Midwestern Wanderlog

2016-10-24 – Finding the unexpected

So, how often does it happen to you?  Those moments when what you expect changes what you actually see?  ‘Cause we’re peculiar creatures, us humans.  The power of our belief is so strong that it can and occasionally does interfere in the physical information our senses send to our brains.

Sunrise Stats!
First light: 7:08 AM
Sunrise: 7:38 AM
Daylight: 11 hrs, 32 min

This morning was chill enough that the cloudless horizon was showing a vivid reddish-orange on the drive in.  I was later than usual – not feeling actual gut pain this morning, thank goodness, but tired enough from it all day yesterday that I just did not want to get out of bed.  Even caught myself thinking would it really matter, if I miss a day?

(The answer, of course, is a resounding YES IT WOULD MATTER.)

T’any rate, the sunrise itself wasn’t a spectacular example of the breed, but it was nice in its own way.  Still waters on the river made some very clear reflections.  There was a tug moving one, singular, barge component around down near the park.  And the sun actually appeared above the hill within a minute and a half of official sunrise, so that was nice too.

And then it happened.  I’d turned the camera around a few minutes before to take my usual pictures of Red Wing, then back east-southeast to capture some closer-ups of rising sun and still waters.  There wasn’t much else going on, so put the cap on the lens and turned to start packing the camera away.

Caught sight of an animal just hopping off the trail and heading up onto the knoll behind me, the spot where I’ve stood to try and capture lightning to the northwest.  At first, what I saw was a yellowish critter turned ruddy by the rising sun; a stray dog, maybe a small Lab.

Then the more observant/less directed part of my brain kicked at me.  You know that feeling?  The one that is kind of a wordless, internal shout for attention?  Thing is, it’s not long on detail, that part of you.  It’s just going grab you by the scruff and shake you a bit, to call your awareness to the fact that what you believe you’re seeing is wrong.  And if you’re lucky, you take another look or listen, and this time pay true attention to what’s really there, rather than what you think ought to be.

The fox came out for a visit today.  I got to watch him for close to twenty-thirty seconds, out in the open.  And fortunately, over the course of the Barn Bluff project I’ve gotten into the habit of thinking of my phone as a video camera and had the presence of mind to stealthily pull it out of my pocket, rather than darting for the ‘real’ camera and spooking him away.

What a perfect morning!


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