Cee’s Black and White Challenge (CBWC): Cold or Chilly or Chili

Thanks ever so much to Cee Neuner for hosting a number of inventive photo challenges. This week’s CBWC is COLD or CHILLY or CHILI.

Cee: “Remember your photos needs to be black and white, desaturated, sepia (brown tones) or selective color.”

Self’s been spending a lot of time on the northern California coast, where the weather is often stormy. Here are a couple of pictures self took during the last storm, the ones that were almost monochromatic:

Kwajalein Atoll, January 1565

These islanders were the ultimate ocean dwellers, never staying more than a few feet away from the water and sustaining themselves through the bounty of the sea. “They live a thousand leagues away from the mainland, and their small islands are occupied by coconuts,” marveled Don Alonso. “Anyone seeing these lands would think that they are like floating carpets, they are so small and so low that they would sink under the water in a storm.” He was entirely correct. Typhoons do occur in this region and indeed swamp the low-lying islands. In the worst of such instances, Pacific Islanders had no other recourse but to fill the hulls of their canoes with fresh water, venture into the open ocean, secure the rigging, and wait out the storm, displaying extraordinary aplomb and seamanship. Less apparent to the Europeans was the extent to which these sea people, over the course of two or three thousand years of occupation, had thoroughly transformed the tiny coral islands. Originally no coconut palms had existed there. Early settlers had propagated them purposely to build their houses, clothe their families, weave rugs, and obtain practically every item required for their vessels, from the hulls, sails, and rigging to the food and water conveniently packaged in natural round containers. By cutting open the coconuts, they could also fashion cups and use them to drink the fermented sap and juice of the plant itself. “It is astounding that out of a single tree,” remarked a later Spanish visitor, “these natives can make so many different things and fill all of their needs.

Conquering the Pacific, pp. 106 – 107

Lens-Artists Challenge # 183: Memorable Events

Here’s how Leya introduces this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge:

  • This week you will have an opportunity to show us some memorable events – new ones or delightful memories! I had to reflect upon it for some days before I knew what to choose…because life gives us quite some of these very special events, doesn’t it? Happy Birthdays, surprising hikes, meetings with faraway friends, interesting exhibitions, travels to special places…

Yes, life does give us these memorable moments! I’m so happy that my memorable moment happened just two days ago, on the Mendocino Headlands.

I spent a good part of December 2021 here. It’s a quieter time of year, but there were still people around. So it’s quiet, but definitely not lonely. I deliberately stayed away from TV and news, brought a stack of books to read — what more could one ask for?

Since hotel rates were at bargain basement level in January, I decided to drive up again. This time, I was in the throes of editing a manuscript to send out. So, unfortunately, the first couple of days here, I was a hermit in my room.

Then, I got an important call, and I could not get out of it. The hotel is so quiet — I knew I’d be disturbing people if I continued talking in my room. So I headed to the bluffs. It was my first walk in a number of days, the call was cutting in and out, but I didn’t care. Because — WOW! To think this was just a five-minute walk away, and I was so deep into my work I couldn’t even manage getting out. And with the weather so gorgeous, too!

As soon as the call ended, I started taking a bunch of pictures. Here are a few:

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