I Win at the Wilderness
Let preface my exceedingly long story and tell you about the dream I had the night before wherein I was at the location I was going to, about to wade across the creek in fishing waders (the ones I had already packed) I stepped in, camera in hand, and found only a muddy bottom, sunk and was immediately in WAY too deep. Managed to scramble out but got my camera soaked and destroyed in the process, all while a little red Fox swam around in the creek mocking me. I woke up and said - I'm going to not going to go in the creek today as it is a stupid idea.
I woke up at 3:30 am, drove to the location (chasing a coyote a great distance down the road, similar to a fox. "Weird" I thought) showed up at the meadow I had decided on early, about an hour and half before sunrise, and started to scout a proper location, I was trying to get some leading lines towards the mountains using the creek - a creek snakes through the valley so I figured it should be easy. I spotted some suitable areas and started making my way over to it, but the meadow was a lot marshier than I had expected and reaching the water not as simple as I'd hoped. I wasn't going to venture too far away from safety at that time of day. I spotted a nice big rock to use as foreground interest instead and started making my way over.
I was pretty close to the rock, when it MOVED AND LOOKED AT ME. I froze. A Moose! No A Bear! (shit) No.....A Moose! I apologized to the moose, announcing my presence and backed off to a safe distance to take non-foreground interest photos instead. (they sucked)After a while, the moose wandered away.
I was about two feet from the creek behind me snapping away when I just happened to take a shot of the bridge over the creek behind me when the moose - hereinafter referred to as "Mooshole" reappeared at the bridge - blocking the only way I had out of the meadow and back to my truck.
That (expletive deleted) had circled through the nearby lodge parking lot to come and corner me, try to do a ninja sneak attack from behind.
So I did what any of you would do and switched to my telephoto lens all the while talking REALLY REALLY LOUDLY to the Mooshole. Normally, that would scare an animal away because people = scary but not this Mooshole. It's sexy season for animals like that so Moosholes are more full of rage than normal (I'm talking in my serious voice here - Moose are some of the most dangerous animals you will find in the mountains because they can fly off the handle as quickly as that crazy steroid guy you see at your gym, except Moose are way more buff than that guy) Instead of running away from me and my scary voice, Mooshole started coming closer... and closer...and closer ... and closer. It just wasn't backing off at all.
At this point I was weighing my rather meagre escape options. I could use the backpack full of camera gear to try to protect myself from the rage trampling I was about to receive. I wasn't sure insurance would cover my camera in case of moose tramplings though. (Note to self: Call insurance broker next week, have cameras covered in case of moose tramplings) Or, I could make a dash for it down the embankment and through the creek behind me, but according to the dream I just had, that wasn't much of a good idea either. I'd rather die a horrible painful death than get my camera wet. Priorities. (No. I did not think to use the bear spray I had, don't know if it would have worked anyway, might just make Mooshole angrier and more tramply) Mooshole made it about 15 feet away from me before finally moving on. (Just a quick calculation for you - 15 feet from a Moose equals about "holy $&^@ I'm going to die" in Metric.)
Once Mooshole was a safe distance away I called it a string of choice words, went over the bridge back to my truck and called it quits on that location.
Here is a comparison for you:
Safe Distance - Moose @ 200 mm
Mooshole is running away in this photo because I hurt her feelings
Super Uncool Not Safe Distance - Moose @ 55mm
Adrenaline is the worst contributing factor to camera shake. Before your next shoot, try taking a strong sedative to improve your photography.
The worst part - the sunrise was boooooring, all that work for nothing. And yes, after that I had a pretty good adventure while staying safely beside my truck, but I'm probably not going on any early morning solo adventures for a while.
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