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Mar. 14, 2004

Fog is air made visible, and most especially, the motion of air made visible. Sunday morning I had the opportunity to watch and do my best to photograph the plumes, eddies, swirls, whirls, and great banks of air twisting, jetting, twirling, and somersaulting above the hills and in the valleys around White Rock Mountain.

Saturday it had rained on and off all day, and I used that as an excuse to take a little down time, but the rain also meant that there would be a good chance that conditions in the Boston Mountains would be interesting the next morning. So Junie and I got out the door a little after four, and due to slow going because of areas of thick fog, made it to the mountain top a little after six. The wind was really whipping, and I put on a couple extra t-shirts before heading off with the camera gear to the southwest lookout. Everything was still socked in as I was setting up the tripod and getting the camera ready, but that changed quickly and soon enough I was happily snapping away at the rapidly changing views and fog formations, and did so for the next hour and a half or so, before the fog socked everything in again.

As is usually the case in these rapidly changing situations, I didn't really have a chance to witness and watch what was going on much because I was too busy trying to get it on film, which means that as soon as something caught my eye I would be pointing the camera at it and photographing it. So I mainly got to see things through a tiny, dim viewfinder. Often I don't get my first good long look at what I've ostensibly seen in person until I look at the slide I've taken of it.

Before taking off to our next destination, I got Junie out of the car and we walked along the east rim of the mountain, where I hoped to shoot some trees in the fog, but the wind was blowing stubbornly and causing the trees to shake, and I quickly gave up on that idea.

We drove off down the mountain and scouted out a forest road along the Mulberry where we had never been before and then made our way over to Highway 23. The ultimate destination I had in mind for the day was Richland Creek, which I hadn't visited since last spring, but since we didn't need to get there until afternoon, there was no hurry, and we ended up detouring out of our way a bit, up to Boxley Valley and Jasper before we got serious and rolled into the Richland Creek campground about three in the afternoon, which truth to say was a little later than I had intended to get there.

We moved on out and I shot a little at Yama turn before ending up near dusk at the Connor turn, where the plan was to photograph one of my favoite subjects, and one I haven't had the opportunity to shoot much this winter: the rocks, stones, and boulders in the shining water of an Ozark mountain stream. Getting the shot right often means negotiating creek crossings on slick rocks and in fast water, as well as trying to find a place to put the tripod other than in fast moving water that will cause camera shake. But I guess if it were easy, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Night was falling as I finished out a roll of film, and although there was still enough light to take more photographs, we had a forty-minute hike and a two and a half hour drive between us and home, and home was calling; so we packed up and headed back and made it to the car just as darkness fell.

Some of the other shots I've taken of stones in mountain streams include this one of Falling Water Creek, another shot of Richland Creek, and this photo of Dry Creek.