January 13, 2013

I Wish They All Could Be California Gulls

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — geoff @ 10:39 am

Good morning and greetings, NFL playoff fans. Well, since the start of the new year, I’ve been busy as a beaver, building dams and shooting away with my new Canon T3i. And right now we’re in the midst of the classic sunrise and sunset season here on the central coast, which lasts about as long as this year’s NHL regular season. Or as Chris Rock noted about this form of Canadian disorderly conduct, “Black people dominate sports in the United States – 20 percent of the population and 90 percent of the Final Four. We own this sh**. Basketball, baseball, football, golf, tennis, and as soon as they make a heated hockey rink we’ll take that sh** too.” Hey, we all have to have goals.

So the the mornings have been a bit chilly, with the air cold and rice crispy, as the clouds have been lighting up on a regular basis like fans at a Snoop Dogg concert.

Last week was a particularly good one on the sunrise front, as Monday through Thursday mornings brought great color and pageantry to the skies above Monterey Bay. Friday was a clear as my sinuses. I’ll be showcasing a couple of those in later posts. I would feature all of them, but even at this advanced stage of digital servitude, I still manage to miscalculate these mornings of glory for reasons unknown to this photographer and his therapist.

But despite my whirlwind schedule, I still manage to set aside some time during the day (every half hour) to reflect upon missed photo ops that I would have shared because I’m a serial giver. And even though I’m younger today than I’ll ever be, as I wait for my ship to come in, I somehow keep missing a few of the cabin cruisers.

Right now, I know you might be thinking, “Geoff, we’ve heard this all before. Just breathe and let it go.” Hey, that’s easy for you to say. I’ve got a destiny and paragraphs to fulfill.

But that’s the beauty of life. You pick out your clothes and then wait nine months for the sunrise season, and then because you didn’t see where algebra would fit into your life, you suffer disappointments. I’ve already photographed enough spectacular sunrises to qualify for the senior tour. But there were some hot pink clouds that filled the sky last week that I would like to have added to the scrapbook. So that’s why I reflect back to what coach Kyle Chandler of “Friday Night Lights” fame told his team. “Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.” I heard fame knocking, but I wouldn’t let it in.

Now I realize that what I’m reflecting on is not earth shaking news, like the Berlin Wall coming down, reports of global warming or Justin Beiber’s getting a new tattoo. However, the current Mrs. Gilbert says she likes it when I write about myself, and besides the fact that I lost a half pound this week, this was the biggest news flash floating around my cranium. I just hate missing anything on the photography front, because sunrises are like fingerprints, snowflakes and the Kardashian sisters. No two are alike. And remember, we’re all individuals. Or in the words of Jon Bon Jovi, “Each one of us has something no one else has, or has ever had: your fingerprints, your brain, your heart. Be an individual. Be unique. Stand out. Make noise. Make someone notice. That’s the power of individuals.” For me, it would be my social security number.

So brace yourself, because for today’s photo appetizer, we are switching gears and not going the usual sunrise/sunset route, but instead heading up the coast to Four Mile Beach. It was late December and the post sunrise sky was filling up with with love, peace and cloudiness, so I hopped onto my Harley and rode up to an old reliable spot, where my camera and I could have some fun, fun, fun till my daddy takes me t-bird away.

Four Mile never lets me down. As I skipped down to the beach, rabbits hopped into the bushes as I saw that the sand was loaded with gulls. Bingo. This did not upset me, as the thought of hundreds of gulls lifting off into the the air with a backdrop of big waves, crashing surf and bands of gypsys always makes for great North Coast action. As you can see from the photos, the gulls were out in full force, as this is a place where they come to for peace, solitude and have their patience tested by a boy and his new camera.

When I go to a beautiful nature spot like this, I try not to leave a carbon footprint. But what I do take away are some images that capture the solitude and beauty of the North Coast. These photos are a labor of love. Or as my mother’s cardiologist once told me, “Once someone touches your heart, the fingerprints last forever.” So will these images, which are now in cyber space for eternity, or at least till “Parenthood” runs of out storylines on NBC.

On to the late night. “A political opponent is accusing Governor Chris Christie of praying for Hurricane Sandy. In response, Christie said the only weather-related thing he’s ever prayed for is a Dairy Queen Blizzard. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to work today and as a joke, her staff gave her a helmet. This is the second time a Clinton in government has been asked to wear protection.” –Conan O’Brien

“The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, was seen partying in Mexico with Charlie Sheen. I believe that celebration is called ‘Cinco de Career-o.’” –Jay Leno “Well, Al-Jazeera has purchased Al Gore’s old TV network, Current TV. It has some fabulous programming lined up. They’ve got a new show called ‘Storage Jihad.’ They have ‘Project Burka.’ And a show called ‘Real Virgins of Fallujah.’” –David Letterman

“What do you put on a trillion dollar coin? On the tail side obviously a bald eagle breathing fire while making love to the American flag. What is on the heads? Obama? Boehner? I’ll tell what you it should be, those Charmin bears – because when you pull an idea like this out of your ass, you’re going to need something soft.” –Stephen Colbert. Jon Stewart to congressional Republicans who voted against Hurricane Sandy aid: “If you guys can’t vote for this, then we’re f**ked for the next few years. And I’m not saying you’re responsible for all the problems facing our country, but you sure are making them a lot harder to fix.”

So that’s my report. I would be remiss as a meteorologist not to mention the extreme weather we had around the nation last Friday. It was 20 degrees colder in San Diego (a chilly 35) than it was in Chicago. Utah and the Dakotas was bombarded with whiteout blizzard conditions, the Grapevine (Interstate 5) in Southern California was closed because of ice and snow for 16 hours while Louisiana had a foot of rain and tornadoes. Meanwhile, in Florida, they experienced record highs of close to 90 degrees. And I don’t want to say it was a cold here in Santa Cruz, but last week I baked a cake and then set it out to cool. Ten minutes later it was frosted.

So birthday wishes and good thoughts go out to my favorite American novelist, Natalie Serber, who celebrates her big day on Thursday. Hope you caught that Ravens-Broncos game over the weekend. It was one for the ages. We’ll catch you running wild and leading your team to a huge win in Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game. Aloha, mahalo and later, Colin Kaepernick fans.


  1. Photo four looks like a meeting. Tell the truth, did you get pooped on?

    Comment by Shivver-brains — January 14, 2013 @ 8:22 am

  2. What a collection of sea gulls! There has to be a few top gun cadets in that mass of wings. Hot cup of java and your blog, a great start on this week.

    Comment by Babs — January 14, 2013 @ 10:04 am

  3. I thinks those seagulls are going to report you to the Audubon Society for harassment. Big herring run up in SF Bay, you might have to motor up here to catch the pelican skydiving championship. In order to make sure you don’t miss the sunrise, why don’t you do a Chris Farely? “I’m living in a van down by the ocean!”

    Comment by Tony Gonzalez — January 14, 2013 @ 11:33 am

  4. “Once someone touches your heart, the fingerprints last forever.” Is that true? (Asking for a friend).

    Comment by Orenthal S. — January 14, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

  5. I am as young as I’ll ever be and also enjoy new scenes. Remember how much you hated missing those birds over the river? Well, here are more birds for you!

    Comment by Mrs. Gilbert — January 14, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

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