Going through my 2014 images folder, I’ve been tossing shots I know I’d never use to make more room on my hard drive. It’s a good thing … I’ve discovered a few I will have to go back and work on. I came across a couple of intimate landscapes from May and they lifted my spirits. If you are feeling the dull-drums of winter maybe they will help you to remember spring is right around the corner too!
When it started snowing one morning a few weeks ago I headed out with my camera … to remedy my cabin fever if nothing else! I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going and traveled quite a few miles looking for something to call out to me. I checked out several of my usual spots for something special happening in the gray and snowy, winter lighting. Finally I found myself at a spot where some white pine trees grow. The trees, planted neat and orderly are something one doesn’t see often in the Pinelands where I live and being a bit of a ‘neat freak’ they spoke to me. Not wanting the fun to end I went to a second location not too far from the first and photographed there as well. Providing some shelter from the snow and wind, it was very quiet and being among the pine trees gave me a feeling of peace. I have often said that I find my spiritual inspiration in nature and this was an experience that certainly supported my belief. These studies, about pattern, texture and repetition are just the beginning. I hope to return in different light conditions to explore more photographic possibilities among these peaceful pines.
The title sounds like the beginning of one of Aesop’s Fables but what I’m blogging about is a day trip to Island Beach State Park, New Jersey. A friend and I had a fun day photographing the foxes and searching for the elusive snowy owls who winter on this natural, barrier island. I am really not much of a wildlife photographer and my full-frame camera and 400mm lens are often not enough in terms of magnification … but I do have fun trying and watching animal behavior. I will admit, photographing the foxes was like taking candy from a baby! They stood out in the road greeting us while begging for food … an unnatural behavior brought on by those who don’t know they shouldn’t feed wild animals. We hiked the beach relentlessly, getting in quite a bit of exercise while searching for a snowy, without success. Then, just when we were about to give up we got word that two had been seen 30 minutes before, just down the beach. We hurried to the spot and there they were, on either side of our trail! They were quite far away but their bright white color made them stand out against the cloudy sky. Slowly and quietly we approached a small group already photographing the closest owl and began clicking our shutters. When some people scared it away we followed it to the next parking area. This time my friend and I were able to get closer and each time the owl turned its head I inched nearer. Unfortunately this owl must have been very tired as it didn’t open it’s eyes once, even though it appeared to be keeping a watch on us and the area. It really was a thrill being able to see them in the wild, even if I didn’t get the capture I would have liked.