Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Congruence











This morning as I walked outside with a basket of washing, I noticed three Peacock butterflies in the garden. Three! I could hardly believe it. "Get my camera! Get my camera!" I yelled at Pops, who ran around headless chicken style in the living room. I made a dash for it myself, thinking that at least one of these beautiful creatures would still be there when I returned. I skidded on the conservatory floor, bumped into the dog, grabbed the camera and ran back outside. They had gone. And I had missed a most perfect moment. Not the click the shutter moment. That moment of wonder. That moment of calling to Olly to come look and see, instead of demanding that he go and fetch. A perfect moment of seeing several of the most delightful butterflies floating around my little garden was lost to me forever.

It was the same yesterday evening. Me, Olly, Alf and Honey went up Rosewall for a spot of after tea play. The sun had gone behind the patchy cloud, but the air was still and it was warm up on the rocks. I watched as two Painted Ladies chased and dive bombed a poor Red Admiral butterfly. I should have contented myself with spectating and enjoying, and yet I spent most of it trying to capture the event on my camera. It was never going to happen, and I found myself feeling terribly frustrated by it all. Why wouldn't they just stay put for me? Why couldn't they fly a little lower, so I could capture them in all their brilliance of colour?

I sometimes feel that if I don't gather evidence, it didn't happen. I never actually saw it. I have been forgetting the sheer joy of catching sight of something remarkable. Rather like the Heron Olly and I stumbled across last week, about five minutes after we sat enthralled to a Emperor Dragonfly zoom up and down the path that we were walking. The Hummingbird Moths that have graced us with their presence, and the rather wonderful insects that we have watched going about their business in our back yard. I haven't recorded any of them. And yet the joy is undiminished.

This weekend, Olly came downstairs to tell me that there was a bee stranded on the stairs. We gathered him up on a piece of paper, and set about getting him a little something to drink. A jam jar lid containing water with a little sugar. We placed it all in the shade just outside the conservatory doors, and sat down to watch. I told Pops that it may take a while for the bee to recover, and said a silent prayer that all would go to plan. After a couple of minutes, the bee had a little drink. He then had a clean, and a kind of all over buzz that made me and Pops laugh. And before we knew it, he had flown onto a nearby Marigold and starting foraging for food. Olly was so happy and excited about it all, and I would have missed his joy had I been behind the lens.

I have worked hard to create some kind of pollinator haven, and it has really paid off this year. We have so many different varieties visiting, and it makes me feel immensely proud that out little plot can be beneficial to so many insects. But I think that I need to spend a little more time simply enjoying it, rather than going for the money shot. And it's also about taking a photograph because I want to, not because I think it might look like the kind of photo I should be taking. I have a good quality camera. I have a hit and miss eye. I live in the world's most photogenic place. But it seems to me that best pictures I have ever taken weren't particularly framed or composed. With some of them I just got lucky. And with many more, it was the environment or the gorgeous child that made it look so good.

Maybe I should try and be more 'in the moment' from now on, and re-connect with all that goes on around me. It might do me the world of good.

Hope you are all having a lovely week.

Leanne xx

(I am still having terrible problems with my new computer, and once again have to apologise for not being able to keep up with all of you and yours. As Tilly would say "Bear with, bear with....")




22 comments:

  1. You have your memories & an evocative way of describing them, real life gets in the way - often! Splendid bee shots, I really need to upgrade my camera. If I bought my husband one for his 50th it wouldn't get in the way of craftiness or garden essentials, ermmm! xx

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  2. You've done so well with your pollinator friendly garden this year, it looks absolutely wonderful. I'd like to do better next year, things haven't gone that well in the garden this year. I know what you mean about trying to get the perfect shot, so often I miss it completely. A heron landed in our garden once, and I was running about screaming " HERON, HERON" so loudly so that the biggest boy would see it. The heron took one horrified look at the house and vanished forever. And I'm sure the biggest boy didn't really believe it even was one. But it was, it was. I saw a lovely butterfly at the allotments today, no idea what it was, and it vanished before I could get a good look. It had really dark wing undersides, darkest purple or brown or black. Wish I knew what it was. They're so hard to get close enough to to identify. I think you have a very natural eye for a good photograph, there are always a few stunners on your posts. Five and six are my favourites today, beautifully captured. CJ xx

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    1. A few months ago, while my parents were having lunch with us in our back garden, we all noticed a massive heron on the roof of our neighbour's house. It was enormous, and up there for ages, just sitting there, looking around. The most memorable part of the whole experience for the children was the frankly ENORMOUS poo it did on their roof, which sat there for days. :-)

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    2. Tea just shot out of my nose. OMG! That's hilarious.

