(All pics. snapped on 5/30/11)
After posting the pictures from a couple of entries ago, the ones with the creek and the vine-covered tree? A little birdy told me that if I turned left, instead of right (duh) on the path that had gotten me to that wonderful place - I'd end up at an even more spectacular spot...which quite frankly, I found hard to believe. But? Whatever. Main thing was, I woke up yesterday morning - ready to find out for myself if it was true. I also awoke after only four hours of sleep - feeling positive and upbeat for the first time in eons, and on a mission to try and stay cool...since it was shaping up to be an oppressively scorching hot day.
Once there on the path, I navigated my way through waist-high prickers and other flora, wondering if I'd ever even find the creek beyond all that overgrowth. But when the rushing sound of water began to gradually crescendo, practically drowning out the din of weed-eaters and lawnmowers and folks yelling at their dogs from their yards - I knew that it would lead me to the mystery location.
However, before leaving the path to attempt navigating my way to the creek - I couldn't resist snapping some pics. of myself scampering over to this fallen tree, and up as high I as I could get in 10 seconds, while allowing enough time to get in position, and try to look like I'd been lazily lying on the limb for awhile...
I'm here to tell ya, this was not as easy as it looks. After 20-some tries, my arms and shoulders ached from having hurriedly hoisted my body up so high. The temperature was soaring, and I was absolutely drenched. It's like this - if I had 'em, I'd have been sweating my balls off. But when the flies began greedily feeding off of the blood from the cuts on both of my knees - I was done. No matter how many times I tried to shoo 'em away, they belligerently returned to keep feasting...it was freaky.
I collected my stuff and with both arms full, I methodically made my way through the absurdly dense, seemingly never-ending thicket - cussing, and stooped-over in a hunch the whole way.
By this point, I was more excited about dunking my bedraggled body in some cool, moving water - than I was about staging self-portraits...it was so flippin' hot out. And can I just tell you? When I finally came out of the brush to see this? It felt as if I'd reached Nirvana...I literally could...not...believe what was there before my eyes.
After processing the preternatural beauty of this place, while decadently swimming in the pool below the falls - I knew that it was time to get my butt back to work.
Now one would think that getting good pics. in a setting this superb - would be a cinch, but holy cow did I struggle! Not only to convincingly plant myself amid such natural magnificence, but also to capture a respectable amount of it within each frame. In nearly every shot, I either felt swallowed-up by the greatness of the scene, or that I was incapable of harnessing its magnitude.
I took piles and piles of pics., none of which did the place justice...and in order to ward off encroaching frustration - I thought it might be helpful to take 5.
While tucked away out of the sun, perched on a cool, moss-covered rock by the waterfall - it occurred to me that it was the first time ever on a shoot, that I was just as content to sit still and do nothing but soak up my stellar surroundings, as I was to be photographing myself among them. It was such a huge relief to feel so calm and peaceful...and to revel in my alone time, once again.
But...for as much as I needed and appreciated the break, I'm hyper and can never sit still for very long. I decided to dive right back into my pics., this time though, I would try aiming my camera in the opposite direction of the falls, towards a more humble, less intimidating part of the creek - hoping it might make a more manageable backdrop.
On my way over to do the nightgown pics., I had to slop through an oozy, muddy bog. I chanted, "Ew?...ew?...ew?" with every slow, squishy step - but only 10 pictures into the nightgown theme, the proverbial light bulb went off and I thought, "Dude...wait. What tha hell am I doing?! I gotsta get down in that muck!"
Upon first sight, I'd thought that the waterfall, and the lagoon-ish green pool - would undoubtedly set the stage for the best pics. of the bunch....but no. It wasn't until I wallowed in that stinky, smooshy mud pit - in front of a nondescript, steep, sandy bank - that I truly found my sweet spot that day...
I havta give a shout-out to the friend who kept me up so late the night before - trust me, the enlightening and uplifting repartee we shared - more than made up for the resulting lack of sleep. Thank you so much for helping me brush myself off - and begin moving forward a bit.
I also need to thank the "little birdy" who gave me the tip about this incredible venue...oh my god I owe ya' major! Love, love...
And although you'll probably think this is utterly ridiculous - Thanks also to Rob Dyrdek and his Fantasy Factory...the last episode I watched inspired me to snag the phrase "sweet spot"...plus (as always) the show reminded me to think positively, and aim high.
And last but not least - Thank You, dear Mother Nature...for providing so many sweet spots - not just for my pics., but also for sanctuary from the upheaval in my life...