Thursday, July 22, 2010

First Blush

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: Another time, early this spring; another valley, on a hill overlooking Stillwater, New Jersey. It was my last day in Peters Valley. I had been exploring and photographing old farmsteads the whole weekend, and a dead-end road provocatively named, "Skyline Drive," suggested an adventure in a different direction. After winding and climbing for awhile the road straightened out and followed what seemed to be a ridge behind a curtain of forest. When I saw a place to stop and a possible trail into the forest, I took it. A short distance in, my trail crossed the AT which, I discovered, follows the ridge parallel to Skyline Drive. A short distance further I stood at the edge of a steep bluff 500 feet above the floor of a vast valley. Spring has rarely looked so fresh, and I imagined riding the wooded canopy the way a surfer rides ocean waves. This is the moment in spring photographers wait for, and my wandering had brought me to a spot where I could feel the wave of new foliage cloak the hills.