Milpitas Camera Club Field Trip
Field Trip: Municipal Rose Garden/Rosicrutian Museum
Trip Date: April 26, 2008
Report Author: Scott Hinrichs
Report Date: April 28, 2008

Bugs and mummies on a tostada swimming in gravy.

Yes, dear fellow club members, another Milpitas Camera Club Dining/Shooting excursion has passed you by!

This Saturday, April 26 started out with two MCC members wedged into a narrow booth at the Bite-o-Wyoming hash house for breakfast. (Bite-o is the official sponsor of this yearís Milpitas Camera Club Olympic Eating Iron-Gut Competition.) Mike, of course, was working out for his big gravy-eating events at the upcoming Beijing Summer Olympics and I was sticking with my favored category, the Meat Mastication Marathon. Incidentally, I took a bronze in the í76 games, but Iím finding the young guys are too good for an old meat-mucker like me. Iíll keep going as long as I can because the competition gets in your blood.

After our mandibular workout, we drove to the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden and cinched our gear around our bulging bellies. Mike naively asked about how I would go about shooting the roses (most of which were off the peak of their pulchritude). His question made me laugh out loud.

"Roses? Roses! Who shoots roses?" I said sardonically. "What? Do I look like one of them pansy flower photographers?!! Iím here for the bugs, boy! ...the gol-darned vermin!"

A look of understanding washed over the face of my brother with the lens. "Oh! Insects! Letís get going!" He said joyfully, as he eagerly snapped his macro lens loudly into its bayonet seating.

I had forgotten that Mike was a notorious proponent of the phylum Arthropoda: of the subphylums of Hexopoda - the true bugs; Myriapoda - the millipedes and centipedes; and Chelicerata - the arachnids, spiders and scorpions. His chambered heart has a more than commodious capacity for the love of beings armored with chitinous exoskeletons, possessing articulated appendages in numbers of six, eight or a hundred, and scurrying about at the behest of their surging ventral nervous systems and dorsal hearts. Regardless of whether you are a thing that sees with compound eyes, or lays your eggs in the living bodies of your neighbors, or has a conspicuous ovipositor, or lives an openly symbiotic or parasitic lifestyle, you have a true friend in Mike - a man who loves all Proterozoic throwbacks just as he loves his fellow primates.

We saw the Rose Garden from the dirt-side up - the way it should be explored. Occasionally I would see Mike with his head above the rose canopy, but he also took to rooting in the grass and dirt inserting his macro lens behind the curtain of foliage to the place where the small creatures do their daily business. After a time, Karen dropped by and asked about the roses and I had to snap a few obligatory shots of the roses just to prove to people that I had been at the Rose Garden. (Iíve never taken a good picture of a damn rose - and I never will!)

An hour of more rooting passed as though it were seconds and it was nigh time to meet the other Karen at the Rosicrutian Museum in front of the pregnant hippopotamus.

We all decided to tour the museum this time and were pleasantly surprised at the museumís liberal camera policy - only flashes and tripods prohibited, but no limit on available light photos. We visited all the pharaohs and mummies and saw the fake tomb and, generally, had a very nice time at the museum. We capped off the experience with a 35-minute show in the Rosicrutian planetarium - it wasnít quite a seat-gripping experience, but some of us had a nice nap while the voice told us all about the Mithraic mythology and ancient astrology.

Three of us ended our pleasant afternoon at a nearby Mexican restaurant, crunching on tortilla chips slathered in delicious salsa and sharing the shade of a large tree on the open air patio.

Our excursion was a small but very enjoyable experience - too bad you missed the bugs, the mummies, the tortillas and the fun!

© 2008 S.R. Hinrichs