Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tonight with the camera...

...I'm up 'late' on a schoolnight, after a brief photo-expedition on our street.

A friend was over, and as we walked with her back to her car, I noticed an organ pipe cactus in bloom in front of a neighbor's house. These blooms come out only at night, lasting just until the morning of the following day--floral ephemera, the size of an outstretched hand, on view for 12 to 16 hours.

So, I went in the house and came back out with the camera, hoping that the flash wouldn't disturb the neighbors. It didn't look like anyone was home, so I didn't feel so bad hovering in front of their door...

And then, the moon caught my eye--about 3/4 full...I don't have any special lenses, or even a tripod, but I was able to use my elbows, leaning on the little wall in front of our yard, to stabilize the camera enough to get this:
(Excitement on this schoolnight: I've never been able to make out the lunar craters so clearly in a photo I've taken!)


Two more weeks in the school-year have gone by. My efforts to develop a new habit have succeeded; I'm now a pre-sunrise, Mon-Wed-Fri jogger, as weird as that still seems to me...I've seen a couple of hawks on recent mornings, dozens and dozens of cottontail rabbits, and even a coyote...A nice way to clear the mind before dealing with the apparently natural propensity of teenage minds towards not learning verb conjugations.

I remind myself that the larger goal is to help students to become aware of and appreciate the wider world, among other things, to become more observant and detail-oriented as a consequence of having to deal with non-phonetic spelling and new grammatical patterns...and then the melody of Offenbach's cancan comes to mind, as my sneakers hit the asphalt--a 'cheap tool' to try and drill AVOIR ("to have" in French, an irregular conjugation: j'ai, tu as, il a, nous avons, vous avez, et ils ont) into pubescent skulls in a rythmical fashion.

It kind of works.

And then, right as I cool off, walking home, the sky begins to sprinkle on me. (The monsoon's not quite dead yet.) I look up--no clouds overhead! So weird...but off to the east, I see wispy moisture coming down...and borne on morning breezes, it ends up raining a mile or two away, diagonally:

September in Tucson, so far...

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