. I really don't know, just that I strangely feel strangely compelled somehow. It's like SOMEONE should at least notice, you know? And I just don't see bones as gross as many seem to >shrug< often times they seem to have they own kind of beauty.

    @ Barb: I think think the reason most people react so badly to the jumpers is because they are just so startlingly FAST ... and of course, they JUMP ;) They're generally pretty small so the scary looks really can't be that big of a factor if you can't SEE them.

    @ ET: Thanks Writer ... I'd say I was sorry about the spider, but we both know I'd be lying ;)

    (((MOONER!))) Glad to see you worked it out. You know, it's possible that option wasn't there until I turned on the anonymous comments. No they SHOULDN'T be connected, but this IS Blogger.

    @ Max: I have a Panasonic Lumix. It came equipped with a 18x optical zoom Leica Lens. It won't fit in my pocket but is no bigger that the standard 35mm used to be, without all the hassle of changing lens all the time. I absolutely love it, it opened up a whole new world for me photographically.

    @ Lynne: Thanks for you kind words.

    @ Lolamouse: You're back! Yay. Spiders are actually beautiful creatures in my book.

    @ Bob: I had to backtrack you because I knew I recognized the name ... you had the shot of the sign that made me picture a moose on skis ;P that still makes me smile. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. I was alright until that last shot, yes you warned me so I was prepared... I had my hand on my mouse and the photo stayed on my screen for about two seconds! lol

    Fantastic shots...less the last one! ;-) The fern sure is interesting, who would have known? And the possum I think is hilarious!

    When you say you have a good zoom, what lens are you shooting your close ups with? I'm always shopping for new lenses even though I've only purchased one in the past 2 years! Starving student syndrome happening but only for one more year, in the meantime my list of camera equipment continues to grow.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  11. Very interesting and nice shots! :)/Limar

  12. Love the spider shot. I cant resist photographing them either and I am very envious of your camera.
    The fish bones are stunning.

  13. Life has an incredible ability to defiantly plant itself and refuse to let go. This series exemplifies that big time. Great, great interpretation of an admittedly oddball theme!

  14. @ darlin: The lens is made by Leica (they make excellent glass), but permanently attached to the camera. I don't have a DSLR, but a rather fancy point and shoot. I posted the particulars at your place.

    @ Limar: I'm happy you stopped in, thank you.

    @ Lynx: Spider is one of my totem animals. I will always honor her here. I just found a new kind in out back a little bit ago. I've never seen one like it before but expect it's one of the crab spiders. I'll post it after I've had time to do a little research.

    @ Carmi: Yes it does. And I had meant to point out that it's often the texture (or the rough spots) that we weren't looking for at the time, that provide the interest and the lessons in our lives. How boring it would be if everything went smoothly always.

  15. Sally! Wow! What terrific photography. I got a beautiful camera for Christmas and have been having a blast ever since. In fact my daughter and I went on a joint shoot recently through the Fraser Canyon in British Columbia. Got some wonderful pics. How much zoom is in that lens? That was so fascinating not only because of the spider being so distinct but the sidewalk!!! Cool, very cool.

  16. Hi Heather. Thanks. It has 18x optical zoom. It very well might be the very best investment I ever made. I have gotten so much pleasure out of it.

  17. great picture MS!! i love the close up shots!! (one of these days i have to invest in a better zoom....)
    the spider...the textures...the possum...sand castle...terrific shots!!

  18. I was lounging at an apartment complex pool one afternoon when a lady sporting a huge bandage on her hand started telling one of her friends the story of how she had found this poor possum hanging upside down from a tree by its tail. She "tried to help it back up", and ended up with her hand in aforementioned bandage. I couldn't stop laughing...

  19. @ Laura: Thanks, I thought about you when I posted the fish bones ;)

    SQUATLO!! You got past the blogger block Yay! OMG ... I wouldn't have been able to stop laughing either. Yeah, poor little possum >giggles<

  20. Hey Mustang Sally,
    Yay, I have arrived. I can only imagine how anxious you were, because you have been eagerly awaiting a comment from me, yes, shy and humble me :)
    So, here goes, absolutely superb photos and maybe, one day, I shall take a photo as wonderful as your collection. I want to thank you for submitting a photo of my 'Uncle Bob' in that last photo. 'Hi Uncle Bob!' :)

  21. That closeup picture of the spider is simply amazing. It looks like it's going to eat my face. Oh my, I've gone and ruined the moment, haven't I?