Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hodgepodge 260/365 - Sounds

We took a walk along the shore today, just south of the Carmel River. It was a bright, warm, technicolor day, where everything—all the sensuousness of the world—seemed heightened: the aromas spicier, the hues plusher, the textures crunchier, and the sounds crisper. I heard the swimmer in the river, his arms slapping the water, before I saw him. My heart cheered at the sound of applause and laughter on the beach: a wedding had just been celebrated. I envied the glee of the shrieking children leaping back and forth into and out of the cold water (and was glad they were across the river, so the shrieking wasn't too intense). There was the rolling crash of breakers at the spot where the river flows into the sea, mixing fresh with salt, a place so important for the steelhead populations in our area—important in that, in years when the river doesn't meet the sea, because of drought, the fish can't swim upstream to spawn. This year, 300 fish were reported in our little river. That was good news. There was the sound of birds: gulls in the air, songbirds in the bushes on the bluff. There was the crunch of my shoes on the decomposed gravel path.

For the hour that we were out there, we were treated to the constant blows of humpback whales feeding in Carmel Bay, some six to ten, maybe more, of the behemoths. I couldn't actually hear them, but every time they surfaced—remaining close together and spouting in quick succession, one, two, three . . . four . . . five, six—I could hear the soughing whoosh of air and condensation in my mind. I also imagined an impish slap when I saw their flukes upswept and gleaming in the sunlight.

Here are a few photos from the place, taken other days. Quieter days, no doubt. It was a treat today to get to exercise my sense of hearing.

"where water comes together with other water,"
to quote Raymond Carver (Point Lobos in the background)
View from uptop of the bluffs, looking north
to Pebble Beach
The Carmel River (just last week): a view to the east

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to hear the sounds of humpbacks feeding; we don't get that in Hawaii!