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Glinting sunlight off the dashboard reflected the angry brake lights ahead of me. I thought maybe someone had hit a pig in the road. Or maybe, since it was late afternoon, the market vendors were leaving their selling posts for home. Walking through the road making all of us wait for them to finish crossing. As I slowed down to a stop I saw that there hundreds of cars, trucks and people crammed into the road in all directions.

Maybe you’ve read about these kinds of things before. Or seen an apocalyptic Mad Max adventure film with similar images. But I hadn’t.

I found myself driving, no INCHING through a political manifestation. Haitian elections were approaching and people were angry about their political system, their candidates and current economic stagnation. It was scary. You could feel the electricity in the air.

Where we in American sit at home, apathetically facebooking snarky political memes form the comfort of our living rooms.
Haitians gather together and burn tires, march, sing and rally to let their government know they are mad as hell and they aren’t gonna take it no more.

For two hours my Terios crawled through traffic. A policeman came. A single policeman. He tried to direct traffic sending my Terios and three other cars into a parking lot to wait out his further instructions. I thought I was being sent to the parking lot for a ticket of some kind.

I panicked.
Spun the wheels around on the gravel, rolled my window down and sought the advice of mechanic standing nearby. He pointed towards the nearby market stalls where a line of 20 cars were coming out the wrong way. Driving on a 6 foot wide path filled with chickens, mud, people and the last of the afternoon sunshine. They were coming from the direction I wanted to go.

I set up the Terios to enter the market.
A vendor noticed me and rapped on the window. He wanted $2US to guide me through the market. I nodded my head and indicated I would give it to him at the end. As the last of the 20 cars exited, I followed a 4Runner and a beat up Camry into the market stall pathway.

Quickly, I lost the guide I had agreed to pay.

I navigated the tiny, skinny pathway. It opened up onto a broken gravel, concrete block strewn cattle grazing path. Sidewalks would appear and then disappear – as if sprinkled, haphazardly, like New Years confetti. They jutted 6-8 inches into the air away from the dirt road. We had to move slow to navigate.

Each time I steered the car into the concrete juts I expected to blow a tire. Or scrape a hole in the oil pan under the car. But neither thing happened. Relief each time we made it. Then the next. Then relief. Then the next.

This snails pace allowed us to see the road split in a steep Y up ahead. We had lost our guide and everyone we passed was frantically attending to their own business without any time to advise us. We figured if the Camry could make it, we could too. So we followed the Camry. Just ahead a gang of men with machetes were cutting banana tree fronds and making a gate. Where previously cars had been sailing through to safety you now had to stop and negotiate with the men.

One of my passengers knew one of the men and after intense conversation we were waved through.
On the other side, were lean to peasant huts and small modest gardens. People looked up from their card games and conversations to observe this unlikely Terios navigating their foot paths.
It was clear we had no idea where we were headed.

A man jumped up and for $1US offered to guide us to the main thoroughfare.
We drove slowly in silence for 20 minutes over huge rocks through uneven pathways.

F I N A L L Y. We emerged onto the entrance for the highway.
It had taken us 5 hours to travel 15 miles.
I gave our godsend guide $5US and insisted he take a picture with us.
We’d made it.

seek beauty, to find beauty

seek beauty, to find beauty

Rudolph visits the farm

I ♥ Ewe!

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About Garden Variety Cheese at Monkeyflower Ranch in Royal Oaks, Calif.:
Garden Variety Cheese is a
small farmstead cheese business based
in Northern Monterey County on 40 acre
Monkeyflower Ranch.

We began commercial milking and cheese production in March 2009. Our sheep produce lovely, rich sweet milk that makes fabulous cheese and yogurt. To ensure the health and well-being of the animals and the high quality of the milk and cheese from Garden Variety Cheese, the 100 milking ewes here at Monkeyflower Ranch are fed on fresh pasture, alfalfa hay and organic brewer’s grain from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and organic corn from Modesto Milling. Each ewe is named after a garden flower and treated with love and respect. Our dairy sheep are seasonal producers–eachindividual only gives milk for about six months per year. This season, we have staggered our breeding and hope to have fresh milk for yogurt for most of the year.

Events at the farm:
http://gardenvarietycheese.com/events-1/

Where to Buy:
http://gardenvarietycheese.com/where-to-buy/

Lake Tahoe

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Photos: Iphone 6 with Faded App, Nikon J1 30mm with Lightroom

Ban the Box: Exploring Self-Expression for Valentines Day

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As long as I have been a student (and especially as a special needs teacher) I noticed what a popularity contest this whole classroom valentines exchange has turned out to be.
Kids feel left out and it lowers their self-esteem and self-worth.

Contribute towards a better tomorrow – Ban the Box of Valentines Day cards at your house, school and community centers.

