September 19, 2014

the view from Point Cavallo, near Fort Baker


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Come along with me, folks and I'll show you one of my favorite spots. You probably recognize the city. Locals birds like me just call it The City...



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

All three of these snaps were taken from the same perch. A vantage point called Point Cavallo. The Golden Gate Bridge isn't far away. Fort Baker is even closer.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Oh, I'll save the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from this spot for another day--I've got a good new one. Swinging the camera in the opposite direction is Angel Island; sometimes called the Island of Tears. Just like Ellis Island on the East Coast, Angel Island was an immigration station. A vast influx of Chinese stopped here first in the mid to late 1800's. Not everyone was allowed to enter the United States. A rigorous health and mental test was administered to determine if the immigrant would be allowed entry. Those who passed the tests ended up working more of less like slaves; building our railroads, levies, roads, and doing the hard and dirty work in the goldmines of the Sierra foothills. They also fished, farmed, sewed, and laundered a whole lot of our dirty clothes.

Discrimination was rampant; and backed by the law. A Chinese person was only allowed to work in certain, often undesirable occupations. The Chinese received low pay, couldn't vote and were second-class residents. With all due respect, We should all remember THAT, please; the next time we feel so damn proud of the history of our beloved United States of America.


Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 3 will be available October 1
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1

September 18, 2014

"hallelujah" -- we have clouds in our sky


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

A cigar shaped cloud passing over Mount Tamalpais Tuesday afternoon.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Some folks will call this a "buttermilk" sky, but more might know it as a "mackerel" sky, getting its name from a resemblance to the speckled skin markings of the Spanish King Mackerel, the fish.





click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Sailors have used this cloud formation for centuries to predict the weather. An old nautical saying is; "Mackerel in the sky, three days dry".
[last image, sunrise over San Pablo Bay, is not new; taken Nov. 14, 2012]


Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 3 will be available October 1
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1

September 17, 2014

Ed Ricketts -- John Stienbeck's "partner in crime"


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Located adjacent to Monterey Bay Aquarium is this aging wooding structure; Pacific Biological Laboratories, Ed Rickett's business that provided marine specimens for study to educational institutions worldwide; 1923 to 1948.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Edward F. Ricketts (1897–1948) was an American marine biologist, ecologist, and philosopher. He is best known for a pioneering study of intertidal ecology; Between Pacific Tides (1939), and for his influence on writer John Steinbeck. In 1940 Ricketts and Stienbeck journeyed on a chartered fishing boat to La Paz, Baha California to collect invertebrates. This resulted in their collaboration on Steinbeck's The Sea of Cortez book, published in 1951.




In 1945, Steinbeck's novel Cannery Row was published. Ricketts was the model for "Doc" and instantly became a celebrity--tourists and journalists began seeking him out. Steinbeck portrayed "Doc" as a many-faceted intellectual who was somewhat outcast from intellectual circles, a party-loving drinking man, in close touch with the working class and with the prostitutes and bums of Monterey's Cannery Row. It is reported that Ricketts was not happy with Steinbeck's description of him, but he did admit the portrayal was honest.   [source: Wikipedia and Monterey Bay Aquarium]

Ricketts was also portrayed by Steinbeck as "Doc" in Sweet Thursday, the sequel to Cannery Row; as "Friend Ed" in Burning Bright; as "Doc Burton" in In Dubious Battle; as Jim Casy in The Grapes of Wrath; and as "Doctor Winter" in The Moon is Down.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Something I found rather interesting:   Ricketts also influenced Joseph Campbell (1904–1987); mythologist, writer and lecturer. This was an important period in the development of Campbell's thinking about the epic journey of "the hero with a thousand faces." Campbell lived for a while next door to Ricketts in Pacific Grove, and accompanied him on a 1932 journey to Juneau, Alaska. Like Steinbeck, Campbell played with a novel written round Ricketts as hero, but unlike Steinbeck, Campbell didn't complete the book.


Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 3 will be available October 1
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1

September 16, 2014

a visit to Monterey Bay Aquarium


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Big-fin reef squid; sometimes called oval squid. Characterized by a large oval fin that extends throughout the margins of its mantle, giving them a superficial similarity to cuttlefish. It is difficult to see in this photo, but what looks like their snouts can open and are actually tentacles lined with rows of suction cups used to capture their prey.

Basically they are hollow, yet very muscular tubes. For propulsion they take water in one end and simply squeeze it out the other [insert giggle here].

Small to medium-sized squids average 1-1/2" to 13" in length. They exhibit elaborate mating displays and usually spawn in May. They have the capability to change body coloration in order to blend in with their surroundings. Big-fin reef squids have the fastest recorded growth rates of any marine invertebrate, reaching 1.3 lbs in only four months. They are a short-lived species, with a maximum recorded lifespan of only 315 days.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Young "jellies" knows as black sea nettles. Graceful but dangerous. They can grow to 3 feet wide, with stinging tentacles that can extend 25 feet.

