Still Learning To See

Rocks in Alaska

Some wonder about my sanity. “Why are you photographing rocks when all the beauty of Alaska is before you?” they ask. My response varies from “Because they are beautiful!” to “I do the same thing around the world!” Or I just let it go.

Rocks, for me, are part of the soul of life on Earth. I’m not a geologist and I appreciate what I see both because of the little I do know about the science as well as what I don’t. Who can stand on something that is millions of years old and not? How can I hold in my hand a simple piece of quartz that was once liquid somewhere deep in the Earth’s crust?

So…I often make photographs of rocks, and I do it simply because I love to look at them.

When my friend Rob and I were in Alaska last summer  we visited Kodiak Island where our gracious hosts, the Popeks, took us by boat and truck to many stunningly beautiful spots. Among them was this steep, stony beach on Whale Island—clearly visited more often by Sea Otters than humans.

(An aside: my thoughts these past weeks have often turned to the grounding of Shell’s huge oil drilling rig, Kulluk, a hundred miles or so to the south on a similar beach. It is now in a nearby safe harbor but one can only imagine the next rounds of danger for the environment.)

AK beach-4127

The wild flowers and rocks, along with the fine company and the picnic in the beach, were all part of the magic of this distant place. Here are a few photographs of rocks.

This entry was published on January 13, 2013 at 10:10 am. It’s filed under Alaska, Rocks and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Rocks in Alaska

  1. Deborah Leu on said:

    Wonderful shots. What a variety of tones, patterns, and shapes (lovely lichen, too). I’ve seen a few similar to these in southeast AK and in British Columbia.

    Good luck with your show, btw.

  2. archetypes – makes me think of the “primitive” rock art. they make me think I can hear the wind spirits

    • Thanks. The spirits are there! Friend and frequent commenter, Julia, sent me a poem, “Oh, Lovely Rock” by Robinson Jeffers, today. Worth reading the whole thing and these lines in particular:
      “I
      shall die, and my boys
      Will live and die, our world will go on through its rapid agonies of change
      and discovery; this age will die,
      And wolves have howled in the snow around a new Bethlehem: this rock
      will be here, grave, earnest, not passive: the energies
      That are its atoms will still be bearing the whole mountain above: and I,
      many packed centuries ago,
      Felt its intense reality with love and wonder, this lonely rock.”

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