I had planned, only a short while ago, to use an entirely different slide up here this morning, but the slide scanning program started getting balky and I haven’t yet determined how to fix it. My suspicion is that this is caused by a Windows 10 automatic update, which if true would be seriously irritating because a) no update should fuck with existing and working programs in any way, shape, or form (are you listening, Microsoft?) and b) I had the automatic update services turned off. During what should have been a routine deletion on a tertiary drive in my computer (yes, three,) the index fucked up and I lost access to that drive until I reinstalled it on a different SATA port. Once it was found and working normally, only a day or so later Windows 10 announced it was ready to install its new update, which I allowed with some concerned frowning, and less than three days later wanted to fucking do it again (which explains why I turn off such utter fucking nonsense.) And now one of my older programs from the Windows XP or 2000 days, which probably won’t reinstall under Windows 10, is not working. This better hadn’t be the cause, but I’m already familiar with the plethora of unnecessary changes that Windows 10 introduced, so I’m more than a little suspicious.
Anyway, back to the pic and away from my general pissyness. This is a shot just a bit before astronomical sunrise, meaning the sun hadn’t yet broken the horizon for my particular location, but it counts as sunrise good enough for our purposes. This is precisely at one of my old stomping grounds in Florida, on the extended shallows of the Indian River Lagoon in Florida – that old tree has featured in a lot of my images (including here, shot from the opposite direction.) When I first moved to Florida, I knew the lagoon/sound was close, but for a while I patrolled the edges looking for easy entry – homeowners possessed most of the waterfront land and there was no ‘public’ access to the water. Eventually I found a spot where the right-of-way for both the road and electrical lines came right up against the water, and I could wade into the sound there without trespassing on anyone’s property. This began my frequent activity in that area, much of which is chronicled in ‘The River’ category of the main site – the header image there is in fact the same photo.
The slide is dated January 2003, but that was when I had it developed, and at that time I’m not sure how promptly I was sending slides in for processing – I tended to send them in batches and during the winter my shooting slowed down a little. Safe to say that it was less than a couple months old at that point though, and in Florida, it was easily possible to be playing around in the water in all but the coldest months; I distinctly remember being out wading as early as February, with the water temperature being brisk but not debilitating. I wasn’t about to go snorkeling, but wading in sandals wasn’t bothering me too much. And this shot was taken from shore anyway. Straight out from this point, so extending towards the left in this image, was where my close encounter with startled manatees occurred.