Made in the American Shade

“This nation will remain the land of the free

only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

Elmer Davis

I feel there is no point in being free in America if I don’t take in all the joy of freedom. I love walking our beach and boardwalk just for the simple, present, pleasure of it.

I’m on the lookout for dolphins, seals, whales, ospreys and oystercatchers, of course. But also the shifting patterns of clouds and sand and surf. The murmur of sunbathers, the shrieking of tots. The scent of sunscreen mixed with salt air. It all makes life more…lively.

I posted to my blog a couple of day ago then rode my bike on our Long Beach, NY boardwalk. The weather was different than my last foggy photo shoot. The sun was high and I didn’t expect to see the oystercatcher chicks. But as I rode looking over the railing…there they were…ensconced in the shade of a yellow refuse container. “Wow!” I thought, “made in the shade.”


Made in the shade

Born May 12th, they are coming up on a month in age. The adults take turns feeding the chicks by bringing scraps of shell fish life. This will continue for at least 60 days but the chicks will eat independently too at times. They can fly after about five weeks.

I started my photo shoot and as time passed a good many ladies, gents too, stopped by. They watched me shoot and we spoke about the chicks, oystercatchers in general, and Long Beach living as well. One woman was very interested in my camera and hopes to join in the fun soon.

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A need to strrrretch

When they left and I was all alone again, I laid my camera lens on the railing and focused on the brood below. As I framed these photos of the shaded and protected life before me I thought of what I said in my last post. It was an example of the horror in the world: “There were 1,030 humans drowned in the Mediterranean sea, many children…in only the last week. They were fleeing other forms of death in the sands of Syria…execution by ISIS.” I then spoke of how important it was to seek some relief from it, like investigating shore birds, or other of Earth’s beauty before us.

As I looked at the chicks below me I thought of how very simple life can be appreciated. And how so many people around the world are deprived of even such simple peace.

Those Syrian refugees were fleeing not only ISIS but death raining from the sky, missiles, rockets, barrel bombs, and nerve gas bombs from their own leader. A leader whose job was to keep them safe. But even before the deadly terrors of Assad and ISIS, life was hell for them.

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Just a little morrrre

We take so much for granted here while others routinely live at the mercy of tyranny. Here I was with my Nikon, photographing everything in sight. No official could tap me on the shoulder and ask me for my, “papers”. So many have no rights: no search and seizure laws, no Miranda warnings, no stop and frisk guidelines, no freedom of speech, religion, or otherwise…basically, no freedom.

You better not have a sign that says CHRISTIAN LIVES MATTER. Or any lives matter. Or any sign!

In Saudi Arabia, you know of course, that women can’t drive, but nobody can wear a cross or star of David or similar religious designation. You can’t go out with a date at all, or a movie even alone, at all. You can’t wear or sell anything red on Valentines day under penalty of law.

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Photographer gets the stink eye

Memorial Day just passed and I know you’ve heard soooo much about gratitude and appreciation for our troops. You saw parades and air shows and flag decorated cemeteries. But you can’t appreciate our troops or the freedom they preserve for us…just one day a year. We need to be thankful…every day… for every one of them…and their families too.

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I’m hungry now please.

We all have a lot to bitch about in America. But maybe we need to take a step back more often and look at the big picture.


My beak is stuck

When I finished my photo shoot I walked our pooch, Bailey. Even that is forbidden in Saudi Arabia. You can’t walk a dog there, pets have to stay inside.

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Pillows come in all shapes and sizes

Walked dogs are subject to confiscation by order of the office of the Preservation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

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I’m walkin’ heeere!

Every time you go to the movies or buy a Valentine, or wear whatever chain around your neck, you might want to be thankful to America’s  brave.

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A bit of fiddler crab

Maybe, after you read this post, look at the blue sky, at the gulls, the terns, the cotton clouds. You’ll see there are no barrel bombs hurtling toward your families, so please… breathe that free air of America…and remember.

We do have it pretty damn good here. As a matter of fact, in comparison to a lot of nations…we’ve got it made in the American shade.

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And now…a nap

“This nation will remain the land of the free

only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

God bless America.

Be well,


See my flip-side blog:


2 replies »

  1. You said it all perfectly. We have no idea what those people’s lives are like. Yes, we are the most fortunate people on earth. What we take for granted! Thanks for another great writing. Till next time.


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