In association with Zazzle.com


Monthly Archive: February 2012

Feb 26 2012

The Last Fairy

THE LAST FAIRY

Story and artwork by Mark Beckemeyer

I was much younger when I started my butterfly collection. Back before I decided that photographing them was a better way to enjoy their beauty at my leisure. I often headed out early in the morning while the butterflies were still moving about slowly from the cool night air. They were much easier to catch that way, one of the tricks of the trade whether netting, or shooting them with a camera.

All the proper equipment was in my possession, the net, drying boards, thin flexible pins, clean white strips of paper to hold their wings down in the proper position while drying, and the killing jar. I used large glass gallon jars for mine, and filled the bottoms with plaster of Paris. When the plaster hardened it was porous and would readily soak up the quick acting poison. It had to be quick so the butterflies wouldn’t tear up their wings in the throes of death. Pop had taught me well. An interest in insects is something we always had in common.

My collection was a nice one. Butterflies large and small, brightly colored and drab, a good variety. I kept their bodies in 20″ x 16″ black boxes with shiny brass hinges and bleached white foam beds on which to mount my trophies. They stood out like a colorful scarf dropped on a pristine blanket of snow. I was proud of my work, but I was always looking for something new and different and this was a good day for a hunt, so I grabbed my gear and headed out in search of Lepidoptera.

It was a perfect dawn for collecting, the air was crisp and my quarry was still stiff and not quick to evade capture. The warming sun was sending wisps of water vapor rising from the grass that lazily swirled into the air, and as I walked into the heart of the meadow drops of dew fell at my feet like tiny jewels.

Time moved quickly and before long my jars were near their capacities. Deciding that my catches had been good enough I packed my gear into the shoulder bag and started making my way back through the ocean of wildflowers…, and that’s when it happened. Something so unbelievable, so insanely crazy, that I thought I had lost my mind. I fell to my knees numb and dizzy with disbelief, staring me straight in the face., was a fairy.

“It’s a hallucination” I thought.

Then she spoke. In a tiny, barely audible voice. Almost a buzz.

“Hello” she said.

And then it all began.

 

She was dancing around a flower playing with a butterfly

Against clouds of fluffy cotton floating in a bright blue sky

She said that she was lonely for she was the last of her kind

And asked that I spend some time with her, if I didn’t mind

We talked and touched for hours while she sat upon my finger

And when she flapped her wings the smell of Lavender would linger

She said she felt comfortable with me and flew to my ear to say

Would you come with me to my magic place and in the forest lay

I said that would be lovely and rose up knocking my bag over

And a giant glass jar full of butterfly bodies rolled onto the clover

You’re a monster and you can’t be with me I heard her tiny voice say

And she fluttered and she sputtered as she tried in vain to fly away

I couldn’t let her go, and the magical little beauty didn’t get far

Because I snagged her in my fine mesh net and put her in the killing jar

I flew into a violent rage and she was dead because of my transgression

And to further my insanity I dried her and pinned her in my collection

Then I awoke in my bed with a terrible start, had it all been a bad dream

Yes I thought, the horrible events were a frightening nightmare it would seem

I lit a smoke, and rubbed my eyes, and fumbled for my socks

I froze with fear when I saw it sitting on the nightstand, a casket-like black box

It can’t really have happened, surely not in that box is hid

The body of the worlds last fairy, evidence of the evil I did

Slowly and shakily, with fear and self loathing in my heart, I lifted up the lid.

The Last Fairy.

The Last Fairy.

 

 

Buckobecks/Home

 

Feb 25 2012

And The Darkness Comes

AND THE DARKNESS COMES

 

The sun is stealing away with her riot of colors, the last traces of light bathing the clouds and the contrails of mighty metal birds in soft pastels.
Glowing gently as she slowly sinks into the earth.
Taking with her the promise of a new day and the explosion of activity that her coming brings.
Leaving the landscape featureless and black. Cold and still.  And with her departure, a certain sadness.
But the darkness has a purpose, and a beauty too.
The moon rises from the ebbing blues and pinks, bringing with her a billion points of flickering light that shine from the farthest reaches of heaven.  Shimmering, twinkling sisters of the sun that are never seen with her.
Bestowing upon you her quiet calmness, yet denying you the detail of a tree.
Pale and serene, distinctly different from her blazing opposite.
The quiet misunderstood one,  bathing the world in a her soft  reflection of  borrowed  light.
Alone, even though surrounded by a billion tiny suns.

