Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Miscellaneous Musing

"Patience is the art of hoping."
Marquis de Vauvenargues *

Asclepias curassavica -Tropical Milkweed

aka Butterfly Weed, Bloodflower and Mexican Milkweed

Last night I watched this really cool show on the Discovery Channel - Wild Pacific. There was lots of interesting information as well as some photography that begged the question, "how did they do that?" Back-to-back episodes were followed by an hour long show answering just that question.

Even now that I know what camera he used and what he was looking for, I am still unsure how the underwater photographer was able to catch the perfect picture of a surfer inside the perfect wave. How the guy kept from being pummeled by the wave he was photographing is a mystery to me. The reason, perhaps, he's famous and I'm not.

Another featured artist specialized in wildlife photography. Wildlife as in finding penguins in the middle of a New Zealand forest (huh?), lizards that have been around since the days of the dinosaurs and birds who are quite handsome when they dance but cannot fly. After walking around the Galapagos Islands for days, he was ready to give up on his subject ... penguins who live about as far away from Antarctica as you can get but survive on the fish brought to their front door by the cold waters of the Humboldt current. Unlike me who would have bitched and moaned and longed for a tall glass of ice tea, this the guy (and his trusty Ecuadoran guide) didn't give up. Finally, one day his efforts were rewarded. He was the first ever to photograph what happens inside a penguin nest when mama has come back home with dinner s (and when a crab want to play). It was pretty amazing footage.

All this was on my mind this morning as Sweetie cooked bacon and Dad filled in a crossword puzzle that quite deceptively (in my estimation) asks for answers but leaves out enough spaces and the puzzler is supposed to be able to figure out which letters are missing... what's that all about. Basically I had nothing to do so I sang a little made up ditty and I looked out the kitchen window. I was amazed to see, for the very first time, a monarch butterfly dining on the milkweed bush I planted just for that purpose. It's been there for 6 weeks and I haven't seen one caterpillar, cocoon or butterfly. I grabbed my camera and went out to capture the moment. Of course, the butterfly I wanted to photograph flew away when the door slammed shut behind me.

Undeterred I took up residence under the bird feeder, behind the pool pump and waited. This monarch was apparently pleased to find the flowery smorgasbord all to himself. He kept coming back for more, paying no attention to me at all to. I soon found the problem with photographing flying insects. They are constantly on the move. Even when they have their proboscis stuck in a milkweed bloom they seem to be a-flutter. I have a point and shoot camera, not one of those with fast forward clicking action. I was always a frame or two behind the perfect shot.

[Photo: Look close at the center of the picture. Those black fuzzy lines are the markings on the butterfly's wings.]

My back and knees began to ache. The morning sun beat down on me giving a hint as to what the temperature of the day might be. Birds squawked over my head to let me know I was interrupting their breakfast. Still I kept my focus. Patience was the name of the game. I waited - if not for the perfect shot, at least one where the butterfly was visible.

[Photo: A little bit more of the wings are nearly visible.]

[Photo: Sweet success!!! Plus a little help from zoom and crop.]

Sweetie and the pool man stirred me from my photographic reverie. Dad still need his coffee. Photo or not, life goes on.

Here's hoping your day will be filled with butterflies and sunshine. And if you are stuck at a red light behind someone who doesn't realize that he needs to pull up closer to the crosswalk in order for the light to sequence in your favor, may you find yourself with patience to spare.

Merry ME

* Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues, (1715-1747), French moralist, essayist and miscellaneous writer.

I wonder if that is what they say about me when I'm gone. She was a "miscellaneous writer." Would that mean that I write about a varied of topics or am just plain unfocused? ~me

P.S. As if you haven't figured it out yet, I have no idea how the spacing on this blog works. On my end, before I publish, everything looks evenly spaced. Once I hit the publish button, gremlins from inside the blogosphere do their thing and what you see on the screen is all mumbo jumbo. Some lines are scrunced up together and others have too many spaces. I'm going to stop trying to figure it out and concentrate on spelling and grammar - two things I have a little more control over ... not much but some! ~me, again.


Sorrow said...

if you figure it out, the spacing thingy, let me know..

lovely flutterby.
Professional photographers not only have loads of experience but very pricey equipment!

Fire Byrd said...

Did you know that before the 18th centuary Butterflies werecalled flutteries.
I like the way your mind skips from subject to subject... a lot like a butterfly itself.

When you've written your post hit the 'preview' button and then you can see where you need to change things, then hit 'hide' and you go back to your original writing and you can rectify any mistakes.

Oh BTW I won't be disappearing just not writing my own stuff till I can shake this malaise off.