Friday, September 15, 2006

Dance of the squirrels

 

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I was running late this morning, trying to get out the door to dive into the day’s requirements.  I walked into the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee to go, popped it into the microwave to get it good and piping hot and then turned around – and instantly smiled widely.

 

The deck wraps around the corner of the kitchen and a flurry of activity caught my eye through the sliding glass doors.  Four young squirrels, filled with the carefree exuberance of youth, were scurrying madly up and down the White Oak that sits inches from the deck rail – and using it as a launching pad to hop to the deck and then back again.  They chased each other up and down and around the tree, sometimes moving so fast that they literally ran over the top of each other in their eagerness to reach some imaginary and endlessly changing goal.

 

At about this time, the microwave sounded the end of its cycle – and I was faced with a decision:  grab the coffee and run to the car to stay on schedule or let the pace of life wait a bit while I retrieved the camera and tried to record the frenetic activity of those new to this life and eager to explore all it has to offer.  In a heartbeat, I set the coffee down and ran for the camera.

 

For the next 15 or so minutes, I sat on the deck and quietly enjoyed the tireless play of these athletic creatures - capturing what images I could in the split seconds that they were anything less than a light brown blur.  Of hundreds of missed shots, a few – amazingly – caught a moment in time to illustrate the glorious spectacle they played out for me, and two of those images are shared with you here.

 

When they finally scampered up the tree for good, I set the camera aside, grabbed the coffee cup and hurried out the door.  Would I encounter a more harried pace and additional traffic for my dalliance with nature?  Yes.  If I had the choice to make again, would I do anything differently?  Not on your life.

 

Life constantly presents us with choices – some large, but most small and seemingly insignificant.  And at the end of the day, the choices we make in each of these instances makes the difference between living our lives and having a life.  Sometimes we simply must budget our time according to the schedules of others and the rhythms of the day, but oftentimes we are not really quite as busy as we tell ourselves we are.  In those moments, when you are faced with a choice to adhere to the timetable or to stop and watch the squirrels I hope that you stop and let some carefree joy delight your eye and fill your soul – for your day and your life will be just a little bit brighter if you do.

 

 

 

 

On an unrelated, but very pleasant note: Greg Kiser, a professional photographer in North Carolina has chosen to do a spotlight article on your humble correspondent in his Journal Photo Trek  Take a few moments to visit if you can – and check out the truly wonderful photographs that Greg posts there and on his web site.  Sincere thanks to Greg for his encouraging words and his generosity of spirit – THANK YOU!

 

 

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18 comments:

marainey1 said...

I'm glad you took the time for some wonderful pictures.  We are so blessed by so much that if we don't take a few minutes out of our busy schedules, we' d miss it entirely.  Thank you for sharing those moments !  
'On Ya' - ma

rap4143 said...

Greg is a talented young man :).  I am glad he directed us to your journal :).
Betty

tc01hm said...

Congratulations on creating a very nice journal and making some wonderful images. I have a love affair going with my own D 70.
Tess

radar446 said...

I'm glad you made the choice you did.  Not only were you momentarily saved from the rush of the world we must exist in, but you also provided a touch of that calming innocence to us.  You are absolutely right...we must "take time to stop and watch the squirrels."

You are also quite welcome for the article.  It was a pleasure to write.

Greg

nhd106 said...

How perfectly stated...I love the message.  

But get this!   I had MY coffee in the microwave while reading journals...came to yours....that adorabele squirrel dance....and I heard my microwave beeping me to come back.   But I smiled widely and continued to share in your experience.  

Thanks.   : )

Nancy

fitzzer said...

I believe you made the right choice too. They're so sweet and different from the squirrels I grew up with & remind me of little chipmunks! Thank you for sharing Greg's journal with us. It's always nice to meet someone new with such talent - like yourself - and his entry about you was wonderful and it was nice to learn more about you and your work. The tall ship photo is one of my favorites esp because it reminds me of my grandparents - esp. my gram - who loved the tall ships so much. ~ Lori

inafrnz247 said...

Rob,
 I'm so pleased that you one, made the choice to stay for a bit and enjoy the mornings gift from nature, and two, that you decided to pass this gift on to your readers.  The messages and quiet reminders of all that can be (and too often is) taken for granted is one of the many reasons I enjoy your journal so much.  The beauty you always manage to capture in your photos is always recieved as a gift.  Greg did a fabulous write up on your journal.  Congrats on being his spotlight pick of the month!  You deserve it!         Michelle

mariebm56 said...

Greg Sent me...; )
You have made squirrels cute, & pleasant to look at.  Usually they are grey & ugly, but you gave them color & LIFE!  Lovely shots~
Marie
http://journals.aol.co.uk/mariebm56/PhotographsMemoriesToo
http://photographsmemoriestoo.blogspot.com/

midwestvintage said...

 I love your squirrel pictures, esp the 2nd.   Greg as usual did a wonderful write up on your obvious talents.  Glad you stopped to watch the squirrels, life goes by too fast.

                  Julie

mutualaide said...

Oh gosh Rob, the pictures are great and I too am very glad you chose to stay for just a bit longer.  What's a little traffic when nature presents a show?

moodymyke7 said...

Greg sent me and I am so glad he did.  The picture of the old ship was very interesting and I have never seen a picture this good of one. So glad you took the pictures of the squirrels.  I have watched them play also.  Some almost fly from tree branch to tree branch.  Makes me happy to look at them in these wonderful pictures.                            Myke

rbrown6172 said...

what beautiful, beautiful photography!  i love your photos.  i found you through greg...

madcobug said...

I came over from gregs journal. I am so glad that I did. Your photos are outstanding and you tell all about them in a great way. Keep those pictures coming. Helen

jlocorriere05 said...

I came over from Greg's place and I'm so glad I did! I've just been looking at the beautiful photos on your sidebar link. I snagged a few but if I put them in my journal I shall link them to you. I'll be back again! Jeannette.  http://journals.aol.co.uk/jlocorriere05/Welcometomytravels

my78novata said...

I love the little critters

bedazzzled1 said...

::smile::

kaydeejay5449 said...

What a precious little guy.  I loved how you described their antics.   Nothing cuter than watching baby animals play!  Thanks for sharing!
Kathy

lanurseprn said...

I loved this entry!  
Pam