I generally don't like shooting flowers because I think that they're over-done. It was raining here in Baghdad and I was looking for something that would capture the event. I was really chasing the rain drops, not the flower.
I'm leaving in a couple of days, heading back home to my family in Atlanta. I expect to be back in Iraq sometime around the end of May for another stint with the media. Often while I'm home in the States I get the opportunity to travel to other places for the odd job. While that's all fine, I'm really looking forward to enjoying my time off.
Iraq will still be here when I get back, and no one really foresees any great change on the immediate horizon. I believe that the Sadr-ists will continue to fractionalize, and the violence will ebb and flow based on those relationships. Iraqi's will begin to maneuver in preparation for the upcoming Fall elections in this country. The U.S. military will begin it's downsizing as it redeploys units that were part of the initial surge, and will also draw up plans in preparation for the various outcomes of the U.S. presidential elections. The press will continue to hang in there, and as the security situation improves (or not) teams will get out more and the coverage will expand beyond what it is now. Embed opportunities will still exist but other interesting stories will become more accessible. Overall though, Iraq will be pushed to the back of the collective U.S. psyche as the nation gears up for the elections. The war will only be an issue insofar as it highlights the political differences of the candidates.