Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rock, Paper, Scissors
So there was this turtle lying on the sidewalk the other day. I was going for another one of my meditative walks around the block when I found this little guy just lying near the sidewalk, in the road, not really in danger but still prone to an accident. Curiously, I picked up the turtle and started to walk home with it, ever so carefully holding it by its sides with it flipped over so it wouldn’t bite and scratch me. The turtle was hiding in its shell so quietly, when it popped its head out and scared me so much that I dropped it onto the ground, it scurrying a little before I retrieved him.
After I got it home, I put it in a bowl of water. This was a little small, so I then moved it to a bigger plastic bowl with shreds of grass put in. It swam and kicked its reptilian feet around, opening and closing its mouth with a hissing sound. Cute. I don’t know what else to do with this turtle or if I’ll even keep it or let it go back in the wild. It’s a nice experiment at the least. Now it resides in the lid of a roasting pot.
After a while, I tried to think of a name.
I named it Redblack, because of its red and black colors on its shell. An alternative name was Touche Turtle, after the cartoon character, but I thought that was just ridiculous.
This turtle I found happens to be a painted turtle, the most widespread turtle in North America. I can’t get an actual picture of it because I left my camera on the train last week containing the only memory card I had, with videos, pictures, and music on it. Sucks. But that’s life. Maybe I can still get the camera out of the lost and found. If not, then I’ll just move on.
Trapped under this rock
I haven’t seen light for days
My body is slimy and wet
In an eternal state of haze
Cozy and fit for me
I live for the deep blue sea
This rock hard shell
My own moving prison cell
Legs seem to be universal, something that is found in nearly every living and non-living thing. Humans have them, animals have them, insects have them, desks, chairs, and kitchen appliances as well. They help in movement and support, are a thing nature decided millions of years ago would be beneficial in helping organisms with finding food and running away from being food. We all seem to operate on an even number of legs since that is nature’s way of keeping everything balanced. Of course, some animals developed wings for better survival, but they still use their legs for those times when it isn’t a pressure situation involving the fight or flight response, when they can just tromp across a fence or wire like it’s Sunday morning.
My two legs these days probably don’t get as much exercise as they should, since I have been stuck in front of my computer most of this year, only occasionally going outside to take some pictures or look for the cat that went missing for two straight days (he comes back eventually after a night on the town).
My acrostic poem for legs:
Little engines, pumping pistons
Energy propelled, man on a mission
Going places in a hurry, fast as a fly
Swamp water up to your knees, jump high, touch the sky
Daily Prompt: New Skin
I soared high yonder over every creature, landmass, and water body on Earth. The air was incredible under my soft, bristle tipped wings. The humans and their mechanical boxes looked like ants as my sharp eyesight honed in on future prey, my keen sense of smell bringing in the scent of something scurrying to safety, its hopes for survival futile as my hunger for fresh meat became strong and irresistible.
Through the clouds, free as a bird, literally. It is the ultimate dream, to soar through the sky, to visit places far and wide. The spirit follows my every movement. Life is abundant, thriving everywhere I look. Aerodynamically sound is the state of my windswept body. I fly through the air with relative ease, the air a mixture of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen making a nice whooshing sound, sifting through my finely tuned feathers.
A bird has free range, can fly limitless. Can see many things one could only hope to see in an entire lifetime: the seven wonders, exotic countries, the tops of high buildings, every major celebration happening in the world, mecha sporting event gatherings, extraordinary people being honored for their achievements, music from all walks of life, the cultural differences, language variations, interesting smells of native cuisine.
Suddenly, the cry of another winged warrior reached my tiny eardrums. It was a call of desperation. She was in danger, maybe being hunted down by a much larger predator. My curiosity looked around for her presence, flying faster to follow the sound of her cries for help. But then it was drowned out by a sudden rainstorm erupting from the clouds, dampening my beautiful feathers. Time to go in for an emergency landing.
