Smiling Flower Photo in a Swamp

By PF Staff in Favorite Photos on Dec 8, 2012

Two years ago, I was out in a swamp up behind Berea, Kentucky. It was in the 90+ F degree range. Humidity was somewhere between 50 and 80 percent. Mosquitoes! My blood sings to mosquitoes. A nod here to Twilight.

Why was I out with my K20D and gear on such a day, in such an area?

For weeks I had planned for a day on a weekend, off work time.  Every single time, something.  Electrical storms, rain storms, or, of a sudden had to be somewhere else.  My stubborn streak flared up.

Finally, a day in middle August.  I left from Lexington.  Early.  Traveled about fifty miles.  Even being early in the morning, it was warm and very humid.  I began sweating immediately.  And my blood sang a siren's call to the mosquitoes.  I was ready.  40% DEET.  Head to toe.  Wards off ticks as well.  Works great.  And it was interesting having a cloud of insects hovering around me for the next four hours.

I took nearly a hundred photos.  A few were OK.  By the time I was ready to give up, I was soaked up to my bottom.  Had stepped on a snake.  Torn flesh from briars and saw grass.  I was very, very tired, hot, thirsty.  And disappointed.

As I was walking out, something from the corner of my eye.  Delayed reaction.  I had walked about five more steps.  Stopped, went back, bent down, and took one close up photo.  I didn't really know why I bothered to go back and take a photo.

I arrived at my Tacoma truck.  Air conditioning! A cooler with ice cold water!  Then went home.  Too tired to process the photos when I arrived home.  And I believed the day was a bust.

A few days later after work, I transfer the photos to my computer.  Many were deleted.  Then, the last one.  Full-size view on my 21 inch screen.  I was stunned.  I loved it right away.  Vindication.  I loved the raw photo.  Then I spent a long time processing and tweaking it.  Until it looked the way I saw it in my head.  To me it is beautiful.  To others that have seen it, the reactions ranged from, "un, it's ok", to "lovely, may I have a copy".  But, when I look at it, like now, I see a whole lot more.  I see and feel that day.  And, I see the Cheshire cat grinning it me.  As if sharing a great big joke.


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