Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Truth About Turtles

"Try to be like the turtle, at ease in your own shell."

-Bill Copeland

I went to Golden Gate Park, last Thursday, to photograph the new tulips at the Queen Wilhelmina Windmill park. Each spring, visitors to the park are treated to a stunning display of freshly blossomed California poppies, pansies and of course the tulips. I took some photos I was rather pleased with, I even managed a photo or two of some bees that were frolicking about. I will share some of those photos sometime next week, but for this entry, I will share about finding the turtles.

It's been several weeks since I have been on a photo jaunt. I had planned on taking a trip to Placerville last week, to seek out one of my favorite ghost legends, but with the weather having been so cold, there was no way I was up for the trip. Alan doesn't enjoy driving in snow when it is too fresh, we don't get enough of it here in the Bay Area to feel confident about driving in it safely. I suppose I will be getting up to Placerville either later this spring, or sometime during the summer months instead of going right now. That will be nice, as Lake Tahoe is stunning all times of the year! Perhaps I will go to Yosemite, to see the waterfalls from the snow runoff. I don't have many waterfall photos, so that will be a nice change. As you know, I love the water, I am part mermaid after all! :)

When Alan and I plan these trips to San Francisco, we always plan more then we can possibly fit into one day. That way, we can just relax and float about at our leisure, allowing ourselves to fully take it all in. If you visit San Francisco be warned, there isn't time in two lifetimes to see all there is to see in this city. It is truly filled with all kinds of marvelous sights, and sounds. I have lived in the Bay Area my whole life, and I am still amazed every time I go into the city. It is never boring. Last Thursday was a good example.

We had finished our photography over at the tulip park, and decided to drive over to the DeYoung museum, which is located in the park, near the Japanese Tea Garden. As we were driving along, I saw a lovely white crane emerge from a medium sized pond, located on the right side of JFK drive. We decided to pull over to take some photographs of the ducks and cranes, when Alan saw a small island of turtles, sitting near the ponds edge. What a treat! We had never seen the turtles when we had visited the small pond on other outings, so it was nice to have this little surprise.

The sun on Thursday was a bit harsh, and it was about 70 degrees outside. That is quite warm for San Francisco in March. I tried photographing the turtles on a normal setting for sunlight, but the photos were too harsh, so I switched to a sepia tone, which softened the lighting some. Unfortunately, there was no way to get to the other side of the pond, where I could photograph them with some natural filtering. More often then not, I prefer to use something natural to diffuse the lighting, I like to post this type of photo as realistic as possible. The water was murkey, and the sun was hot, so I made that adjustment. Black and white was another option, but I thought it would make the light seem too harsh as well. I didn't realize till I got home, that I had captured the reflections of the turtles in the water. I liked that. :)

Just the other night, Elizabeth Vargas of, ABC World News Tonight, reported a story on the passing of what is believed to be the world's oldest living tortoise, which resided at the Kolkatu Zoo, in Kolkatu India. His name was Addwaitya, which means, "The One And Only." As a history buff I marveled at the thought. Can you imagine, being human, and living 250 years? Especially the last 250 years? The inventions, the music, the scientific discoveries, the wars, the bores and rumors of bores, LOL. Addwaitya, lived a long full life, with no interest in the day to day trivial pursuits of we humans. He was blissfully unaware of pain, loneliness, isolation, fear. He had no idea he was once a pet of the famous British officer, and eventual governor of Bengal, who was also, one of the founders of British rule in India, Robert Clive.

There are so many points in history, I wish I could have seen first hand. So many eras. One would have to be very comfortable in one's own skin to be able to live 250 years, and not go mad. I have had my moments in this life, lol, but I have come to be happy inside myself. I can spend long days alone, researching some curiosity of mine, or editing photographs and planning my next trip to see what I can discover anew, like this little turtle island in Golden Gate Park. Being alone, and quite is nice. I don't know, maybe I am slowing down in my old age, but I am just comfortable with these long quiet days I have been spending. Not that there isn't room for self-improvement mind through meditation, yoga and Qi Gong, I am more at ease with myself, and it is nice not feeling like I am on a mad dash through life. It all goes by way too fast as it is.

"Turtle Island"
Golden Gate Park
March 24th, 2006
12:42 PM


V said...

Aww, Carly. That was a beautiful commentary on how you`re doung.

Charley said...

Do you wonder what those turtles would say to us? I wonder what lessons they would teach us.


sunflowerkat said...

I love the turtles and would be delighted if I'd come upon this scene. What a wonderful moment in time to be able to capture.

Sorry your trip was stalled by snow...but as you say, there's always something new to discover in SF. How lucky you are to live right there!!


Laura said...

thank you for the complement on my redwood pic! You made my day brighter.
I am planning a Yosemite trip in a couple weeks and am definitely hoping to get some waterfall pictures. Our last visit in october we saw what one of my girls called "naked" falls. It will be nice to see them dressed.
The turtles are beautiful.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

That's a really interesting perspective. We tend to think of humans as the long-lived species, the species of "knowing man," the species that counts. But our timeframe is really based on sixty to eighty years, not long in the life of this country, annd a mere speck of time since this planet formed. And we usually don't look much beyond tomorrow, do we?

"Great. Now I'm going to be stuck with serious thoughts all day." - Cordelia Chase


Steven said...

It's neat how turtles pick a piece of sky to watch. Good cluster :-)

In bright sunlight I too like something natural to soften the shadows. Of course it's a rare day when a subject parks itself right on the line between shade and sunlight.

I try to expose for highlights and on those bright sunny days that means exposure variation. It's always a balence of this and that with light when it's either too bright or too dark.

It's funny as I have more approaches to dealing with low light days than the bright days :-)