I had the pleasure of taking over the Wonderful Machine Instagram account for 3 days last week. I used the opportunity to feature some of my favorite and lesser known San Diego landmarks. I ended up posting about 36 images. Below are several of my favorites. To check out all the images visit the Wonderful Machine Instagram stream. To explore futher follow me on Instagram - @feriiiphoto
I recently toured Pa Ka Makani Farm in Hawaii. My friends Anne and Andrew Strawbridge have created something special on The Big Island. Kudos to them for acting as great stewards of the earth by envisioning this sustainably designed and built slice of paradise.
My youngest son and I recently traveled to San Francisco. On our stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge I discovered this surf spot right under the southern end. Fort Point is one of the more unusual breaks on the California coast, to say the least. Here's a bodyboarder braving the frigid water and avoiding the rocks.
I donated a canvas to Ad2 San Diego for their Cause Marketing Night to benefit My Girlfriend's Closet. The auction took place last night and I'm happy to report it fetched a fine fee. And even better it ended up in the hands of my buddy Adam Hermsdorfer of Big Tuna Interactive. Great job Ad2 and enjoy your canvas Adam!
Over the summer I read an awesome travelogue about a writer, Dana Spiotta, and her friend who canoed a portion of the Erie Canal in order to experience the waterside view and feel of the towns and landscape along the waterway. Okay, maybe it wasn't a travelogue in the true sense, but this article for the New York Times Magazine sucked me in. The small towns dotting the Erie Canal are long past their prime. Commuters and truckers on I-90 race past these long forgotten towns day and night, without much thought. One of the landmarks that struck me in her article was the recently abandoned Beech-Nut factory in Canajoharie, NY. I sought out the Erie Canal on a recent trip back east and found myself drawn to this old factory. I passed it several times during my travels at various times of the day. Always beautiful, not a soul around, and the distinct hum of I-90 in the background.
I always thought I knew what I needed to know about bees. Bees are cool. Bees make honey. Bees sting. Keep your distance from bees. The bees seemed cool with this arrangement as I mostly left them alone to do their thing. Then I was in Northern CA a few weeks back and spent some time learning about bees. I saw the film Queen of the Sun | What are the Bees Telling Us? about the plight of the honeybee. A must see film for anyone concerned with the state of agribusiness in our country and the world. I then had the pleasure of meeting and photographing two wonderful beekeepers. The first, one of the film’s featured beekeepers, was Guther Hauk. Gunther is a gentle soul with an amazing knowledge of bees and beekeeping. He is an advocate for sustainable beekeeping, having “retired” to The Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary in rural Virginia. The second was Barbara Schlumberger. She, along with Priscilla Coe and Michael Thiele founded The Melissa Garden at Barbara’s ranch in Sonoma County. She too is a sustainable beekeeper and bee advocate. Barbara was nice enough to give me a tour of the garden and introduce me to their bees. It was an incredible experience.
So I have a newfound respect and love of bees. And the bees and I have a new understanding. I will not steal their honey or fear them and they will not sting me. It’s worked out well so far.
Here are 10 fun facts about bees.
1. Honey bees have four wings, six legs, two compound eyes made of up many, many tiny lenses and three simple eyes on the top of the head that are light sensors.
2. Honeybees perform a waggle dance to communicate the location and the directions to distant food sources that are 100 yards to 2-3 miles from the hive.
3. In one trip honeybees visit 100-1500 blossoms to fill their honey crop, an organ separate from their digestive stomach that is used to transport nectar.
4. Forager bees, steadfast and committed to their task, make up to 30 trips a day. Using their long, straw-like proboscis they collect nectar from the wild flowers and herbs of meadows. As Johannes Wirz says in QUEEN OF THE SUN, “Bees are the golden thread from flower to flower, keeping the world in bloom.”
5. The honey bee’s wings beat at incredible speeds! About 200 beats per second, creating the their un-missable “buzz”. A bee can fly up to 15 miles per hour and can fly a total of up to six miles.
6. Bees were not only one of the first sources for sweetness, but also for light! Beeswax candles were used by humans to provide long-lasting light in the darkness. Secreted from glands of the bee’s abdomen, beeswax is used by the honeybee to build the honey comb in the beehive.
7. In their entire lifespan, a worker bee only produces 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of honey.
8. The beehive is a “super organism”. All of the bees work together as a single entity. A lone bee cannot live on it’s own outside of the hive for even 24 hours.
9. In winter bees live on stored honey and pollen and cluster into a ball to conserve warmth. Their “body” temperature in the hive is close to human body temperature, 95-97 degrees, regardless of the temperature outside of the hive.
10. Some big numbers to think about! In producing just one pound of honey, bees from the hive visit approximately one million flowers. The entire hive of bees will fly 90,000 miles. This is equivalent to one and a half orbits around the earth just to collect one pound of glistening honey.
Room 2601 & 2 - Hilton Bayfront, San Diego, CA
Recently took a drive through South Central California. Makes me wonder what one would have found on a similar trek 100, 200, 1000 years ago.
Is it me or do the last 2 look like an ad for the Dodge Journey?
Summertime Upper Peninsula Childhood Bliss
Another trip to the border fence, this time out around Hwy 94.
I stumbled upon this scene during my travels along of the US Mexican Border fence a few weeks ago. I was crossing a small bridge just west of Old Calexico and this structure in the water caught my eye. So I pulled off to find the best vantage point. When I photograph I tend to be pretty focused and in my own world. Especially when I work with my older film cameras. But there’s always a part of me that is conscious of where I am and what’s around me. Survival instinct, self-preservation, whatever it is, it’s always there: floating around in my sub conscious whenever I’m shooting in an unfamiliar locale. As I’m framing up this shot and trying some different angles I become aware of a low rumble from a pretty beefy engine. Not that I would notice this sound in and of itself, but I realize it’s been idling somewhere behind me for a little while now. It’s not an unusual sound given the terrain. It’s just there and I’m aware of it. So I get back to my task at hand. Eventually I’ve got something I like and I start to head back to the car. On the way I notice a super cool old rusty gear lying in the dirt. I pick it up to check it out and continue walking back to the car. Just then, I pick up on the sound of the engine again because it was now coming toward me. Instead of running back to the car like a total freak I turn to acknowledge the driver. Now if you’ve ever been to this area there’s one thing you’ll notice immediately. The US Border Patrol is omnipresent. And that’s exactly who was keeping a watchful eye on me. As he approached in his low growling SUV I wasn’t sure what to expect. Was I “allowed” to be shooting there? Was I shooting something sensitive to immigration? The officer rolled up slowly and I walked over to greet him.
“Where are you from? Are you from around here?” he asked.
“No. San Diego. I’m a photographer,” I said, waving my hand westward and stating the obvious.
“Do you know about this river?”
“No, should I?”
“They say it’s the most polluted river in the US. It flows directly north from Mexico. I wouldn’t touch anything around it,” he said, looking at the rusty gear in my hand.
It turns out this is the New River (Rio Nuevo) and it does in fact flow directly north out of Mexicali into the United States. It is referred to as the most polluted river of its size in the US. The river flows north through Baja California into the US (at this point) and another 66 miles into the Salton Sea. The New River’s flow is composed of waste from agricultural and chemical runoff from the farm industry, sewage form Mexicali, and manufacturing plants operating in Mexico.
I kept the gear anyway. I just scrubbed it, and my hands, thoroughly…