Tripod holes, part 8

rocks in middle of Cane Creek, NC
N 35°59’9.88″ W 79°12’25.05″ Google Earth Location

[Doing something a little bit different this time: I’m still not sure that the old Google Earth Placemark thing works anymore, but when I had a system glitch that appeared to have borked my Linux install*, I reinstalled with an upgraded version, which eliminated too many of my programs, and when I was reinstalling those, I found that Google Earth is now doing a web-based version as well. So now the link points to that instead, or you can just use the latitude/longitude coordinates in the mapping service of your choice as always.]

This week, we wade down into Cane Creek, from too many years ago, and I do mean ‘into,’ since the tripod was set up in the middle of the stream, whereupon I had to hold perfectly still (at least from the waist down) to let the ripples die out in this placid section. Meanwhile, within a few dozen meters or so were cascading sections where the creek narrowed and passed through clusters of rumpled rocks much like those in the foreground here. It was in one such section that I did a self-portrait while crouched on a fallen branch crossing the water, and I knew this was taken with the newly-acquired Canon Elan IIe and the RC-1 remote, so it was in 1998. I had planned this past summer to find the spot and semi-recreate the image (I imagine the branch has long since deteriorated,) but some time in the intervening years, the area where I could park the car was eliminated by roadwork, and there were no possible locations close by; the road that crosses the creek is a narrow and twisty country road that has no shoulders to speak of. I’d probably have to be dropped off, and I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon.

I mean, I wouldn’t do this soon anyway, because the trees are bare and the water’s cold, but don’t expect to see it this summer, is what I’m saying.

the author endeavoring not to get bitten by a common snapping turtle Chelydra serpentina, photo by The GirlfriendThe image above was tweaked a little for better color rendition, which is shameless digital manipulation because it was shot on slide film, so colors and contrast are fixed and immutable – it represented exactly what was to be seen at the time. Save for the particular traits of the specific slide film I was using, and whether I was using any filters, and the effects of the lens itself, plus the bare fact that photos of any kind increase contrast, but otherwise it was authentic. Meanwhile, the image at left was taken some years later by The Girlfriend on our first outing to the same creek, perhaps our first outing to any of the natural areas that I tend to visit – I seem to recall that she wanted to see what I did when out shooting/exploring, and this illustrates it well: that’s me of course, with a large common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) supported by the rear shell, the safest area to do so. Not only was it a large specimen to find in such a low-volume creek, but the snout was seriously misshapen from some long-past injury, which is what I was examining. No nature photographers nor turtles were harmed in the making of this story.

* A small note about Linux Mint, at least, but I think all Linux kernels suffer from the same trait. Windows allows you to choose where to install programs, while the default location is called, “Program Files’ or some variation thereof. Linux, however, does not allow any choice at all, and the default location is often usr/bin or local/share or some such thing – it’s up to the program creators, really. Which is stupid. My computer, like so many others nowadays, has the operating system running from a solid-state dive (SSD,) a smaller but faster version of a harddrive – and it holds Windows 7 on there as well as a dual-boot system so I can still access Windows-specific things like the film scanner. Meanwhile, there are three separate harddrives – 2 and 3 Gb – for storing files. It is therefore ridiculous to keep installing programs to the limited space of the SSD when options are available, plus the fact that the reinstall of Linux would not have wiped out so many of the programs had they been on a separate drive, or even in a dedicated folder not at all intertwined with the operating system. For as long as Linux has been in development, it’s inexcusable that such nonsense exists in the structure.