I haven’t written anything in almost a year or covered a single one of my photo adventures aside from posting to social media once in awhile. The cause, I believe, is covid pandemic fatigue which has caused me to go into a non-creative stasis. I’ve questioned my relevance in a world full of “photographers” where I feel like I’m drowning in my own profession. Questioning social media and why I should even post to it. My motivation for writing in conjunction with my photographic pursuits dwindled to nonexistence last year (aside from my busy four months from August to December of family sessions). I’ve felt the pull to change that so I’m starting up my writings now.
This winter has been a little boring here in Missouri. We haven’t had a decent snowfall really. We’ve had a dusting here and there and mostly above freezing daytime temps. I always say to people its tougher mentally than northern winters just because we don’t get the snow to get out and enjoy it. A bleak and brown landscape is the definition of a Missouri winter, like a 6 month long Minnesota mud season. If you know you know. We learn to adapt and cope in our own ways to this type of thing of course. And, honestly, the Ozarks are extremely beautiful during the winter because of the lack of foliage. It allows you to see the definitions in the ridges and ancient mountains. So yes there are perks.
I have gotten to get out for two winter campouts so far, with a possible third one this coming Friday. The first campout we received around 5 or 6 inches of snow and easy temps in the 20s—a nice thing to wake up to as I stoked my wood stove in my hot tent. That trip was more about scouting for spring turkey season than anything else. The second outing was just a bit bitter and brown with zero snow and a crisp overnight low of around 7ºF—this was my first time winter hammock camping. It was enjoyable minus the cold toes I got due to my own negligence (I knew better). That outing was all about the winter hammocking with an unexpected finishing touch of pure enjoyment of a morning photo shoot.
The past two trips haven’t been so much about photography for me. At least that hasn’t been the main purpose. They’ve been more about reconnecting my creative juices and chemicals in my brain. Looking at the world from a few steps outside of the chaos and rat race and taking deep breaths while doing so. If a photographic opportunity presents itself then it presents itself. This past overnight seemed to have worked. An early rise in a frost covered forest led to some great sunrise photography and witnessing scenery that re-inspired me.
I saw a barred owl and a few deer out enjoying the morning. Frost covered native prairie grasses sparkled in the morning light and the pink sky turned grey fairly quick. Either way all of it was beautiful. My toes warmed up quick as I trekked out the two miles to my truck. It just felt good to be out in nature and unknowingly resetting. Maybe I just needed to get out and test my mind and body in the cold again. The combination of it all acts as a therapy for me and as I’m writing this I am noticing I am feeling the passion and drive I once had to keep up with my photography and writings. I feel like I’m starting to feel rejuvenated and it feels good. Cryotherapy IS a good thing. 🙂
I am hoping Winter Storm Landon packs a wallop and dumps some major snow on the state of Missouri. You betcha I’ll be out in it, snowshoes and all. Maybe, for my next write up, I’ll go into the how-to of winter hammock camping…now get out and enjoy the coming snow!!!