I don’t think I’ve set foot in this yacht club in over a decade, but I walk along the docks to check out the boats all the time. It’s a pretty big space and there’s always dozens of watercraft of all sizes, from small jet boats to the large yachts you see here. Walking past these ships I imagine being out to sea off some distant shore, up on the flying bridge with binoculars, scanning the horizon. I’m sure the freedom and adventure of having one of these things is tempered by the reality of their considerable upkeep and maintenance, but that’s seldom part of the reverie as you walk past them during a beautiful sunset.
When I was in Buffalo this summer, I went on a long photo walk the day of the wedding while the girls got their hair done and posed for photos with the bride. My first stop was that famous Canadian purveyor of coffee and donuts, Tim Hortons. I sat down near a window with my OJ and pastries and started reviewing some photos I’d taken earlier, when this perky little boy walked by with his mom. As soon as she sat down on a bench and looked away, he ran over to the window, pressed his face up against the glass to look inside, saw me, and started mugging for the camera. I snapped a few pics and then finished the rest of my high-calorie breakfast. Maybe the little dude was just craving some donuts like I was?
Note: Unlike the other pics on this site, this photo is not under a Creative Commons license and cannot be used without permission.
There’s still at least 20 minutes of light left in this photo. Time enough to walk down to the dock, push the kayak halfway off, sit down in it and lean back until you slide right into the water. The air is still and the current hasn’t picked up, so the paddling should be easy. And with the water this high you can glide right over the marshes. At low tide they become a maze of greenery and you have to stand up on the kayak to see over the top and find your way out, but tonight the kayak will just part the top of the marsh aside until you slip back into deeper water. Look down under the surface as you pass over it and you’ll see dozens of tiny gray snails each climbing their own blade of grass. Drift along slowly while the sun recedes, blue fades to black, and the first stars appear. Then turn back toward the island, with the houselights all strung out across the horizon, and head for home.
In 1859, an Australian pioneer released a dozen wild rabbits on his property for hunting purposes. Other farms soon followed suit, and with little in the way of natural predators among the indigenous species, the rabbit population exploded dramatically. Within a decade millions were being shot or trapped every year in an attempt to control their proliferation, but the continent still teemed with hordes of rabbits. Will this happen on Figure 8 Island? I don’t know. But I wouldn’t mind it, because these little guys are so damn cute. I saw at least 3 or 4 of them when I was there in June, and that certainly seems like enough to start a colony. I followed this one around for a while with my 200-400mm lens and was able to chase him into some good late-afternoon light. However, as you can tell from this expression, I don’t think he was too happy about it.
This summer I visited Hawaii for a wedding, and while there spent an hour aloft with Jack Harter Helicopters on an aerial tour of the island of Kauai. It was definitely one of the most exhilarating hours of the trip. Kauai is generally only inhabited within a few miles of its coastline, and there’s a vast interior that’s totally unexplorable by any means other than being in an aircraft or doing some serious backwoods bushwhacking. Fortunately we were able to take the former route, skimming over ridgetops at low altitude and then ascending up to 4000 feet ASL to observe the phenomenally beautiful views while we cruised along at 120 mph. This is the north-west part of the island, known as the Na Pali coast, which has no roads and is only reachable by sea. We saw it from a boat as well, but that’s a subject for another post…