The Kite Regalia

Kite RegaliaGosh, flying kites is FUN! Yesterday was very hot (I just hope it doesn’t get humid like last year) and decided to take my boy to the beach. Of course, I brought far too many kites but happened to have all but one of my own creations; the only one missing was my first kite, the square flake. As it turned out, the beach was packed (but, because I paid for an annual pass to go to State Beaches as it is much more cost effective) but, because the beach are is so wide (we went to Huntington Beach), there was still a lot of real estate to set up shop. 

So. . . guess what I did (just one guess now)?! I set up my full regalia of kite creations! I’ve got to admit, it’s quite a thrill to see everything up in the air. I had my new kite arch, my banners, my carp windsock, my bol, as well as my entire flock of duck windsocks. Just as exciting was the fact that there was a good, strong steady breeze. The only bad thing is that I forgot my KAP rig (darn!) – both the weather and my kite display would have been perfect for KAPing. Oh well . . . maybe next time! 

Fortunately, I did have my cameraMother, Child, and Kite Arch and managed to get quite a few ground-based photos. Digital cameras are absolutely wonderful in that you can take as many photos as the memory card will hold and, of course, there is no need to develop anything. As a result, I know take a lot of pictures and shift through them to find the ones I like. Yesterday’s photos were not exception – I managed to get quite a few that I liked (more than I normally would). In addition to numerous views of my compete set of flying things, I had several favorites; including a photo of a mother with her child who decided to park themselves on their backs directly under my kite arch. Double clicking on the picture will open up a larger version on Flickr. Once there, look at the larger photo sizes in order to view the mom with her kid. I can’t think of anything more flattering than to have something like this occur! 

Pelicans and the ArchIn addition to the wonders of enjoying the beach on a warm summer afternoon and flying kites, I’m always thrilled when any wildlife show up – in this case, a flock of pelicans flew by and, as luck would have it, I had my camera too! While I only got a couple of photos and didn’t really have time to set up my camera, I did get a couple of shots. My favorite is the view of the pelicans flying past my arch. 

While the pelicans were only around for a few moments (long enough to fly by), my own flock of Line of Ducksducks managed to stay pinned to the sky. I’ve been amazed at how stable the ducks are – they actually stay right-side-up while they’re flying. There must be something inherent in their design that allow them to remain that way. Bol

Another one of my favorite photos happens to be one I took of my bol. I didn’t realize it until I arrived Through the Eye of the Bolhome, but the hole in the bol (no, I’m not attempting to be a poet), was centered over a life guard tower. I didn’t catch this until I was editing my pictures to post on Flickr. I cropped it in order to highlight the neat view! 

Finally, I was thrilled with the picture of the “duck tails” – a composite of my duck windsocks Duck Tailsbehind a partial view of my arch. In addition to the pun (which is intended), I thought it made for a rather interesting shot.

My bol flies!

While it’s hard to believe that I actually made this thing (it’s called a “bol”), I spent the last week assembling it from scratch. Yes, I even sewed it myself! It is a huge flying toy – eight feet in diameter. While many bols can be larger – much larger – the fact that this one flies still amazes me. Unlike kites, bols usually just sit (or hover) near the ground. As the following video shows, it also flies (just a little bit).

With everything that’s going on in my life (most of it is EXTREMELY stressful), I’m finding a bit of momentary relief by making and flying my own kites. It’s simply great fun to go down to the beach on the weekend, unfurl lots of flying stuff and chat with those who happen to be in the neighborhood. As a rule, kites are benevolent absurdities that have almost no practical use (at least not for weekend flying at the beach) other than to bring smiles to the faces of anyone who sees them. Of course, those that fly them also get to momentarily forget life and enjoy the wonderful colors and the trill of feeling the pull whatever it is that they’re flying.

More pictures of my new bol may be found by double clicking on the photo below.

It flies!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there will be some wind tomorrow (Sunday).

Le Frog and the Rev 1.5

Le Frog
Originally uploaded by Bassoon Man.

Isn’t this great – flying frogs! The one pictured here is a “small” one – only ten feet long. This lovely creature was launched on Sunday (three days ago) when my boy and I went to Huntington Beach to fly our new Rev 1.5. A video, created by my cell phone (isn’t technology great?!), was posted earlier. As noted, there wasn’t much wind so our flying experiences were limited. Just the same, I was still able to capture a few photographs as evidenced by this picture.

As previously mentioned, my boy was the one who spent most of the time trying to fly the Rev 1.5 on Sunday. I took a jaunt down to the beach the next day (Monday) with the hope that there might be enough wind for me to try but alas, that wasn’t to be. I returned yesterday fully expecting there to be no wind again but I was wrong! While there wasn’t a lot, there was a sudden change in weather and the beach was very foggy – and there was enough wind for me to actually get the Rev 1.5 airborne. To say the least, it was a blast! Of course, I’m still a beginner but the fact that I was able to get the kite up was a great accomplishment (at least for me).

The most difficult time I had was with launching the kite. Once airborne, the kite is extremely sensitive to the manner in which the lines (there are four) are manipulated. The instructions stated that it’s best to get the kite as high as possible and attempt to keep it there. That was a bit more of a challenge because once the kite reached its maximum altitude, it seemed to want to stall and come down – I had to move the kite from side to side in order to keep it aloft. Of course, this may have been due to the wind conditions but I don’t have enough experience yet to say with any certainty.

Seal Beach Pier

Seal Beach Pier
Originally uploaded by Bassoon Man.

To say I’m totally and completely addicted to KAPing is now an understatement. As is easily confirmed by looking at all the photos I’ve posted on Flickr, I’m simply enthralled with this new hobby.

In addition to the major benefit of obtaining much-needed stress relief, flying kites is simply fun. I’ve also met quite a few other kite flyers and others while engaging in this great activity. The cool thing about kites is that they are inherently joyful objects that bring smiles to everyone’s face. It’s hard to think about anything stressful or worrisome while holding on to a kite string and watching it dance in the breeze. Of course, the environment also helps – I’ve always loved the beach and adding a kite (or kites) to the scene only enhances an otherwise fantastic place to be.

Just a good is the fact that the beaches are not crowded during the Winter which adds to the enjoyment of listening to the waves, breathing the fresh air, and getting some exercise without having to deal with any crowds. Interestingly, I’ve even had people pull of the highway to say hello just because they saw that I was flying a kite!

Another interesting aspect of this great hobby is that there are people of all ages participating. Interestingly, I’m also finding a lot of folks around my own age (no, I’m not that old) who are engaged in flying kites. I hadn’t really flown many kites since I was a kid and the incredible technological wonders of the past few decades have really added greatly to the rather low-tech experience of kite flying. Not only are the materials used far different than those used when I was a kid (most kites were made from paper and came in just three basic forms – diamond kites, box kites, and the newly invented delta kites), but advancements in such things as kite string has made the whole experience that much more enjoyable. Of course, this says nothing about the emergence of digital cameras which are absolutely phenomenal to use with KAPing – it’s possible to take hundreds of photos (I generally get 200 to 300 photos each time I go KAPing) but one just needs to erase all of the bad photos without losing any money on developing them in the first place. As a result there’s no need to worry about taking too many shots. All in all, this is just too much fun!