Musing, Naturalist

Stolen Time

This weekend I managed some reading time. Yesterday, I managed some nature time. Feeding my soul tidbits to keep me going through this season in life where there is so much to be done, and so little time to do it in. Deadlines rushing up at you like a bull charging do tend to concentrate the focus, but when you focus in so tightly that everything else falls away, you lose sight of the big picture for a while. It’s not always a bad thing, it’s just that sometimes, you have to steal some time to lose focus and look at something else. 

I was shooting with the macro lens yesterday, and it illustrates this beautifully. If you pull the lens all the way back, you get what’s called infinite depth of field. So I could, for instance, take a photo of a chickadee in a tree, or the vernal pool I was trying to find little creatures in. 

Sky reflected on a temporary but vital pool of water

However, if I dial the lens in, I can get close enough to see the smallest detail and the least of the larvae swimming about in the shallow edges. 

Probably a beetle larvae. There were a lot of them! For scale, this lil’ guy is about 1-2 mm long.

What you can’t do is see both the reflections of the trees, the bird, and the minute larva all at the same time. You have to change your focus, and when you’re looking at the big picture, you’re missing some of the tiny details. And I can’t see any of those things if I’m spending my evening sitting at the computer trying to read mortgage documents and make sure all the things are signed, uploaded, and in place for the next chapter in our life. I can endure that process much better, however, having stolen some time in the sunshine with my camera, hunting for eggs. 

Vernal pools provide spawning grounds for salamanders, toads, frogs, and all sorts of other creatures live in them during their fleeting lifespan. Migratory birds feed on those things, and the circle of life rolls on.

I didn’t find any eggs, but I did find the caddisfly above. You have to bend down, get your knees muddy, and look carefully to defeat camouflage. My boots are in terrible shape this morning, but that’s ok. I’m feeling more in balance now that I’ve taken the time to let some of the cares go while I was stalking the tiny things in life. And as I told the First Reader last night while I was handing him a sheaf of papers for wet ink signatures, we could have been doing that whole tedious process sitting in an office somewhere, having taken time off work, instead of comfortably in our office at home. Life is full of blessings, and when you lose sight of them, it’s time to change your focus a bit. 

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), a welcome burst of color in earliest spring.

4 thoughts on “Stolen Time

    1. the saying ‘stop and smell the roses’ is so trite, but sometimes that’s what is necessary to give us the ability to keep trudging on through life. And it can help restore our objectivity when we’re getting too close to a problem. ((hugs)) here’s hoping for a day with some sunshine in it for you!

      1. Often, sayings become trite because there is a lot of truth in them and so they are used a lot. Stopping to smell the roses (literally) is one of my favorite past-times in summer, which is why I insist that every rose I plant be a fragrant one!

        1. oh, speaking of that, if this house goes through, it has an established perennial garden – I can’t wait to see what all is there!

          Also, have no idea why, but WP is dropping you into moderation every. single. time. I’ll see if I can fix that.

Comments are closed.