Sunday, June 4, 2017

Real Things

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I'm surprised it's been so long since I posted anything. I've been feeling like the blog has been winding itself down, and maybe it has. I can't tell yet if I just need to wait for the batteries to recharge, or if it's time to move on to some other weekend activity. I brought my camera up to Mt. Tam last week and photographed this flower spider on a yellow mariposa lily, and I set a camera trap in a spot where I plan to leave it all summer. Otherwise I've hardly touched a camera in weeks.

This morning I did a short hike with no camera at all, carrying nothing but a bottle of water. Down the Cataract Trail to the Mickey O'Brien Trail and Barth's Retreat. Onward to Potrero Meadow and Rifle Camp and back along the fire road and the Benstein Trail to Rock Spring. A quick two-hour stroll to experience a kind of beauty and divinity that can't be acquired or shared in a picture: the smell of plant resins in the air, the sound of wind blowing through the forest, trickling creekwater, clouds sailing across a blue sky, the soft surprise of new tanoak leaves, a lizard darting across dry leaves, the weight of a grappletail bending a stalk of grass, the orange and black symmetry of feathers on a northern flicker, the joy of hiking over earth strewn with rocks and roots. Real things, not just pictures that remind me of real things.

I didn't really miss not having a camera with me, but I did have the impression throughout my hike that I was moving too fast, covering terrain like a hiker instead of a photographer, practicing an unfamiliar art.

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