Now you see it…
…now you don’t.
I can’t begin to express how real my walk became Sunday, how personal, how divine. For now at least that’s one story that shall remain untold.
But for hours before it changed so magically, I trotted about White Rock Lake as though I had no other care save one: to enjoy the morning in surroundings that become discovery at every turn.
Unending rain failed to dissuade me from mindless meandering. Mud be damned! I thought (although much later when tediously washing my shoes for the umpteenth time, I began to wonder precisely how wise my flippant mindset had been).
Little caught my eye that I hadn’t photographed a thousand times before. Flowers here, insects there, all manner of birds rushing to and fro.
The partly cloudy skies did little to improve my mood. As I’ve always said, such days make photography difficult when the clouds create a painfully dynamic situation where a photo is painstakingly setup to perfection only to have a drastic lighting and color change when the push of the button is already mentally committed.
Nevertheless, I wallowed in luxurious nature while trying to ignore the anthropocentric hoopla.
Lush vegetation captivated me as I made my way along the edge of the woodlands along the flanks of Dixon Branch.
Watching crows battle a hawk—at least until the juvenile’s parents showed up—made for better entertainment than any television program or movie.
Bathing my senses in what heavy rains had created offered diversions aplenty…even if a bit usual.
Then behind thicket standing taller than my own head I spied a large insect buzzing about, flitting from spot to spot without landing. I had no clear view of it of course, and shorts with a tee shirt made infiltrating the brush a daunting and unwise task.
But how I wanted to capture a photograph of the beast.
So I held the camera above my head and swiveled the LCD screen so I could see what I was aiming at. Then I waited.
Finally landing upon a half-eaten leaf, I zoomed in on the creature and captured the first image, one setup for cloudy weather and snapped just in time for the sun to make an appearance.
I quickly fiddled with the camera to change the options for sunlight, held the soul stealer above my head once again, and tried desperately to find my mark.
There it was right where I left it, on the same leaf in the same position doing the same thing: waiting for breakfast to fly by.
Clouds heavy with moisture provided a modest yet safe opening through which sunshine poured onto the scene, a space large enough to ensure the image would not be ruined by unwelcome changes in illumination.
Although too far away to see it even through brush pushed apart gently, the camera’s zoom brought the massive monster right to my eyes, right in front of my face—relatively speaking, that is, considering I held the camera at arm’s length above my head just to see over the verdant obstacles.
Despite wind that had ruined several images by moving my subjects about randomly at the moment I pressed the button, this target hid in a small opening protected by lush vegetation on all sides, including an impenetrable treeline standing tall against the backdrop of a creek I could no longer see.
I pointed. I focused. I centered on the object of my attention. Then I pulled the trigger.
Just in time to see the second photo.
The doggoned fly dashed into the air in that split-second between mental command and physical obedience. My mind already had captured a stunning, detailed close-up of it. My fingers had yet to make that a reality.
And it was gone, off chasing some potential breakfast into the woods and out of sight.
Damn you, you cursed bugger!
Had I not been restrained by my own sense of superior decorum, an unsightly foofaraw would have unfolded right there for the world to see, a tantrum of explosive disappointment and undirected irritation.
But I have my reputation to uphold, one of being better than everyone else, so I waited until I returned home before sending The Kids into rattled annoyance as I blathered ad nauseam about the one that got away.
[photo is of a male giant robber fly (Promachus hinei)]