April 7, 2018

Sunny, 21 Degrees, Calm Winds.

The temperature is shocking this morning as Jamie and I leave the house, but it is a beautiful day. The sky is crystal clear and, as we turn the corner and head East into the sun, it immediately warms my body. It’s a day to rejoice in being outdoors.

When we arrive at the woods, the sun is streaming through the trees on the road and it looks pretty photogenic through the viewfinder. When we move into the woods, there are birds calling everywhere. A cardinal sits in the top of a tree and calls repeatedly. Robins join him from lower branches. All of nature seems to be alive.

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I don’t photograph much on the upper level, just keeping my eyes open for anything that attracts them. I keep an eye on the skys too, hoping to catch some birds in flight. A flight of three ducks arrow overhead without a sound, but they are moving too fast and don’t make a peep, so I don’t see them until it’s too late.

Moving down the hill, the sun is streaming through the woods as I descend. It’s quite pretty, but I doubt it will photograph well. Still, I take a number of frames and hope for the best. Today I want to relax and not put too much pressure on the photography. I’m very happy to be out this morning, and that’s the important thing.

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The squirrels have been busy digging up the Hickory nuts.

When we reach the little Pine grove that begins the area where I can see across the marsh to the copse of trees across the way, again it’s beautiful with the pure sunshine streaming down. I take a number of frames in hopes of catching something worthwhile. I don’t expect much, but it’s beautiful to the naked eye and I can hope.

I’m using the Sony NEX-7, which I’m coming to appreciate more and more for its light weight and compactness, but its viewfinder doesn’t give me much of a feel for the finished image. I have to trust my eyes and compose as best I can through the viewfinder, hoping for the best later.

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As I head up the trail, a huge Sand Hill Crane sweeps in from the North, then swings back around to land in the marsh. It doesn’t make a sound, so I’m lucky to have seen it. It’s not far off, but it’s so low that the trees obscure it and I can’t get a decent shot off. Oh how I wish I could. They are majestic birds and it is close enough for me to get good images if the trees didn’t intervene. Nonetheless, it’s a special thing to see. I’ve never seen this before on my walks.

I have been struck of late with the fact that these woods and this walk have so much to offer that I can walk here every day and still see beautiful things. I’ve been going to other places recently, and it’s exciting at first, but there are few places that have the richness and variety of this place, even though it’s such a small place.

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I’m liking these shots of the road.

From there, we pretty much hike out and head home. I stop to take several shots on the road again. I’ve been getting some interesting new compositions of the road recently, and I want to try some new things. I’ve been using the long lens and shooting off-center in the road to get new relationships between the woods along the road and the distant tunnel into which the road disappears. I like what I see in the viewfinder.

Much like yesterday, I awoke with the feeling that I need to take a break from the relentless pressure to photograph and make beautiful images. I am getting the feeling that if I keep pressing, I won’t be able to continue if I break. But putting less pressure on myself, and the beauty of simply walking in the woods refreshed me, and I’m okay again, at least for the moment.

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