This week, Sue’s dictionary fell open to the word “mistake,” and Sue has challenged us to share our photographic mistakes. I, naturally, never make a mistake in a photograph (without deleting it immediately), so I don’t have anything to share that fits exactly with Sue’s challenge. However, I have plenty of photos of mistakes made by others (and a couple of my own). So, here goes.
(If you missed yesterday’s Murder Mystery: Part I, and if you care to read it, it’s here.)
It was a pleasant, cloudy (mosquito-infested) Tuesday evening. Hubby and I decided to wait on dinner and head out on our walk. We went east, toward the Atlantic, and as is our way, stopped seemingly every few feet to take a photo or inspect something to see if it would make a good photo. We started strong, waving at a couple neighbors, finding some interesting detritus on the street, killing a couple mosquitoes.
I saw it. The coolest bug I have ever seen. Hubby wandered off to look at some dinner-plate-sized dahlias, while I chased this bug around the leaves of a pumpkin plant.
“What are you taking pictures of?” I kept chasing the bug, and let Hubby deal with the woman, who insisted that he needed to see the flower garden around the back of the house – “it’s my cousin’s house, it’s OK!” and proceeded to give him the grand tour. They came back around to where I was, at which point, she insisted we must AT ONCE admire her Rose of Sharon. So, she took us across the street to see an unspectacular Rose of Sharon, with a few pretty blooms. There was also a bee working on the blooms, so I chased him around for a bit. The lady was still talking.
At some point, she got to the “where do you live?” question, so Hubby told her the name of our street. She repeated it, and then brightened. “Sally Smith* lives on that street! Sally was admitted to the hospital Sunday! She fell and broke her hip!” This is information we already had. “Sally” is our next-door neighbor. Side note: the diesel engines and air brakes of a fire engine are particularly loud when they’re in your driveway on a very early Sunday morning.
Her face brightens with a new thought. “Your street is famous for that murder!” I reply that we haven’t lived there long, so we don’t know the story of the murder. Her face now looks alarmed. She grabs her dog and high-tails it toward her front door. “But you didn’t tell us about the murder!” I say. She yells back: “Google it!” and slams the door.
At this point, I’m pretty sure that the murderers were never caught, and she thinks we’re them. Likely eyeing her dog as our next victim.
* Sally is not the person’s real name. One of us isn’t planning to violate HIPAA today.
** I Googled it!
Whenever possible, Hubby and I like to take walks in the evening. We grab cameras, toss in a few extra lenses and start wandering around the neighborhood. Because we are strangers to most of these people, our presence has caused wide and varied reactions. Most people start with “what are you taking pictures of?” and go from there, others call the police, and in one case, Hubby was chased off the sidewalk in front of a very angry man’s house.
We’re careful not to trespass on private property, confining our photography to sidewalks, parks and streets, and we try not to aim directly at houses or make it appear as though we’re looking in windows (though on occasion, if we see cool architecture or something, we might actually BE shooting the pic through your window – typically using the window as a frame. I promise – we are not trying to see your wife naked, nor are we casing the joint for valuables).
We’ve been walking the neighborhood long enough that we have a few regulars – people who tell us something they’ve seen that they think we might be interested in, or, more likely, who just wave and say hi (and then there’s the woman who brought a dead butterfly to our house, because she’d seen me shooting it the day before). Some folks, when finding out what we’re doing, invite us onto their lawn for a closer look. Some give us history lessons, and tell us where they acquired their flowers/trees/etc. One couple even invited us inside the house they were remodeling, offering to let us shoot off their deck (sadly, it was the wrong angle, and we didn’t get the images we’d hoped for).
We’ll never know what inspired the people who called the police, which has happened twice, to our knowledge. The first time, the officer stopped, rolled down his window, and asked what we were taking pictures of. We chatted for a bit – he had looked to purchase a house two doors down from ours, so he knew the neighborhood, and was assured that we were not engaging in any criminal activity (in broad daylight on a public street). The second time, the officer seemed to be stalking us. Following us from street to street. At one point, Hubby stepped off the sidewalk onto a driveway to get a closer look at something he wanted to photograph, and I made him get back on the sidewalk, because I didn’t want to give the officer any excuse (I also, in the guise of photographing Hubby making an image, took a photo of the black SUV that was stalking us). (Note to Quincy Police: a black SUV with tinted windows and a PALE BLUE “POLICE” LICENSE PLATE: maybe not the best “unmarked” car you could have).
All that information just to set the mood for what happened last night. Stay tuned.
(to be continued …)