It’s a nudibranch. This was the last subject I photographed in the Red Sea. Last dive in September 2016. This is one I have not seen before. How nice to see something new? The dive was like any other – uneventful. I knew it was the last dive. It came and went without fanfare. I have not dived since. I think I will dive again someday. Meanwhile, I have a lot of expensive equipment waiting for that day.
Preserve restaurant, Annapolis. My choice. My first meal home when I returned from Saudi. I’m not sure we have been back since. It’s not exactly healthy. Deep fried kale. Delicious! That’s why it has to be bad for you. Happy! You bet! The restaurant is still there. I recommend it. It lost its allure when I could go there at will. On some level you realize that you can’t eat deep fried food too often.
What a difference a day makes. One day you are in the Middle East, the next you are home. Sad, happy. One door opens and another closed. I’m not looking back. It was but a chapter in a lot of lives. I made a difference. My nurses and assistants are still young and will have many more experiences. Me? I’m on to another great adventure too. Who knew? I would have to say – ‘no complaint’ – none at all. It’s interesting to look back and see how one day becomes the next and your life changes forever. Regrets, I have a few… (Someone, wrote song lyrics appropriate for today.)
Whenever we travel, we miss leaving our cats behind. Their quirky habits and dependency upon us have endeared them in a way that defies rational explanation. If you have a pet, you know how we feel. There was no viable path for me to bring my Middle East cats home. The internet says it can be done. Nope. It never would have been possible. Rational heads (Colleen and Farid) persuaded me to abandon my fantasy. Cats live many years. Mine were not old. I hope they have survived. Their life is/was harsh. Even now, I think of them and miss them. Look closely. There is an alpha cat. That would be Lulu. She never did accept Cassie in the house.
I’m just spinning back the image files to the year 2016. Nightfall, at 35,000 feet. I’m over Long Island headed back to the Middle East. The glow of lights below outlines civilization. There is no blankness in the landscape. I am amazed at the image. It’s not perfect. But, detail is there in the glow of sunset… enough to appreciate the curve of the earth?
Reality? Can you feel the heat of the desert? There are no trees… few. And the crowded streets. It’s barren and foreboding. It was a great adventure. I’m glad to be gone.
I have lots of great flower pictures… too numerous to count. And, I like to post images straight from the camera… no manipulation (Photoshop). That is not to say that I don’t. I have added or moved people around in group shots. I have added open eyes – someone always has their eyes closed in a group shot. Part of the reason is that I’m lazy. I don’t want to spend time in Photoshop. So, I visualize my shots and try to get things right in the camera before I press the shutter. It works… often. Sometimes, I touch up. There are purists among us who disapprove. Back in the day – Ansel Adams – the negative was just the starting point for the print process. Photoshop makes it easier to massage the pixels. There are masters; I am strictly amateur.
Sometimes I see something again for the first time. It’s like looking but not seeing. It would be akin to not listening when Colleen is speaking. I like to pride myself on being able to parrot the last ten words she said to me in order to prove that I was paying attention (not). I usually fail to convince her. I wonder why? But, here, I am seeing the spots on the wing as though they were powdered on like delicate feathering. The transitions are soft not sharply defined. Nature is wonderful. In most circumstances I would have been thrilled to get a picture of the whole butterfly. That blue spray upon the wings is such a nice detail mother nature decided to add.