A recent snowfall drew me outside and, not wanting to drive in it, I went for a long walk in one of my favorite haunts, the County Grounds. I was amazed, not by the beauty of the landscape, which long experience has continually reaffirmed, but by how many people there were out there also enjoying it. More often than not, upon seeing me with my camera and tripod, I would hear the question repeated nearly verbatim: "Have you gotten any good pictures?" They are always well-intentioned but the implications seemed to be that it would be hard to miss and that I would be an incompetent fool not to have done so. I always smile and say something noncommittal like "I believe I might have."
One particularly enthusiastic fellow, after the inevitable question, added "There are some good ones over there," pointing up the hill where I was headed. As if photographs were simply out there like ripe apples waiting to be picked from the trees. And, indeed, I believe I did get a few good ones, at least good enough to share. Enjoy!
winter solstice story I wrote for Urban Wilderness: Exploring a Metropolitan Watershed.
I hope I was able to pick a few good apples, though some were probably not what my fellow travelers that day had in mind. Thoreau said, "The perception of beauty is a moral test." This is ever true in the urban wilderness and all the more reason to keep the little of it we have left to us.