Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Repetitions, Again

It was officially spring this past week, and Saturday was one of the finest types of days that one could envision. It was warm enough for a t-shirt and yet cool enough to be so pleasant that wearing a light sweater was an option. With a sky of cool blue, grasses beginning to green up the pastures again, and trees wearing haloes of electric shades of chartreuse, it was lovely. It said spring was indeed here once more, and that is a good thing.

On a rainy day preceding this particularly lovely spring day, I was in need of an upgrade to my cell phone, but quickly I found that I had a problem because my phone was already stuffed full and had room for nothing more. The photo roll was the culprit, so this meant I needed to ditch some photos, and lots of them. I began scrolling the thousands of shots stuck on my phone and began hitting the delete button in ernest amazement at how many stupid shots were taking up all of this room. Quickly though as I scrolled, a pattern emerged as the years rolled by in a captured image progression.

With each spring, recorded in my phone over the past several years, I seem to have taken the same basic shots, over and over each year. In spring I have taken shots of the flowering trees, the camellias, the
garden cleaning out for summer,  and then through the summer with repeating shots of being at the beach, or the mountains. Then the fall shots come with the repetition of the leaves in color and the occasional snow angel drawn into the few rare snows.

Scattered through out these repeating shots are the succession of the dogs who have run through my life, my horses, various meals waiting to be served, lots of shots of blue washed skies draped with wispy clouds, and more recently are the additions of my grand daughters. But all are spaced through the time line in patterns of rhythms in predictable repetition. I have responded to these things by taking a photo, over and over and over, again. Like spring, here, again. Click, and its on my camera phone, again. It probably won’t take me long to fill the camera back up, and probably of the same subjects, again. There was one thing, however, that wasn’t on the repetitive illustrations of my world yet.

Behind our house this time of year the woods below us fill with water and the whole floor of the woods shimmers when the sun sets beyond it, casting long shadows of the still bare trees on the surface of the dark water. It is lovely from our vantage, but intimidating. Since we have lived on this property, now twenty years, there are some areas that we have never set foot on nor even seen, due to it being either, very hard too get through thick brush, or because of our fear of snakes, mosquitoes, bears, alligators, etc. Out of the blue the other day, Mark very bravely donned a tall pair of boots, headed down the hill, and went out into the water and woods with his camera and tripod. He returned an hour or so later as the sun was fading, quite excited about what he had found and said that the next day I should join him there in the woods.  

Reluctantly, based on the afore mentioned reasons to not go into a swamp, I followed him into the mid-boot high water. Snakes were on my mind, but it quickly became obvious that we were entering into an enchanting water world, despite the possibility of stepping on a slithery creature. Swamp irises and palmettos stood in bright green clumps and cypress trees grew tall and straight, surrounded by their rings of mysterious knees. A stand of birches lined the edge of the water to our left and their trunks were covered in papery bark of gorgeous pale pinks, salmon, and tans. We walked on further into the woods trying to not disturb the leaves that lay below the surface of the tannin stained water.

At one point we stopped to asses where we were relative to the house. I had a general idea which way it was was and it was amazing to see that even though, we had not gone terribly far, from where we stood, the house was obscured now. With no frame of reference, it was quite easy to imagine being lost for some time in here. There were only the tall trees in sunlit black water as far as we could see.  And we walked on, fairly stunned ad surprised at the size of this previously unknown water feature we had on the land. 

We came to an area where some of the trees stood much taller, way taller. Here the water was deeper on our boots and there were deep ruts still cut into the mud below these giants. These were the tracks of the loggers who had cut these woods to shreds well before we bought the place. Why the loggers, who cut with no discrimination, left these mega-giants standing, is any one’s guess but my guess is that the mud was too difficult to bring the larger trees out from. Whatever their motive for leaving them, I am glad to know that such giants are a stone’s throw from my back porch, even if I can’t see them from there.

There, probably, won’t be many more days that will be cool enough for me to be brave enough to go back in to see the swamp and its lovely trees without sharing the time with dragon sized mosquitoes and hefty snakes, but it’s great finding it’s there. For all of the years we have explored our land, that area was out of the way, and cleared trails led to other places more easily accessible. To find that we have a fifteen to twenty acre swamp that starts just below the back porch is pretty neat and it is always nice to find a surprise. Knowing there is a bit of wildness so close by is a wonderful thing.

And yes, I did take some pictures with my cell phone, but just not as many.