Friday June, 5th was my last student contact day and Monday the 8th was a scheduled ‘workday.” I italicize “workday” to underscore the asinine verbiage used to describe a non-student contact day. As far as I am concerned, any day in which I commit my brain and body to the act of teaching, creating or grading is a work day… but, once again, I digress. Monday ended prematurely, as the custodial staff emptied my room in preparation for some long-overdue duct work that promises a more stable climate in room 119 next year.
To celebrate the end of my 23rd year in public education, I awoke an hour earlier than the normal to photograph a sunrise along the St. Croix River. Located just four miles from my home is a quiet little cove that is familiar to locals but hidden from the heavy tourist traffic that would otherwise envelop my town on spring and summer days. At 4:45 a.m., I was confident that I could spend a good hour in solitude with only the sounds of eagles, herons and woodpeckers to break the silence. Like clockwork, a young fisherman ambled down the ancient staircase an hour later to cast his line.
I had hoped for some clouds on this morning, but knew that the night’s rain and heavy winds would leave me with a clear morning sky. The photo pictured is an exercise in reduction. The first effort was a grand landscape of the river and canyon walls. With too many busy elements throughout, I paced the shore for something less. My second attempt was tight image of a branch crossing the frame and entering the water, but the lack of focal point and drama caused me to abandon the composition. The photo, pictured here, was my third crack at the landscape. Fearing that I would lose the “sweet light,” I took a time out and sat on log to regain my focus. As an eagle called out to its mate, the image you see revealed itself to me.
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