Category: Lancaster County Central Park

Dog Day Afternoon

Kurtz's Mill Covered Bridge
Kurtz’s Mill Covered Bridge

Charlotte Joko Beck from Everyday Zen: “My dog doesn’t worry about the meaning of life. She may worry if she doesn’t get her breakfast, but she doesn’t sit around worrying about whether she will get fulfilled or liberated or enlightened. As long as she gets some food and a little affection, her life is fine. But we human beings are not like dogs. We have self-centered minds which get us into plenty of trouble. If we do not come to understand the error in the way we think, our self-awareness, which is our greatest blessing, is also our downfall.”

In other words, handle every situation like a dog. If you can’t eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away.

If you meet the snapping turtle in the road…

Snapping Turtle-Lancaster County Park
Snapping Turtle-Lancaster County Park

If you meet the snapping turtle in the road call the turtle man. Unfortunately the turtle man lives in Kentucky so you might have to figure something out for yourself. Based on today’s experience, I strongly suggest you do not try to pick him up.

I’ve saved many turtles in my day by gently moving them across the road in the direction they were traveling, so I thought: why is this day different than any other day? And as he went to bite off my hand I realized that snapping turtles have a bit of an attitude.

When I first saw him I wasn’t even sure it was a turtle it looked so strange. So I got out to confirm this and ran back for my camera. After a few quick shots I decided to save him from becoming a paperweight, but I guess he wasn’t thinking that far ahead and resisted. Then I got my other camera.

Several drivers slowed to look at the turtle and the photographer in the middle of the road, some gave advice and some made jokes. But it only takes one person driving while on their phone to run us both over so I nudged him across.

Park rangers showed up and after a brief discussion everyone felt he was fine where he was, safely on the other side of the road in the wet grass. I was the only one that knew he was actually headed up the hill, possibly for a Slurpee, but he’s an adult and has to play the hand he’s dealt. Fortunately it wasn’t mine.

Shooting the Moon (flower)

Moon Flower
Moon Flower

On my way through the park this morning I saw what I now think are moonflowers, also known as white morning glories. According to Wikipedia, the flowers open in the evening and last through the night, remaining open until touched by the morning sun. These didn’t read that.

I took Scott Kelby’s and my own advice and did not shoot down on these beauties. Instead I set up my tripod and got myself to their level. I did ignore the park ranger’s advice telling me not to park where I did but I have my priorities.

I told them about the miracle of a single flower and how I hoped my whole life would change, but they seemed to be moving anyway in the very slight breeze. Forgetting to set my ISO higher I took a few shots at 1/40th of a second and they seemed pretty sharp.

Then, just to challenge myself I asked a tiny bee to pose on the pistil and stay still. To my surprise both the flower and the bee are almost tack sharp. You’ll have to take my word for it because the original photo is 6000 x 4000, I resized this one to 1000 x 667, and WordPress makes them even smaller for some reason.

Back in high school two of my friends ate a tremendous amount of morning glory seeds and ended up in the psych ward for three memorable days of climbing imaginary ladders and talking to the furniture.

I didn’t see any seed pods because I had to eventually move my car, but I suggest you don’t get any bad ideas. If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly…well, you know the rest.

Wanting Things to be Different

Rain day
Rain day

Like everyone, I want things to be different than they are. Today I wanted it to be sunny and warm, and I wanted this flower to be sitting pretty wherever it came from.

I also want money, motorcycles, cars and houses. And I want to live forever, but that probably won’t happen.

Lao Tzu said: “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”

Alrighty then, when that day comes I’ll go to the bank, pick up a new pickup (must be white) and hop on a 2017 Honda Africa Twin to look for a house on a lake. I just hope it won’t be raining.