Not a terribly scenic photo, but it is a sign of horrible economic times in south Alabama. All Gulf Coast beaches have been closed since March 27. Most businesses have closed and tourist rentals stand vacant. There were no spring breakers, no Snowbirds and the Hangout music festival has been cancelled. This portable sign sits at the edge of the Foley Beach Express about ten miles north of the Gulf of Mexico beaches at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
…the fence blocks socialization, the tree doesn’t participate in any kind of conversation; I can only guess at its stories, its past, who visited before, the pain it must have felt when the fence was nailed to its side.
Isolation – it’s a bitch. In my next life, please, don’t let me be a tree.
GULF SHORES, AL; March 6, 2020 – It was 68° F, there was no ice on the water, but it felt as if there could have been. Young folks were down at the edge of the shoreline, a few wading, some playing volleyball, many just lying in the sun, determined to get a tan before the end of their vacations. But elderly folks sheltered themselves from the northerly wind behind a public building, soaking up the sun’s warmth, glad for the reprieve of shoveling snow back home.
Light in October is different than in June or February. The trees, the fence, the little trailer; they all plead, beg…like me…to hold on to the warmth even after the sun goes down. There’s no need for begging in June – the warmth will hold on. In February, there’s just no point in begging. But in October, in the deep south, leaves are still mostly green, the light is warm in every sense, but after the sun drops below the horizon…
We were here first. There’s plenty of room; do you have to sit so close? Or maybe the story is: Come! Join us we’ll all have a good time. But more likely it’s, “How’s the water, Mabel? What does George have in his hands?
I’ve often read that “great photos always tell a story.” But I don’t think a single photo can ever tell a complete story. Stories have a beginning, middle and end. A single photo can only capture a small fraction of the story. Without context, this is simply a photo of a group of people at a beach with a vast ocean of water in the background. Are they family? Friends? Recent acquaintances? Are they stranded on a desert island? What is the story?
The quality of light is changing, the air smells a little bit like autumn. Hardwoods are still in full-leaf, but they’re getting ready for the changing season. It’s difficult to put a finger on precise changes, but they are coming. Nature’s aromas are different, the air feels different, the light isn’t quite so crisp.