Earlier today, while wandering along and through Cranberry Run, I ran into a bit of déjà vu (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know…it’s not like the phenomenon’s a fog bank or a brick wall, but there you have it; I “ran into” it). See, thirteen years ago, back when digital cameras were really just making serious inroads, I decided to give photography another go. I was working for a local paper and they’d supplied me with an Olympus C2100 — basically a no-brainer digital point-and-shoot — and I pretty much kept that thing with me all the time. So, one day I’m walking down by the stream and I see this damselfly perched all nice and interesting-like on a broad grape leaf. So I shoot it, photographically speaking. At the time, I was ridiculously proud of this shot, arguably my first foray into anything like nature photography. And despite its obvious flaws, I still like it.
Here it is.
So, anyway, getting back to the déjà vu experience, today I see this ebony jewelwing damselfly parked in a raspberry bramble and I think, “You know, that seems awfully familiar.” So I shoot it, photographically speaking, again and again and again, obsessively trying to get it right. I mean, I’m standing there for probably ten minutes shooting this damselfly, and while I’m standing there, the mosquitoes are massing an attack.
Am I worried?
Nope. Not one bit.
The reason I’m able to stand there for ten minutes and work at getting a decent shot (not that I ever really got one) is because, every little bit, that damselfly is leaping from his perch to snatch a mosquito. After grabbing one, he (and yes, he’s a he, just like the damselfly from thirteen years ago is a she) parks himself right back where he was, dines and then waits for another shot at a mosquito.
Using an analogy that Steven Spielberg would understand, basically I’m the chum, the mosquito is the shark and the damselfly is either Roy Scheider or Robert Shaw, take your pick.
Only in this version of Jaws, the shark never stands a chance.