We’re back from spending a few weeks in Europe and I wanted to share a few photos from our time there. We visited Paris, Naples and the Amalfi coast, Rome, and Barcelona. We had an incredible time and my favorite part of the trip was the time we spent along the Amalfi coast in Italy.
It’s 4:30 am and I’m sitting in the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France about to board a flight to Italy. We’ve just spent the week riding bikes and eating our way around Paris and now we’re heading to the Amalfi coast. Trey tells me I look like I just stepped out of Bill and Ted’s time machine because of the Smiths t-shirt and jean jacket I’m wearing. So, now I have a boyfriend for sale, $5 OBO.
Let me start by saying I know how this looks. It looks like I’m either a crazy dog person (I kind of am), a hippie (a little of that too), or a 6 year old playing dress up with my dog (jokes on you, I’m 28). Sometimes I get these ideas in my brain like “It’s Sunday, I’m going to make a collar for Jack out of wildflowers…because he will LOVE that.” Ideas that a normal person would think for ~5 seconds, dismiss, and go about their day.. but I actually execute because I’m that girl, whatever that means.
I took a woven leather belt I had laying around and stuck some pink bougainvilleas, periwinkles, and red carnations through the spaces, then wrapped it loosely around Jack. Jack is the king of wearing things around his neck. When you take his bandana out of the drawer, he prances over all excitedly. We joke that we’re knighting him every time we put it on him because of the way he sits with his chest out and head held high like he’s honored you’ve chosen him to wear it. Bow ties also, for special occasions. So yeah…if you were wondering what flowers + dog look like…here it is. You’re welcome.
Optional: discovering your wildflower plan is foiled and getting yelled at for picking flowers in the grocery store parking lot. Oh well, like Alanis says.. you live, you learn.
Our list of things to do when we got to Florida looked something like this:
1. find a roof to put over our heads
2. swim with manatees
We’ve been spending a lot of time indoors lately (audible sigh from Jack) since it’s basically Africa outside. So, I thought I would share some photos from inside our home, starting with the bedroom.
Ohh sleeping spaces. In college I shared the hull of a boat with a friend, and later a twin-sized bed with Trey. Our last “bedroom” in San Francisco was in a closet (‘closet-bed’ as it came to be known as). Add an over-friendly dog and cat into the mix and you could say we definitely had become accustom to sleeping on top of each other. Even though we were used to tiny space living, and in someways even preferred it, we knew the first order of business when we got here was to get a bigger bed. And oh is it glorious (picture Trey sprawled star-fish on the bed. Or not, don’t do that).
Since we’re renting and knew we would only be here for a year, we didn’t make any major changes to the space. Our headboard is made from a shipping pallet, and the dresser is a craigslist find that we added some brass knobs to. Most of the items laying around are things we’ve picked up while traveling. The woven wall tapestry is a favorite of ours that we found while rummaging through a street market in Costa Rica. This space gets a lot of light and I find it really peaceful. It makes sleeping in on Sunday mornings really nice…that is, until someone gets hungry and we all have to get out of bed. I’m hoping to share more details of our home in the coming weeks since it won’t be long before we’ll be packing it all in boxes in preparation for our move back to California.
This weekend we experimented with shibori, the art of shaped resist dyeing to create our own indigo beach sheet. The process involved folding, binding and compressing a bed sheet, then dipping it into a vat of indigo dye. On Sunday we went to Venice beach to collect shark teeth and our new sheet served as the perfect place for us to rest in between trips to the ocean.
Copyright Wildlandia 2014
We’re big space nerds here, so when the opportunity to photograph a supermoon comes along on a warm summer night, you know we’ll most likely be in our backyard staring up at the sky. We brought chairs out and spent a good while just staring at the moon’s intricacies through our telephoto camera lens. Then we thought to film it moving across the night sky (above).
Trey’s grandfather (his namesake) was an engineer for NASA and Boeing Air. The technical documents he wrote for the Apollo 11 moon landing mission are in the Smithsonian museum in Washington, DC. Hearing his grandfather tell his stories during the holidays is always a fun time. It was great to see the moon so big and bright last night. The next supermoon is coming up in August…I’m thinking supermoon cocktails….
Summer / 48.5333° N, 123.0833° W / 2014
During our trip to the Pacific northwest a few weeks ago, I was able to work with the Center for Whale Research (CWR) documenting the Southern Resident killer whales, or orcas, returning to their summer feeding grounds around the inland waters of Washington state and southern British Columbia. It was nice to get away from the lab in Florida and spend some time off the Pacific coast.
The Southern Resident orcas are a large extended family, made up of three pods: J, K, and L pods. Each spring they begin showing up in the calm inshore waters surrounding the San Juan Islands to feed on the runs of Chinook (King) salmon from the local rivers. With news of their return, biologists with the CWR and I headed out to photograph and film their arrival to account for any new (calves) or missing (presumed dead) members of the pod. Photographs and video are very helpful in showing us whether individuals have signs of emaciation (sickness or starvation), and can even allow us to note possible pregnancies.
There are currently less than 90 Southern Resident orcas left in the wild. The population was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act due to low population numbers in 2005 (and Canada in 2001). In the early 1980s marine parks captures devastated the population by taking more than 1/3 of the animals for entertainment purposes (the popular documentary Blackfish goes more in depth about this). Recovery of the Southern Residents has been slow ever since, making the CWR’s work even more critical than before.
We celebrated our nation’s independence the same way a lot of Americans do…with copious amount of light domestic beer, sun-filled trips to the beach with family, and shooting mortars out of make-shift exhaust pipe launchers in the middle of the street. Let freedom ring (in your ears, it was loud).