So there I was, out for a walk around the neighborhood on a dull grey day in Maine, while chatting on my cell phone with my sister in California. I left the house with no expectations of taking photographs. (Stop laughing!)
I also had no expectations of adventure or discovery as I set off down the familiar street. But for some reason, when I reached the old, disused railroad tracks a mile or so from home, I turned down them to the left for the very first time. Now, to the right, the way I usually go, the tracks run between two neighborhoods, and all you can see there are glimpses of houses and back yards. But to the left — things began to get interesting.
There was a vacant field surrounded by brush and trees, their limbs mostly bare already. There were stacks of old railroad ties, weathered silvery grey. The ground sloped steeply down on both sides of the tracks, lined with trees, an occasional bough still festooned with bright-colored leaves. Water pooled in the low ground on both sides, reflecting sky and branches. There were scattered leaves of scarlet and gold along the tracks at my feet.
Photos needed to be taken! I was still talking to my sister via my bluetooth earpiece, and I began using my phone to take photos at the same time. Then…surprise!…I came around the corner, out of the trees, and saw the scene above. That’s my river, the one that runs behind my apartment building! That’s the oh-so-distant trestle that I’ve seen many times from the road. I had no idea it was so accessible, and within walking distance!
I kept walking, chatting away and blissfully snapping photos of all this newly revealed scenery, when suddenly — my phone died. No warning at all, it just shut itself off. That was the end of my walk, my talk, and my picture taking. I headed home as quickly as possible so I could plug in the phone and call my poor sister back to explain. Fortunately she loves me and is very forgiving.
There’s a moral to this story, and it’s this: Expect the unexpected!
There are other lessons to be learned, too. Notes to self:
- Get out more.
- Take the unfamiliar turn more often.
- Always take a camera . . .
- AND a backup power source!
I should know by now that I’m inevitably going to spot something I want to photograph. Whether I carry a camera and backup battery, or just a pocket charger for my phone, I want to be ready next time.
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NOTE: December’s Scene & Story on Sunday, January 7, will be our last “official” linkup. Sarah and I have enjoyed hosting the linkup for the past year. It’s been a fun practice and I’ve loved the rhythm of this monthly post, but it’s time to move on to new adventures and projects in the new year. A heartfelt Thank you to those who have joined in over the past year. It’s been a joy to share the first Sunday of each month with you!