No, I’m fine

A few years back (well, I mean, four years ago) when I was doing the Sunday Slide topic, I scanned in a particular image that I liked, but decided against using it – the scan took place in December, and I ended up with other choices for the remaining couple of weeks before I dumped the Sunday Slide topic in favor of a new one for the new year, because that’s how you operate a hugely successful blog. And an all-but-ignored one too, but that’s not the topic right now. So the scan simply remained in my blog folder waiting to see if I’d decide to feature it for any particular reason – often, this reason is it’s winter and there’s little to shoot for current images.

In case it’s escaped your attention, it’s winter. Plus, during the initial scanner tests the other day, I brought up another that, I now discover, fits into the same general category. Let’s start with that first one:

great egret Ardea alba on distant shoreline on foggy morning
I shot several compositions of this scene, because I liked it – the white egret stands out nicely despite the foggy, early morning conditions. This is on the first page of slides in the Birds category, meaning that I’d shot it almost immediately after switching over to slide film for my stock, the point where I’d started getting serious about photography and aiming for publications; that pegs it as 1998, when I was living in Raleigh. And for a long time, I had a distinct impression of where it had been shot. But then a few months back, I started questioning this, because the setting and perspective wasn’t one available at that location, and I began to wonder where, exactly, I did take it. And this led me to trying to confirm the exact spot.

Because, this is the kind of thing that I get into. I pride myself on being able to remember (and often find again) shooting locations that I’ve used in the past, and when I can’t, it’s kind of a personal thing, a dig at my ego. Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s stupid (maybe not the loudest, but the first,) and no one but me cares in the slightest and I probably shouldn’t either. But at least I’m not concerned with garnering approval on social media, or taking photos of my food, so give me this, okay?

Anyway, at this point I’m fairly certain that I do know where this was taken, but I haven’t been past that area recently to confirm it – and you should know, the next time I’m there I will stop the car to compare the perspective and background. I’m pretty sure this was taken from alongside Rt 751 on Jordan Lake, of a small island on a branch of the lake. In fact, I sat on this image for a few weeks now with the idea that I’d be past and shoot a current version of it (sans the egret of course, who I expect has flown off in the intervening 22+ years,) and thus have a comparison image too.

But then I scanned this one, and started the whole thing again:

great blue heron Ardea herodias landing on stump field on foggy morning
This time, it’s a great blue heron alighting on a stump – I initially thought of a cormorant, but I’ve done the dust removal on this slide at high magnification and it’s definitely a heron. And I recall this outing distinctly – well, more or less. From 1998 again, it was an obscure branch of Jordan Lake, well out of the high-traffic areas, that I’d dug up directions to from somewhere. But then as I thought about it recently, I realized that I wasn’t sure exactly where. I think I’d been to it twice, but both times within a year of each other, and not long after I discovered the myriad shooting possibilities of the Falls of the Neuse area, much closer to where I lived, and so I never went back. That means that it’s been over two decades since I visited this shooting locale.

I thought, Hey, I’ll look at the maps and pin it down, but that proved to be a hell of a lot harder than I imagined. I can recall a small parking lot and a park office, but little else to be found there – no swimming access or boat launches or anything, which contributed to its low traffic. The stump field, ample evidence of the creation of the lake with flooding after the dam was built, was a little ways (a few hundred meters or so) around the lake shore to the left. Since I was coming from Raleigh, I doubt it was too hard to reach, and unlikely that it was on one of the farther branches. But I’ll be damned (a ha ha) if I can find the area now.

You might think I could simply examine the perimeter of the lake and eventually find the spot, but because of the way the lake was created, there are dozens of arms and branches and stump fields, all over the place. I come from the Finger Lakes region of New York, where we had proper lakes, with two sides and two ends. This kind of jazz is just so untidy.

And there remains the chance that it was not Jordan lake after all, but a spot on Falls Lake – like I said, that was closer, and formed in the same manner. But again, it’s been a long time, and you know us old folk. I’m probably making it all up anyway…

So, no answer yet, but that’s okay. It doesn’t bug me at all. Just one more of the tiny number of personal talents slipping away – no biggie.

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