Beachtime

How do you write about a boy playing on the beach in southern Brazil without resorting to cliché? I’ll have to tackle it, in any case. Summer is ending, weekends at the beach are numbered, and I wanted to make a weekend post just to show this photograph that so effectively conveys the feeling of being the last person at the beach. Even when it’s time to go home, we can still hope for one more wave.

Beachtime

Sugar Shack

Granted, I don’t speak Portuguese—but if I studied the signs correctly, I believe this building is a recreation of the sort of shack used in converting sugar cane into raw sugar. From the outside, it has just the right Brazilian charm. From the inside, the dichotomy at the heart of modern Brazil is even better represented: traditional cane processing equipment, including massive grinding stones, spend time alongside comfortable couches and a television.

Sugar Shack

Sand Fortress IV

Another in my ongoing series of sand castle photographs (see I, II, and III), this shot comes from the gorgeous coast of southern Brazil. While everyone else is off playing in the surf, these two boys stayed behind on the beach to construct this complex of truly epic sand castles. (That sand castles are as wondrous and short-lived as childhood is perhaps too trite a metaphor for me to acknowledge in any way beyond the parenthetical.) I just love the universality of building sand castles on the beach–from the east coast to the west, and the from the northern hemisphere to the south, it’s a worldwide past time.

Sand Fortress IV

Pirate Island

As a child, I held on to the fantasy of discovering a secret island all my own–one stocked with secret forts and pirate treasure and relaxing fishing spots. During our trip to Brazil last fall, I was entranced by the rocky but just-the-right-sized islands off the coast of Florianopolis. If I could have only gotten out there, I know pirate treasure awaited me.

Pirate Island

Crashing Wave Path

Far along the beach, the Atlantic waves crash against Brazilian stone. The Sun has just dropped behind the horizon, and I’m standing on these steps beyond a strange little pseudo-bridge and this odd sculpture. To this day, I’m still not sure whether it’s functional, or purely decorative.

Crashing Wave Path

Dusk Pastel

I’ve previously spotlighted the gorgeous shades and cinematic landscape of southern Brazil, but in this particular photograph I feel I’ve captured the truly epic feel of the place. Rocky islands dot the coastline and comic book clouds drift through the gold-and-pink hued sky. I can’t imagine anything more gorgeous.

Dusk Pastel