Living on the edge

Living on the edge

Summer. Mid of July. 49 ºC. Two tired photographers with no water passing by an almost forgotten path in an old car. The idea was to follow the border of the Vicario’s water reservoir from the back to the dam. But destiny had other plans.

A very deep pothole in the path prevents us from continuing farther. A hole created in the mud by some heavy car on the rainy days. Now that the rainy days are gone, it has become hard, and we have no other options that to turn back and find another way.

While the driver maneuvers to turn the car, I get down and climb a funny structure that is 50 meters away from our position. It’s a tall and long concrete block, probably covering a water pump, but at our position the terrain climbs and you can just walk to the top. It seems like the runway used in fashion shows, except for the boiling sun and the arid concrete floor. I walk to the end while my shadow hides exactly under me and my black hair burns like a stove. At the end, I can see two conductions that transport water from one side of the reservoir to the other. After a few minutes, the driver has reached my position. He found the structure uninteresting at first, but it seems that waiting for me under the sun while I explore seems even more boring.

We are ready to leave when I spot it: A blue damselfly in a near bush. They are perhaps one of my favorite insects. They are pretty, elegant flyers, and with a completely harmless aspect (who could say the same of a cockroach). It was many many years ago when I saw one for last time. It was looking at us, curiously, probably wondering why two idiots like us were there in such a “lovely” evening. Trying to capture it was useless, as it turned out to be a little bit shy, but a few moments afterwards another one, yellow and green this time, appeared to take a gaze at us.

This time we were luckier, as our new friend was more calm and patient that the former one. We couldn’t get the best pictures we could, as our position was a little bit difficult, but still we managed to get some decent pictures of it. Some frontal, some lateral. The ultrasonic focusing system of the lens helps a lot in this situation. Trying to focus a very small point, with a very shallow depth of field, in an unpleasant position, while hot and partially dehydrated, is not an easy task. At the end, it got bored of our tiny noisy black boxes and flew away, and we turned back to the car to continue our way, like the reporters of the National Geographic, but in a more casual and rural manner.

I left the place with two things: A bunch of pictures of my damselfly, and the convincement that a good focusing engine is something wonderful, and I will never ever again complain when I find that a lens is expensive because of it.

Perhaps you cannot feel the heat, but at least I can share how pretty these insects are.


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