Orcas, Imagined and Real

Imagining Orcas

In my last post, I waxed poetic about the possibilities of musicians and whales communicating. I was heading toward the Friday Harbor annual Orca Sing and making movies in my head of how human singers would get orcas to croon back through shoreline hydrophones. I imagined myself catching a view of Granny, the 104-year-old Orca, breaching just for me. Very romantic, this movie of the future.

A Different Reality

Well, I went to the Orca Sing at Lime Kiln Park and, of course, reality showed up on its own terms.

The Seattle singers were successful in calling out kayakers and a surprising number of dogs as well. The shipping lane traffic appeared with container and oil vessels adding their prop noises as they steadily plowed north.

We didn’t have the imagined duet with Orcas, but a good number of folks faced the sublime summer evening waters and absorbed a few hours of peaceful tuning to both Nature and music. Native American blessings and an electronic cello added haunting notes to the slowly cooling day.

Unexpected Delights

I had a great time traveling with good friends and discovering new things about the area. A side trip out to Roche Harbor created a cool breeze and a pocket garden for harbor watching (and ice cream).

The nearby Sculpture Garden had its own helping of ocean art.

Whale of a Bench.  Craig Breitbach.

Whale of a Bench. Craig Breitbach.

Cycles of Imagination and Reality

Like many artists, I enjoy how my visual imagination creates possible futures. I love that stage when reality has not yet checked in and I can see my future self seamlessly creating an imagined artwork.

The second part of the cycle, though, is facing the changes that come with meeting reality with all its unexpected wrinkles. The same way my practicing artist has to stay flexible as I’m creating what a vision inspires, staying flexible about seeing Orcas was a good thing. It helped to stay light on my feet and be ready to trade a view of the Orcas for Roche Harbor’s breezy ice cream interlude.

Possible Orcas

. . . it was wonderful to get word this Sunday morning (July 3) of inbound members of J pod. They made good time traveling at a good clip reaching Lime Kiln off the west side of San Juan Island by mid afternoon led by matriarch J2 Granny. Glad to know she is still leading the way! They continued north into Canadian waters, presumably heading for the Fraser River. If they stay, and how long they stay, depends on the availability of Fraser River Chinook salmon which so far has been abysmal. Let’s hope for them the numbers have improved.
— http://www.orcanetwork.org/

Finally, artists do well to finish with a third step, checking back with their original inspiration for a piece. So, checking on the Orcas who inspired my weekend, I was glad to hear that one of the three local pods had passed by Lime Kiln Park and gone are off to the north. Thanks to the Orca Network sighting blog and all their good information for planning next trips to see Orcas, imagined or real.

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