A Face in the Crowd for WPC 2/21/18

A Face in the Crowd

This might be a stretch. But if you happen to be a regular reader, you might be getting the idea that I am kind of a Rule Bender in a quiet-ish way.

This week, first came the Weekly Photo Challenge. I searched and thought and plotted to find or take a great Face-in-the-Crowd shot. I had the same weird internal ethical debates I always have about taking photos of strangers without their permission…even a face in a crowd.

Then my grandsons invited me to watch a movie. We watched Okja, an odd little Korean film. (Trailer down below, but it’s full of spoilers…better to watch unprepared, in my opinion.)  By the way, Common Sense Media says 15 years plus, and though my grandsons are 12 and 14, I agree. My oldest one kept saying “one minute you think this is a great kid’s movie and the next it’s really, REALLY not!”

I will tell you that while watching it, I couldn’t help but thinking about the Weekly Photo Challenge Theme….which made me start thinking in a whole new direction.

I love animals and I tell you what, it is getting more and more difficult to eat anything with a face. I have been mostly vegetarian for almost 50 years…no red meat of any kind during that time and only the occasional fish and poultry…including Salmon of course ( I DO live in the Northwest after all) and Turkey on Thanksgiving!

With this movie giving me a new way of thinking of the face in the crowd, I remembered an experience a few years back that left me both in awe for the beauty of it and a kind of disgust and guilt for the fact of it.

On a repeated vacation to San Diego, the place where we stay has this massive Koi Pond. For a quarter, you can feed the spectacularly colorful fish.


They were beautiful and I suppose there is value in sharing that contained beauty with people if it heightens their consciousness about our cohabitants on Mother Earth. (Don’t get me started on the two sides of the whole Zoo Debate.)

But it was also an example of a pitiful and frightening feeding frenzy.

There was this one fish-face that caught my eye. I kept my eye on him so I knew it was the same one over and over. His face kept appearing midst the fevered quest for food.


Maybe it was that he was so huge and that made me wonder if this had been his whole life, battle after crowded battle for tidbits of man-made cereal nuggets.


That thought made me incredibly sad. I mean, Koi can live for up to 200 years! And these guys had already been trapped in this resort pond for 35 years that I know of.

It just felt wrong.

I don’t know any resolution, or if there even needs to be one. I mean, I raise Giant Leaf Bugs and keep them in a terrarium for their entire lives…my rationale being they live almost a year longer in my captivity than in their native wild. My cats are strictly indoor cats for the same reason…longer lives than if they ventured out among the hawks and coyotes in my area.

Anyway, this is my Face in the Crowd post for the week.

I’d love to hear what you think.


5 Interesting Facts About Koi Fish from https://www.sweeneyfeeders.com/5-interesting-facts-koi-fish/


1. Koi fish originate from Japan and represent love and friendship in Japanese culture.


2. Most koi fish outlive their owners, having a lifespan of 200+ years.


3. They come in a variety of colors, not just orange. They may appear orange, yellow, white, red and black.


4. Owners who received their koi fish as a gift are believed to have good luck.


5. In Japan, koi fish are often passed down from generation to generation, as a family heirloom.



Dinnertime #??? Rated “S”-for STRANGE




I love their little additional appendages by their mouth, to aid in eating I suppose, because their hands/claws are so far away from their mouths. Ingenious!!


For the short story (inside a long post) on these bugs, please read:

Walking With Intention Day 20 by Kathie Arcide

Dinnertime (well, Breakfast) for WPC

I feed my local crows every morning….for 35 years. My neighbors think I am nuts, and compare it to feeding the local RATS!! In their defense, I suppose their diagnosis of me comes from the fact that I stand on my deck “cawing” at the top of my lungs every morning at 7 until my birds show up….and they do! If I am not out there on time, they let me know…loudly!

From my desk, I look right out onto the deck and am just a few feet from them so I take a ton of pictures…not fancy photographs, just “extended animal-family” snapshots.


Crows are amazing birds, unbelievably smart. I keep a pan of water on the deck for them and if the day’s fare is too crunchy, or maybe too salty, these clever birds dip each bite into the water for softening or rinsing, before devouring.


Sometimes there is competition for their daily meal and there is a minor scuffle.



I had read about this one thing crows do that I always wanted to witness and finally, they complied. Like several other species I won’t mention, Teenage Crows act very entitled! They demand to still be fed, sometimes even after they have outgrown their parents.

I found this information on the Cornell bird site:

Most young birds leave their parents soon after leaving the nest, often being chased away, and never see the parents again. In contrast, American crows never chase away their offspring, and the young may remain at home for years….While they wait for a breeding opportunity, most crows help their parents raise young. They help feed the incubating female, feed the nestlings and fledglings, defend the territory and the nest, and stand guard over other family members while they forage. Such cooperative breeding behavior is rare in birds. Only a handful of species in North America exhibit it, and none are as widespread as the American crow.   http://www.birds.cornell.edu/crows/planta.htm


Check out this series of snapshots. Can you tell who is the Entitled Teenager?






Now, I just want to see a fluffy black baby and my crow dreams will be complete.


Dinnertime for WPC #5


When we house-sit for my sister in the San Juan Islands, we have the best dinner times ever. They have a bamboo farm (Wild Bird Bamboo), the coolest house in the world and gardens that people travel great distances to see.

We usually come at the peak of the garden’s production time and of course, not wanting to waste any of it, they encourage us to EAT, EAT, EAT!!

So we do…just to please them, of course.

Enjoy a walk through paradise, and think about the dinners you could make!


bridge over pond

9-10 063

bench for meditating on small island in middle of pond

9-10 070

Ola, the Wonder Dog, accompanying Gardeners

Once across the two arched bridges, you come to a glorious expanse of well-loved Garden!

a sweeping left to right view

And THEN, there’s also the Greenhouse!


Go ahead…Pick and EAT!!!

(In the interest of full disclosure, we got the pecans and avocados at the market.)


(Not shown; the huge blueberry bush enclosure, and the apple and peach trees!)

Don’t even get me started on the FLOWERS! Another post entirely!