Seeing by Observing

Yogi Berra is supposed to have said “You can see a lot just by observing.” One of the great rewards of considered photography is how it can slow us down a bit so that we can “see” interesting things ordinarily overlooked. We walk our dogs in a local park every single day and are inclined to pay attention to our surroundings. Consequently, we’re almost rewarded with something new.

For example, we spotted this large insect on a recent visit. It was several inches long and, according to a web search, is a female “Hercules Beetle.” Some report sightings of them are rare. After snapping a few photos, we went our way and she, hers.

Dragonflies seldom linger long enough for close examination, let alone from underneath. This one was accommodating and offered a unique view of its legs and delicate wing structure. They seem fond of flying along with us as walk. Once, while attempting to focus my camera on a particularly striking black one, a cardinal swooped down and snatched it away before I could get off a shot.


Cardinals abound but they sometimes can be difficult to shoot since they seem reluctant to linger in one spot. However, this one was preoccupied with what it perceived to be a rival but was actually its own reflection in the windshield of a car.

Speaking of cardinals, it appears that the one below has had a rough time of it. Whether those missing head feathers were due to a predator, fighting with another bird or some sort of avian malady, it decidedly is not a good look. We’ve seen (and photographed) it twice in the same area.

Is it just me or are there fewer butterflies around us these days? I see so few that when the opportunity arises to capture an image of one, I act.
Uh, oh. On a recent park walk we watched a hand-holding couple walk right past this guy, unaware that only a few feet away sat a rattus norvegicus, or, as it is more commonly known, a brown rat. If you’re looking for them, sometimes you can see as many as a dozen or more at one time in this portion of the park.  Cute, eh?