Friday, March 28, 2008

Cayo Costa: Playing Slow

Some of the things I have enjoyed the most about staying on the island of Cayo Costa for the last month is the time to explore, learn, and create.
I had fun with my little camera. It fits in my pocket and it is not too expensive so I don't worry about taking it on the bicycle or kayak. Photography slows my pace so that I notice more about the world around me. Even if I don't know what something is, I may later look it up in a guidebook. If I do know what the subject is, I can look at it from different angles to study its form, texture, color, reflection, and how it all changes with the ambient light.

Can you figure out what I captured in the photo above?
I found this stingray washed up on the beach. There was still a gleam in its eye, probably a recent death.

This sea horse washed up too. It was still moving a little, but could not swim upright as it should. Isn't it an unusual form? Look at its tubular snout and prehensile tail. I used my hand as a scale and released the sea horse after taking this photo (another advantage of a tiny camera is that you can shoot with one hand).

One of the best things about Cayo Costa is the ability to move through nine different natural communities within a days walk. These prickly pear cacti are at home 300 feet from the Gulf shore.
I do have trouble capturing wildlife and birds with the small lens on my camera. I did get lucky one day (see the photo below). Look at the teeth on this strange tropical bird.

Not really. It's just a crab's claw. I don't mean " just". It's awesome what nature has designed.

One thing I didn't enjoy so much was sitting with the computer trying to install photos on this blog. You can see me at the "desk" behind the ranger station. The outdoor office was a breath of fresh air...but the slooooow connection really put me on island time, warping the logic of even attempting to connect with technology.

It has been a fast month playing at Cayo Costa. It's time to go. So long Cayo Costa! Maybe I'll come back and play, real slow, again next year.