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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Buzz, humm, chitter, and chirp -- the world of small living things

I wonder if my neighbors, or people driving by, noticed my bizarre behavior yesterday. There I was in the front yard of my home in Tacoma, crouched down and motionless in the middle of a flower bed. You see, it takes patience and perseverance to photograph bees.

This is the type of crazy thing I do after I've spent too much time on the computer. I'd been working hard on a freelance writing assignment most of the day, and about 4 p.m. I knew I HAD to get outside into the fresh air and sunshine. I wanted to to listen to the birds, breathe in the scents of nature, and reconnect with the real world. That afternoon, to my delight, nature reminded me that the real world is full of millions of tiny creatures, all living around us, each one on a serious mission. It did me good to spy on them for awhile and realize that what they were doing was at least as important as what I'd been doing.

 I noticed their personalities. Honey bees will take their time on every little blossom. Bumblebees do a hit-and-run. Hummingbirds get in your face and ask what you're doing there. Moths seem aloof; they make a brief and silent appearance, then dismiss us with a wave of their wings. Flies are flies. They couldn't care less about a gorgeous flower and are probably just as happy exploring something rotten and vile. Thrushes and robins won't let you get near. Spiders want to be left alone. Squirrels run around with peanuts in their mouths (thanks to a neighbor who feeds them) and act totally manic, digging holes in the yard. Do they really remember where they hide everything?

Most of my little photo subjects chose to ignore the human with a camera in hand. I'm grateful that they tolerated my presence in their world. At first I tried to follow their movements paparazzi style, hoping to get the perfect shot. Then I learned to be still and let them come to me. There's a lesson here. Slow down. Stop the mad chase. Enjoy the moment you're existing in.

The little creatures around us don't think about yesterday or worry about tomorrow. For them, life is all about the "now" and maybe ours should be too. Take a break today and see what you find outside your own door. Happy September.

All photos and text copyrighted 2010 Candace J. Brown


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your blog so much. It contained such a feeling of peace, serenity and beauty, and curiosity. I have to commend you on your wonderful writings..I almost feel like I am right behind you,,not missing anything, and entranced by the wonders that are right in front of us...We just don't take the time to really look at them..I enjoyed!!

Lorna Sass said...

I feel like a voyeur. Such lovely close-ups of the pollinators doing their thing. And thanks to them we have so much beauty and so many good things to eat!