Friday, June 12, 2009

Story Time

The one that got away


I am breaking with tradition here today. By tradition I mean that I am breaking from what seems to be then normal blog post in the community of Nature/Birder blogs. I know this is a risky move and will cause shock and dismay to ripple through Blogland like a disturbance in the force or something. For you young folk that is a reference to the move ‘Star Wars’ which I did see when it was released back in the ‘70s. The norm as far as I can tell is to take a photo of something in nature, post it, add some commentary, scrap some obscure facts from some university website, and whala, you have a blog post.

I must admit it’s a great formula for success but boy you really have to be careful when you break with tradition. There are a few extremist out there too. For example, I had to change the name of my blog from “Craig’s bird watching blog” to Craig’s bird watching and nature blog”. I posted some bug or alligator and the hard core birders were quick to point out that this photo was NOT a bird! Well excussssseeeee ME! LOL

There are three characters in my story today; Maureen, the beautiful red head that stole my heart, a Critter to be named later, and your host… Me. The setting is simple and has been featured many times in my nature blog. I work in the city of Maitland Florida. Just think of it as being in the top of Metro Orlando. Mickey lives in Kissimmee which is in the extreme south of Metro Orlando. In traffic, it’s about an hour away. As the crow flies, it’s about 20 miles. So no, when you go to Disney World, I can’t pop over for lunch! You will have to meet me half way. Oh, I may actually have a few shots of crows wearing little Mickey Mouse ears… I will have to look.

Back to Maitland and our scene of the story. There are lots of office buildings and I spend my lunch hour walking amongst them looking for bits and pieces of nature to blog about. So I work in the city, lots of buildings, cars, and people. The good news is there is a lot of nature to be seen here in the city.

Yesterday, promptly at 6:00 PM, ok maybe it was 5:59 PM; I locked my computer screen shut off my desk lamp, grabbed my camera, and walked out of my cube heading straight for the nearest exit. Maureen, the beautiful read head I mentioned before, was on her way to pick me up. I had some time because she gets off work at 5:59 too, and has about a twenty minute drive to pick me up. There is always a twinge of anticipation during those twenty minutes. Will she come this time? Did I say that out loud?...

I chose a path to the designated bench for pick up. I didn’t want to take the direct root as this would involve more time sitting on a bench waiting. I don’t like waiting. I have never liked waiting. Waiting sucks. Get the point? So, I chose to walk around the parking lot to a sidewalk that leads to a bike path that cuts through a small wooded area that leads to the aforementioned bench. If I time it just right there is more walking and looking and less waiting.

Right after leaving the parking lot part of the walk, my pants started to vibrate. It was the cell and “honey my baby” was calling. She had just had a rough day at work and couldn’t wait until the scheduled pickup to begin telling me about her day. To get the full effect of the story you will now need to use your imagination and picture me walking with a camera bad slung over my shoulder and a cell phone cuddled up to my ear while traffic whizzes by. Although, what she is telling me is very interesting it is also irrelevant to my story so just try and do the old Charlie Brown phone trick and imagine the chatter in my ear as “wonk wonk, wonk wonk wonk” in the voice of Charlie’s mother when she would call him on the phone. There, that’s perfect, I know you just did it too! LOL

It’s a hot day with the mercury in the low 90’s. I had just reached the shady bike path portion of the trip. The path is short, no more that 50 yards. “Oh my, that’s just crazy” I manage to squeeze into the conversation that was mostly wonksided if you get my drift. The wonking had almost drowned out the drone of the traffic on the busy 6 lane road to my left when I could hear the rustle of some critter to my right in the small wooded area that shades the bike path. I dutifully listen while I scan the bushes for what would most likely be yet another gray squirrel looking for his nuts. That’s when it happened.

