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For-Mar Photography Club – September

Actually have a bit of a story to tell with this time around.  It seems not all boots are created equal.  For-Mar photography club is a nature photography club.  Sometimes nature gets the upper-hand.

The Saturday for this month it was kind of dreary outside.  A slight mist was in the air and it seemed to almost want to rain.  It had rained previously throughout the early morning hours of the day.  After missing submitting a photo from the past month, I was determined to turn something in this month.  The theme; “Something which tells a story.”  Well, I can never remember quite what they are, but it was something along those lines.

So as usual, I started my trek through For-Mar looking for a shot.  I was not sure what I would find and I did not have anything in mind at the time.  I picked a random trail and started down it.  Almost immediately, I took my first shot.

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This was the first shot of a few.  Pretty generic I thought and I have seen similar.  The web was not the nicest but I liked how the twig twirled around.  Later that day, or the day after, a similar photograph was linked in a received email showing examples.  After seeing something similar given as an example, I did not feel right submitting this one.  No worries, I had others.

This leads to the second photograph, and one I thought I would use.  It was a very subtle photograph and I do love subtlety.  It was a photograph of tiny prints in the sand heading to/from the water.  In the end, I just never quite developed the fondness I thought I would for the photograph.  At the time, honestly, I had liked it very much.  After seeing it on the monitor, I just found it to be OK, in my opinion.  Perhaps it is because the water is so green, you cannot tell it is water in the background.  Maybe it is the flowers in the foreground which are too distracting.  Either way, I ruled this one out.

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Now we come to the story.  The story about eggs, boots, and the wrath of nature.  This next shot, is when I spotted something from the trail.  The trail which was about 12 feet above the stream below.  Did I mention about all the raining?  So anyways, I spotted something from the trail above.  It was white, and round, and I thought it was an egg and would be a totally perfect shot.  I was wearing some Dr. Martens and while they are not a true outdoor boot, they do have some tread on the bottom.  I began my descent and was sure to test my footing as I made my way down the hill.  What did I find at the bottom.  Was it my dream egg?  Did I capture the photograph I wanted?

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Nope!  Psych!  Someones cruel joke.  Behold the Golf Ball!  I was seriously thinking about turning this photograph in.  The Golf Ball in For-Mar.  I thought it may have a good story behind it.  How did it get here, in the woods, down by the stream?  Well, it was not what I thought it was, but still took a photograph for laughs.  Little did I know the joke would be on me.

Now, going down that hill was not a problem.  No slippage at all.  I really did not see what was coming.  Going up the hill proved to be a bit more… nearly impossible.  It all happened in stages and I thought at each point I was safe…. I was wrong.  Going up the hill, about 1/3 of the way up, I ran into my first slippage problem.  My boots would not dig into the ground.  The trees to grab onto were still up ahead of me.  I was carrying the umbrella and my camera and had come to a complete stop.  Thinking about my situation, I picked up my foot I did not have my weight on, and slammed it into the ground hoping to dig in.  It did not, but I did not know yet.

As I slowly started to put weight onto my front foot in the new position, at the same time, I lost traction with my rear foot.  In a slight panic I put all my weight into the newly placed front foot and brought the rear foot forward.  While the rear foot was in mid-air, the front footing gave.  There was no traction at all in this hard and slick mud.  I ended up biting it and taking a knee.  Here I thought the worst was over… again I was wrong.

Now with one knee down, I was still trying to gain any traction with my feet.  Moving very slowly, trying to replace my footing and also while thinking about the next move, I again began to slide backwards down the hill in the mud.  At this point I tossed the umbrella and reached my arm and hand out and clawed into the mud.  Yet again, it was not enough and I kept sliding backwards.  With the shift in body weight, I put myself in a worse situation.  I ended up with my leg completely down, my hand and arm completely down, but now, without anything else to support me, and still losing traction and slipping in odd ways, my chin and camera hand had to go down just to stop me from moving.

The camera ended up impacting the ground slightly, but not enough to do any damage to the camera body, lens, or lens hood which all made contact.  At last, with a leg, and arm and hand, and chin all on the muddy ground, I was stopped.  Still, I needed to get back up the hill or I would be forever alone at the bottom of the hill with the water.  After collecting some of my thoughts and hoping no one would find me in this strange position all muddied up, I first looked over the camera to be sure all was fine.  Then quickly jumped up and leap ahead to the nearest tree which I could grab.  Risky, yes, but the slow way obviously was not working.

The umbrella was not very far away and while holding onto the tree, I grabbed the umbrella.  The umbrella I carry is a rather large one, about three or four feet long.  There was not another tree I could easily reach, so decided to use the umbrella like a walking stick, digging the pointed end of the umbrella into the ground and pulling against it.  This seemed to work since I was able to get to the next tree and grab on.  From there, I was able to go from tree to tree and climb my way out back up to the path.

In the end, I ended up covered with a bit of mud.  No bruising to myself, no damage to the camera, and none to the umbrella.  The morale of this story is this:  “Do not go chasing eggs… only a muddy humiliation awaits!!”  haha  All this hassle for a Golf Ball which should not even be there.  If you think any of this deterred me from continuing, you are wrong.  I found other things, such as leaves which were so shiny and wet they looked like tinfoil from afar.  A bee going from flower to flower.  Also, I found a brave little turtle trying to sun-tan but came out on the wrong day.

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After this eventful day, I did not feel any of the photographs I had taken would fit the theme given.  I decided to go out again later in the week and headed over to Richfield park.  The day I chose, it was not rainy.  It was nice and warm.  In fact, a bit too warm.  I ended up with about six mosquito bites and I honestly believe they were out the most I have seen all year.  Every time I looked down I seen one on my arm.  It was crazy.

I was hoping to find something with a bit more history while at Richfield Park.  I think I started taking photographs of things I wanted to take photographs of and completely forgot why I was out there originally.  Other than the bugs, it was an extremely nice evening and just walking around looking at everything was quite relaxing.

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After taking numerous shots and completely forgetting why I was out there walking around, on the way walking back to the car, I seen something which jogged my memory. It was what I was out there for and what I wanted for a photograph. It ended up being the one I submitted this month. While walking back to the car, this is what I seen.

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