But…In the Name of Science!

Our garden is in full bloom and we are harvesting its fruit daily. It truly is a great privilege to have the space to manage this endeavor.

Last week I took some time away from work and started some new video/music projects that will be filling much of my artistic time. The garden is filled with butterflies of the lycaena order and I decided to try and make videos of them. They flutter about with such speed and randomness that it can be daunting to see the order in which they live. But do not be fooled, there is order here.

From a pulled back view, one can see a single butterfly encounter another mid-air. Suddenly, they will perform a ritual “circling”. They will circle each other once or twice then either move on, or continue the dance. I assume the female is sending mating messages to the male (perhaps pheromones).

If the female is agreeable, she will land and perform a rapid flutter, signaling to the male. The male will land and perform a short confirmation of gentle stroking, then join ends with the female. Once fertilized, the female will lay her eggs within the base of a fallen flower.

All of these things were an amazement to my childlike curiosity.

Then I told my wife Robin about what I had learned. She said, “Mark that’s awful! You’re a voyeur!”
Well, I disagree in the classic definition, but it does make one think about how it is that we humans will satisfy our curiosities concerning nature. We document their every move. Eating, mating, relaxing, pooping…whatever happens….just to understand them better. It is unique to the human animal to do this.

I tried to imagine what it would be like if the tables were turned and animals were recording our every move. Thus, the rough sketch of a bear photographing a woman at a dining table.

Here is a peek of my upcoming video/music efforts. It is based on the idea that we all want a peaceful moment, or maybe we just want to fall asleep. The videos will feature in-the-moment white noise and inspired music along with slow motion nature moments.

Enjoy…and peace!

Dream Sequence 1 from Mark Wade on Vimeo.

Mysteries At Eventide

It seemed a thousand years that I had walked along this trail.
Much has changed in a few weeks of absence.
The swallowtail have returned in full force,
Their flight patterns still intact after these many years.

I spied a nest-box with twigs spilling out of its entry.
Inhabited no doubt.
Training my camera on the entry, I saw a bird fly in to my right periphery.

It was a wren. And it did not like me entering it’s space.
The bird had work to do. Mouths to feed. And this big lug was triggering the defense intuition ingrained from countless generations.

Birds typically have several communicative skills. Calling, singing, and warning are the basics. The wren’s sounds were most certainly warnings. Heated curses in human language. “Get out, stay away, can’t you see I have work to do?”

So brave is this little one, with babies calling. The power of instinct pushing it to accomplish an ancient wonder….the reproduction of life. I will never again venture too close if I can help it. I tried to apologize, but it was already away and looking for another meal.

Such are the experiences on the trail. A cathartic release for me. Life and death for others. Still, the sun set as always, darkness fell, and the cycle reset for yet another day.