Hoping for a little sunlight and thinking wistfully about blooming waterlilies, she lays hands on her hip waders and her canvas helmet with its arty mosquito netting, then dons her tatty old photographer's vest.
Feeling (albeit briefly) like a hero in an old African movie, perhaps Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen, she potters hopefully off to the beaver pond with a camera slung around her neck and her pockets full of lenses and filters. Spencer, ever a fan of ponds, shorelines, reeds and lovely, dark, squishy mud, potters along at her side. Did I mention that one whole pocket in the vest is full of doggy biscuits?
When we arrive at the pond, there is no sunshine, just drifting, pearly fog, a web of dreaming trees on the far shore, gently rustling reeds and quiet ripples around the toes of my rubber footwear. A single heron is standing at the far end of the pond like a statue, and we can see it vaguely, but the great bird declines to be recorded on a memory card and floats majestically off into the mist. Occasionally, there is the quacking of unseen ducks, the slow lap of beavers swimming somewhere nearby, a sonorous chorus of horn-throated frogs improvising melodies among the reeds, bulrushes, and other watery grasses.
The place is nebulous and ethereal and perfect in every way. Who needs sunlight and waterlilies on such a morning as this? Earlier ponderings about the meaning of life and my relevance in the greater scheme of things simply seem to fall away. Weeks or months or years from now, I will look at the morning's photos and (hopefully) remember how magical this soggy, foggy May morning was.
dog jumps in
(with apologies to Matsuo Basho)