“I gotta go, I’ll call you back!” I said as I flipped the phone shut and slid it back in my pants in one deft move. The otter walked out into the bike path about 10 feet in front of me and proceeded down the paved path like I wasn’t even there. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have seen all manor of creatures here in town that I would not expect to see. There is a small alligator in a pond next door and I have seen raccoons and opossums, but never did I expect to see an otter!

Camera! Yea, you are going to want to take a picture of this you moron! My mind is racing. However I had installed the super security pad lock on my camera before coming out side. Have you ever noticed how hard those little plastic clips can be when you really want them open fast? That thing may as well been locked up in Fort Knox! Meanwhile Mr Otter is just walking away minding his own business. Finally, I free the photo blog device from the clutches of its keeper. The otter is 15 yards away now but turning to walk back towards me. Great, I am thinking, he will certainly stop and pose for a close-up I am certain of it!

“OMG how do you turn this foreign object on!” I swear, it was like I had never used the thing in my life! He sees me now. CRAP! Did he just wink at me, as he turned toward the bushes? CRAP! OK, its coming to life, the lens is extending, waiting for the LCD to light up! Adjust the shutter!!!!

He sure was pretty when he slipped into the bushes. I heard the water when he slid into it. My heart still raced. Where did I put that camera case? Back up the bike path, right where I dropped it. I don’t know why I keep looking at the bushes while I went to get the case. Did I really think he was coming back? I gather the case and re-secured the old camera that I suddenly remember exactly how to use. Slung it over my shoulder and proceeded to the bench. Calming down now, trying to gather my thoughts and reliving the encounter in my head. What was I doing anyway?

CRAP!

I dialed the phone as quickly as I could. “What happened?” “Is everyone ok?” “Was it a terrible accident?” “Tell me you didn’t see a snake or something and HANG UP ON ME!” “Somebody better be bleeding in the street when I get there!”

“But honey!” “It was an OTTER!”

It was a long walk home too.


Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn


21 comments:

scot said...

So, I'm starting to like my idea of a blog site more and more.

It will not be a nature blog or deep thoughts blog.

But rather a blog capturing the antics of bird/nature/lost-in-thought/bugs(dead or alive) bloggers who root around in the bush for that one picture.

I remember the days when we ran around as kids with a cap gun strapped to our side. Quick draw!! Now my old, old brother has a fanny pack and camera strapped to his side.

I will keep you posted on my future blog.

Elaine said...

Craig, visit my blog. I have an award for you.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Great story,and I must say you had me laughing in the end.Bette luck next time.
Blessings,Ruth

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Scot, what a wonderful pictures you paint of that old brother of yours. LOL!!

Craig, you are very good at story telling and I love a good one, but that is the whole poin, it IS JUST A STORY. An otter? Really my friend!! How many liquid ones did you have with lunch? I would have let you walk too!! LOL!!

Craig Glenn said...

Scot:

You are just being mean and picking on us! I will tell mama if you don't stop!

Ruth:

My dear friend, thank you for the visit and kind comments. I hope Jake enjoyed it too!

Joan:

IT WAS AN OTTER! I swear! Plus, that's what makes my stories so funny, they are true! One day soon I plan to tell y'all about Scooter and the tennis ball canon!

Craig Glenn

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Yeah, yeah!! I believe it was an otter when I see the evidence. I am not your brother who believes everything you say. :)

Scot, what it wrong with a blog about nature and deep thoughts? Are you hinting about one you know which exists? Be careful if you start a blog, you are likely to get people on it who will not make nice comments. I know Craig has endless trouble with that woman from SA and the same might happen to you. LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Oh I forgot, Common tell!! I want to hear the story of the canon too! :)

scot said...

Oh NO! I'm see nothing wrong with nature blogs. Actually they are going to provide many subjects for my new blog.

I want to capture the many photographers stalking their prey. Wouldn't you love to see a picture of Craig fumbling with the camera and cell phone. In the background of course I would capture the "otter" laughing his arse off as he gracefully dives in to the water.

