The Gathering Tree

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The Gathering Tree

by Jack Foster Mancilla
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I love this place in the canyon. It had always appeared to me as a place to gather; gather friends, gather performers, or just gather any group of people in the shade of a tree, sitdown and have a beer, and a very good conversation.

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Tiny little Moss Heads

I received a very fine complement on one of my flower macros. Actually, the complement used one macro image to refer to the quality of almost all my flower images. Thank you Vern. … Vern’s Link.

Back to today. 😉

After thinking about my response to his complement where I said something like, “Flowers are all over the place. You do not have to drive anywhere, and waste gas, nor are there other hidden costs for keeping your photo practice up-to-date.” … Or something like that.

I thought I might illustrate that statement. So I did. … That little image, of the tiny moss heads, was shot a couple hours ago. … The moss is from a potted plant in the back yard. The little instructional image following, also includes some extra information. … 🙂 Ok, not much extra information, but it does show how I got the background.

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My Quest

My Quest, a photo by LensLord on Flickr.
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My Quest
by Jack Foster Mancilla

I push through space, through brightness, and shadow,
languidly pulsing my life force through the continuum.
On my tendrils the soft current of the breeze shallow
peaks my interest of tastes and sex. Tongues my medium
like agars replete with life, nourishing, and driving
my very self to reproduce. Bring me my mate, my bodied
complement, I search the flowing agar-agar for your scent.
Long has been my toil, my primal quest near atrophied.
Again, I catch the waft of your passing. Please, relent.
Rough banging upon my being, assailed by torrents maddened,
bereft of nourishing agar, cast upon the hardness of empty,
immobilized by I know not what, my tendrils movement dampened,
I long to be free. Yet, I feel the future of my passing entity.

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Small White, in a field of Purple and Deep Red

An early morning walk through the neighborhood, brought this blooming to my eyes.

Later, in the life cycle of this flower, it would be very different, the reds would be gone, replaced by something more muted. The purples would have lost the richness, and become very blue. And the single white, would be joined by a whole flock of white siblings.

From a walk on Fiesta Island.

This is what the plant looks when it is a little older. You will need to click on the image to see a larger version. 🙂

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Jimson Weed – Hidden Things

Sometimes things are hidden.

San Diego has many beautiful areas in which one can play with a camera. Some of the places are hidden, like under the trees in Tecolote Canyon. Some of them are out in the open, for all to see, like Fiesta Island.

Fiesta Island is in the middle of Mission Bay. People play Over-The-Line there. They go water-skiing, kayaking, watch the Thunder Boats, walk their dogs. People do all kinds of things there.

Mostly people do those things on the edges of Fiesta Island, next to the water. After all, is that not why you go to an island in Mission Bay, to play on a beach, and in the water?

But on the interior of the island, things are quite different. Here is a link to a bunch of images on Fiesta Island. Most of these images have nothing to do with the water.

And then, we have the image of the Jimson Weed. It was hidden under the yellow flowers, on the little-traveled interior of Fiesta Island.

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Andi – Running to tomorrow.

Here we have a beautiful human being, running with a full head of steam towards her future, tomorrow.

In Andi’s world, tomorrow does not creep in its petty pace, from day to day, to the last sylabal of recorded time. Nope! In Andi’s world, running headlong into tomorrow, we can see a wondrous world.

I like this place.

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Petroglyph Painted Rock Sunset

The desert is an amazing place when it is still. When it is still, you can peer through the mists of time.

This is a very specific example of time travel. Here, at these very rocks, for millennia congregated Native Americans. In ancient times, it was the place to be. People sat here, and talked, smoked, exchanged goods, maybe they even made political alinements, weddings. … We can never be really sure what happened here generally.

But, we can be one hundred percent positive that man gathered here, and they wrote on the rocks.

Our archeologists, and scientists, have analyzed the symbols, and decided that they stand for many things. … But, what those symbols really stood for in the minds of the people who spent their time at the rocks, etching the symbols that have stood in this desert for a very long time, That we have no way of knowing.

One other thing we can know. … We can know the majesty of a sunset at these rocks, especially when you share that time with friends.

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After the Sunset

Let us speak of sunsets and the time just after the sun has gone. Here is one of those images. …

Usually, I like clouds to grab the light from the sun as it slips over the horizon and out of my view, but it lights the remaining, high altitude, clouds very nicely. … On this evening, there were no clouds. I was a little disappointed for the nonce, because I always think about what I am planning to shoot before I head out to shoot. … The weather chose to ignore my planing, and the sky remained cloudless. …

Still, I looked at the sky, and what was there, and I thought it beautiful.