 

Full Missouri Moon.

Full Missouri Moon.

Feb 25 2012

Field Mouse

Field Mouse.

Field Mouse.

This shot was taken with a Nikon D-50 and was armed with a Nikkor Micro 200mm lens.

He was an ornery little cuss and even bit me once while I was attempting to photograph him. I guess he didn’t like my company. Enjoy the fruits of my physical and mental suffering.

EXIF Info

Make – NIKON CORPORATION
Model – NIKON D50
Orientation – Top left
XResolution – 300
YResolution – 300
ResolutionUnit – Inch
Software – Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 Windows
ExposureTime – 1/500 seconds
FNumber – 5.60
MaxApertureValue – F 3.25
MeteringMode – Multi-segment
LightSource – Auto
Flash – Flash fired, auto mode, return light detected
FocalLength – 60.00 mm
ExifImageWidth – 3008
ExifImageHeight – 2000
ExposureMode – Auto
White Balance – Auto
DigitalZoomRatio – 1 x
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm – 90 mm

Feb 25 2012

A Shell Of My Former Self.

Periodical Cicada Shel

Periodical Cicada Shel

This crisp photo was shot in natural light. I like the way it makes the Periodical Cicada shell glow just ever so slightly. I posted the EXIF information below for all of you photo bugs out there.

EXIF Info

  • Make – Panasonic
  • Model – DMC-FZ8
  • ExposureTime – 1/125 seconds
  • FNumber – 3.60
  • ExposureProgram – Normal program
  • ISOSpeedRatings – 100
  • MaxApertureValue – F 2.83
  • MeteringMode – Multi-segment
  • Flash – Flash not fired, compulsory flash mode
  • FocalLength – 72.00 mm
  • FileSource – DSC – Digital still camera
  • SceneType – A directly photographed image

 

Feb 25 2012

Tree Frog

Gray Tree Frog

Gray Tree Frog

This Gray Tree Frog had just lost it’s tail (look close and you can still see the nub) and was about the size of my thumbnail. It was also snapped in natural light. This ones make a great desktop background and is the one I typically use on my computer screen.

EXIF Inf

  • Make – Panasonic
  • Model – DMC-FZ8
  • ExposureTime – 1/100 seconds
  • FNumber – 3.30
  • ISOSpeedRatings – 100
  • MaxApertureValue – F 2.83
  • MeteringMode – Multi-segment
  • Flash – Flash not fired, compulsory flash mode
  • FocalLength – 55.20 mm
  • SensingMethod – One-chip color area sensor
  • FileSource – DSC – Digital still camera
  • FocalLengthIn35mmFilm – 358 mm

Feb 25 2012

Cicada

Periodical Cicada

Periodical Cicada

Periodical Cicadas only come out of the ground once every 13 or 17 years. This one is from brood 19 which emerged from the Missouri dirt in 2011.  Don’t forget to stop by BUCOBECKS store to check out the newest inventory.

EXF Info

  • Make – Panasonic
  • Model – DMC-FZ8
  • FocalLengthIn35mmFilm – 468 mm
  • ExposureTime – 1/60 seconds
  • FNumber – 5.00
  • ExposureProgram – Aperture priority
  • ISOSpeedRatings – 100
  • MaxApertureValue – F 2.83
  • MeteringMode – Multi-segment
  • LightSource – Auto
  • Flash – Flash not fired, compulsory flash mode
  • FocalLength – 72.00 mm
  • FileSource – DSC – Digital still camera
  • SceneType – A directly photographed image