more gloom today in raleigh as we continue to head through the nastiness that’s been this winter. and although it’s certainly not as bad as pittsburgh, i really can’t wait until it’s over. things started to bloom in the beginning of february then abruptly died after that snow we got. then we started on this steak of what’s now become perpetual overcast and drizzle with occasional periods of sun. thankfully the weather for the wedding i photographed last weekend was beautiful, but it was a rare case of good weather in an otherwise nasty winter. looking forward to the spring so i can stop dragging around pants that have wet hems for a while. baah.
this bucket of “tools” used to make impenetrable sand castle forts and moats has sat neglected on our deck since august. occasionally we’ll have a bout of wind which blows a plastic shovel or two around or scatters some small plastic blocks into the neighbors’ yards. but besides gathering said “tools” from around the neighborhood, the bucket has large sat untouched. when it started to rain regularly from january on, the bucket filled up with water and inevitably froze within the past couple weeks.
now the bucket and award-winning-moat-building materials are frozen together…sitting on our deck and patiently waiting for summer to arrive so geoff can build another mellon arena out of sand.
*tip: if you squint really hard and look west, sometimes it looks like summer’s already here.
another group of shots from my recently shelley lake adventures. it was an overcast kind of white-out day when there’s very little if any blue in the sky. i loved this little bench on a hill all by itself.
i walked around the park in unbearable heat on the only day in the past month and a half that it hasn’t rained. and believe me, i was saying every rain prayer i could think of and doing all of the rain dances that i could muster up the energy to do. i am not a big person – standing at 4’11 and weighing less than most full grown dogs i know, i am not the type of person to really work up a sweat no matter how hot it is. sure, if i play tennis for an hour or two i will. but i can be hanging around in the heat, walking, doing whatever, and still be relatively free of claminess. let me tell you folks, walking around that lake was an exercise in hydration survival.
i went there on a very brief mission to find a few good shooting spots. so i started walking on the path… la la la… and before i knew i had walked to the middle of the lake. for those of you who aren’t familiar with shelley lake, you get up to it by walking up a hill that overlooks a large lake. you obviously conclude: “this path must loop around the lake.” so once i saw that i had reached the point in the path that coincided with the middle of the lake i thought, “yes!…just a little bit further now, louis!” and yes, it was kind of like that point in pet semetary when louis and jud walk, like, 2000 miles and jud keeps saying it’s not much further.
so at this point i had been at the park for about 10 minutes. then i realized that the path went past the lake. “oh okay,” i thought. “this just must swing a little bit around the lake. not bad, not bad.” how bad could it possibly be, right? surely this couldn’t go much past the lake. and it seemed like it would be faster to continue walking this way and loop around than it would be to turn back.
of course i was sorely mistaken and on this 100 degree day in unspeakable humidity with no water i was the sweatiest i have ever been. disgusting.
at this point i started to see mile markers… and that is a terrible sign for someone who believes this path to be a short jaunt around the lake. in fact, it’s one of the worst signs ever. this is when you know you’re in it for the long haul – water or no water, skirt or no skirt, hiking shoes or no hiking shoes, 30 pounds of camera equipment or no 30 pounds of camera equipment.
and around this point i started to wonder if i should go back. i was one mile into it at this point according to the mile marker. i figured it couldn’t go on too much longer (the heat must’ve affected my cognitive skills).
of course, it did go on forever and ever. saw some nice water that i considered diving into despite its depth of about 1.5 feet:
and shortly after this i saw a sign that mapped the park and the trails around the lake. at this point i had walked very far and taken several turns because the path splits off in a couple places. i had no idea where i was, i just knew i was headed in the general direction of the lake. so i was thinking, “sweet! a map! please let me find my way out of this place as quickly as possible.” now, please, tell me if there’s something i’m missing, but if i’m not mistaken this map is completely useless:
do you see the little “YOU ARE HERE” sign at the bottom indicating that my location will be parked on the above map with a triangle? then do you notice how there’s a complete lack of said triangle on the map? side note: there is also no emergency telephone. so what – “YOU ARE HERE” as in “look! this triangle is pointing up towards the sertoma arts center boat house. you are somewhere around there! so, you know, if you needed to use that nonexistant emergency telephone to call for help, you can tell them you’re on the shelley lake trail at the sertoma arts center boat house and they’ll find you….in five days.”
sigh. so to make a long story short, i came stumbling out of the woods, disheveled and covered in sweat 2.5 miles and an hour or two later. thanks, shelley lake trail map.
the lake: shortly before i jumped in, drank the entire thing, and passed out.