Saturday, April 11, 2009
All photos Assiniboine Forest, Winnipeg, MB. April 10, 2009.
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After a long couple of weeks, where M and I were both over-committed and then, predictably, both sick with one of Aa's new-kid-in-town colds, I finally had a bought-and-paid-for writing day.
Except I was too tired to write, so I spent the morning reading and swilling cup after cup of tea. And then, after driving M to work, I decided to spend the hours between the drop-off and Aa's pick-up from childcare in Assiniboine Forest.
I anticipated that the forest would be wet, given that the floodplain that is Winnipeg et environs is currently, well, flooded and the fact that forest, specifically, has poor drainage.
All of which meant that I needed the BIG boots.
For some reason, as an family we have one pair of knee-high boots and a pair that look like hiking boots that end at the ankle. Oh, and now thanks to the flood and M's newspaper job, we now have chest waders.
Basically, as I dropped M off, I told him that if he needed to puddle jump in the name of his job, it would have to be in the waders. And then I floored it out of the parking lot.
Anyways, I was ten minutes into my walk in the forest, clumping along in the BIG boots, when I spied a cluster of mushrooms on a log in the middle of one of the semi-frozen ditches to either side of the path.
Being intrepid but none too bright, I shimmied down the length of the icy log, holding onto branches on either side. And then there was the three feet between where I was standing and the clump of mushrooms, with no intervening branches.
But I have good balance, right?
I wound up with one leg through the ice to one side of the rather slippery log, to an inch of the top of the boots. With my camera in one hand and my bag sliding around at my hip, I was not especially agile, but did manage to get back on the log around where the mushrooms were without getting too wet.
And then I tried to turn on the log so I was facing the mushrooms. And I toppled over.
So my bum was wet, the sweater tied around my waist was wet, the scarf tied to the strap of my bag was wet. But given all my layers, I wasn't sopping and, after I winched myself up, I got the shot.
And I was only ten minutes into my walk. No way was I going to haul myself home on what was my first walk in the forest in weeks (brutal nasty long weeks, too...).
I was mostly dry by the time I picked up Aa. And I'd gotten in a full complement of shooting emerging and withered mushrooms...as well as a full complement of ill-wishing various dog walkers, who squawked loudly while their off-leash dogs pawed me and pooped off-path (i.e in the nature).
Instead of haranguing the dogs and their walkers, which is sometimes M's wont, I pointedly ignored them and tried to pretend I was all alone in the glorious space that is the forest.
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In other forest-related news, I'm contemplating getting greeting cards made from some of my forest photos.
M helped me to choose two sets of four from the 136 assembled for the screening at the Cinematheque a few weeks back. I thought it would be difficult, but it only took a few minutes.
We narrowed it down to 38 and then spent a minute or two looking at them.
And then M pointed to a favourite of his, which featured a highly textured white mushroom. And then it seemed natural to pair that with a picture that could also be described as 'highly-textured' and 'white' but this second image was of a tree mushroom as opposed to a ground mushroom and therefore a completely different shape.
Having quickly assembled four 'white' images, we thought ourselves done. But before closing Photo Mechanic, I pointed to a favourite image of mine, which happened to be predominantly orange.
And so we repeated the exercize and had four 'orange' images.
Now I have to decide how many to make and where I'd like to try to sell them.