Over the Rainbow
Among the latest in a day of lucky shots. Compression has made the sky uneven; clicking on the image will call up the smoother but slower-to-download half-meg version.
A quick jaunt through the past couple days of photos snatched in-between meetings....
I was excited to get this shot. Saddlebag dragonflies are common here, but I was amazed when I first saw them because they looked so, well, hefty -- and in all that Florida heat, too. The "saddlebags" are actually rear wing markings, but to me they looked in flight like heavy loads; hence the name.
This is either a red, jagged-edge, or Carolina saddlebag, all of which appear in Florida; I couldn't tell which from the shots I took. This one was perched by the retention pond around the corner from home.
My good fortune may have a downside. Our weather has cooled and we are entering our dry season. This dragonfly might be near the end of its life cycle and less quick than it had been on warmer days.
I was so pleased to have gotten my most focused shot so far of a long-tailed skipper that it took me a moment to realize I'd caught it sipping nectar! That's a proboscis, not a leg, dropping from its mouth and dipping into a lantana.
After my morning walk, Mary and I went in for our first thorough checkups since we moved down here. We figured it was time to get a regular doc; bloodwork to come. I took my camera with me.
This male Pileated Woodpecker was busy snacking on magnolia seeds, perched in a tree outside the doctor's office. Mary noticed him first, and held my umbrella over me as I whipped out the camera for 14 shots.
These crow-sized birds look very much like the rediscovered, back-from-extinction ivory-billed woodpecker. But the pileated's bill is gray and its face and wings have more white. This one's a male because his crest at the forehead and his "mustache" feathers are red, whereas the female's are black.
Steady drizzle throughout the day had moistened both this empty wasp nest and the surrounding walkway leading up to the diner near the doctor's office, where Mary and I enjoyed a late lunch. After downloading the photo I couldn't help toying with it. Too many cool possibilities for play.
The faces are all mine, spanning more than 40 years. The earliest is my kindergarten class photo; the most recent is a shot Mary took of me the day before I did the collage. The nest is superimposed on a shot of our "post office pond."
A friend of mine, now retired, commented about a decade ago that I keep "reinventing" myself. In a way he's right, but in a way he's not. Everything I've done over the years I've had inside me from the beginning; it just takes time to bring them all out into the open -- to "hatch" them.
Photography is one such hatching. When I was an adolescent I took pictures of sunsets, the moon, and my neighbor's roses with my old Kodak Instamatic -- the kind that used flashcubes. I took "artsy" diamond-shaped photos by holding my camera at a 45-degree angle. It wasn't until I picked up my DiMAGE that I could really start making up for all those times I wished I'd had a camera with me that had the capacity to take the shots I'm taking now.
Dancing, cycling, running, travel, learning to sail, hiking, and creating mixed-media art are other "reinventions" that are not reinventions at all. Just hatchings. If I'm lucky, there will be many more to come. (I don't consider my writing to be a "reinvention" -- that has stayed constant throughout.)
Opposite the rainbow up top was this fiery sunset, capping a day of lucky shots.
Tomorrow (well, later today) we go in for the bloodwork, followed by a writing critique group. Then we'll most likely help set up tents for this weekend's Festival of the Arts -- followed, we hope, by a good night's sleep.