Thursday, October 26, 2017

Magic Hour

This evening resonated with the previous, as cloud cover continued eastward and sun came out, although by the time I had noticed after waking from a long nap yesterday, I knew it was too late to capture light reflected from the AT&T entry bridge over the North Branch Raritan River. Sun just about on the horizon. Today, I got home from work after getting up just after 5:00 a.m. for a long shift, and saw I might have time to make it. As a matter of fact, I had about three minutes, got four or five careful shots, and then cast a little worm imitation on my two-weight TFO fly rod.

 The river is low and very clear. Not a very prospective goal for anyone who wants to do better than spook fish. But the fact that I couldn't see any trout was at least a little in my favor. Shadows growing underwater. I tried a few spots, crouched low, giving each a couple of dozen casts or more, figuring that the longer I stayed there still and quiet, the more chance any trout would lose inhibition. Or come back to a holding position. Some of this water is about four feet deep. There has to be at least a few trout in this stocked stretch known as the Zoo. The moniker gives away its popularity as a fishing hole for people captivated by the passion. Places like this usually get stocked heaviest.

While I fished, I noticed the reflection of colored limbs in front of me. I've posted one of the results of my observation. The moment of grasping that I had other shots to compose--at least of this spectacle--was the inchoate movement towards what my Magic Hour became. When I set the rod aside, I felt freed. No. That's not to say I prefer photography to fishing. I tend to think preferences are more self-delusion than truthful. Anyone will discover he or she has a whole panoply of values, if he or she lets go of fixating on just a few.

For a half of my time total, the latter half, I felt exhilarated, well aware that I not only had felt exhausted after little sleep last night and 10 hours on the job; I was exhausted, but it felt real good to have gone into overdrive by exerting will to go and tread about the river in the first place, getting low and gritty now, becoming fully present by impromptu positioning of my tripod-mounted camera among lethal rocks in the near-dark. I experimented with the High Dynamic Range function of my Nikon D7100, and various aperture and manual settings for a number of subjects. I even got into one more hairy position that required careful effort negotiating a slope, only to find it too dark to read the Mode Dial of my camera. And too dark for this camera to focus from the best I could reasonably do.

Results I did get are interesting. I don't offer more for you to see because I'm still in a conservative phase, keeping my shots as if they'll get published. Keeping most of them as if a few of many might.

Beside that chilling river running through town, I had become aware of feeling for a moment the way I used to feel on New York's Salmon River in November. And then I knew that if not for the sudden cooler weather, I wouldn't have enjoyed this evening to today's degree. I felt as if I met fall for the first time this year, and it's almost November. The morning glories in my family's garden bloomed floridly. I noticed upon coming back home. The clouds and some light rain--and surely the cooler temperatures--kept them from closing before noon. Soon a hard freeze will kill them; this is as should be, and yet I wistfully want to see them blooming in November. Abnormally as this may happen, it will be amazing if this event comes true.

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