Saturday, May 10, 2008

Actual nature

As you may know, I enjoy photography. Part of that enjoyment comes from having your ego crushed when you lose yet another photography contest. So, I've started to regularly participate in some of these free, nothing to lose, online photography contests.

Right now, I'm contemplating competing in one contest that has a particular theme - Landscapes. You know the type - like the images that 'Ansel Adams' photographed of nature and stuff.

Here is their rule about what may be included - "Landscapes shots are self explanatory, architecture doesn't count!"

Immediately, I notice something funny about their rule. No architecture, no buildings! This means that I would have to go out to ... nature. Actual nature!

Before I mention my concerns, let me clarify that I'm not saying there is anything wrong with nature. My wife and I are very pro-nature. For example, my wife buys specially formulated bird food to put in the the 7 to 10 bird feeders located around our house. We do this so we can regularly feed our slightly obese squirrels. As a matter of fact, we feel that our resident family of fat little squirrels would probably go hungry if we didn't give them this specially formulated bird food.

Plus I think it's kinda' cute the way the squirrels wait to be fed. They sit back on their hind legs and rest their front paws on their little pudgy bellies - very cute - they look like tiny NASCAR fans waiting for more beer. So, you can see, we are pro-nature.

At this point, you may conclude that I have a lawn, that I must tend to the lawn, and some consider lawns to be natural. You are half correct. I do have a lawn, but I believe we have undocumented workers tending to the lawn. However, I'm not really sure, 'cause we contract with the lawn service through the internet. We find it's cheaper to hire them, than pay for the gas to put in my lawnmower.

Also, as you know, the rule clearly stated no architecture - so a panoramic of my dandelion garden with my house in the background isn't appropriate. (My lawn service is very good at cultivating dandelion lawn cover.)

Anyway, I mention all of this because ... um..... it's that I'm a bit nervous about going out into actual nature.
Here are just a few of my questions and concerns:

  • How long can I be exposed to actual nature before something happens to me? Will my blackberry have a signal?
  • If I were to get over exposed to actual nature, are there readily available antidotes?
  • Do these natural places have the good Starbucks with wi-fi hotspots? Or, do they have just the small Starbucks, the ones with out the wi-fi hotspots?
  • Importantly, do any of these natural places have partnerships with any airlines? I want to, at least, get some airline miles out of this endeavor.