Ewww! What’s that on my boots?

I think it’s fair to say that having the proper kit is very important in the realm of photography. Shooting wildlife? You likely need a very good telephoto lens. Shooting up close? Clearly you need a solid macro lens. Portraits anyone? A solid flash or, better yet, a whole studio type setup with lights, backdrops, wireless transmitters and some sort of super Apple computer. Yet how quickly one forgets the other side of the photography equation; especially when one is shooting out of doors.

Today I grabbed my kit and headed back to my local park. The weather was being somewhat cooperative with partly cloudy skies and a temperature around 45-degrees F. (that’s about normal for this time of the year here in southwestern Ohio). I was feeling lucky. That feeling didn’t last too long.

It must have been too late in the day (early afternoon) to get pictures of the lovely cardinals that have been so prolific of late. And while the squirrels were out and about their colouring is simply way too similar to that of the winter brush and ground cover that it’s damn near impossible to grab a picture of them without having to first scan the entire photograph to find them. But that’s not the problem either. The problem is the ground.

See, we have had an unusual amount of snow this winter; especially into late winter. In addition we have had some rain of late. As such, the ground is completely saturated. Soaked. Water-logged. Sponge-like, if you will. Fortunately I am very well aware of this situation so I had put on a pair of waterproof winter boots for my sojourn to the park. However, this wasn’t enough. The ground is so damp that it and everything else laying upon the ground stuck to the soles of my boots. As I moved around the grounds of the park my boots accumulated massive quantities of very sticky mud, twigs, leaves, wildlife poop, etc. Eventually it looked as if I were wearing giant saucers upon the bottom of my boots. Naturally this gunk adhered to the bottom of my shoes also left me with little to nothing in the way of traction. I spent most of my time slipping, slidding, teetering, etc. as I made my way from bog to bog.

At this point I’m not even certain I obtained any good pictures, but I am very glad to be home in one piece without having slipped and fallen into some horrible muck that would have certainly destroyed my lovely Canon 40D dSLR.

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