Apparently there are questions that have implied answers. I am learning this … slowly. My wife is quite helpful with advice.
These questions might include easy ones like:
- How are you?
- Are you keeping busy?
- How do you like my hair?
Acceptable answers are good, oh yes and … this could be awkward, but I seem to have forgotten the answer to the last one.
Since we just came back from spending two weeks in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, I am getting another question that might have an implied answer, “So how was the holiday?”
I have this sneaking suspicion that some people could miss every flight they booked, be bored spitless before contracting malaria on the third day and still look you straight in the eye and say it was a great holiday (vacation if you’re American).
Our memories of time periods are usually selective so we can often take one event and use that as a proxy for the whole time. That’s fine. But the truth is often more complicated. And like the ends of two magnets with the same polarity, I am instinctively pushed away from the superficial.
We did had a dream day on our trip that included stopping numerous times along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to see spectacular sights, spending 45 minutes watching a Grizzly about 60 yards away, watching a fox hunt in the snow for an hour, eating lunch roadside while a coyote sauntered within a few feet and stopping to photograph a heron on the way home. Could it get any better than that? Teaser alert – the photos will show up in the coming weeks on this blog.
We saw many other good things and I photographed a lot of wildlife that are now clogging my computer. But there’s a but …
My primary objective and all my research and planning for this holiday was focused one thing – bears. By the end of the trip we had only a few sightings, limited photo opportunities in good light and no great photos.
We got pretty tired of driving up and down the Lamar Valley (a place they call the Serengeti of North America because of all the wildlife) and never saw a single bear in that prime location, let alone a wolf. We stood on the very spots where others had seen bears, heard reports of bears and wolves and arrived shortly after they had left on several occasions. On this trip my luck was just bad.
I know that life is not fair (and wrote about it here) and wildlife movement is notoriously unpredictable but I just don’t handle dashed expectations well. I have to admit there were some frustrating days on this holiday. To those of you who roll easily with disappointments, I am envious … and confused.
Why bother explaining this? Maybe it’s just my analytical side trying to process life that turns out so different than I meticulously planned. Maybe it’s an inside glimpse of what happens when wildlife photographers get mixed results. Perhaps it sets the context for some photos that I am excited to share in the coming weeks. Maybe it’s all of them … but I think I feel better now. Oddly, the trip seems better with every passing day.
Then again, it’s entirely possible that the better answer would be that we had some great times on the trip … and that would be true.