Our municipality installed a gazebo inside the forest behind our backyard this summer. It has two black benches and a white painted wrought-iron semi-circular finned structure, with a water fountain. And dense foliage all around.

The gazebo must seem like a waste of cash to everybody – no one goes there. But me. I love sitting there with my books, mags and notes. I bring my aging Ipad sometimes, to use the ‘Pages’ app to write a piece for my blog. My Ipad is no longer an Ipad – it’s a DapI – it’s that old. There are so few bytes in it’s memory that they have turned incestuous.

Other times, I take just my headphones and Ipod (also first generation) and listen to my favorite podcasts (The Diane Rehm Show / Minute Physics / The New Yorker Comment / Frontline / Fareed Zakaria GPS / The History Hour / Ted Radio Hour).

If I’ve had a couple, I switch to some Jethro Tull. Funny – Tull sounds great only when you’re high.

DSC00464 DSC07796 DSC07811 DSC07815There’s always a background hum – of crickets, wind through the leaves, the rustle of a racoon or maybe even a white-tailed deer. Yeah, Canada is filled with wild life. I was reading ‘I, Claudius’ (Robert Graves) at the same gazebo last Sunday, when a black bear emerged from the brush. I was terrified.

He lumbered up, peered at the book cover, shook his massive head and muttered,” Din this guy stutter when he speaked? Clau.. Clau.. Claudius? God knows how he became Empewar. Guess you couldn’t get good help those days. Gotta go, the old lady is broilin’ salmon for lunch,” and he trundled back into the brush. I must have held my breath for a half hour there.

You should try Robert Graves. He is in the historical fiction genre and he’s a smashing read. It’s like making the farts and belches from historical figures sound interesting.

The gazebo and it’s hum is great for my reading. It is the only place where I can concentrate on reading and not think of sex at the same time. I go sit there around noon, with the early autumn leaves scattered around, dreams discarded. The sunbeams turn frisky, breaking up into orange, blue and pinkish red and I wonder. Why the pinkish orange and the blue? And why do the blotches appear in specific intervals all around? They form the corners of two squares, one bigger than the other, exactly at 90° to each other.

DSC07828 DSC07829 DSC07831Maybe it’s the chlorophyll, absorbing all the green and telling the ethnic minority colors to go take a hike. But wait, I must be wrong. The green is reflected back and that’s how we see leaves as green. The other colors are absorbed, no? Or are they halos, afterglows, coronas, sun dogs, scattering, bending beams or the result of the red wine in my backpack?

Wait, it is diffraction, isn’t it – white light breaking up into its constituent colors when it is made ta pass through a narrow gap or an edge? In this case, those gaps must be the edges of the leaves. Or is it the camera lens that’s doing this? Maybe it has measles or lupus butterfly rash? It probably does have something to do with my camera.

I am hoping some of my esteemed photographer friends reading this blog, will take a look and tell me what those blotches are.

Anyone who answers to my entire satisfaction, I’ll immediately wire a million into his bank account.