Monday, January 26, 2009

Legends Are Hard to Come By

One of the reasons the camera loves the west coast is the abundance of seastacks, those rugged monolithic upthrusts of rock strewn along beaches and offshore like dragon's teeth and other fanciful shapes. The ingredients of seastacks can vary but I think those in this area are mostly basalt. One source tells me they were once part of an underwater reef complex. That would be a greatly over-simplified explanation of seastacks and good enough for our purposes here. What I want to bring to your attention is how the various shapes of these rock formations so easily and naturally inspire colorful legends.

Not all seastacks come accompanied with their own stories -- like the Indian princess with her basket of kittens or the tribal elder hurled into the sea by an evil spirit. So I'm looking at the above shot of the cove just west-by-northwest of the Port Orford dock and, as you can see, there are a couple of big seastacks close to the cliff, flanked on the right by two smaller formations. I don't know if there are any legends that go with that grouping or not but as I stood there on the dock I got to thinking it might be fun to make something up.

Zooming in on the little guys, we can see they stand there on the edge of the outgoing tide, thoughtfully contemplating the pocket-sized beachlet in front of them. A cozy little space it is, sand covered by rock and tastefully edged with a tangle of driftwood and kelp. Nice place for a picnic -- as long as the tide is out.

I don't know. There may be something warped in my legend-creation mode. I keep looking at those figures and trying to come up with a suitable dramatic story to go with them. No matter how hard I try to dream up characters more dashing, more romantic, I keep getting insistent impulses from a couple of crusty old bachelors named Stanley and Earl. I'm not making this up. They are making it up, I swear it, and this is what they're telling me ...

The little cove is Stanley's living room. Stanley is the pudgy one on the left. Earl has come to visit him -- please note he brought a couple of cases of beer, laying directly behind him. Earl looks around and says, "Jeez, Stanley, is this whachoo call minimalist decor?"

"No, Earl. This is called what's-left-after-the-divorce."

"Oh." Long silence. Then, "I brought some beer. Thought we could watch the Super Bowl."

"Hell, Earl. If you brought enough beer, we've got room to play the Super Bowl."

Another long silence. Then, "Stanley, do you get the feeling we're in a really weird Indian legend?"



"Nope. I get the feeling we're in a rejected Far Side cartoon."

Well, shucky-darn. So much for "easily and naturally" making up random legends. Stanley and Earl were kind of fun, though. And don't worry about them messing up the cove when they drink beer and watch the Super Bowl. The incoming tide will tidy it right up. Oops. Did I just make a pun?


Wendy said...

Dee, honey, you're wonderful, but I think the football withdrawal which precedes the SuperBowl is messing with your head. Great story, though!

John Bailey said...

No. Not a pun. A statement of intent. :-)

Stephanie said...

Gorgeous shots, Oh how I want to live where you do!

bonnie said...

Man are you sipping the brew already? Those aren't people they are sea lions. :-)

Praying Wil gets his big screen in time for Sunday.

Didja see yesterday I put up two pictures from my visit. Of course I had fiddled with one.

~ Sil in Corea said...

Gotta love those two old rednecks! That's what happens when you try to channel what is really there. It's only the snake-oil salesmen and baloney-pushers who make up yarns about long-lost lovers and tragic warriors, yada-yada. And, Bonnie, if they are sea lions, they are redneck sea lions who drink beer, lol!

Maggie said...

Simply lovely stuff. Lookit that sunshine. I do like your upthrusts too. So there.

Dee said...

Ah gee, Wendy, ya think? How well you know me and my pathetic football jones. (grin)

Statement of intent. I like that, John. Sounds so virtuous.

Ah, Stephanie ... I can't argue. I've loved every place I've been but none more than right here.

Bonnie, sea lions? Let me check what's in *your* cup!

Ah, Sil ... redneck sea lions. That explains everything. By the way, love your picture!

Maggie, there are some upthrusts down your way too aren't there? Such character they have.