“What have we here?”

Ricochet, making the model feel safe!

Ricochet, making the model feel safe!

It is the season for turtles to cross the road. This one is so tiny it looked like a mud clod or piece of gravel – except that it was shaped like a turtle! I helped it across the road, then lay down in the gravel to take its photo. Ricochet is a very helpful dog, so here he is offering to pick it up for me…

Another guy to identify; what am I?

Walking around the second pond, which was completely iced over, I spotted an odd shaped blueish blob just under the surface of the ice. It did not move as I approached.

Another guy to identify; what am I?

I got too close to the boggy edge and one leg sank in up past my knee! Trying to hold my camera up out of the muck and reach a small stick to put under my other foot, I made quite a bit of noise, but the blueish blob showed no signs at all of hearing me. Was it even still alive?

Finally free of the muck (with the muck-&-water-filled boot still on!), I found a way to get close enough to break the ice with a stick. Even this ruckus did not disturb blueish blob. I finally poked at her tail and she stretched out her hind feet a little, then eased away from my stick and resumed her quiet wait – for a meal to pass by?

Absorb the Peace

Around sunrise, camera in hand, I sit quietly at the pond and absorb the peace.


Nikon D5100 f/6.7 ISO 1600 1/25 s 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

For me it is peaceful and absorbing to watch the little creatures ending their nights (like the raccoon doing some last minute fishing last month) and others beginning their days (like the turtles and snakes and dragonflies).

I can feel the peace, as I am not being hunted. It may perhaps not feel so peaceful to the small frogs and fish, hunted by the larger fish, raccoons, snakes, and birds. But if they hold perfectly still, escaping the notice of those predators, then perhaps they do experience a measure of peace.

On a processing note, although I usually try to keep my Photoshop editing to a minimum, preferring to use photos that please me as shot, in this case I chose to lighten the image somewhat. I feared that the turtle just would not be at all visible without some lightening. In actuality, my experience was not quite so dark as the image I shot, so I must have needed to tinker with my settings somewhat – at 1600 ISO, I anticipated the shot being quite noisy and did not want to try an even higher ISO setting, resulting in the dark image.