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    3. Oh Gillian, that just tickled me pink! Olly loves watching cows poo. It's almost an obsession.
      Lxx

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  3. Your garden is blessed with so many wonderful insects, you've clearly come up trumps and all the hard work has paid off. I love all your photos and am so pleased you've taken them, but I also know exactly what you mean about being always camera in hand. I do take mine on most of my outings but every now and then I deliberately leave it at home- I never take it when I walk with the dogs and I like the fact that that is a different sort of walk as a result. If I can piggy-back CJ's comment, the flutter is probably a Peacock, they are usually almost jet black with their wings closed :o) xx

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  4. I know what you mean. It's like, if I didn't catch it on camera and upload it somewhere, then it didn't happen. So hard to get that balance between capturing and savouring the joys, versus being ruled by the camera. My (tiny) concession is that, if I'm with the kids, I leave the camera on auto. I can't be doing with fussing with settings while they're around. But then taking photos makes me more observant, and sometimes more in the moment.

    Your bee photos are brilliant and your garden is obviously much loved by your local bee population. xx

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  5. We will all "bear with!" don't worry about that. I am hoping for bearing with for myself too. You are so right about just sitting and watching and being. I was thinking that tonight when I was going through some photos, mostly I remember taking the pictures, but not the looking around and enjoying. A good lesson for us all I think! Glad that you got the little bee fellow back on his way again! xx

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  6. I think that blogging makes us forget sometimes that life can be enjoyed without evidence - "pictures, or it didn't happen," as they say. Now that I've been at it awhile, I sometimes have to remind myself NOT to bring a camera everywhere I go because it's too easy to get distracted from the actual experience and too invested in worrying about the quality of the photos I'm taking of the thing I should just be enjoying. And it's not like I'm some professional who knows her camera inside-out; I'm proficient with it but it's just a hobby and I still have much to learn. For what it's worth, I can't photograph a butterfly to save my life. I was standing under the mimosa tree in our backyard last week and must have spotted five swallowtails in it and never got a single good photo of any of them. Must have had 50 terrible ones, though. It's nice to imagine I'll get them someday but I'm not optimistic. I think you have your head on straight about the whole thing, which is refreshing. I'm tired of perfect blogs. I just took about 20 of them out of my feeds yesterday because I'm sick of wondering whether I'm doing something wrong, not having perfect photos or profound words or a gorgeous home or a fabulous wardrobe or hot body. The truth is, they probably don't have exactly what we're shown either. I feel better knowing there are plenty more like me out there. I hope you've been doing well. I miss you these past months since you've had computer troubles. I hope all is improved soon. Take care.

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  7. I often feel like that about holidays. Much as I appreciate the photos to remember all the good moments, wouldn't those moments be even better if not seen through a lens? Well done with the pollinator garden - do you have any recommendations for the best flowers to plant? Hope all goes well with those results today and here's to a sunny butterfly-filled weekend. xx

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  8. Wonderful pics,and beautiful flowers,i think a lot of us should live for the moment ,i promise myself i,m going to do just that as i,m as busy as a Bee ,so dont worry Leanne ,i think we can all relate to that,have a lovely w/e x

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  9. I know exactly what you mean and often feel caught between my desire to experience the moment and the compulsion to record it. Am I'm not even a good photographer like you. I purchased a patio buddleia (sp?) to help attract insects this year and it's working even though it's a rather tatty looking plant. I saw a comma and a peacock on it last week. Your words and photographs make me want to return to Cornwall - you should be employed by the local tourist board!

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  10. So many wonderful things I have missed because I ran indoors to find my camera.

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  11. On a recent visit to the zoo I noticed a middle aged man using his ipad to navigate round the enclosures. It made me sad to think he was only seeing what was framed by his small screen. I've been guilty of obsessing over the perfect shot. The result is rarely worth the frustation it causes me and the others I'm with at the time. I guess there's a time and a place for both capturing the moment to share with others, or just sitting back and experiencing it.

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  12. Your camera shots making me cry with envy!

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  13. Computers can be very fickle things can't they. I love the sound of your bee paradise. We've had lots of bees in the garden again this year I love it when you walk down the garden and all you can hear is an undertone of buzzing just priceless. We don't get many varieties of butterflies in our garden usually cabbage whites, red admirals the odd tortoiseshell but we do get lots of lovely peacocks and yes they are beautiful.

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  14. And then when you get that perfect shot it remains locked up in the digital camera or phone, unlike the old days when we did at least have albums of actual photographs. I was listening to an interview on the radio with a photographer and she was saying that because film was so expensive when she started she could only afford to take 3 shots and her work consequently has a freshness and immediacy that we are in danger of losing when we click away multiple times in search of the perfect shot. In any event when something really special happens we remember it for ever, with or without photographic evidence.

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  15. I know what you mean, life doesnt seem real unless someone is filming or photographing it nowadays... Such fun!

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  16. I was thinking the same thing when I was filming Faithless at Boardmasters, trying to keep my camera still while everyone else was dancing around so in the end I put the camera away and jumped around as well. I love taking photos/film and always carry my camera but sometimes it does seem to distance me from the experience.

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  17. I think there's room for both being still and enjoying the moment, and also trying to capture some moments in photos. When you were madly trying to find your camera it's true that Olly didn't get a chance to see the butterflies, but he did get to see that you valued their presence in your garden enough that you were frantically trying to get a shot of them.

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  18. happy being in the moment. x

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  19. Sometimes we fall too much into living life through the lens, its worth stepping back and just being, have a great week x

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