Archive for July, 2009


Movement and Measure

July 31, 2009

What is time?
When you are working on a time travel story, this question can come up again and again. This being the second time travel story I have worked on, the question has been on my mind for the last 8 years.
I read many of the physics texts of Heisenberg, Einstein, Wilson, and a bit of Hawking. I read the magick text of A. Crowley, J. Arguelles, and Hunbatz Men. I read science fiction too. All of these helped formed my concepts, but it was the flowers who were my greatest teachers.
First and foremost, I am a naturalist. I study nature. I learn from nature.
For many years I have watched the progression of flowers bloom from the Willamette Valley floor to the high alpine meadows of Mt. Hood. From the Camas Lillies of April to the Mt. Daisy of August, each bloom comes into it’s own according to the limiting factors of season and elevation.
Each year the timing is slightly different. Flower time and calendar time are not one and the same.
The span is the same, though.
Consider a perennial plant: In the early spring the soil temperature warms up stirring the roots from their winter sleep; The tender shoots rise up out of the ground; The leaves unfurl kicking photosynthesis into high gear; The flowers bloom and are pollinated; The plant ripens into seed; The green parts harden to brown; All energy return to the root and the seeds are dispersed.
After studying this process year after year and comparing it to the processes in my own body, I came to realize that much of what we consider as time is really metabolism. Our body ages in stages, just as a plant grows in stages. Children grow, seniors shrink and civilization changes with each new development. These are the things of time. But these things are not time.
Time is the span of the movement. Sunrise to sunset. Month to month. Year to year. There are movements of the earth, the moon and the sun and there are the measurements of these movements: Seconds, hours, days, months, seasons, year, decades, eras, and on and on.
So…what is time? It is the duration of the bloom.
Can we time travel?
Certainly we can travel one way…into the future. Our memories can take us into the past.
But can we travel with our bodies into the past or into the far future? I would say yes. It is the how of it I still don’t know about.
In the story I am working on now, the time traveling kids have a magic map, magic chants, and a set of portals to work with.
I think in reality we would have to understand the “map” or the structure of the galaxy, which I believe is displayed by the shape of a daisy’s flower.
Then comes the chant and the portals: Are there openings between the curves of movement and measure? Are there a set of words, sounds, or tones that would resonate with the design and open these doors? I am not certain.
But this I do know: I will continue to investigate. We have all the time int he world to figure this one out.


Erica’s Plant Catalog

July 9, 2009

I have added some new plants to my plant catalog.

Some are more important than others. One of the most important ones to stay away from is poison oak:

Poison Oak

Poison Oak

Another good one to know is the Bear Grass Lily. If you are lost in the woods you can boil the root to eat for a meal. I’ve heard it does not taste very good, but it will provide you with sustenance.

Bear Grass Lily

Bear Grass Lily

The Bear Grass Lily photo was taken at Silverstar Mountain.



Trillium Lake

July 9, 2009

Erica and I went to Trillium Lake on a cloudy earlier July day with the mission of capturing “different” images of the lake.  Google “Trillium Lake” or just clink on the link and you will find pages upon pages of the idyllic lake reflecting he image of Mt. Hood.  The weather was on our side.  The mountain was covered by a veil of clouds.  Nobody ever photographs the lake like this!

The Corn Lilly were in bloom and that was great to see. Look at all of them standing tall with one another!  The close up shows the symmetry of the flowers.

At the North end of the lake, there is a wetland.  It is here we photographed the Bog Orchid as well as the carnivorous Sundew plant.  (look close, it has sticky appendages)

Near the campgrounds we took some shots of the Yellow Pond Lilly.  I tried real hard to get a pic of a small little plover that was jumping from pad to pad, but I was not able to capture it from the distance.

I like the photo of the rock in the water.  I wonder if anyone else has ever photographed it.

The walk was cold and brisk.  It was 50 degrees!  That’s real cool for this time of year.

I thought a lot about “flower time”  and the timing of the bloom as one progresses upwards in elevation.  The camas were just blooming at Trillium but in the Willamette Valley they have long gone to seed.

I’m collecting inspirations and thoughts for the next story…


Searching for the Sound

July 2, 2009

Upper Horsetail FallsI bought a Tascam digital recording device a few months ago.  I figured it would be handy and helpful for our projects.  It sat around for a while as we learned how to use it.  Digital recording has come a looooooong way since I saw the first devices back in the mid 90’s.  Heck, digital recording has come a long way since 2007!

Erica and I went out to the Gorge to record waterfalls.  We recorded Upper Horsetail Falls with some success (although it sounds just like white noise.)  We also recorded the sounds of water dropping from a cascade of droplets of a “dripping wall”.

When we got back to the office and listened to what we had, we decided to surf the web to see what else was out there.  Oh boy, are there a lot of sounds.  So many, in fact, that you can find many free samples and downloads.

What we ened up with was a blend of sounds from dripping water, to rivers, to waterfalls, to waves of a rough surf to a bear growling.  Then we put Shaunice at  the intro on digeridoo (because she has nice grooves).  Erica layered them on top of each other using Amadeus, a studio recording program that we bought when I recorded a session of The Swinging Wolverines, a band I play with from time to time.

When our website for the story is all built you can hear the 23 second intro.  Funny how it takes 5 hours of work to come up with 23 seconds of sound.  well, that’s the world of production.  It takes time to make art and music.  It’s a job!