With my gear not at 100% functionality, I was very much not motivated to search far and wide in unexplored, untamed wildernesses. Consequently I spent a lot of time at folks’ gardens, still sipping my cup of nature on a regular basis, albeit a slightly watered-down version from what I was used to. What I eventually came to realize was that even in supposedly well manicured, civilized gardens in supposedly developed areas – surprises were all around. Could imagine how my jaw dropped when I saw not one – but two Green Iguanas in the parking lot of a school in a relatively built up area. Seeing them alive knowing that our five month long hunting season had just opened added to the joy of the sighting.
How a person can eat a lizard is beyond me, but I guess it’s something I’ll never be able to understand. I mean, it’s not like you’re on a deserted island and you’re completely desperate for food, right? There are so many other more palatable dishes available, but then again, if everything tastes like pepper and curry then perhaps taste buds are a thing of the past for some. Thankfully for some backyard lizards, they’re just too small (hopefully) to end up on a dinner plate. Woodslaves as they’re called here – House Geckos is what others know them as – seem to inexplicably unnerve people. From superstition to phobia, it’s another thing I just can’t seem to understand. I just see beauty.
I was having a conversation with someone a few weeks back, and they were telling me a story of a fellow photographer being unable to find any subjects to macro. Now macro photography tends to focus on the smaller things, from the House Gecko above to other insects, flowers, leaves, you name it. When I pick my macro lens up, I know that nothing will escape, muahaha. Go outside, look around, there’s always some drama taking place on the smallest observable scale! Spiders are everywhere, and they’re always on the lookout for a meal. Even if they’re not hungry, they’ll just package it and save it for later. Monitor a spider’s web for long enough and something’s bound to ring the bell 🙂
Apart from the entrapment, the injection of venom, the external digestion, spiders are pretty cool creatures. I believe I’ve gone off on jumping spiders already, but here’s another to add to that list.
Insects too, are often brightly coloured and make for interesting portraits. This shield bug is pretty common and can be found almost anywhere. In fact, the next time you buy sorrel for this Christmas season, have a poke around the bag, you may find one or two shield bugs in compromising positions.
And if all else fails, gardens themselves are beautiful. Plants are an integral part of our existence, and many people have fallen in love with their natural allure. This image was made in the original magic garden belonging to Helen of Talparo. Torrential rains, gorgeous blooms, great company and a sanctuary in the greens and browns of the earth, what more could anyone ask for?