Monday, July 27, 2009

Sometimes You Just Get Skunked

Great weekend. Good time, great weather (other than the severe rains in the middle of the night on Friday), interesting location, and all the right gear. How could all that end up with today's headline? The shot accompanying this post was taken on Saturday at about 6:30 PM. It's the Point Judith Light Station in Rhode Island, as seen from the parking lot of the public fishing area down the beach a little bit. Early in the morning we had shot the fields of sunflowers in Griswold, Connecticut and then spent the rest of the daylight hours "scouting" locations for some sunset and night photography. Just after this "test shot" was taken we took a break and had a nice dinner in Gallilee, a couple miles away and the site of another shooting location. So, how could all this good "stuff" result in today's headline? To find out, hit the "read more".

Alright, what happened? We had three locations selected for the sunset and night photography. The lighthouse in today's post, some fishing boats (real fishing boats, not the tourist sport fishing yachts) in Gallilee and a lighthouse in Snug Harbor. Snug Harbor was on the way back to the hotel and would take long enough to get near to assure true night photography. After dinner, to kill time, we took one more lap around the peninsula. We had done a number of laps checking out various locales to shoot. Shortly before 8:00 PM we decided it was about time to head for our first location, the fishing area near the Point Judith Light Station. That's when it all started going wrong.
Heading down the main road toward the light we noticed some fog was starting to roll in. Great, it'll add some drama to the shot and most certainly kill any of the wires running from the light to the small huts nearer the beach. The nice bright light making it's rounds of the sky would produce it's own form of a "God beam" streaking out toward the sea. The shot in my mind was getting better and better. We got to the parking lot of the fishing area and decided to take the short walk to the end of the lot before digging out all the gear. That's when I figured out why lighthouses have fog horns and cars have fog lights. From the exact spot that today's "test shot" was taken we couldn't even see the light, let along the lighthouse. So we were skunked at our first location.
Back in the car we headed for location number two, the port of Gallilee, to get the rigging of the fishing boats in the afterglow of the sunset. We didn't even bother driving down the access road to the port. The fog had pushed in far enough that the road was shrouded in fog and it would only get worse closer to the water. Skunk number two. We started heading back toward the hotel with little hope of the lighthouse in Snug Harbor being any better. Route 1, heading toward Westerly, is far enough inland, at the cutoff to Point Judith, so the fog was gone by the time we got there. Our spirits bolstered, we had renewed hope for Snug Harbor. As it happens, Route 1 dips back down toward the ocean as you travel west. When we arrived at the turnoff to Snug Harbor we were back in some dense fog. Skunk number three. We headed back to the hotel without clicking a shutter, other than the "test shots" for most of the day. But wait, there's more. !!!
The hotel was much closer to the morning shooting location than the beaches, about an hour west, back in Connecticut. The GPS showed us a "shortcut" that avoided the highways. That time of night is prime for people headed home and the highways are, typically, heavily traveled then. The shortcut was probably our best bet. We got about a third of the way back to the hotel when a misguided deer decided the road was clear enough to attempt crossing. It wasn't. I've driven for decades (several decades) and never came close to hitting a deer. For the second time in eight months, (and this is important) in Doris' car, I clipped a deer. The first time, the only damage was a broken headlight cover. This time? Nothing! A couple of hanks of deer fur, but that's it. The deer was pretty impressive. I figure he must have had prior practice on the move he put on the car once he/she got whacked. All I know is that the sucker's back legs were pointed skyward and he/she was attempting a forward flip with a half twist over the car. Stunned, it wound up in a heap in the grass along the side of the road. I thought of reporting it to the local police, but figured they wouldn't be that interested in arresting a deer for hit and run. Now there's two deer, one on either side of Connecticut, telling his/her buddies "you see this bruise on my hip? Yea, right there where the bald spot is...". For the rest of the ride to the hotel Doris preferred a speed that could best be described as a walk.


Kathy Marciante said...

OH BOY!!! Can't believe it! Glad you're both ok. We LOVE Pt Judith!! So many great spots in RI. After your scars heal, we'll have to make a second attempt. Doris...I'm the same way. While traveling to the Catskill in the POURING rain....All I kept saying is..slow down...slown down.