Sometimes I spy something special during my long commute to work. A morning fog was veiling the West Branch of the Columbia River so, after crossing the bridge, I swung my car into a pull-off. As I headed on foot back to the bridge to try and capture the image I’d seen in my mind’s eye, I noticed something else. Just off the path was the remnant of a fallen tree, well on its way to returning to the soil that once nourished it. The deep colors of the rotting wood were marvelous and, as it turned out, my river pictures were not.
This day dawned bright and crisp making the commute to work more pleasant. Dropping into the valley, I looked around as I crossed the bridge over the West Branch of the Columbia River in Olmsted Township. The rising sun was kissing trees at the rim of the valley, trees that had so far held on to their colored leaves. I stopped for five minutes to snap some photos and enjoy the view and wished I could have explored the frosty fields I’d passed along the way. Hi-ho, it’s off to work I go!
The day started out sunny and frosty. I thought the thermometer on our patio read something like 14 degrees as I left the house. At one point during my travel, however, I glanced at the dashboard… the car's thermometer was reading 6 degrees (F). I'm not sure what that was about. It didn't seem that cold to me! The natural beauty (and light traffic due to the Presidents Day holiday) made for an enjoyable drive to work. Put in a nice, solid day of effort including a configuration tweak on our new MozyPro backup software — it needed to have a dedicated Temp directory set up on a drive with more free space along with a small Windows registry edit. Rovin, the helpful young man on the phone from India, had the right solution on the first try. Unseen by me during the day, clouds were thickening and by the time it was time to go home, it was lightly snowing. I took a look out the office window from which I spied the insanely beautiful snow drift sculpture not many days ago. There, wet from unseen thaw above, a small forest of icicles was forming on an evergreen tree. I shot a few photos before leaving for a snowy drive home. Back to the gray grind of work and winter weather.
A server upgrade did not go well last night. The email system was properly installed, could be accessed from the Web, but could not send or receive messages — the SMTP server was mashed. I worked til 11:00 PM trying to revive the beast but finally gave up and went home. I thought it would be a stressful morning and day but things went quite differently. A calm came over me as I drove cross-country towards work. I enjoyed the brightening day and the mists and dew-bright fields of rural areas, the diamond reflections off a meandering river in its valley off the side of the road.
On other mornings I've wanted to stop on my commute to photograph and enjoy some of the scenes. Between not having enough time and finding no place to park the car, those stops never happened. This morning was different. I had passed too many beautiful scenes this day; there was enough time to spare; I had my camera with me (as always); and I really didn't care if I wound up a little late arriving to tend to a sick computer. Seeing a likely spot as I passed, I turned the car around, found a parking spot (a miracle, actually) and emerged to try and record some of the beauty I had been so enjoying.
Dew-dotted spider's webs backlit by the rising sun are easy to enjoy but devilishly difficult to photograph, especially with no tripod at hand. Focus is difficult and the drops are brilliant compared with the dark backgrounds that let them shine. No matter, I enjoyed the sights. I even found one that, for all the world, looked like a Native American dream catcher.
Then it was back to the car and off to work. The email server? The vendor's tech support spent about two hours finding and repairing the problem. My improptu photographic experience cost no time or inconvenience in getting the mail through. As I upload this item, just before retiring for the night, I feel good… better than I have for days. What a way to start the day! I really must do that more often.