October 22, 2007

Excuse Me, Is That Sky Taken?

We are back and welcome to October’s Best. No, not Octoberfest, but to the best sunrise we’ve seen so far this fall. On Friday we’ll feature some slo-mo highlights of the number one sunset to hit the skies this autumn. It’s preview city today-we’re giving you a fall classic before the World Series.

This sunrise took place last Thursday morning down at Lighthouse Point. I woke up and looked out the window and saw these great clouds in the sky and knew something was brewing on the horizon. So I ripped off my Batman pajamas and raced down to West Cliff. When the clouds starting turning red I started like Kobe Bryant at crunch time and these were the results. A breathtaking dawn and a good workout for my Digital Rebel. And congratulations go out to my friend and web designer Kevin Deutsch, whose wife Hannah gave birth to Joshua Daniel that afternoon. On the day of my birth there was also an incredible sunrise-unfortunately, it was in Maui while I was being delivered in slightly little less tropical locale on the island of Manhattan, although my mother insists the trade winds were blowing in from the East River.

So once again, I want to welcome a whole new group of people to this photo blog. It is always a pleasure to bring new folks onto the list which continues to grow like the morning glory vine that is enveloping the outside of my home. The final weekend of Open Studios was just terrific and my doctor says I should be over the depression that comes with the closure in no time at all.

I always like to report on the interesting and unusual nature and weather news items that tickle my medulla oblongata. Here’s a few from the past couple of weeks.

Oxford University researchers have discovered that recorded sounds of angry bees can be used to deter elephants from raiding crops, thus protecting villages regularly pillaged by the hungry pachyderms. The researchers made recordings of angry local African bees and played them back from hidden speakers at a test site in northern Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve. A large majority of the elephants fled almost immediately after the buzzing sounds began playing, obviously remembering that bees can inflict stings inside their trunks. Either that, or they were having flashbacks from a Bee Gees reunion concert. Lead researcher Lucy King cautions that the elephants are likely to catch on quickly should this be the only deterrent used to keep them from the crops because as we know, an elephant never forgets. Also, local farmers don’t have the income to afford such a high-tech solution after having spent their meager earnings on iPhones. I love Lucy says that positioning hives of these notoriously aggressive bees around fields could be part of the long-term and non-lethal solution to the elephant menace in East Africa. Either that or just bring in a street gang of tough mice.

The next story brings us a little closer to Mother Earth. The owner of a Taiwan vineyard became so alarmed at the hundreds of thousands of earthworms that suddenly appeared on his property that he consulted experts to see if the crawlers were heralds of an impending earthquake. Worms and snakes are known to come to the surface when disturbed by seismic activity. Which reminds me of the joke “Where are the most snakes in the world located? In Hollywood, their television agents.” Anyway, Wu Ching-chaun (that’s #11 on the menu with fried rice) told the China Times that he had never seen such a massive invasion in the 40 years that he had owned the vineyard. Experts ordered something to go and then allayed his seismic fears when they said the recent flooding from passing Typhoon Krosa had driven the creatures to the surface by causing the groundwater level to rise too high for them to survive in the soil. Dean Wormer from “Animal House” contributed to this story.

For our final story we are going back to the continent of Africa. A tragic miscalculation appears to be responsible for an incident that killed about 10,000 migrating wildebeest attempting to cross Kenya’s Mara River in late September. The s occurred as the herd was beginning to swing eastward on its way back to the Serengeti. The wildebeests tried to cross the waterway at a particularly steep and treacherous point. After the first animals fell in the river and drowned, thousands more continued to stampede into the water on top of them. Wildlife authorities considered blocking off the lethal crossing point (a sign would have been nice) but decided to let nature take its course. Record flooding killed another 10,000 of these animals due the regions worst flooding in three decades. According to spokesman Sarisa Nkadaru, “They were swept by strong tides in the flooded river. It’s the first time in Mara’s history that so many gnus (wildebeests) drowned during their much-anticipated migration.”

So that’s the good gnus and the bad gnus. Once again, welcome to all the newcomers on the list. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s going to be an interesting ride so I’m glad you’re coming along. There’s lots to see and lots to learn and lots to laugh about. To quote Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin from the classic “Stairway To Heaven,” “Doesn’t anyone still remember laughter.” Fortunately, we do here at Sunrise Santa Cruz. Enjoy the sky and enjoy the day. And let’s hope the wind and the fires subside in Southern California. I prefer the sky to be on fire, not the terrain. Later.


  1. As usual Geoff…thank you for the laughs and new screen saver. I regret that I was out of town for the open studio weekends…next time you open your studio up…i’m there!! Have a great day and keep us smiling :)

    Comment by Discgirl — October 24, 2007 @ 4:04 pm

  2. I used to just enjoy the fabulous photos. Now, I’m getting wacky facts, interesting stories, catching up on current/past events and getting in a laugh or two. Thanks for getting my day off to a bright and shining start.

    Comment by Wendi — October 24, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

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