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Friday, May 28, 2010

Shadows and Travels

 I have spent the past two days moving paper bits around and capturing the results on camera. Soon I hope to have a video of shadow puppet stop motion to post, but until then I am including an overview of some of the bits and pieces used. (The soundtrack is the jazz standard "Fly Me to the Moon" )

Recently I spent a few days in Sete, on the Mediterranean coast of France. Sete is a city with water on all sides--- a grid of canals criss-crosses the urban area, with the sea on one side and a large salt water lake on the other. The canals are used for commercial shipping as well as pleasure craft, so some are quite wide and deep. At other places there are small impasses where looking down from the hewn stone sides is rather like observing a large salt water aquarium. Oysters and dark red sea urchins cling to the sides, small fish dart past and clusters of transparent medusa jellyfish perform their pulsing dance. I found the latter fascinating and deeply calming to watch---the sea is truly an alien world full of magic and mystery.

There are other more raucous inhabitants in the salt water basin outside the city. The brilliant rose flamingos are a sight to see flying en masse to land along the shallow water by the shore. Their voices sound something like the croaking of huge, tuneless frogs but their dances are an amazing synchronized choreography of aligned long legs and nodding heads that sweep forward and back again. They also seem to have little fear of humans, so I was able to observe them at quite close range.

May is also the season for the beautiful papery petalled red-orange poppies that line the roadsides and pastures throughout France.

Until next we meet...

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