The bell color is a distinctive opaque dark purple to nearly black as they mature. The margin of their bells have a lighter brown reticulated pattern. Four gonads are attached to finger-like projections that extend through subumbrellar openings. Marginal sense organs are spaced around the bell margin after every set of 3 tentacles, for a total of 8. Normally elusive, but large swarms are occasionally seen in surface waters off the coast of Baja California and southern California. [source: Wikipedia]



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Moon jellies. Aurelia aurita. Sometimes called common jellies or saucer jellyfish. When mature they can have a diameter of 10 to 16 inches. Translucent, and can be recognized by its four horseshoe-shaped gonads, easily seen through the top of the bell. It feeds by collecting medusae, plankton, and mollusks with its tentacles, and bringing them into its body for digestion. It is capable of only limited motion, mostly drifting with the current. Technically, jellies are not fish--they are invertebrates.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Sardines. This small fish, sometimes called pilchards is what Cannery Row is famous for, but during the mid-1950's the fishing industry in Monterey Bay collapsed. The reason is still debated, but it is generally thought the collapse resulted from a combination of factors, including unfavorable oceanic conditions, over-fishing, and competition from other species. I have my own theory--after WW2 the U.S. Army dumped vast quantities of ammunition and unused explosives into Monterey Bay.

My father came to the Monterey Peninsula in 1946, a year before my birth, and worked as a bookkeeper for a succession of canneries as they all folded, one by one. Many defunct canneries burned to the ground over the years.



click photo for full-size image
photo courtesy Monterey Bay Aquarium

Cannery Row packing house workers. Notice that the ladies aren't smiling in this old photo. I've heard ladies who worked there tell their stories. It was a grim place to work. Salty men managed the machinery and can cookers.

I can still vividly remember my dad taking me into one of the huge canneries. He did his accounting work (lots of red ink) in a tiny office that overlooked the entire packing house. Occasionally we would lower a round crab net on a rope from the back of one of the canneries and return home with dinner.

Most canneries packed sardines but others packed mackerel or anchovies. When the sardines "vanished" the final cannery where the Monterey Bay Aquarium is now located processed and canned squid--mostly for export to Japan. Other plants rendered the waste from the cannery operations, turning it into fish oil and a stinky powdery fertilizer. Yes, I can still remember the smell--I thought it smelled wonderful, but then I was sort of a weird kid.

Very little is left of the old Cannery Row as I remember it. Aside from the fabulous Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row is now a major tourist trap although it does boast some nice hotels and restaurants. This is "Stienbeck Country", and I'll tell and show you more about that famous writer and his colorful cohort Edward F. "Doc" Ricketts tomorrow.


Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 3 will be available October 1
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 2
Donald Kinney Quarterly - volume 2014 issue 1

September 15, 2014

early morning down at the Gee-Gee Bridge


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

I wonder if it would be terribly disrespectful to the memory of my parents if I said that I probably grew up in the most unimaginative and unadventurous family on this planet.

But I did, and that is all past history, but I often marvel at how many times, as a kid, us four Kinneys made the arduous 130 mile journey from Pacific Grove to Kentfield here in Marin County w-i-t-h-o-u-t having much fun. The mission was to "see" Grandma, and for dad that meant a dedicated effort to make it from point A to point B, and no fooling around on the way. Certainly there would be no time to stop and admire or walk on the Gee-Gee Bridge. Certainly no time to take a little excursion to the top of the pointed Mount Tamalpais, which was teasingly close to Grandma's house.

This image (above) was made December 6, and when first posted on my Facebook page I explained that, yes, the moon w-a-s in the sky and setting quickly, but just not in this specific location.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Image made on July 25 of this year. Again, oh so very early in the morning.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 26, 2012

September 14, 2014

the sun, she is a rising


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

As loyal as a dog. As faithful as Mother Teresa. A golden glow of the rising sun--more than sufficient to warm my deep, dark heart.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Followed by a blazing sun. Blindingly bright and unforgiving. Illuminating. Hot and searing, with more degrees than a Fulbright scholar.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 24, 2012

September 13, 2014

sunrise at Nicasio -- reality without reproach


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

It was Tuesday morning and getting late, and because of a plain vanilla sky--without clouds--I wasn't quite sure if I was going to snag any photos or not… Imagine my delight when I arrived at Nicasio Reservoir and discovered that the lake was busy at work generating its own set of foggy clouds.

And yes, that bird is real--not later Photoshopped into the scene… Just a bit of happy happenstance I suppose, as I would have been perfectly satisfied with the other snaps I was making of the scene without the bird.

