"On the face of it, the easiest of all activities should be seeing what we see. In reality, it's the hardest." ~ Charles MovalliHave you every played "I Spy" or maybe "Where's Waldo?" I thought we would enjoy a little game today; but first I must digress to another story that has nothing to do with either "I Spy" or "Where's Waldo?" (or maybe it does).
Most of you know I have cats and some of you probably believe I have an excessive number of cats for a "normal" person. However, I have never claimed to be "normal" and my number of cats is dwindling from the unavoidable attrition that comes with increasing age. (I am now only living with four cats.) Once upon a time (every good story begins with this) I lived with another group of cats, all Siamese. Shamroc was the eldest and a seal point, Cassiopeia (Cassi for short), another seal point, and Rami, a blue point. They traveled with us everywhere for many years and it was on one of those excursions to Wichita Falls, that this story takes place.
My ex-mother-in-law (she wasn't and "ex" at that time; but you figured that out didn't you) had just re-done her bedroom with paint and curtains and a new king sized bed and bed linens. She longed for a picture of her new room to show her friends. Some of you, perhaps most of you, no longer remember the days of the Polaroid instant cameras (except for those tiny funky shot things my daughter had as a teenager that made weird instant picture stickers), but this was what I had. This was a time before I could afford a film 35mm camera, so you must be able to imagine what the style was back then... in the late '70's and early 80's. OK, please try not to gag too loud.
Anyway, as a dutiful daughter-in-law I obliged and stood in the dormer window facing the bed and snapped away. As the pictures lay on the bed and the foggy images slowly started to take shape, there was a curious blob centered at the botom of the picture. Milky and murky at first, it began to take shape; something dark and mysterious and at the same time stately and royal. Finally, the bedspread came into focus, as did the headboard and curtains and night stand and the rug... and the blob. IT WAS SHAMROC! I didn't see him through the viewfinder; but he positioned himself at the foot of the bed right in the dead center bottom of the picture, almost as if he were sitting on the edge of the white picture margin frame. AND he was turned just slightly sidways to show off the sloping curve of his back; his paws were placed together and his tail curled around and tucked in just in front of his paws. His head was trained directly on the camera with blue eyes front and center. HE POSED! Shamroc posed for the camera and gave a perfect shot, though no one knew he was there. Then, he WAS a special cat.
So, what does the previous story have to do with a lovely garden scene and gorgeous daylilies and a birdbath that is definitely leaking? Can you not guess? I took this picture from our living room window. It has been sooooo hot and humid that stepping outside into the wet sauna is more than I can take. So I take pictures from my little bench next to the window; pictures of the birds, hummers, and the occasional pastoral scene that invites the feeling of coolness at least. My brother gave me a long lens and I use it for this purpose. So I am at least fifteen to 20 feet away from these shots. As I worked with the pictures on my computer, something caught my eye... similar to the way that black blob showed up in my picture. Now, can you guess... is there anything showing up to you?
Scroll on down and get a closer shot.
"The question is not what you look at, but what you see." ~ ThoreauDo you see it now? After the first batch appeared and vanished at the end of April, just as they did last year, I have been looking and watching for more...to no avail. But here, it appears in my picture and I wasn't even looking.... have you figured it out yet? OK... a real cropped out close up is below.
"You can observe a lot by just watching." ~ Yogi BerraYes. A Monarch caterpillar of full size and it looks as if it has already entered into the wandering phase; as they rarely leave the milkweed until it is time. Of course I looked for him this morning, but alas, he has meandered away and hopefully has found a safe place to rest and form his chrysalis. I checked the milkweed again and still don't seen any eggs or small caterpillars. I guess it is time to break out the incubators and get them set up for the Monarchs and the Black Swallowtails.
So how did you do? Did you find him without my help? Did the story give some hints? Or did you have to scroll to the last picture.. come on.. tell the truth now!
(end of post)
Nature's Notes (a day late)