Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's Not Even Thanksgiving Yet

The weather service had predicted that the balmy temperatures would be ending on Friday and, sure enough, when we arrived at the beach yesterday at about 5 p.m., temperatures had dropped about 20 degrees from the highs of earlier in the week. The sky held only a few clouds of the cumulous variety and, with the sun shining brightly, seemed to glow a brilliant blue. However, even though the sun shone as brightly as ever, the air had noticeably cooled and the breeze off the ocean was stiff and gusty.

It must have been very low tide last night, because when we started our walk, the hardpacked sand was exposed for about 10 yards and you could even see these wet muddy flats that do not usually show. It was not a very appealing vista, made even less so by these clumps of kelp (seaweed) deposited by the waves.

Walking with an artist definitely can change your perspective though. Alma spotted a string of kelp that she thought was singularly aesthetically appealing. Alma said that the waves had created sand waves around it whose shape mirrored the shape of the kelp and that there was a contrast between the grittiness of the sand and the smoothness of the kelp. I said it looked like something the sea had puked up after a night of heavy binge drinking. But you can be the judge:

Kelp As Art - November 6, 2010

We also came across two young men struggling to learn how to pilot their battery-powered model airplane using a remote control device. This plane had some sort of propeller behind its cabin that propelled the plane. The two guys could get the plane into the air but, once aloft, the plane would swoop and swoon until crashing into the sand, no doubt because of the gusty breezes I mentioned above. At one point, it seemed as if the plane was going to make a crash landing straight into my face. It crashed short of me, but my heart sped up just a bit.

I was fascinated by their efforts and wished to tarry but we have a policy that once in motion on our walk we will only stop for art's sake. Alma was worried for me and others on the beach and thought they should be flying their plane away from any people. "Silly boy toy," I heard her mutter as we continued to walk away from them. I looked over my shoulder as we walked away and saw them still valiantly trying to keep the plane aloft. They were gone by the time we returned.

Near the Villa Marina jetty, we bumped upon a most curious spectacle. There were two Christmas trees (artificial) set up on the beach and decorated with ornaments and presents. There were other Christmasy items set up in the sand also, including a sign that pointed toward the north pole. Very bizarre. Alma took many pictures, some of which you will see below.

The person had brought all the material out to the beach in a children's red wagon and I circled the wagon to see if I could find any sign of who might have brought the stuff. It seemed abandoned and adrift and there were no obvious signs of whom the material belonged to. So I was about ready to dismiss is as merely the fruit of yet another California eccentric when a woman walked up with a big, fancy camera. Turns out the woman, Stephanie Celine, is a professional photographer and was staging the trees on the beach for holiday cards.

She was quite open to my putting our photos of her Christmas tableaus on my blog. Thank you Stephanie, and I wish you a lot of luck wit your photography business ( It seems Christmas has indeed come a bit early this year for Southern California, so perhaps those lower temperatures yesterday were a harbinger.

1 comment:

  1. yet again I just keep reading and reading. I love it very much. Not sure what the snad one with the seaweed looked like but I thought it was pretty.Keep up the stories I LOVE them very much.