Last Tuesday Angel and I drove out to Harriman State Park for a day of exploring in the woods. We intended to follow Iron Mines Loop #2 trail, but went out of range before saving the directions. Since we had the rare opportunity to truly wander, we decided to follow the white markers and lose track of time. The still weather and weak overcast light kept reminding us of dreams, and everything felt familiar in that strangely indistinct way.
Usually when I turned around from photographing I would find Angel climbing trees or trying to break logs in half by jumping on them as hard as he could.
The low areas that we explored were generally speckled with moss, but this patch in particular made me stop and stare. A bright circle of color bubbled up from underneath dry leaves and distinguished itself into the many different plants that had combined to make this hue.
There's something so alluring about finding a perfect patch of mushrooms. They are incredibly fragile and grow in the most delicate arrangements. The more I've photographed them, the more I appreciate their untouched beauty and subtle coloring.
Little black streams broke the stillness with their gentle babbling. We had fun jumping rocks that wobbled above the water.
Of all the little grass valleys we stopped at, this was by far the most beautiful. We had an elevated view from an outcropping of rock and just enough clearance through the trees to see the bright stalks standing still in the dwindling light.
After about 9 hours of hiking we climbed the final ridge just in time for sunset in the clearing sky. The furthest hills were sapphire cascading into amethyst and burnt orange as they neared.
Angel took this photo of me after I was finished with the sunset. There's not really a feeling that compares to spending a day outdoors like this.
Exhausted and just around the corner from our car we came across two white tailed doe basking in the warm afterglow of sunset. I took a few photos, then stepped forward slowly, avoiding crunchy leaves to take another. The closest doe let me approach in this manner for several minutes until I was able to include her as a significant part of the landscape.
Here's a good example of how quickly everything changes outdoors. The difference between these last two images is just 1 minute 12 seconds. Light went from a smooth wash of red to flat purple just as quickly as my doe decided she was done being photographed. In my experience, the most important part of an image is the light, and creating something with it in that fleeting moment is what keeps me coming back for more.