He's been regaling me with his fox fables for DAYS. 'The foxes are in my pasture right now!', 'The foxes come in every night and eat catfood', 'I saw 5 foxes last night!'. Damn him and his impossibly fun fox stories. Can't you see what's coming? Being a budding photojournalist (and frustrated ar-tiste), I yearned to verify and photograph these creatures for YOU. Five fuzzy foxes smacking catfood: their gray, voluminous tails proud in the breeze. Their arrowhead ears at attention. Who among you isn't clamoring to see THAT?
No slackard budding photojournalist am I. Studied my dog-eared copy of Nikon D3000 for Dummies before I went fox photographing. What would be the proper shutter speed, the proper aperture and ISO for this low-light fox fest? Calm and confident. heh-heh
I went to the country about an hour before dark. It looked like this.
'Be still. The foxes are coming. They are in the thicket of trees over there. That's where they appear every night.'
I'm stategically positioned on a carpet square in a muddy field. Waiting. Inappropriately dressed in shorts and being some opportunistic mosquito's appetizer. Take a few photos of the overflowing lonely cat bowl to check my light settings. Perfecto. Watch for foxes and make like a tree. In the meantime....to my left....I spy this.
The sun is setting...isn't that lovely? Didn't prepare to take any photos like this one. Snap back to business.....waiting. Expectant. Endlessly, quietly mouse-waiting. Could use some cheese...stomach growling. Scratching my legs and being a munching mosquito's main course. Thick, taffy- still air. Legs begin cramping. There!...did I just see something? The foxes is coming! The foxes is coming!! No? 'It's not dark enough. They are noc-tur-nal.' Inconsiderate foxes don't have the common decency to come out while there's enough light to shoot them. Waiting, scanning, eyes weakening...can't see anything. In the meantime, this is STILL going on.
Ah....the gorgeous Texas Panhandle sunset. Wish I'd brushed up my sunset skills...yum....orangy. But, why am I here?....right, right the fox quintet. Where is the bug repellent? Scratching under my blouse. Wait! A flash by the thicket. ' Did you see that? One of the foxes. They're coming.'
The foxes is coming! The foxes is coming!! Spine falls from straight to arthritic...the gray murkiness is no good for a photo. Should I take my chances with flash photography? Where are the pointy-nosed beasts? Might I jump mount one of the horses, grab the nearest hound and flush them out properly? The black barn cat appears and takes a leisurely bath by the catfood bowl. Licks unmentionable areas. An unlucky sign? I mumble 'busy-body cat'.....he ambles over and rubs my leg. Great....now the immovable tree has ringworm. In the meantime....the sun has finally set.
Dark thirty has arrived amid distant thunder and pillowy sprinkles. No foxes. 'I don't understand....they're here EVERY night!' Yeah, yeah...there's something about my mosquito, welt-ridden, stiff carcass that's a sure turn-off to foxes. Probably anti-fox pheromones excreting from my every aching pore. Me and the Nikon are leaving. Putting the mosquitos on a diet.
No fox pictures for you :-( Then, a lightbulb moment. The meantimes had been pretty darn good to me this foxless evening. The thing I had searched for, had prepared for in advance ....well, I never had the pleasure of seeing it. Par for the course. But the meantimes-they had been stuffed with grand, pink, orangey-blue, spectacular wonderfulness. The display wasn't what I was seeking, but I witnessed it in spite of my fox hunting self.
Grateful I took time to look.
Wishing you sunny and sweet meantimes.