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Mother Nature Taketh....Mother Nature Giveth

I pass by the opening in the trees everyday, always slowing the car, hoping to see something interesting at the waterfall. It was the time of year where the rising sun would peek through the branches downstream spreading its golden glow over the crest of the waterfall and down along the stonewall on the waterfall’s right side. The Pickerelweeds growing just at the edge of the upstream reservoir were growing back strong. Several storms earlier in the year had turned their leaves from a lush green to a soggy dull brown. The scene I had been waiting for was coming together!

As I drove by this mid-summer morning, the rays of the sun lit up the Pickerelweeds and stonewall, leaving the waterfall and everything on the left in shadow. In the small sun lit opening between the Pickerelweeds and stonewall stood, a Blue Heron! This was the shot!

As is so often the case with “drive-by” photography, by the time I stopped the car, grabbed the camera and got back to the scene, the Blue Heron was gone. With the weekend coming I resolved to come back when I had more time where I could wait to see if the scene would repeat itself.

The day the Heron flew off, another storm would come through the area. As fate would have it, the winds from the storm caused a large maple tree to come crashing down on the waterfall. Scene gone! My hopes were that the tree would be cut up and pulled out soon, revealing whether or not the Pickerelweeds had been damaged again.

Two weeks would go by before that tree would be removed. The following morning, I showed up early and ready to shoot. After setting up the camera I backed away from the scene, remote in hand. If the Heron were to come back I did not want to scare it away. I waited. Not only did the Heron fail to show, but also, the sun's path had changed enough to leave the small opening and the stonewall in shadow.

Not quite ready to call it a morning, I decided to see if I could find another shot in this scene. I found that the reservoir had an abundance of lily pads growing just behind the Pickerelweeds. As the sun slowly lifted into the morning sky the flowers on the lily pads gradually opened to reveal a cluster of bright yellow stamens. I focused in on an interesting group of lily pads with a single flower yet to open. I setup the camera positioning the flower in the lower right of my composition and then I waited, and waited and waited. After about 15 minutes, I decided to wander around looking around for any other possible scenes while this one continued to unfold. From my new vantage point I was now looking down at the Pickerelweeds, instead of looking up at them from the bottom of the waterfall. It was then that I saw it! The sunlight was hitting the crest of the waterfall creating a line of light in the water right behind a single Pickerelweed. With a little maneuvering of the camera and tripod I had a diagonal line cutting through my new composition. To one side of my diagonal, the water at the bottom of the waterfall would be out of focus. To the other side, the flower, the stem and the water flowing over the crest would be in focus. Click! Picture taken!

What else did I take home from this experience? A very valid reminder that even though mother nature may take away the composition you have worked on so long, she will give you another one if you are open to looking at what else is around you.  

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