It’s always rhetorical. Which of your kids is your favorite? Favorite cat? Answer: You love them all. Equally? Answer: You smile. Favorite time? Favorite place? Favorite picture? In the moment, I like/love everything. Wrong! You love your wife, elsewise, you will not live to take another picture. Ha ha.
I’m just randomly flipping thru the catalog today. Monhegan Island. Just like that, I could recognize and recall the meal, restaurant, and setting. How? Memory is a funny thing. Pictures are my trigger to open up the past for me. Otherwise I have monarch butterflies scattered liberally in my catalog. Good luck finding a pic easily amongst the lot. Ditto, sunset. Sheep? Yup, I do not recall any particular sheep. This is all a random draw.
Cats? It’s still raw to recall Ray, whom we recently lost. Colleen will say we have favorites. Less favorite? … to which I say, I love them all. Need I say, she is my favorite wife?
Wildlife. Animals (or insects) pop up during our travels. Some wild, some domesticated, I get the shot as the opportunity presents. We chanced upon a photographer doing a full on shoot of this dog on the ratty couch. Dog? Couch? The poor pup was totally bored and uncooperative. No posing, no looking at the camera, no interest in the least. Food! A treat! Distraction! Nope, none, nada. It was about as dismal as the couch. I kept my mouth shut and we quietly left. Photographer? She had the gear; she was mounted on a tripod… Um, close, but that ain’t how I’d do it. (See: I kept my mouth shut.)
We returned to the scene. Ordinarily, there are no second chances. The last visit was only days ago. Colleen. It was her call. I’m glad we did – return again. I was always told a bright sunny day was less than ideal for photographing. Who knows? I love the bright white contrasting against the autumn sky. Give me a few clouds. And, the monarch butterflies were out, just for me. It seems everyone else was ignoring them for the lighthouse. I worked the scene and had a grand time. It was all Colleen’s idea. She’s a genius.
I did not know the monarch butterfly goes through four generations in a summer. The first three remain local. The last generation is the one that heads south to Mexico. I have not seen any butterflies in my neighborhood. But we have seen the caterpillars. And now I have seen a cocoon. It’s interesting that I got this far and have never seen one. But here it is. It’s equally amazing that there are gold dots along the top of the cocoon. And if you look closely you can see the developing butterfly. Yeah, all these years and I’m still learning new stuff.
When I lived in West Virginia the summer was filled with monarchs. I have not seen them much since I lived in New York. Now there was a time in Maine when monarchs were a side benefit of traveling to visit a lighthouse. I’d like to say they are a frequent find. But monarchs have been in decline in recent years.