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California Lupin – Lupinus albifrons

Some of the first, easily noticed, spring flowers are the Silver Lupins that pop up. … They are mostly noticeable because they are purple/blue, and stand out from the normally dusty colors of Southern California.

This plant jumped up on a firebreak along Tecolote Canyon after our most recent rain.

Lupinus albifrons, Silver lupine, white-leaf bush lupine, or evergreen lupine, is a species of lupine (lupin). It is native to California and Oregon, where it grows along the coast and in dry and open meadows, prairies, and forest clearings. It is a member of several plant communities, including coastal sage scrub, chaparral, northern coastal scrub, foothill woodland, and yellow pine forest.

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A Tale of One Moon and Two Times

These two images were taken exactly seven minutes apart, on the same day, December 10, 2011, in Ocean Beach California.

It was my intent to wait until the moon got as low as it could, so that I could capture the Moon, the Pier, and the Surf, with maybe a little sand. Alas, it did not come to pass. We are all limited by external forces. 😉

I got there early, and used my compass and “The Photographers Ephemeris” on my iPhone to plot where the moon would actually set. The Moon would eventually set just right of center in these two images, if it could be seen.

That was the problem. I had forgotten to consider that the eclipsed moon is very dark, in contrast to the dawning sky. … So, as the sky lightened, the moon faded away. It faded away long before it even got to the fog bank that you can easily see in the second image.

I find it very interesting to open both these images in two separate tabs of my web browser then use my arrow keys to jump quickly from one image to the other to compare the height of the moon, and the lightness of the sky.

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Woman in the Grass

I like people. They are fun. They have a life of their own. And one of the greatest things that I get because I am a photographer is that I get to share some time with people that I like.

This is a friend. We walked around an island with my dog on a nice winter day in San Diego, between the winter rains of January 2011.

We spoke of hopes and desires for our tomorrows, and we spoke of times gone by. We shared a very nice day.

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Hibiscus in the Morning

Happy Thanksgiving. I am happy for many fine friends and fine things.

This is a morning Hibiscus flower in the back yard.

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Eye of the Horse

Horses are huge. They are a kind of super sized mobile toy, like a giant red waggon that can take you anywhere, even over the rough ground that a giant red waggon could not cross.

Horses are alive. They are dreams, out of movies, fording rivers, carrying the righters of wrong, enabling humans to take giant leaps across the surface of the planet.

And they have giant reflective eyes. In the eye of this horse, you can easily see the horse’s owner, the horse trailer, the shape of this horse by its shadow. These eyes capture imaginations.

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Pacific Beach Sunset

Sunsets have always grabbed my attention. Many people see them as signaling the end of the day. For me, they are the bringers of the night, but more important, they open my eyes.

Sounds a little silly, but, the night is full of many amazing things to see and hear. There are sounds, stars, the moon, lights, living things, almost all of which, can only seen at night.

The night sky opens our minds to the immensity of the Universe. As the sunset colors fade through twilight, and afterglow, the distances of the Universe open the consciousness for those that gaze upon the deeps. The very closest thing we can see at night in the sky, is the 238,857 miles away moon, and we can see way beyond that. The most distant object visible to the naked eye is M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, which is about 2 million light-years distance.

In between those two objects is a huge space filled with untold, and unimaginable, objects. That huge space is only a minuscule portion of the Universe.

How can looking at such things not open our minds?

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Racenes of Nodding Flowers

I wanted to shoot something for the 10-10-10 day. I got busy doing some other things and did not get to go out into the world and shoot something that illustrated the day.

But, I did have this flower laying around on the tenth day of the tenth month in the 2010th year of the modern calendar. …

So here is my visual ode to that specific day.

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Spectral Web – Cone of Refraction

In this study of a Garden Spider’s web in the evening sun, I love the way the web refracts the sunlight. Look at that little cone of colors, to the right of the spider, it is a soft focused part of the web, but the way the light is caught on the tiny droplets of the web. The tiny drops are the sticky trap part of the web.

This image is beautiful in its small version, but at twenty inches by thirty inches, it is an eye catching jewel.

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Under The Eaves – Wasp Nest

We noticed this nest, just under the eaves on the front of the house. It must have been there for a while, and not really bothered anyone, but now we know, they are there, waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting, child, dog, or even the gardener.