Landing under a bench turned from its natural brown to a damp dark grey, I observed the modern homo sapiens hurrying around for shelter; some whipping out handy umbrellas, some covering their heads with the Daily News, some testing to see if their phones were truly waterproof, some just standing there taking it all in. Even though I’m a bird now, I can still think like a human, can still remember when I was a creature of habit, a creature of self-satisfaction, needs, and wants. I used to see the world through a narrow opening, only knowing what was in front of me, how I was used to living. But now that my form is that of the bright yellow American Goldfinch, so small and fragile but quick as lightning, I see that the human world is very trivial, so valued on the pursuit of greatness and destiny.
A few of my friends soar down from the sky, landing on the pavement, looking for shelter and food like me. I observe them, looking around curiously at the commotion racing back and forth through the now rainy park in New York City, the celebrations and energy from last night now the remains of confetti and discarded alcohol containers filling trash bags.
Just last night, I saw Times Square, the streets crowded with a sea of humanity, ushering in a brand new year, a new glimmer of hope. Perched on top of a flashing billboard, it was incredible to see my former species from a different perspective, unburdened by limited mobility, able to take in everything around me, not being a virtual sardine in the mass of people. The closing year extravaganza stretched all the way down the Manhattan borough through Broadway, the screen on the Times Square tower displaying the time until 2014 turned into 2015. Advertisements cycled through on curving LED boards, the electricity coupling with the combined power of the swarming crowds below.
As the musical performances picked up on center stage, my little body flew in for a closer look, taking in the intensity of the moment, the energy and excitement, the sound raising up the decibel scale, a comparison to a buzzing hive of worker bees.
As my former friends counted down from ten and shouted out the now overused, clichéd celebration chant heard year round, I was glad I didn’t have to worry about making any New Year’s resolutions or counting on incredible but unlikely goals happening. As a bird, I didn’t have to worry about traveling the world – I could do that for free, all I needed was my internal GPS guiding me, showing me the way. Most birds aren’t aware that they could have an excellent view of anything in the world, without having to get on a plane or pay to get through the door, but I have the human awareness to realize I have this ultimate freedom to explore the world like never before. I also didn’t have to worry about losing weight – I only munch on small leaves and berries and go after the meat of small rodents that I fancy. I don’t have to worry about finding a job – I believe my only job is to survive, being below a lot of others on the food chain, and to use my special observation skills to explore and roam freely in this world.
Spending the next year as the Goldfinch, with its beautiful yellow body and black and white wings, is an interesting endeavor. Actually, I could have chosen any bird, but searching through pictures of bird candidates, from the browns, blues, reds, and multicolored, I saw that this one had colors I was fond of. They are bright, elegant, and happy colors as well as the color of sunshine. I’m not a big bird expert and diving into the details of these winged species would be a boring task. The big picture is that choosing to be a bird for a year would strengthen my observation skills. I would get to see the world more, fly to interesting locales I am currently unable to see. I would get to learn about these spritely creatures from the mind and wings of one, would learn how they communicate, what their daily lives are like in their eyes. I guess you could say I would have a Birdseye view of life from another species.
If you could spend the next year as someone radically different from the current “you” — a member of a different species, someone from a different gender or generation, etc. — who would you choose to be?
Thank goodness I have cats because otherwise the assignment today would be a little difficult. I’m very shy about just walking up to people and asking to take their picture and even taking pictures of random people or even my family feels a little awkward. There’s nothing like two cats who have a certain connection to one another. My two felines are known to wrestle, fight, and run like wild horses after one another through the house, but, as is evident in these pictures, they love each other and seek one another for company and comfort. Because what else is there for these cats? Their worlds are so itty bitty small and having they being related to one another by species helps clear up some of the loneliness. I realize this assignment asked for more of a human approach but the ideal image for today was my cats, who also share a connection with me in a way (and they weren’t fussy about having their picture taken). Two animals of the same species – that’s my interpretation of connect.