I tried to resist this shot, but the dogs had disappeared and I was waiting for them to return. Our newish lab still gets a bit distracted. She had this odd sort of hum and danced in place then silently disappeared into the wilderness when I turned to rest and take in the view. I should know better. It was the first time they’ve run off, and I hate the idea of letting a couple of dogs loose on a unsuspecting habitat, especially one as new as this. This all sounds unspeakably PC, but I can’t help it- our terrier mutt still is strong with the ‘bite heads off small animals’ reflex. So, hoarse from yelling for them, and unable to climb further in the growing dark, I waited and ultimately took the damn picture. So, maybe the cloud break represents a break in this small example of my effort to contain what I’ve opened, started, begun, and not kept in check. I’m constantly coming to grips with where my responsibilities lie, and need to stop surprising myself with it with these postcard lapses into automation. Hopefully the shot is spared prettiness by the foreground mess and devastation but I’m finding the more involved I get in the routine of this project, the shakier my judgment gets.
How much more must this poor landscape endure.
The dogs and I made another trip up this miniature mountain and I had a another silent… remark… about the difficulty of it. I noticed the recently planted and flagged seedlings are mostly confined to the logging road in- the inclines are left for natural progressions to fight over. Even in the roads, it must be a struggle for the seedlings against the burgeoning alder. This spot has great southern exposure so it’ll be quite a show to see the alder come up so quickly. A reliable way to find old roads if you’re lost out here somewhere is to seek out and and follow the stripes of alder back to civilization.
I notice my work is trending dark, and low-fi. There’s a chronic dusk in this threadbare economic environment; if not so much a nuclear winter then a wherewithal winter, and the uncertain shadows and bony periphery seem to suit it.
So I thought that thinking about what to do and where to go with this project might be much easier at the lake…especially at dusk way in tight with an ancient wide angle… just punish the lens when you’ve nothing else to say. The lake was at a time central to the area’s industry, a sort of catch basin for all that is profitable, and exhaustible. Also regrettably a basin for hydraulic fluid, diesel… It’s a similarly abused source of inspiration, though my pollution is symbolic at best, hack.
Often an outfit will punch a road in an impenetrable wall of growth like this and pluck out a few acres’ worth. It leaves a tidy forested road, a shell around the activity. To stop and listen is unearthly, an claustrophobic orchestration of whistle toots, chainsaws and diesel motors on par with the density of vegetation. Like straining to see in the dark, open your eyes all you want but there’s no seeing.
I’ve been experimenting with splitting the 5×12 frame to 2.5 x 12. I ought to try to get two shots on one sheet of film but, in true frontier spirit, I think I’ll just take my half out of the middle.
I’m always surprised when I start scrambling up one of these inclines how much work it is. Not so much the climb as the scurrying over the 1000 acre basket weave of limbings, windfall and rot that is the ground cover. It looks innocent enough from the ground. It’s not unusual to have a entire leg disappear into a rotted-out stump cavern or keyhole a foot in a tangle of limbs and trip spectacularly every other step. Due to the sudden and dramatic changes in… orientation, I really have to cinch my pack down tightly so it doesn’t accidentally sail over my head and knock me unconscious, so that makes breathing a bit harder, and I have a nasty habit of getting a bit careless as I tire out. Even bringing the dogs along to trail blaze isn’t much help, they tend to fall in behind and get closer and closer until I hear clop of our Lab’s jaw; she is so close that I’m actually clipping her in the chops with a heel on each step. I’m not sure if they are worried that I’ll somehow abandon them there, or if they’re just drafting, but only a moment or two after making her back off I hear the soft clop…clop..clop.
So, this plant a flag shot. The effort, or at least the spectacle of it, seemed to demand it.