October 28, 2007

The men and the birds know...


... that rolling in with the tide, there's food.

I didn't see it when I snapped this picture:


But I saw it in the closeup.

I couldn't experience this as the feeding frenzy it is:


And I can't see the death and loss....


The terrifying desolation of the beach....


... until, later, I contemplate the photographs.


peter hoh said...

Nice photos, as usual, but I'm not seeing "it" in the close ups, unless you are referring to the way the gulls fly right above the breaking waves.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm seeing what I think are two leaping fish. You see gulls apparently. I could be wrong.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't think I saw any gulls. Just those tiny birds in the first photographs. (And in the air, herons.)

peter hoh said...

Okay, not gulls, but I see three birds flying near the waves. The rightmost of the birds looks most like a leaping fish, but I'm pretty sure that it's a bird.

George said...

Would ya take a gander at that surf...what a skirt on that shoreline, its hem all foaming and bubbly.

O, man, o, man...that is some ocean. The Atlantic, all stormy and what not.

If only Gerald Ford were here to see it....

John Stodder said...

The terrifying desolation of the beach....

"The ocean is a desert with its life underground/And a perfect disguise above..."

Over the years, I've spent a lot of time in the desert and a lot of time near the ocean, and they are both desolate and Darwinian places.

Although, in the desert, you're unlikely to run into something as big as a blue whale.

Luckyoldson said...

John Stodder said..."Although, in the desert, you're unlikely to run into something as big as a blue whale."

So true.

Ann Althouse said...

Do whales shit in the ocean? Do fish? Crustaceans? Mollusks? Do whales die in the ocean? Do fish? Crustaceans? Mollusks? How many? And for how long has that been going on? Has one thing ever been done to take any of that filth out again? Yet you think it's lovely. Why? On dry land, all the animals excrete and die, yet it goes into the ground. It doesn't swirl around in the whole environment. Back away from the ocean. It's grotesque.

Luckyoldson said...

The photos are oka, but...

Considering you obsession with Greenwald...why nothing on this:

A bizarre, unsolicited email from Gen. Petraeus' spokesman
An email I received this morning from Col. Steven Boylan is heavy on petty insults but extremely light on the issues that actually matter.
Glenn Greenwald [2007-10-28]

Luckyoldson said...


rhhardin said...

The terrifying desolation of the beach

spring in Ohio is storms
and clouds, the great and sudden
mountains, the first ranges,
the terrible descent.

Ohio Clouds, David Adams

Blake said...


What a complete lack of awareness you must have to keep throwing around the word "obsession" while harping over and over on some topic that Althouse isn't talking about.

Trooper York said...

Pussy Galore: Oddjob you are my oldest and bestest friend. I hate it when anyone upsets you.
Oddjob: Arrrrrrrrgh.
James Bond: What did he say? This just seems like unintelligible grunting to me.
Pussy Galore: How dare you Mr. Bond. His every grunt is a pearl. His ever whispered hiss a gem. When he farts the angels sing. You just cannot comprehend his genius. It is beyond the keen of mere mortal man.
James Bond: Okie Dokie.
(Goldfinger in Stuart Florida 2007)

Luckyoldson said...

Blow me.

I didn't "harp" on anything.

I asked a fucking question.

JackDRipper said...

I'm seeing what I think are two leaping fish.

Your eyes and mind have been damaged from years of studying tedious legal texts.

The photo included 3 blurred birds. No leaping fish, no carrots or onion rings or trains going through mountain tunnels.

Maybe you were just hungry. When you want/need something bad enough you start projecting these thoughts onto the world around you.

Joan said...

On dry land, all the animals excrete and die, yet it goes into the ground. It doesn't swirl around in the whole environment. Back away from the ocean. It's grotesque.

The ocean is a self-regulating system, and unless pollutants have been dumped into it, it cleans itself.

There's aphid parts and shit particles in every single thing we eat. The FDA has a maximum allowable number of insect parts per food unit, and that number is not zero, and never could be. Nothing is ever really clean, and if it were, we'd likely develop an over-sensitive immune system that would make us allergic to everything. The great majority of household dust is either human skin flakes or dust mite shit, I can't remember which -- but neither one of those things is likely to make you feel very good about your surroundings, if you're inclined to the squeamish and you over-think things.

It's so cute how you think "everything goes into the ground, it's not swirling around". Hasn't a bird ever shit on your car? Haven't you ever seen road kill lying on the side of the road for days? Sure, most of what's putrefying will run to earth eventually (just as particulate matter in the ocean eventually settles on the seabed), but that's not to say none of it ends up airborne. Every time you smell something, tiny little particles of it are going into your nose and mouth.

Air may seem clean to you but that's a delusion. Whether or not it's cleaner than the ocean, I can't say, but I'd bet there are just as many bugs and birds and what-not excreting into the air out here as there are fish excreting in the ocean.

Revenant said...

I like these poetic little photo essays. They really make the blog special and different.

Ann Althouse said...

That's well put, Joan, and I knew about the dust, but still, the ocean is a stew of death. It is most assuredly not water. It contains water. Don't we all?

Joan said...

the ocean is a stew of death

That's fabulous, as is your "contains water" versus "is water" distinction. I'm not saying I agree with you, but I love how you've expressed yourself here (both the photos and the words.)

Me, I love oceans. I love them for the same reason I love the desert and the mountains, because they remind me how insignificant I am in all of creation. They are things whose lifetimes span geological ages as opposed to mere years, and their size and complexities (including the cycles of life and death that are endlessly played out there) are things I'll never really be able to understand.

But of all those great natural things, oceans are my favorite, and I think that's because to enter the ocean is to enter an alien environment, to experience something completely different from daily life.

Two other (less profound) explanations for my ocean love spring to mind:

1) I watched a lot of Jacques Cousteau specials when I was a kid.

2) Jumping in the waves is really fun.

Ann Althouse said...

It just occurred to me that stew is a stew of death!

rhhardin said...

More Stew of Death