Abstract, Animals, Birds, Black and White, Butterfly, Caterpillar, Damselfly, Florida, Hike, Humor, Insects, Merritt Island, Misadventure, Nature, Photography, Story, Sunset, Swamp, Video, Water, Wildlife, Writing
The Swamp may one day claim my body. This past weekend I was found sinking into the muck, yet again. I never mean to deviate out into those gurgling and gushing, reedy and thrillingly mucid marshlands but something always draws me in.
In this case, it was vultures…
A great cluster of black vultures descended right in the middle of the great sprawling mire below and I just had to go tumbling down after them.
They wheezed and grunted and hopped about in a frenzy as I sloshed near. Then in a great charcoal gust they fluttered up and adorned the palm trees above, their crinkled heads bent with sharp, bilge-water brown eyes studying me, looking like dark-frocked, feathered judges scowling down at me.
I sifted about looking for a corpse. To no avail. Disappointed, I continued on. I was soon slopping along in happy oblivion until the mire became a river and the reeds turned into mangrove trees; and even then I ventured further. A tiny gator slipped away and a flurry of silver bodies slapped the surface of the water as they swam away in a fast flash. Little black minnows danced in the golden, tea-stained waters bathed in warm sunset.
Suddenly I remembered that I do not live in the Swamp and that these ruddy parks always have a blasted time-limit. I turned and squished back toward the great sprawling knoll where the path was. I clambered and crawled up through an impenetrable green fog of knotted grass. A merry wind casually chucked vulture feathers, globs of yellow pollen, sticks and burrs into my wild, tangled mane as I clawed along like a blind bear.
At last I popped onto the trail, adorned in Swamp.
I began to concoct a haphazard smile, realizing the squeak had issued forth from a wide-eyed dog-walking lady that had been startled by my sudden appearance. I guess she had no idea someone had been crawling around in the somnolent mire below all this time. She rapidly gathered up her canine companion and shielded the small and thoroughly fascinated terrier from my ghoulish and slovenly sight. The pair darted away as I said with a stumble, becoming entangled in some gigantic weed I hadn’t noticed, “Lovely time for swamping, eh?!” She didn’t reply…I don’t think she heard me…
I immediately became distracted by the lake on the opposite side and soon found myself in the water, yet again, joyfully fiddling with the camera. Time was forgotten yet again as the sun was swiftly hoovered away and squeezed to rust. The phone deep in my pack tootled but I couldn’t be bothered with attempting to dig it out, so I continued to film as I slowly made my way back.
Then I heard a great booming cry warble across the glimmering waters glazed in purple dusk, “PARK CLOSING!”
Oh dear…THE TIME!
I tried to assure the little black dot (that was an irate ranger) that I was hurrying as I called out, “I AM COMING! DON’T WORRY! BE RIGHT THERE!”
He was miles away…well, perhaps just one mile.
I wasn’t very near and the wind was probably erasing my calls, so I gesticulated wildly in order to encourage the ranger that I was hurrying. He continued to hop up and down.
Then I started splashing back as quickly as possible.
And then I crouched down in the water to film a rock.
“PARK CLOSING!!!!! PARK CLOSING RIGHT NOW!!!” came a very jarring, caterwauling cry.
I decided I should put the camera away…this was a very difficult chore as my arms suddenly weighed about 18,000 lbs.
I managed to make it back and even avoided being pounded by the red-faced, snowy-mustached ranger as he crammed me into the car and Sir rapidly peeled away (well, rapidly for a tortoise, that is, as Sir is a very sedate, I mean careful, driver- to the outraged ranger’s dismay…). I was able to obtain enough footage for a few wee videos featuring some minute creatures. Here is one below, shot at Pine Island Conservation Area in Merritt Island, FL. Thanks for drizzling by,
Mirth at one’s own ridiculousness is a phenomenon I highly value. If I was unable to utter even the minutest chuckle at my own ineptitudes, a dour and dismal life I would lead. Grateful I am, thus, that I do not vise myself with seriousness. I simply accept that I am an unintentional lummox and aquatic baboon most of the time.
I find occasion to laugh at myself multiple moments a day. The inane way I word something, for instance. “Aquatic baboon?” What …? Some shaking of the cranium and some chortles are likely to ensue here.
Another common humiliation I find a bit of hilarity in- my falling habit, intentional or involuntary, no matter.
Sometimes (or often), I decide to take a spill, ardently keen on a particular angle of some “majestic” little scene to snap with the old camera. An individual observes Photographer up, ambulating about one moment; completely flattened, chin kissing the loam, the next. Observer gambols over to assist.
I get up and reply, “I was photographing a twig. Would you like to see it?”
And the preposterousness never ends there. A new acquaintance and I will be enjoying a most lovely conversation about a little snowy-white bird with a long, curved bill known as an ibis.
“It’s so cool,” he says licking his lips and looking to the right, picturing the dainty blue-eyed, crimson-billed bird in his mind, “how they sometimes hang out in huge groups, it’s like, so awesome, and they are so social, ya know?”
Here, I become excited, and what bugles from my thin lips is a habitual phrase I never become free of, “MOST indubitably!”
Eyes become glazed, body stiffens. Not mine, his. Every blasted time, the individual to suffer the onslaught of “indubitably phrase” disturbingly believes I have suddenly lapsed into a posh, stuffy, insipid, vodka-drinking-rich-old-lady type of superiority. Oh dear.
So, instead of sitting there mindlessly cackling, I decide to try and come to my own assistance, for social reasons, after all, “Yes, it is just fabulous! Is it not grand, too, when they emit those uncanny honks as they squabble about for a bit of crust? They must be the cutest birds on the planet!” Here, polite laughter should follow. (Why does that still sound like an insipid, vodka-guzzling snob?)
So, reader, you may be convinced now that the author is quite a sea of incessant.
Incessant blunders, I mean.
Just look at the wreckage of the way this post has been written. I think this may be the most annoying thing I have ever crafted. Ah, but at least I am grateful. I rather like this daily entertainment, whether it is the way I talk in an aggravating nameless accent from nowhere (people always inquire what country, what planet…), or my constant losing of hats, glasses, ties and phones, there will always abide my inner peace. Better to Accept, with great bowls of guffaws, I think, than to self-berate, always in fear of lurking mortification.
(Great bowls of guffaws?)
Many good cheers,