An easy wildlife experience? That’s definitely the goal. Sometimes it happens but there’s often a wrinkle so it turns out different than I expect.
I was bemused by a comment from fellow blogger 23thorns who was teasing me this week. He said:
“It’s tempting to think your photography must be easy in winter, what with all your subjects being conveniently located at the end of a nice, easy-to-follow dotted line through the snow.”
Funny guy! I’m guessing he has far more experience with humour than with snow in South Africa! But it sounded like an excellent theory. I headed out to the country and sure enough I found snow. Lots of snow. Whole fields covered with deep snow. The trouble was I was missing the one thing necessary to test his theory – wildlife tracks. I couldn’t even get to the beginning of the process! The crazy part is I don’t think I have ever seen such a vast expanse of undisturbed snow.
Prairie photographers learn to adapt and hope for good things to happen. I started walking out on the snow wondering if global warming was ever going to send us polar bears. Sinking in the snow quickly brought me back to the present. It reminded me that the snowshoes were safely stored in the garage.
Undeterred, I plowed through more snow that was up to my knees and, occasionally, nearly to my waist. My wandering led me to some interesting formations in the snow. The fun part was that when I wanted a lower perspective, I just flopped down in the soft snow.
One time the snow was deeper and softer. With my camera in one hand, I tried to stand up but the snow felt like quick sand. I struggled to get my feet underneath me with the aid of only one arm. This turned out to be my wildlife experience – a momentary feeling of helplessness like a flipped turtle on the beach. Thankfully it didn’t last long.
Tomorrow I’m hunting for dotted lines.