Aliens Among Us

Alien Isis

Alien Isis

In 2006, a friend requested that I redesign his garden area behind his house in Redway, CA. So, I went out there for 2 weeks in September to find he had bought a “weekender” in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Had I not taken my friend, Rene< with me, I doubt I would have done anything but wander around in the forest of some of the oldest trees on the planet and spend my days otherwise lazing about on the shores of Black Sand Beach to the west.

Redway is 2 miles west of Garberville, which is in famous Humboldt County, in northern California. Unknown to many (very many), this area is nothing short of Heaven. Just north of Garberville, on the highway to Eureka, is the beginning of the Avenue of the Giants, which is famous, as well. On the Avenue, you can drive through that famous redwood tree and you can see where the gnomes and trolls live in another, and so on. Tourist attractions. But I didn’t go for tourist attractions, I went out there to………..discover what I have been missing all of my life and only heard about from vintage postcards of cars driving through trees, which, as a child, was pretty damn cool!

When you step out the door at Giant’s Rest, the name given by Paul and Barb to their place, and you look up, this is what you see:

Above Giants Rest

Above Giant's Rest

Technically, this shot is about 50 yards from the front door, but you get the idea. You’re looking straight up into trees that have been there a good deal longer than you, your great-grandfather or his great-great-grandfather. You look up and the top of the tree is somewhere way the hell up there and someplace you’re not actually going to see, unless you climb up on top of a nearby ridge.

Spending 10 days among these trees is something else! But it isn’t just the trees, it’s the air, which is nothing like the air down in San Francisco, which has its own redolence. And its the twisty turny roads between Redway and the coast. About 25 miles west is Shelter Cove, a hamlet that, sadly, is growing because it has been “discovered.” When I was there, the water front was changing with lots of new tract-like homes. It would have been nice to be there 5 years before. Nonetheless, you arrive at the coast and look north, away from the new housing and you get to see this:

Wildflowers with Lost Coast to the North

Wildflowers with Lost Coast to the North

The Lost Coast is an area I’ve only seen from the road. The nature of it is that for 35-40 miles you can only access it by 1 4×4 road on the south end, I believe. At the north end, there is Punta Gorda Lighthouse that is only accessible by foot. Over at Shelter Cove, where the road ends, you make your way down to Black Sands Beach, which is a BLM preserve, north of town. Go down to the shore, sit down and dig your feet into the “sand”.

Black Sands Beach Ease

Black Sands Beach Ease

But let’s go back over to Redway….over to Paul and Barb’s. That’s why I started this little travelogue. Their front door is about 50 yards, at the very most, from the Eel River, which meanders along the Avenue of the Giants. When I got there the first time, to Giant’s Rest, we went out onto the river within moments of arriving. The river was “way down” since it was September. When the river is “up,” it may be right at the edge of their piece of property and threatening to come in the yard!
Walking along the river in September was wonderful. The water was glassine…as still as you can possibly imagine. Water bugs created the only waves, to speak of. The rock face of the opposing abutment just fell right down into the river.

Eel River Idyll

Eel River Idyll

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Later that evening, when I processed my photos of walking along the river, though, I played with the serenity of the scenes and discovered something I had never actually played with before: mirror images. However, these mirror images came from another world. I’d seen your run-of-the-mill mirror images of doorways and walls, and even building structures. But never really anything like this.

Oblangata 1

Oblangata 1

I have several like it and they all have the same sort of recurring theme: faces, faces, and more faces of aliens. For instance, Alien Isis, at the top of the blog, and Oblangata, just above (with the original for it just above that, of course).

Isis 3

Isis 3

You get the idea, right?

Well, I have been going back through my “archives” looking for pieces that would lend well to the electric versions of my works. One such piece resulted in a rather dramatic rendering. Here is the “final” result of Alien Isis:

When the Alien Kissed Me, My Life Changed Forever

When the Alien Kissed Me, My Life Changed Forever

A few days later, Rene took this photo of me sitting in the egg that is in the central area of Esalen (for all of the kids to play in), south of Big Sur, one of my favorite spots in the world:

Like a Child

Like a Child

Esalen is truly a place of wonderment. If you EVER get a chance to spend time there, don’t let it pass you by! The view alone is worth the trip but the time spent is one you’ll never forget!

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