Sunday, January 3, 2010

Developing a Hobby with the Hubby: The Camera on the Water Experiment

Panoramic view of Pigeon Bayou (that's water covered in algae and salvinia)

About a year ago, I decided that if I was going to stay married for the long-haul (that is post-year-26, post-empty-nest and into-retirement) I should develop a hobby that I could practice with my husband. My husband has a million hobbies. I have a couple. They do not intersect except in admiration of each others talents and proclivities.

Admiring the old cypress tree, estimated to be between 400-800 years old

That's good, but not good 100% of the time if you're married, if you know what I mean.

Path through the woods I was tempted to try to walk through

So, the Thanksgiving before this last one, I began using one of his cameras, and things turned out fairly well, at least well enough that he gave me a camera for Christmas last year, which I have been using pretty regularly. Then, I purchased a photography class for him with CC Lockwood (our resident LA naturalist/photographer) and instead of taking the class alone he bought me a place on the boat.


I say that he bought me a place "on the boat," because the class took place on Pigeon Bayou, about an hour and a half south of here in the middle of Cajun country. I was excited to participate, even though we hadn't been on a canoe together since the first year of our marriage when we lived on the Trinity River, I am deathly afraid of "dropping snakes" and "lurking alligators," and I was a tad bit afraid of dumping said new camera into the water. Plus, my arms hadn't had a work out in months. How was I going to keep up with the rest of the canoeists and barrel-chested, huge-armed Richard, paddling all the live-long-day (until sundown), and shoot a decent picture or two, to boot, particularly with my neck and shoulder issues? Ack.


As is my way, I moved ahead even though apprehensive, based on the knowledge that things always work out, even if I can't see how, if I get a good night sleep and say a prayer or two (or one hundred).

Artistic stand of cypress seemingly set up just for me

Well, the trip was fabulous. We kept up with CC's lead canoe most of the time through sheer adrenaline fueled by sheer panic that we might be lost amongst the cypress trees, even though CC kept saying it was impossible to get lost in Pigeon Bayou. Plus, we didn't want to look like a couple of wimps in that gnarly group of environmentalist types. My photographs were not as studied as some -- as I couldn't quite get a handle on stopping for any length of time and setting up a shot while the rest of our group was speed-gliding away -- but they're still pretty good.

My assignment from CC: Take a picture of this and spend more than 2 seconds doing it

The neck did suffer, but in a normal way that necks suffer even if they aren't chronically messed up. We did roll-and-drop out of bed the next morning, rather than try to use our arms to push to stand up, due to screaming pain, but, it was the kind of pain that you have if you ski, or run or work out a tad too much. And it abated to just the regular chronic crap I experience everyday anyway. So, I'm going to do it again, hopefully soon, with the purchase of a canoe after our bills are paid, and maybe a rug or two are laid.

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