Well, it seems I’ve found the perfect job for someone with my proclivities; I’m being paid to drive around around on rural gravel roads at various hours of the day and night. I can stop at any time (within reason) to shoot photos. This was the only job I’ve ever applied for where a photo ID and references weren’t required. A job for someone on the ragged margins of society, it seems.
Two of the other drivers have been telling me about mysterious feline beasts which they have encountered on several occasions. They described the creature as being bigger than a bobcat, with very dark coloration, and smaller than a cougar. The kicker is that the animal has a long sinuous tail. A dwarfish black panther? A product of miscegenation between a farm cat and a bobcat? I want to see and (with any luck) photograph one of these nocturnal animals! I think I caught a glimpse of one the other night…
At dawn on Sunday morning, as a bloated harvest moon was setting, I noticed the sun rising, its lurid disk filtered by interlacing black tree branches. The flecks of brilliant orange looked to me like an image of a Turkish woman sitting cross-legged and playing an oud:
Can you see it? Keep in mind that I’d been navigating twisty country roads for several hours and my imagination was in overdrive.
It was a morning of intermittent foggy patches. The fog occurred in two distinct forms (other than the ubiquitous amorphous patches): strata hanging about twenty to thirty feet above the ground, or sinuously probing tendrils and fingers trying in vain to slow my progress. The latter strongly reminded me of the strands of ectoplasm in ancient Steve Ditko comic books, such as this example from a Dr. Strange comic from the mid-1960s:
I had to stop the car and get out when I saw several Black Angus cattle grazing in the dim morning light, oblivious to the ceiling-like layer of fog suspended above their heads. I used the roof of the car as a steady-rest for my camera. A magnetically-mounted rotating flasher (with any luck) warns other vehicles of my existence:
The cows were mildly curious and gazed at me while I shot this photo:
The sun was well up by the time I got to a remote farm where some friends of mine live, though they were doubtless still abed when I rolled up to their mailbox. I noticed a thriving patch of … I couldn’t (and still can’t) remember the name of the flower, which I seem to remember originated in South Africa. Early-bird butterflies and skippers were assiduously extracting nectar from the blown blooms and paid me little heed:
Another good feature of the job is that when I finish the route I can just go home without reporting in or clocking out. After a night delivery I get home at about 8:00 AM and load the photos onto the computer before sleeping for a couple of hours.