On a particularly brilliant and shimmering autumn morning, I took off on a wondrous helium-filled carpet ride, up into a cloudless sapphire sky. All of a sudden, a whole new world opened up for me.
I could see for miles and miles and miles, bright square patches of reds, violets, greens, blues, lavenders, yellows, oranges, and polka dotted stripes.
These are the salt flats within a quarter mile of where I live. It is amazing how absolutely gorgeous they look from the sky, and I never see this as I drive on the streets near by.
Sticking my head outside the window of the zephyr and feeling the wind trying to rip the hair off my head. It is one of those rare times when I wished I had short hair, instead of long, long locks that gets yanked and tugged and gnarled by the gusts of wind from such a high altitude.
See those little white specks? Those are BIRDS flying over the salt flats. I couldn’t zoom in far enough because they were so far below the zephyr, and I didn’t bring my big zoom lens, just a 17-85mm.
More birds that look like speckles of vanilla flakes over a mound of chocolate with cream swirls.
The precious marshlands are protected from the encroachment of human civilization. The roads that have been laid out in grids, making those rectangles, are human’s attempts at maintenance and sustenance of the remaining portions of what used to be vast tracts of marsh lands and salt flats. Now it must be nurtured and encouraged to thrive.
Of course, there are still plenty of evidence of humanity’s presence upon the marshes. These huge electrical towers run through the place, delivering power to the millions of inhabitants in the surrounding area.
But for the most part, the marine wild life, algae, plankton, and various other organisms are encouraged to grow and proliferate here. There are no rules. If they want to be red, we let them be red. If they want to be green, they get to be green.
If they want to be mottled, they are free to be mottled. We do not try to fit them into what our vision of the perfect color for marshland should be. On their own, without our imposed designer color schemes, nature comes up with the wildest color combinations, and prove to us, yet again, that she is by far, the better designer than we could ever hope to emulate.
UPDATE: I am sad to report that as of today, November 15, 2012, there will be no more blimp rides in the skies over San Francisco Bay Area. The company has gone under for lack of funding. At least I was able to take a ride on the last week of their existence. From now on, if I ever want to float up in a big balloon, I will have to go to Europe or Japan, as this was the last remaining Zeppelin in service, in the USA. RIP Airship Ventures.