I “crafted” Mr. Noogie out of clay 30+ years ago as a tribute to my inability to draw and to celebrate the joy of having children. A “noogie” is a playful sign of affection: putting someone in a headlock and gently rubbing the top of their head with your knuckles. I thought it was a Polish custom growing up since I had an older cousin who gave me noogies on a regular basis. Duza noogie!
Mr. Noogie, who still fits into his tux, now resides in the garage.
Made it! And so did this snowy plover, defenseless and endangered on the beach. Fortunately for the plover it is not the kind of weather that attracts their unwilling enemy: humans. Peace, good health to all.
There I am, rolling down a hill along with my camera, having slipped off a cliff on the last day of a very bad year, or so I briefly imagined as I started off on a hike with Ivan. Instead, the sky was a deep blue with birds flying everywhere. I raised the camera quickly to capture Canadian geese sailing overhead. Note how the lead goose is honking (bill opened) landing orders to the rest of the flock(bills closed). Twenty seconds later they would glide to a landing on the Carmel River. Peace.
This was not a favored year, but still there were two photos that stood out for me. First, there was a painted lady butterfly captured almost as if it were mounted for display and, secondly, the pure joy of a rescue dog that has just been adopted. I realize you can’t tell if the dog has been “rescued” from the photo, but the joy in its eye as it looks approvingly at the camera while playing is priceless for me.