Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rain Clouds and Missed Shots

Early in the morning, lately South Florida has had some fascinating clouds just off shore.  I've been trying to take pictures of them, but there has been a problem each morning.

Either the light is wrong - too dark, too light.
Or the Clouds aren't behaving - too few or too many.
Or my hand shakes too much - the dog, the hand tremors on a long exposure, a bird screeches in the dark.

All of the above.  

If you talk to a fisherman, they will tell you about the one that got away that was 'this big'.

I could bring a tripod with me.  There is one that has been lightly used in the house.  It sits in a box stuffed at the back of the closet.  Most folks that enjoy taking pictures will have one around.  My pictures are better than some, worse than others, occasional moments of genius but not quite enough that I thought about gathering them up for an exhibition.

In short, I'm probably normal... or average.

But when you're out with the dog at 6:30 in the morning looking at clouds to take pictures of, you are forced to consider your subject.  Since the county came through a week or so back and sprayed for Mosquito control, I'm able to stand around just before dawn staring up at the sky like a chicken in a rainstorm. 

Since it wasn't raining, I could have my mouth open to catch flies, but I did notice them. 

Here we have very different weather.  It easily could be raining at one side of the street and not where you are standing, and you can get a sunburn at the same time.  I have stood in front of my house and watched the rain come down the block as if someone is drawing on the street with a great big hose.   Sitting in the hot tub in the back yard, the rains once sheeted across the pool in gossamer curtains until the entire yard was being watered.

Walking home, I paid no attention, thinking it was a "Pixel Storm" - something that shows up as a single green dot on the Radar.  Managing to get into the house completely dry, I boiled water for the morning coffee and later iced tea and went about the normal business of settling in to the daily routine.

I didn't even notice that the pixel had arrived until I heard the parrot flapping his wings in the cage in the living room and the dog cozying up to my right leg.  Looking out at the pool it seemed as if there were giant clods of water falling from the sky in a slow motion display of surreal wetness.

The world was dark, green, silver and wet.  A lone gnat was bashing its head against the speckles of the kitchen window trying to get at me or the coffee for its morning breakfast.  The sound of the moment was that gravel against a sheet of metal as the rain pounded down on the tin roof on the lanai.

At that point, barely seven in the morning, one small speck of color floated by.  Completely unperturbed by massive raindrops, flapping parrots and paranoid pooches, I saw a single shaft of color work its way across the green backdrop of the yard.

A Single Monarch Butterfly.

A camera just would not do that picture justice.

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