Out of the Darkness, Partially

mating click beetles in silhouette except for head

One of a mating pair of click beetles pokes its head out of the darkness of a silhouette.

Some things we are not looking for them; we do not want them; and we get them in spite of ourselves. I believe that condition is sometimes known as “comeuppance” — oh no, wait, we get that because of ourselves. It must be something else, which I will not try to define or explicate upon, but will instead illustrate with this photo.

The backstory: I was in a part of Natural Bridge State Park that has enough vegetation to go around but where I rarely find insects. Nonetheless, I often feel compelled to investigate this spot. I was really making a halfhearted expedition on this occasion, quickly getting anxious at not finding anything of note when I stumbled upon these mating click beetles. They are fairly common and plain looking, and while they can make very good subjects, I was over them before I had hit the trigger button once. I felt obligated though so I took a series of frustrated shots — uncooperative beetles, the wrong lens, an annoying plant — and this shot was pretty much the only interesting one I came away with.

Is this a good shot? I don’t really think so, but every time I notice it, it grabs me. The partial silhouette has the hooks into me. It was an accident, a fluky convergence of the positions of the beetle, the leaves, the flash and the sun. I would have liked a full silhouette with a full profile of both beetles, but sometimes this is it.


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