Oh, but this is a lovely bit of writing about a social network I use most every day but never thought about all that much. I like Instagram, too. (I live here.) A lot. But up until this chilly rainy morning I'd never stopped to wonder why.

First of all, it's the one network that made me realize I love taking pictures. My husband likes what I do with small, everyday things like metal fences, wild flowers and  sunrises. He thinks it's poetic the way I find beauty in these small, oft-overlooked things. The things most people never see as they go about their busy day.

I have been cursed - or blessed, I go back and forth on this - with a freakishly weird ability to see everything. I walk into a room and right away I notice paintings that hang crookedly. I notice bad breaks between scenes in movies all the time. I notice when someone's paint job was not done with the proper rollers. I can see details most people miss. I spot flecks of dust everywhere. In many ways it's a great gift, as it allows me to be successful in visual media arts. But it's also a curse because I can't turn it off, see, and sometimes I wish I wasn't noticing quite so many details...

But Instagram gives me an outlet for the results of this freakishly weird curse. And since my pictures appear to bring pleasure to a few people, that makes it alright.

I also like to take pictures of interesting plates I sometimes make in my effort to bring colour and joy to my diet. It's kind of silly to take pictures of your food, right? I agree. And yet, those are invariably my most popular ones. So there. Check out this vegan ice cream, will you? It positively glistens with goodness,

Something else: Instagram has made me realize that you don't need a very big, expensive camera to take interesting pictures. Most of what I take is shot with a small device (iphone 5, ipod 5; the pictures I take while I'm out jogging are captured with a beat-up old iphone 4). I wish I had enough money to buy the camera gear I drool over, but I can't justify that expense right now so I make i-photography work for me and practice my composition skills so that when I do get my grubby hands on my dream gear I will be better able to make it sing.

So there. Keep the pictures coming, Instagrammers.