Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Notes on a photo tour


The story behind my yesterday`s photo tour is the following: I heard that fly agaric mushooms are blossoming in the forest in a village where my Mom is from so I thought to grab my photo equipment and go there. It was a rainy day yesterday but I still decided to go because I could not go later because of upcoming travels. I arrived at the village and as usual I went to the local shop to get something from there- it is more of a ritual than getting food for real hunger. The next stop was the cemetery, this is how it has been for all of my life during all visits. The cemetery was on the way to our street so before we visited those who were alive we always brought the flowers and candles what we brought with us from home to the graves.

I changed clothes at my great-aunt`s friend`s house who lives just opposite our old house. I borrowed one of her bikes and went for a ride in the forest. The forest was really silent and there was no one besides me.

There were still some autumn flowers by the road and I took photos of them. Then I went to the pine trees where the mushrooms were supposed to be but I did not find anything. May be if someone would have been there with me I would have looked longer but to climb under pine trees to the dark alone at places where there are not even any trails any more is sometimes a bit intimidating. I am not afraid of animals more like strangers or so. 

Anyways I biked back on the main forest road and stopped at one place to still search a bit for those mushrooms. As I walked among the trees I heard two birds flying away and when I looked up there was a deer standing between the trees approximately ten meters away from me looking at my direction. It was one of the most lit nature experiences of my life ever. I have seen deer so often in zoos already that when I was there in the forest and it looked at me my brain had to process it for a while that wow, it is actually a deer for real in front of me now. It disappeared slowly among the trees and I left the forest to take photos of the surrounding landscape.

Trees were already turning to autumn colors and I found some real great spots to take photos of. It was still raining a bit but then the rain stopped. After this my bike chain fell of and I had to fix it. That moment told a bit of the reality of photo tours: unexpected turns, uncontrollable weather conditions and dirt but also a lot of freedom and unique experiences.

On the road next to the forest there were already some cars passing by so I could feel again like being part of human civilization. Sometimes I had to remind myself that I was not in the middle of the forest any more when I saw something nice, dropped my bike and camera bag by the road and started to take photos. Then when a car was approaching I had to run back always to double check if my bike and bag were not too close to the road. The moment when something interesting catches your eye is always so capturing that you do not really care of these rational details much.

Meanwhile I got a hint about where the mushrooms might be located at - quite close to the place where I was looking first but still approximately 150 meters away- so I turned my ipod on and started to go back to the forest. It was epic when the song what started to play on the ipod was Welcome To The Jungle from Jay-Z. I have to say that urban American music in one of my ears helped a lot in going back to the forest also for a second time. 

Shortly cut I searched and searched but found nothing. All my clothes got wet from the rain dropping from the branches as I was crossing places with no forest trails. I looked under those pine trees but could not find anything. The grass around them was like one and a half meters long and I could not see even where I was stepping. When I looked under one tree I found a green animal (probably deer) skull with bones around it. This was really a nature pure experience but also the moment when i said to myself: ok, this was may be enough for now then. 

As I left the forest again two deer run away from the fields. On the way back I stopped and looked back at the forest and the surrounding fields once more. On the other side in front of me I could see the village and the smoke rising from the chimneys. At the house I dried my clothes by a tiles stove, drank some tee and had a nice conversation about past and present. I guess it was a real good day with all its adventures and challenges even despite the fear of cruising alone.

May be next time I need to take a bodyguard/friend/lover with me to the forest.

PS: The last sentence is an inside joke what I said to myself while I was back for the second time in the forest. It helped me and made me laugh as I was standing there waiting for my Mom`s phone call verifying the location where the mushrooms were supposed to be at. 

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