Does anyone remember the old Atari game “Pitfall”? You know, the one where the intrepid adventurer(Pitfall Harry) swings over alligator pits on vines, dodges quick sand, explores caves and hurdles snakes in an effort to reach the treasure chest in the end and avoid the pitfalls. That is sometimes how I feel. Sadly, I am much less graceful than ole Harry.
I have always had an interest in photography, but put it aside for a long time. In the last couple of years, I have picked up a camera again and taken it along as I explore my world. Not so much from the artistic side, but more to show people the way I see my home state and why I love it.
In an effort to get closer and better pictures of animals, places and buildings, I realized that I have been playing my own version of the game. Here are a few examples.
As I was trying to get closer to this osprey, I was so focused on him, that I nearly walked off a 6′ seawall. That would have been a great video, but a long ride home crumpled and bleeding.
Chance of Death Scale:Eh
Chance of Broken and Bruised Scale: Most definitely
Now, that was a close call, but I have developed a special bond with the large reptiles of South Florida. Well, I don’t know if “bond” is the word-more like I keep trying to get closer and they try to decide if I would taste better with ketchup or hot sauce (everything is better with hot sauce).
Chance of Death Scale: Moderate to Very Possible
Chance of Wetting Shorts: Very High to Likely
I am a history geek and love old buildings. The smell of old wood and the lives of the people that have past through them provide an irresistible draw for me. However, often there is a reason and old building is abandoned and condemned. Neglect and nature can quickly take a toll. Collapsed ceilings, weak floors, mold, sketchy paint flakes and the likelihood of the random homeless encounter add to the possibility that I will be staring in my own “Mayhem” commercial.
Chance of Death: Little to none
Chance of Falling through the Floor: Probable
Chance of Inhaling Mutant Mold Spores: Extreme
So, let’s see. I covered falling off stuff, alligators and dark abandoned places. What am I forgetting? Oh yeah, SNAKES! Rest assured that I am not out hurdling vipers, but I will grab a picture or two if they sit still long enough. Most of the time, they are harmless. For instance, this little guy was cold and wanted us to just leave him alone. He got his picture taken and was left to be on his way. However, I am always on the lookout for his larger, grumpier relatives.
Chance of Death: NAH!
Chance of a Cool Medivac Helicopter Ride if I get Bitten: Without a doubt.
Chance of Crying like a Small Child after being Bitten: 100%
It makes me sad to say, I have yet to find a gold bar or diamond ring or even a bag of money for that matter. What I have found is a few good stories, seen some amazing scenery and made some new friends. Maybe one day I will find a pot of gold, but with my luck it will be on an alligator’s back in an abandoned barn buried deep in some snake infested swamp. I think I can hear the theme from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” playing in my head—I gotta go!