looking at puddles

Yesterday was one of those cold, windy, wet, altogether miserable days. It snowed, and the snow turned to sleet, and the sleet turned to rain, and the wind blew hard enough in some of the narrow streets that at times the snow/sleet/rain was actually flew upwards.

So I went for a walk. Partly because it was Thursday and I belong to a group of folks who traditionally walk on Thursdays. But I’d have gone for a walk regardless of the day, because the snow/sleet/rain layered enough wetness on the streets and sidewalks to make them reflective. Even better, we’ve reached that time of year when it starts getting dark early—which is a thing I both love and hate.

It casts a gloomy pall over the world. Despite having watched every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (most of them more than once), I’m not generally a fan of the dark and the foreboding and the brooding. But it’s a condition that makes for great visuals.

There’s a tipping point, of course—especially when it comes to puddles. Like most folks who’ve picked up a camera, I’m intrigued by puddles. But a puddle that’s too big lacks mystery. It just becomes a reflective surface. But a puddle that’s patchy, that’s barely there, that’s unpredictably disrupted by the contours of the surface—that’s the puddle for me. That’s a puddle with character.

That’s a puddle that will get me outside despite the snow/sleet/rain, and despite the wind and despite all rational thought.

Some day, when all my other projects are finished and I’m casting around for something to do, I’ll develop a taxonomy of puddles. A systematic classification of puddles based on the similarities and dissimilarities of their morphological features.

But no, of course I’ll never do that. I don’t really want to think systematically about puddles. I just want to look at them. I just want to walk around in the gloomy half-light of early evening, freezing my aging ass off in the snow/sleet/rain and look at puddles.

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