The best things happen in your periphery. It’s the reason I had the astigmatism correction removed from my glasses. The contrast between my sharp, corrected vision — and the blur in my periphery made me chronically queasy.
That’s a lousy lede — and I’m too tired to come up with a better one. But workable peripheral vision is relevant to these photos.
I went to the pool to look for California Newts who migrate to UC Berkeley Botanical Garden for one big newt bash every spring. I was kicking myself for not bringing a polarizing filter . . . and then remembered that even if I’d brought the polarizer, it would have been for the wrong lens. So, just like I am when I’m wearing my glasses, I was squinting through the viewfinder, finding ways to cut through the surface glare of the Japanese Pool.
That’s when, in my periphery, I saw the anomalous shape. If you spend enough time actively looking for animals in their natural camo, a new shape, shadow, or shake in the greenery easily grabs the attention.
In this case, it was a frog. And not just a frog, but a frog perfectly placed in a teardrop of water — within another teardrop of a lily leaf. I loved the way the frog’s habitat framed her protectively and aesthetically.
This is a Pacific Chorus Frog, and even though amphibians are not my strong suit, this frog has the characteristic eye-to-jaw black striping. I’m much better with birds but, admittedly, I once shot an image of a Long-billed Curlew that ended up on Wikipedia an instant after I uploaded it. It was misidentified in a global database as a Whimbrel, before I could correct the ID.