The August (2017) Struggle

Meadow with dead oak and Datura wrightii, Escondido, California; August 2017.

In May it felt like there was still plenty of time for 2017. In July it felt like the year was supposed to be still young, but actually wasn’t anymore. Now August is over and somehow, it feels a little bit like 2017 is slowly coming to an end, already. Only four months left of 2017 and once more, the question is – where did time go? Welcome to another monthly update and summary.

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John Muir

Mossy roots, driftwood, sand and pebbles at the bank of the Salzach River, Bavaria, Germany; April 2008.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” — John Muir (1869)

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Partial Solar Eclipse 2017 in San Diego

Partial Solar Eclipse at peak (58%) coverage in San Diego County, California. August 2017.

I guess I’m lucky to experience the third solar eclipse in my lifetime now. I lived in Germany in the path of a total solar eclipse in 1999 and in Southern California in the path of a partial annular solar eclipse in May 2012 (my photos) – and now the solar eclipse of August 2017. While not in the path of totality, I more or less spontaneously decided to still go and enjoy whatever would be visible of this solar eclipse in Southern California.

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Ten Years, Ten Photos – 2014: Escape to the Dunes

Soft twilight on sand dunes (color version of "Black Silk"), Algodones Dunes, California; July 2014.

By 2014, the landscapes and terrain of (Southern) California had become familiar to me, and I felt quite at home here photographically. The desert (mostly Anza Borrego Desert State Park), the foothills, the mountains, the coast – I have photos from all of these environments in my archive from 2014 that I’m still very happy with (my favorites from 2014 aren’t a bad selection, even though I’d choose different photos today). The one place that truly stood out in 2014 though was Algodones Dunes.

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Beautiful Things

Eremalche parryi subsp. kernensis (Kern Mallow), Carrizo Plain, California; April 2017.

 “[Beautiful things] act like small tears in the surface of the world that pull us through to some vaster space … letting the ground rotate beneath us several inches, so that when we land, we find we are standing in a different relation to the world than we were a moment before.” (Elaine Scarry, a professor of aesthetics at Harvard University, in On Beauty and Being Just)

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