Watching nature's actions

September 16, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Shore Patrol

After a couple of days photographing Lake Tahoe I realized all my images were looking the same - the grand landscape of water, mountains, trees and clouds.  It was time to stop doing that and start looking for a new perspective.  I decided on the more intimate view.

There's not many truly sandy beaches around the lake, just pebbles resulting from the water pounding large rocks into smaller ones.  I sat down on one of these shorelines just to watch the water lapping and noticed the larger rock just away from the water's edge.  As the different sized waves came up, they would roll over this rock and coat it with a glistening layer of water.  The waves were coming fast enough for the rock to almost always be encapsulated in this watery sleeve, smoothing out the remaining irregularities in the rock's surface and making it glisten in the bright light coming from the sky.  Each little wave would lap over the rock on its way to shore, leaving a little of itself behind to cloth the rock in a transparent coat.

In contrast was the smaller rock on the shore.  Above the line where waves consistently covered the shore, it showed me a dry surface, a view of what its partner further in the water would look like were it not for the constant rolling waves.  A contrast of conditions - the rock in the waves would feel the continual impact of water whereas the one on the shore would be preserved from it.  An that difference would make all the difference, as Frost would say.

I watched this action for a while, marveling at how the simple movement of water on the large rocks would eventually catalyze a change in size and shape, delivering the smaller pebbles of which the beach was composed.  It was a gentle action (little wind that afternoon), rhythmic and consistent that didn't seem to delivery much power against the sturdy, solid nature of the rock but there I was sitting on the result from many waves working on many rocks.

The grand landscape awes and amazes at its size and scale; the intimate one shows us how the two are related through time and space.


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