Hummingbirds remind me of my late mother. They’re small, beautiful and extremely quick — alive and abuzz with energy.
I shot this photo over the summer and have been meaning to post it ever since. It’s not the most technically superb of images, but I was proud just to have snapped a clear view of one of these little birds.
|I can imagine, in some otherworld|
|Primeval-dumb, far back|
|In that most awful stillness, that only gasped and hummed,|
|Humming-birds raced down the avenues.|
|Before anything had a soul,|
|While life was a heave of Matter, half inanimate,|
|This little bit chipped off in brilliance|
|And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.|
|I believe there were no flowers, then,|
|In the world where the humming-bird flashed ahead of creation.|
|I believe he pierced the slow vegetable veins with his long beak.|
|Probably he was big|
|As mosses, and little lizards, they say were once big.|
|Probably he was a jabbing, terrifying monster.|
|We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time,|
|Luckily for us.|
One of these days, I will tire of shooting flowers. But that day hasn’t come yet. “Too easy!” you say. And, yes, it’s true. I’m a sucker for beauty.
Shooting flowers feels a little like cheating … I mean, they’re beautiful, colorful and hold perfectly still. It’s hard to totally mess up. But who doesn’t like a nice petal pic now and again? And it can make you feel like you’re not such a crap photographer after all.
Snapped the photo above after taking a walking tour of my neighborhood with SF City Guides. I’ve lived in Noe Valley for less than a year, but I’ve been coming to visit for almost a decade and figured it was time to learn about the truth behind its many charms.
Once again, I am part of a gentrifying sweep, moving an old working-class neighborhood with an appealing low skyline into the ranks of the less affordable. This reminds me of my old Brooklyn neighborhood, Cobble Hill; so do all the cute boutiques, eateries and baby strollers.
But … It was great to have my eyes opened to all the architectural details they would normally gloss over. And now I can proudly distinguish a Stick House from a Queen Anne or an Edwardian. One sad note is that Nelly Street was once Orient Street, but they changed the name during World War II. People are silly, aren’t they? But whoever Nelly was, I am sure she was happy to get her own street.
Tours by SF City Guides are free and happening all the time, all around the city (schedule). And you can catch the latest buzz about lovely Noe Valley on this fun local blog, noevalleysf.blogspot.com.