The Guy In Orange

by | Feb 24, 2023 | Updates & Opportunities | 4 comments

I wiggled my way through the dirt and stretched upward to search the air. Yay, more rain! This would be my opportunity. The past week’s unusually warm days and heavy downpours had loosened up the earth. Winter was passing. Sap was flowing in the maple trees. The creek was bubbling with the sound of spring. And I, for the first time since winter began, emerged from my hole in the ground to push my way through the soft mud to the place I knew I needed to go.

I’m not considered the most fast or smart of creeping things. I’m usually the object of bait or on the menu for a hungry robin. But today I would risk everything to get across the vast, barren driveway to the other side. I summoned up courage and started my slow trek across the driveway. I splashed through tiny puddles, intent on my mission, grateful for the light drizzle that was keeping the rough asphalt moist.

230222_James Staddon_2878 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 50 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 2.5, ISO 100

Suddenly, something orange hovered above me. I stopped. Oh no, could it be the orange-red breast of a robin? Was I going to die?

Well, not yet, at least. It came closer. It was a man, kneeling down on the wet pavement. His orange rain jacket was a bright spot of color against a bleak, cloudy sky. He shoved his face close to me with a funny-looking, reflective, black object protruding from his nose that clicked away rapidly. Whatever it was, I knew the best thing for me was to keep going.


He didn’t seem to be satisfied. He sat back and reached for a twig. I hardly paid attention as I could now see that I was nearing the edge of the driveway where the ledge of asphalt descended down into the safety of the grass. But then I jerked. Something had brushed up against me. I waited, tense and unsure. Nothing happened. Nothing moved, except the guy in orange was now laying flat on his stomach. I waited a bit longer, then reached forward with a tentative air. Still nothing happened. I stretched out a little farther, then a little farther until I was slowly moving in the direction of the ledge again.

Whatever this man in orange was after, it must be pretty important to him. Most humans would not sit out in the spring rain and they definitely didn’t lie down in puddles. What made this guy different? Perhaps he was on some sort of mission too, like me. Nothing would stop me from getting to the edge of this driveway. Not even a guy with a funny, black nose.

230222_James Staddon_2885 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 50 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 2.5, ISO 100

A tiny branch clattered in front of me. The guy in orange apparently was tired of playing with his twig. If he thought it would get in my way, he was wrong. He didn’t know what kind of creature he was dealing with. I nosed my way under the smooth wood and slid the rest of the way to my destination, the ledge.

230222_James Staddon_2903 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 50 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 2.5, ISO 200

I stopped suddenly. The ground dropped away before me. I hung over the edge feeling nothing but air and space. I swung myself up and down, searching for the familiarity of earth and greenery. I swung a little farther and brushed against a droplet of water. Then I felt it. The soothing tickle of a single blade. The comforting presence of weeds. I nosed down in its direction and tumbled into the safety of the mud and grass.

230222_James Staddon_2905 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 50 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 2.5, ISO 200The heavens opened above me and the rain, instead of pitter-pattering, came pouring down in torrents. It didn’t bother me. I liked this kind of weather. I burrowed down deeper into the mud and snuggled under the leaves and weeds.


As for the man in orange? He picked up his funny, black nose and dashed for the shelter of his house.

There is no doubt that he must have been shooting for the next month’s photo assignment. Why else would he be so intent on his purpose!? But you don’t have to worry! The next assignment is not to take pictures of worms (I realize there are some of you who might be squeamish about subjects such as myself Smile). But the next assignment is going to be super fun! So stay tuned for when it goes live here on the blog on Friday next week!

230222_James Staddon_2916 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 50 mm, 1-80 sec at f - 2.5, ISO 200

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  1. Naomi P

    So fun to read! I always enjoy reading about nature from different perspectives.😄

    • James Staddon

      That’s great! You can thank Julianna . . . she’s the one who wrote the first draft. 🙂

    • Amy Sager

      I completely agree with that! That was so fun to read. Good job scripting that!

  2. Esther Frazer

    Lol! Love it!



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