I wish I had of kept a journal of my photographic adventures and misadventures. I'm sure that I have forgotten more than I can remember.
During the summer I spotted a beautiful butterfly perched perfectly on top of a coneflower. The light was behind me, the background uncluttered. So as not to scare the butterfly away, I dragged myself toward it. Unfortunately I was on a wooden deck and in doing so I ended up ripping my pants and getting about 50 splinters in my butt. Imagine my embarrassment when I had to pull down my pants to have the splinters safely removed - ouch. I still have scabs on my left cheek - too much information - there's more where that came from :)
When you are out in the wild photographing there are rarely the conveniences of home, like washrooms. While I'm photographing I'm so focused on what I'm doing that I sometimes don't notice I have to go until there is a lull in the activity. While up north one day, during one of those breaks I realize I have to pee and I have to pee NOW. It becomes a challenge finding a spot where there is no poison ivy, few blackflies, etc. I found a spot on an incline with stones and rocks. While in the middle of going, the stones start giving away, off I go - pants pulled down in the middle of a pee and now laughing my head off. I end up at the bottom of the hill still laughing. Manservant didn't think it was quite as funny while he was pullng stones out of my hands and butt. My butt does take a beating - LOL!!
Not too long ago I took a trip to Tiny Marsh to see what birds and bugs were around. Just after I arrived I noticed some ambush bugs mating on butterfly bush. I squatted close by to take some shots of bug porn :) I was photogaphing away and my legs were getting pretty sore in that position so I was about to kneel. Just before I did, I noticed that something did not smell very good (understatement). I stood up and thought I must be close to dog poop. The smell seemed to be getting stronger and stronger the more I moved. I got out of the tall grass and realized that I had stepped in some kind of poop and it was all over my hiking shoes - bottom, sides and it stunk. The smell was making my eyes water and I was having a hard time keeping my breakfast down. The worse thing was knowing that I couldn't get away from this smell because I was wearing it. I discarded my favorite shoes and called it an early day :(
We were downtown when I noticed a goose at the top of a small hill sitting on her eggs with her mate standing guard close by. At the bottom of the hill sat one of their eggs. I thought - oh no - this one rolled out of the nest and they have no way of retrieving it. I decided to roll the egg up with my foot, thinking it was a better option than my hand. When I arrived at the top of the hill - being quite proud of myself for this good deed - the male goose started flying at me - I turned around and ran - I ran the fastest I have ever run in my life. I could hear the flap of his wings and feel his hot breath on my ear as he gave it a little nip. My husband, being no help at all, was laughing his head off. He wishes with all of his heart that he had of video taped that episode. I always learn the hard way that you shouldn't interfere with nature!
Once in a while my mother will accompany me on a photo adventure when we are close to home. One day we were walking through a wooded area when we located two turkey vultures perched on snags. They seemed to be a little aggressive toward us, so while I was setting up my tripod and camera, I asked my mom to keep her eye on them because I couldn't watch both. I said if they come near us just wave her hands to scare them off. I was photographing the one furthest away from us and when I took a break I noticed the other one flying toward me. When I looked for my mother she was running quickly in the opposite direction - LOL!
That reminds me of another story about my mom - totally unrelated to photography. She often comes with us when we walk our pups - two Miniature Schnauzers. We have had quite a few bear sightings in our area so we have a plan just in case we need it. I will pick Jerzey up (smallest of our pups) and Manservant will pick up Jynx and we will back away slowly while making ourselves look big. One day while walking them in the early morning we spot a bear a fair distance away. Manservant grabs Jynx, I turn around to grab Jerzey and my mom is running away dragging Jerzey with her leash over roots, rocks, etc. Apparently she can't be trusted in an emergency.
I have been searching for a field of sunflowers for as long as I can remember. Lo and behold, on our way to the Carden Plains I spot a field that we must have passed a hundred times in the past. We decide that we will stop there on our way home. When we drive up the long driveway, I fully expect to see a farmhouse, but before me is a beautiful home surrounded by fields of sunflowers. We park and I walk to the front door, which is about 500 yards from the driveway. I ring the bell and wait. I wait for about 3 minutes and no one answers. I hear a big WOOF and think they have a dog and it sounds big. The garage is open and the ride-on mower is on the lawn. I decide I should try another door. I hear a growl behind me and there is the largest dog I have ever seen. I climb one of the chairs on the front porch and the dog climbs right up with me. I am not sure whether he has me cornered or he's just friendly. I'm frantically waving to manservant in the car to do something. He doesn't budge from the car. I'm thinking - get out draw his attention from me - anything!! I'm picturing the owners are going to answer the door with me and their huge dog on their chair. Once again I try to get manservant to do something - he doesn't even stick his head out of the window. I have a funny feeling that he is laughing at me. I have to calm myself down because I'm thinking this dog can feel my fear. I know my dogs love to answer the door, so I say to him - let's go see who is at the door. He jumps down and runs down the pathway. I start jogging to the truck, ready to jump in. Just as I'm about to jump in, a truck drives up and the occupant is looking strangely at us. It's the owner of the house. I explain why I'm there and give him a card and he's happy to allow me to photograph the sunflowers. The dogs name is Bear and he's a Burmese Mountain Dog and really friendly. He followed me around for the rest of the day.
I guess manservant's duties begin and end with lugging my equipment and don't include saving me from wild animals, horses (that's another story) or guard dogs. He did say he would have saved me if the dog attacked me, but the truck was quite a distance from the front door, so I fear it would have been too late - and - he was laughing at me.