Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mother Nature's Wonders

I love nature.  I love being in it, viewing it, listening to it, breathing it in.  Being in the middle of nowhere in Missouri, I get to see all sorts of nature, and I fall in love every day with something new.  I guess this is a huge portion of why I love playing photographer.

It's always a constant compromise between my eyes and the cycloptic eye of my lens.  I see what it doesn't.  It sees what I don't.  Somewhere in the middle, between the 2 of us, we compromise.  And it's always nice when Mother Nature's kind enough to bless me with the right lighting, the right humidity, the right moments.  Like this one....

This was taken this weekend on our weekend of playing hookey.  I have a basement that still needs to get finished and the finish is so close that I can almost touch it.  Except I'm tired of it.  I have weeds (as evidenced by this past week's Friday Moment) that have taken over my yard, and it needs to be mowed.  They are so tall at this point that I heard them calling my name all weekend from where ever we happened to be.  BUT...I've found a love with my camera that makes all the shit, and the world around it, palpable.  I don't know if this is something that real photographers (i.e. those that make money off of their photos) feel, or if, for them, it's just another job.  I just know that pointing and shooting (regardless of whether the shots end up being good or bad), make life outside of my camera lens the rest of the week livable.

HOWEVER, with the good I get from pictures comes Mother Nature's less than stellar points. Take this weekend as an example.

Hot enough that the thought of crawling out of the A/C in the truck about made me want to cry.  The humidity on top of the hot...made me want to fall on my camera like a sword.  Except I would have broken the camera.  And it makes a really shitty sword.

I am not a girly girl.  I don't mind working.  I don't mind sweating.  I don't even mind that, by the time the day is done, I am the human equivalent of a walking fly strip.

This weekend.  Buckets.  Lots and LOTS of buckets.  Sunday in particular.

We went with a destination in mind....Turner Mill and Spring.  It was a sign for a river access point that we had seen in previous drives.  After driving so long into the hills and hollers of Missouri and feeling like we were going to hear banjos any second, we finally reach the parking lot for the river access.  Once there we decide it prudent that we hit the Park Service's idea of a toilet.  Trust me when I say...the only thing missing was the half moon cut out in the door.  This bit accomplished, we decide to head for the trail head that we had seen as we were driving in.  So we spray down with the bug spray, and head on our way.  And on our way.  And on our way. AND....on our way.  The good portion (read that as, the part the people actually walked in the last 100 years) ended up at an abandoned 1 room school house.  Interesting.  NOT my destination.

We look ahead at the trail and decide that we'll keep going.

I mean I had SEEN pictures of the damned place the night before on the internet.  I knew it was there! 

This part of the trail I was convinced hadn't been walked since the Native Americans had roamed the area.  Until we came across what can only be called an outhouse.  *cue banjos*  The husband him opens the door, and it says "National Park Service".  Ok...so maybe it had been walked since the Native Americans, and this bathroom totally makes the one in the parking lot 5 stars of awesomeness!

By now, we decide that turning around is probably a pretty good idea.

Another 1/2 hr or so and we finally arrived back to the parking area.  Feeling defeated because our destination was going to require more research into directions and a subsequent second trip; not to mention the heat beating me like a red headed step child who's hair was only red because of a bottle.....all I wanted was to collapse into a puddle on the truck seat.  Never to be seen or heard from again.  Just a puddle of sweat and the camera as evidence that I ever existed.

I am literally reaching the for the door handle and the husband him (who'd decided to circle the long way around the parking lot to the truck) yelled "Over here".

Dammit!

"What?" I say as I'm panting, shaking, and dripping enough sweat to drown a school of lost and demented fish.

"It's over here"

Fuck!

"Awesome.  Just in time for me not to give a fuck."

How fucking clueless were we?  Oh!  But, you have NO idea.  NEITHER of us had seen, right next to the bathrooms that we had used, before we started off on the hour hike into the middle of the forest, a sign that said, clear as day, "Spring --->".

Son of a bitch.

I don't handle heat well.  Las Vegas ruined that for me.  I was in bad shape.  I am too fucking stubborn to quit once I start something, heat or no heat.  I will literally go until I make myself sick.

I know.

Stupid.

I know.

Dumb.

I know.

Idiotic.

I know!

I always say, "I'll never do that again."

I don't listen to myself very well.

At this point.....I'm on the verge of collapse, and I'll be fucked.  There's the fucking spring!  Loud as a fucking freight train (with a damned sign) and we still missed it.

I finally manage to get to the edge (of the spring, not a cliff), collapse on a rock next to the outflow in the cave and it's like I walked into the Arctic.  The temperature dropped.  The air cleared of humidity.  I started to feel human again.  I stared scooping water over myself that was easily 45 to 50 degrees cold and it was better, in that moment, than any shower.  Mother Nature beat the shit out of me, and then saved me.  And it was beautiful!

Don't believe me?  Fine!  Tell me what you think?





Mission accomplished!  Sort of.  I have to go back when there is better light on the falls.  The sun was playing havoc with the direct sunlight and the shadows for a full shot of the whole falls.  

Anywho...we get done and decide that lunch is a good idea.  We get to a Subway and sit down to eat, and my stomach itches.  I don't think anything of it.  Until it itches again.   I'm thinking the flap areas where the pants button together is pinching at my belly button.  I lift up the hem of my shirt only to find......
....one of Mother Nature's ticks, apparently, decided it was time for him to dig in for some lunch too.

In.

My.

Bellybutton.

FUCKER!

Mother Nature win's again!

Dammit.

Jewell  =)  xo

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