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Sunday, October 11, 2009

LONE OAK ©1980


Central Virginia

This image was made right at the tail end of a snow storm and everything was perfectly quiet with no breeze.

I used to drive the back roads of Virginia immediately following a snow storm looking for interesting landscapes; trees were among my favorite subjects.

My camera pack consisted of an old Boy Scout pack frame with a green plastic trash basket strapped to it. There was a badly soiled canvas flap on the top to keep the weather out, and it was held in place by two strips cut from an old inner tube. Nothing fancy. In fact it would appear to many as little more than a throwaway.

Having left the scene and putting a good ten miles between me and the oak tree, I happened to look over my shoulder and lo and behold. I did not spot my camera pack on the back seat. It was only then that I realized that I had left it sitting on the highway directly behind the car.

Have you ever experienced sheer panic? Well, at that moment I did, and after finding a place to turn around, I headed back. There were a couple of turn-offs that I wasn't quite sure of, but the landmarks looked familiar.

To add disgust to frustration, I spotted the tree in the distance and there was a dark speck in the center of the opposite lane. The forty-pound pack was still sitting there, right where I left it and people were simply driving around it. I hate to tell anyone how many thousands of dollars of camera equipment was packed into that old ragged pack. I am still convinced that the appearance of that old ratty old back pack saved my gear. I am also thankful than no one hit it with a car or a truck.

To view a larger image, click on the oak tree.

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