Friday, August 19, 2016

Of Meeting Mermaids (and helping animals)

Urban Mermaid
So yesterday I posted about the mermaid I saw in Baltimore. I promised that today I would write more about it.

I was standing in a line with my son waiting for a facility to open. I saw her in 90 degree heat walk to the tree on the city block on a small grass hill. She removed her pants and underneath were very small shorts. She greased her legs and slid into the costume methodically and with skill. You could tell she has done this many times before. After about 10 minutes, she just sat there waving at people. Most barely gave her a glace and I felt as if I were an audience of one. 

The doors opened and the line started moving. I got my son situated and ran back outside. I had already taken the shot I posted yesterday, but I wanted to know the story. I came out there and she was still virtually ignored. I had my camera in hand. I walked up and said hi and we exchanged some really corny fish puns. I then gestured to my camera and asked, "May I?"

She said of course I may. I knelt, I squatted, I stood. I took several shots from several angles. Suddenly, she was no longer alone. My paying attention and using my camera I found myself in a small crowd of people taking pictures of her with their cell phones.

When I was done, I said thank you and she asked me for my card. How did she know this is what I do and how did she know I would have a card? We exchanged cards and talked briefly. She is a model. There was a reason why she was there. 

She, and others, model as mermaids to help sea life. When she is not at the National Aquarium in Baltimore with the wildlife rescue team helping sea turtles and seals, she is supporting the Orphaned WIldlife Rescue Center in Lusby helping baby squirrels and owls. 

She makes mermaid appearances in exchange for donations to the National Aquarium animal rescue and conservation programs. 100% of all the donations goes to the work her and the other mermaid's do this on a volunteer basis.

I saw something others ignored at the time as she sat there in the hot summer city sun hoping to generate interest. I stopped long enough to hear her story and take some pictures. That drew a small crowd of people. We briefly shared whimsy and story. It would be wrong for me to post pictures and tell the story without honoring her story. 

If I lived in Baltimore, I would summon her and the other mermaids for the mother of all shots for a gallery showing to contribute to their cause. I cannot do that. But I can go to their site and buy a shirt and make myself and others aware. I can also invite you who read this story to contribute. There are three ways I would like to invite you to be part of the story. 

1. Like and share the f*** out of this.

3. Buy a high quality print of this photo or yesterday's photo (which I am posting baelow to make it simple). I will donate 100% of the proceeds of your purchase to the Wildlife Rescue and Bay Conservation through the Chesapeake Mermaids so they get the proper credit.  To buy a print from me, you need to switch to desktop mode. When you do that, underneath the photo on my blog you will see a small icon that says' buy print'. Click that, choose the size you want and if you want it framed. The shots are formatted to look best in 8x10 or 16x20. Yesterday's shot in more artistic and today's is simple and clean and friendly. I chose that one by design because that was the most true to the mermaid I met. The woman who sat in 90 degree heat for her passion that I hope we can all share and honor.

Thank you in advance for your donation directly to them, or your purchase, or at least sharing this.

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