When you plan a five hour road trip to take pictures and the weather forecast is for non-stop rain all weekend, the only saving hope was that I was planning to take my underwater housing with me. The plan was to get on to the Paynes Prairie and get some opportunities to photograph some wild buffalo and horses. Another idea was to get into some heavily gator populated lakes and get some long exposure night shots with the eyes of gators complementing the starry skies. Finally, we had planned to kayak down the Ichetucknee river with my underwater housing. Although one could argue and completely throw the plans out the window when the weather was taken into consideration, we decided to stick with the plan and go out regardless of weather. What we got was some pretty even lighting and some chance opportunities that seemed to be set up perfectly by the poor weather conditions. If you were in Florida this past weekend you know how rainy and miserable it was. We didn't see the sun this past weekend.
As I was talking to some co-workers prior to my road-trip we were discussing the idea of going up and coming back with nothing. I shared that I have yet to have an experience where I have come home empty handed from a photography expedition, but willing to accept the defeat of weather. Extreme weather conditions often setup great photo opportunities for both the epic landscapes and the fact that few people are willing to put themselves out in a situation of extreme weather. While I would hardly call what we experienced this weekend extreme weather, it did make for some great photo opportunities.
By chance we stumbled upon a lone Buffalo. Funny story, this guy in the picture below the buffalo was right there where the buffalo came out, and we saw him try to walk away from this buffalo unnoticed. Apparantly the buffalo was more concerned with us than it was with him, and began charging towards this guy who then began to run as fast as he could towards a raised look out on the prairie. Watching this whole scene unfold before our eyes was quite entertaining, especially since we had been walking with our heads down avoiding large piles of crap unaware of what we might encounter on our path.
The starry night plan was a complete bust because of heavy cloud cover, but the rainy day set up a completely isolated experience on the Ichetucknee river. Not another person in sight as we spent four hours kayaking a two hour river course.I absolutely loved this experience, being in the quiet solitude of nature is an experience I cherish. I rarely take the opportunities to get out in it, so each experience is so very special. This weekend was full of those opportunities to dwell in the silence and serenity of our surroundings. Its allure is addictive; it was so invigorating and refreshing.
Thanks for taking the time to look through my photos! I am excited to be sharing photos again, especially with the coming winter season and spectacular weather to look forward to be shooting in. The feeling I have about this winter is great, I am already seeing a significant increase in bird activity while it is still frequenting the 80 degree temperature range. I have some exciting trips planned for this Fall and Winter, and hope to be sharing photos frequently.