Not that I have always been beyond reproach--in 1963 I remember feeling terribly uneasy about one of my my Monterey County Fair entries. I had added in a string of low flying birds into a rather pleasing splash image. No Photoshop--just scissors, rubber cement, and a copy image; yet the judges fell for my deception and the print, although it won no award, got hung. I have never quite gotten over my deception and can only tell you about this now because I believe the Statute-of-Limitations has run out on the crime.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 23, 2012

September 12, 2014

tracks, possibly from outer space


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

A few days ago I ambled out to the dunes at Abbott's Lagoon in Point Reyes. Sand dunes are the coveted "Holy Grail" for many landscape photographers.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

It could be the print left by an Egret or Heron, but it also could be something more unexplained. Bird-prints make a good disguise. We will never know...



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Endless ramblings? Apparently. Perhaps to throw us off track. Be watchful.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 22, 2012

September 11, 2014

Point Reyes Tule Elk


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Thanks again to the N.P.S. for the great historical information that I pasted in from their website on yesterday's post. Now, lets talk about the character of these skiddish and odd creatures. And, how difficult they are sometimes to photograph, or sometimes to even find.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Don't get too close... They don't want to be petted!

The Tule Elk preserve (operated by the U.S. Governmet) is located at the extreme northern part of Point Reyes. Nearby is the trailhead to Tomales Point which is 5 miles north. A spectacular beach; McClures is down the hill, and Pierce Point Dairy has been here since the 1860's.

The land feature in the background in the photo above is Point Reyes Point, with 325 steps descending to a lighthouse built in 1870.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Tule Elk are skiddish and shy, but they can also be aggressive, especially during mating season. These odd creatures of nature are smaller than "regular" Elk but signs warn that they are strong and protective. With long legs they vaguely look like a cross between a Llama and a Horse.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

"I'm ready for my closeup now, Mr. DeMille"...

In reality, a telephoto lens is needed to get anywhere near these critters.
All these photos have been cropped a bit.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

And where dairy cows from Pierce Point Dairy used to roam, this Tule Elk stands proud. I'll be showing photos of the historic dairy soon. Stay tuned.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 29, 2012

September 10, 2014

if it is flat, it was probably once part of the Bay


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

San Francisco isn't all that old that we can't sometimes figure out where nature stopped, and modern "progress" took over.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Columbus Avenue is a bit askew to the other streets it intersects, but I like to follow its gentle slope to the shore, where the imposing Transamerica Pyramid now sits.

During excavation for the Pyramid's massive foundation, wooden ships were unearthed from the muck of the original shoreline of San Francisco Bay.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This is the old Transamerica Building built in 1909. It is now a church of Scientology. The new pyramid shaped Transamerica Building across the intersection to the south was built in 1972.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, November 10, 2012

September 09, 2014

a grand and thick fog at Nicasio


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Fog was grand and thick Thursday in the Nicasio area of west Marin County.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

A perfect place for photo-snappers and web-savvy spiders.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

The cool expanse of a low cloud. From there to there and there was more.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, October 20, 2012

September 08, 2014

Elliot Preserve, Cascade Canyon, Fairfax


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Although close by I visit far too infrequently, but I've been enjoying Cascade Canyon since the late 1960's when I first moved here. These were the days before the area was opened to the public--the property owner did everything within his power, but usually failed in keeping "trespassers" out.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

As you probably know by now, I like to explore the reflectivity of water.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Stopping often to chat with some of the local residents--like this Newt.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 21, 2012

September 07, 2014

oh Sun, where art thou?


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

California can use all the precipitation it can muster, and yes, it is raining again. Friday morning was curious--with a promising splash of red across the sky. Two minutes later heavy clouds moved over, completely quashing the rising flame.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

So, this morning I went searching for stragglers on my hard-drive...



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This photo and the preceding image were snapped about one month ago.
I guess I've been keeping them for a rainy day.

originally appeared on AphotoAday, December 17, 2012

September 06, 2014

Mt. Tamalpais -- early morning adventure


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Working my way backwards, this was my final shot on Tuesday. That structure at top right is the Sutro Tower, chock full of communications antennas. The blanket of fog is covering San Francisco and the Golden Gate. The slivers of land are the high points in the Golden Gate National Recreational Area.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

No shortage of Coyotes on Mt. Tamalpais, but thankfully they still have a healthy fear of man.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Moon goes down, sun comes up. Some mornings are a real science lesson.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

And this view, up and outside of Fairfax, is where I started my adventure. Sleepy residents of Marin County were just beginning to stir. Crazy-ass photographer was just beginning to snap…

originally appeared on AphotoAday, November 1, 2012
 
under construction