Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0130, July 9, 2017


In the Swamp


Copyright 2017 by S.W. Paul Wyszkowski

     About fifty miles from our present abode north of NYC and just south of NY/CT border, there's a swamp. It's called the Great Swamp, probably because its watershed is couple of dozen miles long (in the north/south direction) and a dozen wide which is medium huge. Swamp River runs through the middle of this area, the soggy swampland bordering it on both sides. The swamp has some dedicated friends who call themselves FROGS (for Friends of the Great Swamp). It was FROGS who called my attention to the swamp and provided me with directions to several access points. They are planning an exhibition of art relating to the Great Swamp later this year so I decided to go see if the swamp would inspire me to contribute.

     Although the trip was to be for reconnaissance purposes only, I took most of my photo gear along because who knows. Besides I wanted to find out if I could still lug it for miles seeing as my capacity for exertion is on an apparently irreversible decline, much to my chagrin. (I hear eating more vegies, esp. deep colored ones, might help reverse the process. Or not.)

     First couple of access points led me to fairly blah views of the Swamp River - and the light was very bad it being almost noon and bright sun. The third, where the Appalachian Trail crosses the swamp, did verge on spectacular. And some clouds came out to diffuse the sun and make the light more camera friendly. So I clicked the shutter a few dozen times looking primarily to record the varying textures of the swamp (as my readers know, I'm a texture freak).

     The problem was that at this time of the year the swamp is pretty much monochromatic. I might as well have been shooting in black & white. (Which is an idea - maybe I can do something interesting in b&w.) If you want color, you have to be there in spring or fall when blooming or decaying plants add contrasting color to the otherwise relentless green.

     Back home, I played for some hours with my swamp texture records and came up with something that looked appealing on screen but when I printed it out - fuggeddaboudit. So here I am, bogged down in an aesthetic swamp and there's next year's calendar to do - I had hoped I might find some suitable images at the swamp but it now appears that's a non-starter. As is participation in the FROGS exhibition.

     I asked Prickles, our resident psychotherapist and a dauntless hedgehog, for advice on what might be next thing for me to do. "I don't know," she said, "but you'll get over it." That's just what I needed to hear.

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