Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands

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Unfurled

Unfurled

Ever tried to shoot a flag? And please, I’m talking about with a camera. Shooting a flag in the wind is like trying to photograph children! You know there’s a perfect position or expression in the very near future, but click, click, click, it’s like trying to catch flies with chopsticks, even though it looks easy in ‘Karate Kid’ movies. I like this expression because of the filmy fabric being backlit by the sun, giving a glow symbolic of patriotic incandescence.

But, personally lacking that incandescence, I was playing at my keyboard late of an evening on the fourth of July when outside my open west facing window next to my desk I here a pop, then another. Oh, it’s the fireworks display down on the waterfront, though with the concrete wall just outside reflecting the sounds, it appears the rocket’s red glare is to the Northwest, not the Northeast where I know the fireworks have always taken place.

That conundrum forces me to rise and venture forth, a bit guilty that I’m goofing off online while the community celebrates our nation’s birthday. I read recently that John Adams declared that the citizenry of our new country should, in perpetuity, celebrate that event with fanfare and loud noises. Make it different, make it grand! And here I am alone, thinking you’ve seen one Friday Harbor fireworks display, you’ve seen them all. I go outside, realizing that the view of the festivities from our parking lot is now blocked by a new building next door and a grove of fir trees next to that. I contemplate grabbing my camera and capturing that obscured grandeur, but it’s getting cold, and knowing the display could end at any time, I don’t bother but instead head back inside after less than a minute watching the fanfare and loud noises.

Speaking of not bothering, every year I say I’m going to position myself so as to watch the bombast blasts of Lopez Island’s rocket’s red glare, because for some unknown reason, their’s is always twice as fancy and long lasting as our’s in Friday Harbor, but once again, I couldn’t muster the motivation to drag myself out at the end of a long, hot summer day. Am I getting old or what?

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