I would then venture to SA and capture the bug lady getting close to a cricket that has sung his last croak. I only hope not to catch a lion in that background licking his chops. then you could catch a picture of me running like a wild man...

about the canon story.. trust me, he has many stories about the canon. almost enough to fill his blog for a month if he wrote everyday. They are all true and no embelishing is required.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Scot. If you want to get a photograph of me taking a photograph you are going to have to be crawling under the bushes too remember. Then I think I will have to ask Craig to take a pic of THAT for his blog. LOL!! Sounds like a vicious circle here. :)

As for Craig fumbling for his cellphone and camera, I thought he took his pics WITH the cellphone. Do you mean to tell me he actually has a camera? Hmm!! Surprise, surprise. But I imagine the fumbling is more to do with the liquid lunches than anything else. :)

Don't worry I do not believe any of his stories as I know first hand how he can embelish on everything. I can only believe every tenth word he says. LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I have just seen the picture of you and Maureen. What a lovely one Craig. Looks like you two are really happy and it is always nice to put a face to a name.

Craig Glenn said...

I guess I shouldn't expect anything less from you two! I don't embellish at nothing. Maybe I stretch a photo description over on that SA blog from time to time but nothing but the facts when it comes to my blog!

Maureen said she may buy me a new camera for my birthday if I am good, so SPTSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! to you both! Of course now I just have to be good for a few months. This may just be a big trick come to think of it. oh well :(

Craig Glenn

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You be good?? I don't think you know what the word mean!! I am sure poor Maureen has to go to great lengths to get you to behave.I will bet you fall under the sign of Virgo?

Stretching the truth?? Well that has to be the understatement of the year!! That woman from SA has noticed these "stretches". Dinosaurs with feathers!! What next!! :)

LOL!!

The Muse said...

LOL ....LOL
To be honest, i cannot say which i have enjoyed more...reading your post...or the inner sanctum post comments! LOL LOL
you all need to take this gig on the road! LOL

Craig Glenn said...

Muse,

Thanks for stopping by and liking my ENTIRELY true story! Inner sanctum? more like a loony bin! LOL

Craig

Abe Lincoln said...

A very neat post. I enjoyed reading it.

Bird Girl said...

That is hilarious! And you did a superb job of describing what happens to all of us when we see something so unexpected and exciting! It's like we never had a camera in our hands before - haha! Loved it! Hope you get that great shot the next time you encounter an unexpected otter! You sure 'otter' get one ;-)

HANNIBAL said...

Craig,

That story was so well worded, it needs to be submitted somewhere! I loved it, totally related to it, and am visualizing everything! Sorry for the long walk home, but it was worth it over here in Illinois!

jalynn01 said...

Being a fellow camera/blogger person I can realte 100% and you told the story so well I couldn't wait to read it ALL.. Usually that many words scare me off.. haha.. I loved it and I hope the otter returns so you can put these scoffers in their place. Great story!! Sorry you had to walk home but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!!

The Write Girl said...

Hi Craig,

This is a really fun story...I especially like the ending. From the responses you've gotten, you seem to be a pretty good storyteller. I hope you write more exciting things in your everyday life.

dAwN said...

LOL..great post Craig..
very funny story!
Yeah..i guess we have all been there and done something like that...tee hee
Did you really have to walk home????

Craig Glenn said...

Thanks Abe,

Always nice to have you stop by.

Barb,

Thanks for you kind comment and you are right, it's like I had never seen that thing before.

Hi Hannibal,

I am submitting it to publishers now! can't wait for my first check! LOL, thanks for your gracious comment.

Jalynn,

Thanks for the kind comment and I know we can all relate!

WG,

Thanks for stopping by and your kind comment. I can weave a story every now and then. I am hoping to write more and more but mostly on my observations blog.

Dawn,

Thanks D, but I must confess the walking home part was just for fun, but the rest is true I swear.

Thanks everyone for your kind and gracious comments and I look forward to seeing you again here soon,

Craig Glenn