Snow Geese blasting off from farm field at sunrise, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio NM, January 1, 2017

Rising With the Sun

Fog Bank and Snow Geese, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, San Antonio NM

January 1, 2017

Serendipity is My Friend

I see an interesting fog bank lit by the rising sun, raise the camera to capture it, and up pops a cloud of Snow Geese perfectly mirroring the fog bank to complete the picture. How cool is that!


Serendipity means a "fortunate happenstance" or "pleasant surprise". It was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754. In a letter he wrote to a friend, Walpole explained an unexpected discovery he had made by reference to a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. The princes, he told his correspondent, were "always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of". The notion of serendipity is a common occurrence throughout the history of scientific innovation such as Alexander Fleming's accidental discovery of penicillin in 1928, the invention of the microwave oven by Percy Spencer in 1945, and the invention of the Post-it note by Spencer Silver in 1968.

In June 2004 a British translation company voted the word to be one of the ten English words hardest to translate. However, due to its sociological use, the word has since been exported into many other languages.


Happy New Year!