Thursday, August 20, 2009

prepare for landing





i'm after the eastern pondhawk next. this is not an eastern pondhawk. it's another blue dasher, i believe. no, i didn't get a picture of the eastern pondhawk because — are you ready for this — it was always too close.

that's right. usually you can't get close enough for a shot; the 30,000 moving images of you registered through those large, bulbous eyes are an immediate dead giveaway that something larger than it is coming and that it would be prudent to leave. like, now. and, voila!, you missed your shot. then you end up stumbling around like frankenstein's monster, crashing through bushes, tripping over rocks and branches while you follow it, no match for its agility, hoping it will land again soon and give you another chance.

well, this one was either blind or somehow knew my 200-500mm lens would never pick it up. so instead of running away, it stayed close — just under the minimum focus distance of my lens.

not only are they cool looking; they're smart, too.

anyway, i'm kind of obsessed with these things. they're beautiful. i happened upon it while out looking for my elusive-but-sometimes-cooperative green heron (see my previous post in which he was playing the cooperative card). no bird, but then, this, in all its gleaming, metallic green glory. it soon became obvious that i wasn't coming home with a picture of this guy (for the reason mentioned earlier), so i just watched him through my other lenses; lenses of the prescription variety, the ones that hook around my ears and rest on my nose.

so the hunt is on. i will get you, you little green bandit. you can't stay close to me forever. no, one of these days you'll stray far enough away and into 200mm range, and then...snap!'re mine.

Monday, August 17, 2009

mute monday [no words, just pictures]

[ all were spotted w/in a 40 minute window (my lunch break) and a 50 yd. radius. ]







[ what the heck happened to my rounded corners?!? well, so much for mute monday... ]

Saturday, August 15, 2009

a hard goodbye

i'm on autopilot this morning. my finger clicked the mouse while the cursor hovered over the "new post" button, and my hands typed in a title. a press of the "tab" key, and here i am, wondering what in the world my hands and fingers are up to.

my facebook post this morning was "one just flew the cuckoo's nest." into the big unknown. out of the safety net, though it will always be there. a world of opportunity awaits; another chapter of life ready to be penned. empty bedroom; a vacuum. a lot of stuff packed and gone leaves more space for memories. entering that room is an almost tangible experience — the void has a weight to it, a mass of it's own. it envelops the heart and constricts breathing for a time.


time always heals and softens the blow, but requires payment in the form of patience. the hole is deep, but the laughter and joy of two more cuckoos will help fill it for a time.

until they, too, fly the nest.

and then...

...i don't know.

Monday, August 3, 2009

don't let the puppy-dog eyes fool you...

aren't these just the cutest darned things? i just wanted to jump into the little creek where this guy was and grab his little face and scrunch it up.

however, he would most likely not have appreciated that, and would have returned my intended gesture of affection with one of his own. one that involved his wolf-like teeth and long, razor-sharp claws. and he probably would have slapped me around a bit with his tail for good measure. oh...and don't forget the rabies.

ok. so, i guess i'm content to watch and admire from a distance. for now.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

order in the chaos

hello, fellow americans. i'm short on words and short on time, so i'm just going to post a picture. of a dragonfly. a blue dasher, if i'm not mistaken. (but please, somebody correct me if i'm wrong. i like to know what i'm talking about...)

this is why i love photographing nature. look at the detail. these things are amazing. i mean, they're cool enough when observed with the naked eye, but when you get in close, you see order in the chaos. seemingly random patterns are actually, upon closer inspection, deliberately organized. take the veins in his wings (or is it a female? is this reverse sexual dimorphism? i don't know too much about dragonflies...). if they were patterned differently, or spaced differently — or not there at all — would the wings still function as effectively? if the eyes weren't so BUGGY, would there be a lot less dragonflies in the world due to the fact that their vision did not allow them to detect the approach of their natural enemies?

and then there are the questions of the other patterns, like that honey-bee, tiger-stripe thing going on with his abdomen. what purpose does that serve? camouflage/protection? identification? or is it the dragonfly equivalent of a six-pack...designed to attract the ladies?

doesn't matter, really. what matters is that it exists at all, these patterns. that they provoke thought; curiosity; wonder...and an awareness of this complex, yet simple thing called nature.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

my head is spinning

there is so much going on with our country lately: rights being trampled and obliterated, freedoms slipping through our fingers, moral lines being blurred beyond recognition, God being erased from our country's history, so many injustices being signed into law...with more on their way and no end in sight — it makes my head spin. so much going through my mind at any given time, so much emotional turmoil, so much anger and sadness. i can't process it all. it's information overload. my inner voice is screaming for outlet... but i don't even know where to begin.

that's why i'm going to post a picture of a belted kingfisher or two, instead.

because the belted kingfisher is part of nature, and nature has a way of taking the edge off and reminding us that there are forces at work in this world that are far bigger than us, and that long after we're gone, nature will still be alive and kickin', and indifferent to the fact that we're not even around anymore. nature has a way of sustaining itself, despite the many obstacles thrown in its path; it always finds a way.

like this kingfisher, for instance. it always finds a way to elude me. now, you may be thinking, "it eludes you, yet you got a picture of it?" well, yes. i did get a picture of it. HOWEVER, i'm after the perfect picture. and it knows this. therefore it roosts in a tree on the other side of the lake. there are trees everywhere, and i'm sitting stock still, but it knows. it knows i know it knows, too, and it mocks me with its rapid-fire chatter. see? his mouth's open. he's saying, "i bet you wish you had a 1.7x teleconverter in front of that 500mm lens, don't you chump? oh well, you win some, you lose some. in your case, its just 'lose some.'" he then follows that up with, "hahahahahahahaha!" as he flies off to an even more remotely located perch from which to watch me amusedly.

then...i got this.

you might say, "well that looks mighty good to me. mission accomplished." to which i would reply, "thanks for the compliment on my photoshop work." lotta post necessary on this one, i'm afraid. though, i did track him pretty well. it's just that the background wasn't very appealing — didn't have quite the right amount of motion blur — and the bird wasn't as sharp and colorful as i would have liked.

and mr. kingfisher knows this, too.

but that's ok. he's part of nature, and a failure to capture the perfect shot is actually a win for me, as, either way, i get to witness its beauty and wonder, and, for a time at least, the raging storm inside is pacified.