Big Spring Trip – Autumn, 2013

For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life — the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.

-Claude Monet

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“Ageless Banks”

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“Amber Mists”

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“Changing Time”

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The Nature Photographer Does Not “Sleep-in”

It’s the day before Thanksgiving.  I was fortunate again to be able to have most of the week off of work.  This day I decided I would allow myself the uncommon treat of “sleeping in” and catching up on some rest, allow myself some down time.  I rarely do this and I think it helps to “turn off” every now and then to help slow down, to say, it is OK to not be productive.  So that was the plan, and I even stayed up pretty late.  Then, just a scant few hours after I shut my eyes, I hear a voice, far off.  Eventually I realize it was Sarah trying to convey some sort of message.  I believe she had to repeat herself no fewer than four times before I comprehended – “The weather guy is saying this may likely be one of the foggiest days in St. Louis history.”  She knows I am a sucker for a foggy day.  Because we live so far from many of the great nature scenes, more often than not, I cannot get to a destination before the typical morning ephemeration has burned down.  Figuring this would likely be the case on this particular morning, I almost said forget it, and went back to sleep.  But, as Sarah knew, I would definitely have kicked myself repeatedly if I at least did not get out and try.  If nothing else, the least I would get is a nice hike on a beautiful morning.  I chose the relatively close Castlewood State Park.  Sarah and I had recently tackled a particularly scenic trail with bluff views along the Meramec River, and I knew that a thick fog could be used well for a dramatic composition.  Here are a few images I’ve had the opportunity to process so far.  My “immortal thanks” to Sarah for waking me and to Mr. Whitman for his lines that follow.

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“Retrospection″
Technical details: Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM @ 116mm, ISO 100,  f/14, 1/10 sec

To think of time – of all that retrospection,

To think of today, and the ages continued henceforward.

Have you guess’d you yourself would not continue?

Have you dreaded these earth beetles?

Have you fear’d the future would be nothing to you?

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“The Beginningless Past″
Technical details: Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM @ 135mm, ISO 100,  f/13, 1/8 sec

Is today nothing? is the beginningless past nothing?

If the future is nothing they are just as surely nothing.

To think that the sun rose in the east – that men and women were flexible, real, alive – that everything was alive,

To think that you and I did not see, feel, think, nor bear our part,

To think that we are now here and bear our part.

Not a day passes, not a minute or second without an accouchement,

Not a day passes, not a minute or second without a corpse.

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“To Think of Time″
Technical details: Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 105mm, ISO 100,  f/14, 1/8 sec

To think the thought of death merged in the thought of materials,

To think of all these wonders of city and country, and others taking great interest in them, and we taking no interest in them.

To think how eager we are in building our houses,

To think others shall be just as eager, and we quite indifferent.

Slow-moving and black lines creep over the whole earth – they never cease – they are the burial lines,

He that was President was buried, and he that is now President shall surely be buried.

Currently I Dream…

“The trophy-recreationist has peculiarities that contribute in subtle ways to his own undoing.  To enjoy he must possess, invade, appropriate.  Hence the wilderness that he cannot personally see has no value to him.  Hence the universal assumption that an unused hinterland is rendering no purpose to society.  To those devoid of imagination, a blank space on a map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.  (Is my share in Alaska worthless to me because I will never go there?  Do I need a road to show me the arctic prairies, the goose pastures of the Yuckon, the Kodiak bear, the sheep meadows behind McKinley?)”

-Aldo Leopold-

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“Currently I Dream…″
Technical details: Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM @ 165mm, ISO 100,  f/13, 1.3 sec

A Foggy Day in the Missouri Ozarks

“Probably if our lives were more conformed to nature, we should not need to defend ourselves against her heats and colds, but find her our constant nurse and friend, as do plants and quadrupeds.”

-Henry David Thoreau-

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“Fog″
Technical details: Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM @ 200mm, ISO 100,  f/14, 1/8 sec