The Project: I took a portrait of every student in my class. We will print one portrait per student in class and glue it down on a piece of 80% post-consumer recycled poster board. On Valentines Day, all the students and teachers in class will exchange compliments.
Each compliment will be recorded on the poster board. Each person will go home with a reminder of how loved and appreciated they are by their peers and mentors.
Cost: 29cents per person — you must collect your own poster board from school recycling bins all year long in preparation, or splurge on a 30pack of paper ($8.99)

Average cost of a box of valentines: $5
Average # of students in a class: 24
Greeting cards exchanged: 180million
Paper and packaging waste: weight of 4,170 hybrid cars
All that waste generate CO2 emissions that are equivalent to driving around the world 3, 993 times!

Tips from the EPA for Valentines Day:
http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/wycd/funfacts/february.htm

Promote and Instill Self-Love + Positive Body Image: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/01/21/dove_s_new_selfie_short_premieres_at_sundance_makes_us_think_about_moms.html

The Impact of Valentine’s Day on the Environment: https://blog.dashburst.com/infographic/valentines-day-environmental-impact/

Zero Waste Valentines Ideas:
http://www.pinterest.com/fpcreativegroup/zero-waste-valentines-day/

undulating school of clouds

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Woman Reading to the Sea | Lisa Williams

Movement means closure,
a thrust from where you are,
that gelid other plane,

your bell-like head
with wordless aperture
emptying, emptying,

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the pleats of your innards,
a shallow accordion.
Your tendrils trail neon

lit cities of cells
—you, pellucid ferry,
invisibly carried

spun dome like the ghost
of some merry-go-round.
And we who don’t float

with such unconscious ease
think it terror to rise
from our notions of land,

rock, and ownership, can’t
ride a bottomless plain,
colored thrust in our sails,

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in the lax, placid matter
that holds, not from falls
(for you too fill your head

so your gossamer motors
move onward) but holds
your shape firm. Even you,

if you never once moved,
if you didn’t take in
the first place where you are,

fold around that cold present
then push out, with liquid
momentum (like knowledge)

from flushed, chambered cells,
would ascend nowhere new.
In the planktonic dark,

a touch is the world,
the devouring of touch
motion’s guidance. Your emptied

bell head tolls the thrust,
the sole luminous effort—clear
life thinking’s lost!

You say you want an Evolution :: Burning Man remix

The frenzy is finished.
Pococurantistic hands are the new shutter clicks.
Eager traipsing, camera in tow has come to a standstill. Monotony has superceded curiosity.

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Lately, I’ve grown tired of taking new photos.
What I really want to do is sit quietly on soft pillows re-examining the past. Curating the Chaos, you might say. It feels exhausting to try and come up with anything new. But I love applying fresh eyes to old content.

One of my most memorable mornings took place on Saturday, September 1, 2012.
I give you: Burning Man remixed.

Cuba Countryside

If you’ve seen a mount of sea foam,
It is my verse you have seen:
My verse a mountain has been
And a feathered fan become.

My verse is like a dagger
At whose hilt a flower grows:
My verse is a fount which flows
With a sparkling coral water.

My verse is a gentle green
And also a flaming red:
My verse is a deer wounded
Seeking forest cover unseen.

My verse is brief and sincere,
And to the brave will appeal:
With all the strength of the steel
With which the sword will appear.

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SI VES UN MONTE DE ESPUMAS… (Verso V)

Si ves un monte de espumas,
Es mi verso lo que ves,
Mi verso es un monte, y es
Un abanico de plumas.

Mi verso es como un puñal

Que por el puño echa flor:
Mi verso es un surtidor
Que da un agua de coral.

Mi verso es de un verde claro
Y de un carmín encendido:
Mi verso es un ciervo herido
Que busca en el monte amparo.

Mi verso al valiente agrada:
Mi verso, breve y sincero,
Es del vigor del acero
Conque se funde la espada.
Jose Marti

3 rolls of 120 film shot on a holga throughout the Cuban countryside in January 2014.

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Time Warp: Cuba

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Yosemite

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Playing hard in the snow, where Teddy Roosevelt met with John Muir met in 1903 to begin work on creating National Parks.

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In 1903, Roosevelt visited Muir in Yosemite. Guided into the Yosemite wilderness by naturalist John Muir, the president went on a three-day wilderness trip that started at the Mariposa Grove, and included Sentinel Dome, Glacier Point, and Yosemite Valley among other points of interest in Yosemite National Park. Muir seized the opportunity “to do some forest good in talking freely around the campfire,” and the President, referring to John Muir, is quoted as saying “Of course of all the people in the world, he was the one with whom it was best worth while thus to see the Yosemite.”

During his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt signed into existence five national parks, 18 national monuments, 55 national bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges, and 150 national forests.

“There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias…our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their Children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred,” said Theodore Roosevelt.

{The Sierra Club, http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/people/roosevelt.aspx} — at Yosemite National Park.

Luciano’s First Christmas

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Los Gatos, Calif. – Canon 7D 50mm 1.4 – Cowboy LED Flash

Bonne Fete Alex!

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Past Twilight, Los Gatos Calif., Canon 7D 50mm 1.4

The Esposto’s {part2}

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Half Moon Bay Golf Links Road – Canon 7D with 70-210mm 1.4 lens – Sunset