Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Future Tense

When I look to the sky I cannot help but look to the future.  When I was a kid, it was all about the space race, and the future was in stars.

Riding on that feeling, I took an astronomy course in college way back then — when Pluto was still a planet and going to the moon was still fresh and new.

I had access to a reflector telescope with a motor drive. I borrowed my dad’s 35 mm slr, mounted it to the eyepiece of the telescope, and I opened it up for a very long exposure. Fortunately, I was able to synchronize the telescope’s motor to perfectly track the moon in order to keep my long exposure from turning into a big old blur.

Here is one of those photos I took.   That moon is still looking back at me and calling me to the future…..

the moon by me -- ljg

LJG (c) 2013

Prompted by the Daily Post Photo Challenge of the Week


Seven Days and a Fistful of Dollars

The Daily Post asks:  “You wake up tomorrow morning to find all your plans have been cancelled for the next seven days and $10,000 on your dresser. Tell us about your week.”

Well, here’s the thing:  I can’t tell you about it — yet.  I can’t tell you because I don’t know where I will be.

I can tell you what I would do though.  First, I would take some of that money and rent a decent car for a week.  Then I would just get in it and drive.  Yes, a good old fashioned Road Trip, the kind I used to go on with my parents as a kid.  We never planned vacations.  We never made reservations.  We might have a vague destination in mind like, let’s say, the Grand Canyon or somewhere like that.  But how we got there would be the best fun.

I remember one year we had stopped at a cheese factory in Oregon and took a tour.  Of course my mom had to buy some cheese afterwards.  A couple of days later we found ourselves driving through Mt. Lassen National Park.  The more we drove, the stinkier our car became.  At first we thought it was the smell of sulphur coming from some of the geothermal sites in the park.  Then we started blaming each other for the smell.  Finally, we concluded that one of the cheeses my mother had bought in Oregon was not surviving the trip in the ice chest.   So we stopped along the road and buried it.   My mother hoped that some small animal did not dig it up and get sick from it.

That is just one snippet of memory of an awesome road trip as a kid, stinky cheese and all.

Do I think I can recreate that sort of trip?

Probably not.

I have different interests now.  I would be looking for the unique and unusual, the inspirational and gob-smacking beautiful.  I might go looking for islands in the mists or birds on the wing.    I might get so caught up in it all that I might not come home for a while.

Well, at least not till the money ran out.


flying pelican

ljg (c) 2013



earthI thought I would make this post dedicated to the date 12/12/12 for no other reason than I won’t ever be able to do it again in this life time.   I have even set my WordPress scheduler to post this at 12/12/12 12:12.    Also, I just think the WordPress scheduler is the coolest tool they’ve come up with.

Here’s another thing:  I thought this type of date was called a palindrome — I’ve always wanted to use this word in a post — ; however, a palindrome, according to Wikipedia, is “a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of units that may be read the same way in either direction”.   It is not really a palindrome if you read it number by number.  That would be 21/21/21, right?  But it would still be a palindrome if you read them as full numbers:  Twelve, Twelve,  Twelve.  I guess I’ll go with that because, as I said, I want to use the word “palindrome” and this will be my last chance, EVER, to legitimately do that.

But what I really want to mention today is that while doing my research, to my surprise, I found out that TODAY, 12/12/12, is supposed to be the Mayan end of the world.  I got a whole bunch of google hits on this topic.  Now, I am really confused.  I was counting on the end of the world to be on 12/21/12, the winter solstice.  If the end of the world is supposed to be today and not the 21st, then the History Channel and the Discovery Channel has really gotten this wrong.  I guess I just can’t trust them any more

Okay, so this is my post for 12/12/12.  If any of you in Oz — about 19 time zones ahead of me — are reading this at 11:59 pm on 12/12, please let me know whether or not the world has ended.  I’ve got things to do today.

ljgloyd  (c) 12/12/12 at 12:12 a.m.


Studies in Gray

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I ran into a lot of obstacles this weekend that have kept me from writing.  I did, though, have time to do a few photographic studies in black, white and gray.   These studies were propelled in part by the weather, and in part by a dull and dismal mood of mine.

gray bw bridge
“Ballona Creek Bridge”

gray bw cracked concrete
“Cracked Concrete”


gray bw clouds and beach
“Parting Clouds”

LJGloyd (c) 2012


The Importance of Making Fields Notes

In Keri Smith’s book, How to be an Explorer of the World, she provides a list of how to observe your surroundings and make field notes of those observations.   I love her list.  The first item on the  list is the most practical:  “1. Always be looking (Notice the ground beneath your feet.)”  I have made “looking” so much of my daily routine that it has become second nature.   I drive my friends nuts by saying “didn’t you see such-and-such just now?”   (They usually don’t).

Yesterday, I was walking across the grounds of the place where I work on the way to another office.  I decided to take a more scenic route across the grounds and walked along an area next to an undeveloped patch of ground.   Looking down at the ground I noticed tracks.  Lots and lots of animal tracks of some sort.   Whatever made them had walked in the mud and then onto the pavement leaving muddy little footprints.  They were different sizes of the same type of track so I suspect this was a parent and several little ones.    I became intrigued, and since this is not something I see every day, I whipped out a camera and snapped a few pictures.  (A tip to you writers:  along with your writer’s journal, carry a camera at all times for moments like this).

When I got back to my office, I googled “animal tracks” and determined that the tracks belonged to Procyon lotor, or the Common North American Raccoon.  I was not surprised.  Procyon lotor have become quite common in my urban setting over the last few years.  They breed like crazy and have no predators to keep them in check.    Still, the raccoon is typically not part of my daily professional workplace experience.

I had no plans for the photographs other than to move them from my camera to my computer and to clean them up so the tracks could be more discernible.   In the process of doing this, I accidentally created these manipulated images.  I was delighted in what Photoshop did with the color of the pavement.  Roses, blues, greens, and yellows were not what my eye saw, but apparently it was what the camera saw.


My tip for the day is to always be looking and be ready to make “field notes” along the way. You never know how you can parlay those observation notes into something very cool.

To see the complete list of Kerri Smith’s tips on exploring the world, click HERE.

Text and images LJGloyd (Pelican1), (C) 2012.