I make this statement knowing that snakes and spiders and other creepy crawlies have no effect on me. What I fear instead are raccoons trying to eat me when I’m squirrel hunting from the ground, people hiding in the woods while I’m walking in at daylight jumping out and yelling “Boo,” and most definitely any scary movie when I’m alone or the lights are out. This last fear is so intense that the other day, while driving, I heard a person on the radio say, “Have you checked the children yet?” and I nearly about ran off the road. You never wake up from some childhood nightmares.
What I should do to combat these fears is look at them from behind the lens of a camera. While laying on my belly in the middle of a gravel road I neither questioned what would happen if a car came barreling over the hill behind me or how fast rattlesnakes are when they’re upset. I just kept pressing the button on my camera. Nor did I fear the oppossum who, with teeth fully exposed, was persuading me to back away from its territory. The more teeth it revealed, the closer I got.
Last Friday, I found myself in a similar spot as I visited a beekeeper in Cedar Rapids. While being stung by something is the last way I want to spend my day, I was inches away from hundreds, if not thousands, of bees. Yet I was still behind my ace – a camera lens. So I continually snapped photos, getting closer and closer with each one.
One day I will be eaten by a larger, or maybe even smaller, animal than myself. Yet hopefully when they find my body, they will also find my SLR. So then the magazine could at least give my wife a complementary photograph of the critter who ate me…well, come to think of it, she’s upping her life insurance on me everytime I tell her these stories so she’ll probably be able to afford her own 8 x 10.