“Normality is a paved road: It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” Vincent van Gogh
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.
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.
“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential.
It seems to be constantly in the process of change: Yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.” Paulo Coelho
Hold me, hold me. Never let me go until you’ve told me, told me. What I want to know and just hold me, hold me. Make me tell you I’m in love with you.
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.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Lao Tzu
“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated.
And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.” Ted Hughes
Here in Pennsylvania the tulips are in various stages of maturity. The beautiful yellow ones in front of my house dried up and blew away, while the others are somewhere near the end of their life cycle.
I found these in a local park and they seem to be in their prime, but in a few weeks they will be gone forever-dust to dust. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting older or maybe I just notice it more, but things seem to move a lot faster now.
Watching the flowers come and go is also watching the days speed by, and I know I’m running out of time. Of course this is how life works; we’re here for a while and then we’re gone. And whether we acknowledge it or not, suffering comes from wanting things to be different than they are.
W. Somerset Maugham, author of The Razor’s Edge has a great perspective on impermanence: “Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
Along the way, take time to smell the flowers, in as many ways as you can for as long as you can.