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№ 75 Posts



Roadwork, Highway 112, December 2009

Some recent roadwork on 112 between Joyce and Clallam Bay, WA. The landscape cloth they use to control drainage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca makes the whole construction zone look like a giant Christo installation.

My antique weekend

Forest, Kalaloch, November 2009

A windstorm knocked power out here for 4 days so I spent much of the time out at Kalaloch.  Not very productively, seeing as the wind and rain was still knocking the coast around quite a bit.  Busywork or maybe just something to do with confronting your tormentor. Loosing, and getting soaked in the bargain. ‘Maybe tomorrow the power will come back on.’ Repeat.

Getting back home there is nothing it that dark to suggest even the invention of the wheel. Knuckling darkness, mind bending. As often as the power goes out here, I don’t know why I haven’t gotten a generator yet. The trips out to the coast helped to counterbalance the long dark nights a little, the animations of the storm and surf repaying the effort even at five am getting up freezing to make a fire outside, as if looking to finish some elemental thought.

Sunday night I had three trips festering in the exposure boxes and just couldn’t wait anymore. I decided to play frontiersman and develop some film. The water comes out of my tap at 5 C, so it was interesting heating up quantities of water on a camp stove and then trying to keep the solutions in the 20 C range. But the difficult part was keeping time in the dark. Counting 10 minutes off second by second is a direct route to sensory abandon, even minor hallucination, like repeating the same word over and over again until it sounds completely alien.

But the negatives turned out well, for what they are, and figured no great loss if they were ruined. But then again, I’m never sure how much I have at stake until the damage is done.

Where’s the john around here anyway?

Beach 4, Kalaloch, November 2009

I’ve been struggling with this project, or at least this current incarnation of it. No matter how much I enjoy being at the coast, it’s not satisfying the way it once was, and I can feel a progressively thinner-veiled scoffing at my own work with each new post I make. Like some gaunt chainsmoking Art-hag is sitting atop a shoulder and offering withering opinions on everything I do. The polite version is Pretty, but not terribly interesting. I need to re-engage my interest; or rather to look much deeper for it, in places I never considered before.

Eudora Welty bemoaned something she called the Isle of Capri novel- those detective or romance novels with   idyllic if wildly superficial settings where it is always elegant and balmy and there are no alleys or restrooms (to paraphrase). I don’t know if restrooms are what my project is missing but I do know that my world lately is all front and no back; and as such I haven’t really provided a full or fair picture of these places at all. Which kinda sucks, frankly.

Flee the burn

Spruce, Kalaloch, November 2009

just busted my last beehive safelight trying to do aerobics between negative scans. I busted the other ones during my last health craze 6 months ago.  I know middle age is pathetic but does it have to keep repeating itself?

Edward C slept here. And here…and here…

Striations and runoff stream, Kalaloch, November 2009

Driving through Forks WA is getting embarrassing. Dozens of ‘Twilight’ shops here now. Might make it tricky to film any sequels here, with t-shirts of the main character hanging in every shop front. Still, I couldn’t resist buying some new underwear. Squeal. :p

Sick day

Mussel Field, Strait of Juan de Fuca
October 2009

but I’m deluding myself that maybe I’m up for a day at the beach. I’ve had a rough 6 weeks, 4 of it fighting off one bug or another. Maybe my reason has simmered too long in the vapors but I just need one of those powder blue unitard jumpers they stuff kids into, to seal myself off from the elements, rogue waves and gull crap. One of those suits that looks like it carries a Type I Coast Guard rating. OK, just the fever rambling. Barney, can you drive now?

Ko kwal al woot, maiden of Deception Pass

Ko kwal al woot, Rosario Beach
October 2009

I went east for the first time in a while, back over to the mainland- Bellingham specifically. I’ve been struggling with some sort of virus, so it was maybe unwise to stand in the wind and icy rain taking this shot, but I’d had a restless day of ferries and long slow  caravans of traffic, the gathering weather turning the drive over Deception Pass into a sort of funeral cortege.

Rosario Beach is a short and welcome detour off 20, even though in the chute of Rosario Strait the wind was extreme. I found a meager lee in shadow of Bowman Hill and Deception Island and opened the lens and just let the wind and light mix it up. I like movement and blur in trees, and the low-fi anxiety  of flying debris, and here I especially like that there is deception in the still statue, the only defined thing in the frame, as if legend can ever truly hold the day. And it doesn’t hurt that even the fish looks upside down.

Until green again

Alders, Lake Crescent
April 2009

With a little room to work the alders do nice things- around lake fronts especially. The boughs have these sort of aching leaning gestures that hold the wind so well. And the tracings of the limbs are brought a little lower each spring by the winter’s snowfall and rain, finally exploding in a million emerald medallions as the leaves open up and tantalize the rising lake. All is lit from within, and it’s a thorough and grand contagion.
My black and white version is a little lacking.  I guess it holds my memory of it well enough;  it’s transitional enough anyway, as the local slides into another monochrome winter. Whether that memory is accurate is beside the point. Even if my impressions are proved wrong, at least I get to be surprised all over again next spring.

The running of the dumpsters

Dumpster race, K-Ply Mill
October 2009

The pace of deconstruction can be so glacial it’s difficult to notice. This mill closed a while back and driving by it every day pulls up no immediate sense of despair, but you can still feel it in the jaw, like an involuntary reflex. I admit I saw this scene as a humorous industrial version of the running of the bulls, but then I also I admit I saw this scene for it’s implacability- however slow,  the waste always show up for its prize. What it lacks in speed it more than makes up for in duration.