January 3, 2002
This morning I hiked along Poplar Creek to get winter scenics. No human had been there for at least a month, but there were plenty of deer and turkey tracks, and I even saw where a snowshoe hare had crossed the stream on a snow covered log across the water.
Eventually I walked up to a small beaver dam. There was open water above the dam. A tree limb rose out of the water, arcing gracefully until its branches touched the water's surface like spindly fingers. A drift of snow was on top of the limb and the arch of the limb and the snow were all reflected in the pond.
I tried to position my tripod to capture the limb and reflection on film. But the only way that I could make the composition work was to set the tripod up in the stream. Fortunately I had on a pair of high rubber boots. I stood on the ice, which promply cracked and sent me surfing down the ice into the water. I held on to the tripod legs and didn't go any further than mid calf into the water. It sounds worse than it was, the water was about 20 degrees warmer than the air.
I got the shot, which looked wonderful with the nearby woods framed under the arc of the tree and reflected in the water. What would improve the image is either sunrise light or a fresh snow clinging to the trees. I'll be back.
Right now there is a fair amount of pain and disappointment in my personal life. It's almost shocking to be able to go out and find a beautiful spot and experience a beautiful moment. It's healing to walk through Nature. It's the walk back that is tougher.