Walkin’ in the Moonlight

At the end of the day, I find myself with no new photos, nothing to write about, and a dog that needs to go for a walk.

I decide it’s been too long since I shot down at the riverfront at night.  I have shot the riverfront from the roof and balcony many times, but I can’t remember the last time I actually carried my camera down to the river after dark.

Having gone small yesterday, it seemed reasonable that today I would go wide, so I put my 16-35mm lens on my camera, grabbed my loupe and tripod, and talked my husband into coming with me and bringing the dog.

Walking Renaissance Park at night is always an interesting experience.  The meadow voles who live on the hillside at the park entrance seem to be mostly daytime critters–no rustles are heard in the leaves as we walk by, unlike earlier in the day when something scurried away every few steps.  Ironically, if they would hold still, we would never know they were there.

But as we head down the walkway past the wetland, leaves crunch loudly in the woods to our right.  A little too loudly.  We glance at each other and then peer into the darkness of the woods wondering what might be lurking there big enough to make that much noise.  I remind myself how loud even a mouse can be in fall leaves and we keep moving without any boogie men jumping out at us.

I pause to shoot the reflected trees in the wetland water.  It’s not the most stunning reflection, but I like the bright trees at the top of the hill and the dark sky streaked with clouds.

Tisen drops Snake (one of his newest family members), leaving the red and green toy (doesn’t every family have a Christmas snake?) laying in the shadows along the sidewalk while he investigates a smell.  Whoever was here before him left behind an interesting story–I finish shooting long before he’s done sniffing.

The night is cool, but I am warm enough with a sweater and light jacket.  The frogs and cicadas have disappeared and the only noises we hear besides the occasional rustle of leaves is the voices of other couples walking in the moonlight.

I think how romantic this walk might be if I weren’t carrying a tripod and stopping to shoot for long intervals.  My husband patiently keeps Tisen entertained while I shoot.  Maybe that’s it’s own kind of romance?

As we work our way around the same path we have walked hundreds of times in the past 15 months, I look at the scene anew.  Shooting causes an interesting shift in perspective–I look at the moon, the clouds, the lights, the converging lines, and the sculptures from different angles and look for new ways to combine them in my frame.

I realize the same old scene is actually never the same twice.

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