If you look closely during the video, you can see some easily observable actions that these wasps do as part of their social life. At the top center of the nest is a wasp that is going along the sides of a single paper cell, enlarging the cell with a paper mâché from its mouth. Below center, you can see two wasps grooming each other. Just above center right, you can see a whole line of larva whose faces look like the caterpillar in “A Bugs Life.” And if you watch very closely, you can see a wasp doing the wasp version of the wiggle dance.

★★★ View HD Video on YouTube ★★★

You should watch the video on YouTube. When you watch, make sure you see it in HD, and then expand the video to fit your screen.

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Perseid Meteors 20100812-EarlyAM

I did mention this was coming. This is a time lapse video created from 1100 still images that were taken on August 12th between sometime between 01:30 in the morning and 03:30 in the morning. If you really want to know the time, ask me and I can give you a specific time for each frame.

The exposures were five seconds long. I shot wide open as fast I could, trying to get the brightest image I could have, of the meteors, in relation to the stars. … The stars were exposed for five seconds, but the meteors ran through the frame very fast, not even close to a full second, so they had to be very bright to be seen.

If you look very carefully at individual frames, you will see many small meteors, but about 36 seconds into the video, you will see one humongous meteor. And, if you look really hard, you will see a cloud of glowing gas slowly expand for the next few seconds of the video. That expansion took place over three full minutes. Amazing!

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Catch A Falling Star And Put It In Your Pocket

After a quick look through about fifteen percent of the images I shot last night, this image jumped into my eyes, and I thought I would share it.

I do have many more images of meteors streaking across the sky in the fifteen percent of the images that I have looked at, but most of them are about the brightness of a medium bright star, this one is not; it is brighter.

Jack

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Time Stars

Just a reminder, this evening, and tomorrow evening, will be the peak of this years edition of the Persied visitors from space. The Perseid meteor showers will light the nighttime skies of the Northern Hemisphere of this blue ball with streaks of fiery delight. … If we are lucky.

A friend and I will be going out this evening, and spending the night in the mountains. … I have not decided yet, how I will shoot them. … I think I will make a time lapse movie of full resolution still images. … That is, if it does not get to cold, or to boring just listening to the camera tick. …

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Fiesta Island, the isle of love.

A few of my friends, and our dog partners, visited Fiesta Island. 😉 All of us had a very nice time in a beautiful section of San Diego.

My dog, Gypsy, and I go there quite often. We have a wonderful time there.

This is a link to a few more Gypsy images

I wanted to invite all of my friends that could make it, down to fiesta island with their dogs so we could do a giant dog shoot. (I will set a date for that soon)

But, June 26, I will be shooting pets for Citibank customers at …

Citibank
2240 Otay Lakes Road
Chula Vista, CA 91915-1003
Phone: 619-216-1251

You might want to check out those kinds of images as well. …

Furry Un-Dogs
Dogs … Really, dogs. 😉
Scales, Feathers, Amphibians, Other Pets
Pets and People, together 🙂

Come on down! 😉

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In the Green

I have a fun time with my niece when she chooses to go with me to the canyon to walk with my dog, Gypsy. We have a wonderful time down there. Gypsy chases lizards, never catches them, but she has fun. Lena runs ahead, then lags behind, continually looking, laughing, chattering away, having a great time. …

Me, I have a great time always. … But, I get to capture some images of the really good times.

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Shadow of Myself

One time, when this tree was maintained, it lived, and was beautiful.

As time goes, the humans that tended this tree died, moved on, found other interests, and so the tree was left in the desert where it had been placed by men. It was left to die. And so it died.

One weekday, I had a hair to drive to Gila Bend and see an old motel. I found this tree, and reveled in its continued beauty. But, it is, indeed, a shadow of itself.

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Wildflowers along Lake Henshaw

As I was driving down the east grade of Palomar Mountain with a couple friends and we saw this pink and yellow tinge way across the lake. Where is this? This sentence is linked to a map of the location.

I was so excited to see this place that I neglected to secure the car keys. … We looked around all over this set of hills, every location that I had laid down in the grass to shoot something. We looked for over and hour. I was about to call San Diego and have someone drive up the second set of keys. … Luckily, Jeffrey found the keys on the ground, right next to the driver’s door.

So, you should also take an eagle-eyed-friend along.

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Garlic, Sweet Garlic

I have been watching the Garlic bloom outside the kitchen window. It has been blooming for a while, and I have been watching it, …

And, today was the day I wanted to capture. I do not know what to say about this image, really. To me, this is Garlic, Sweet Garlic. And I think it is beautiful.

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