DOH!

Everyone loves pretty pictures. Photographers do too, but I think our biggest kick is often making those pretty pictures. Sometimes we have a funny story to tell, or a touching one, about how or why the image was made. But sometimes, one has to ask himself—yeah, me—what the hell was I thinking?

For this shot I was up early, a good hour before the sun came up. A thick fog—Campbell’s Soup thick—made it impossible to see more than ten feet in front of me. My headlights barely cut through it.

I pulled up near the shore and got out. It was eerily quiet, with large trees enveloping me. I could see a faint outline of the rocks, and as the light began to brighten I could discern enough to frame the shot that I wanted. The fog was too thick to make an engaging image, but I knew once the sun came up most of it would dissipate quickly.

As I bided my time, I did make use of the fog. There were scores of Canada geese and other waterfowl around, and I took some beautiful shots of them (a future post). When the sun finally came up on the horizon, I set the camera back on the tripod and took this shot. The fog had rolled back across the water, nicely backlit by the sun.

I was really pleased—it was one of those days when you know you’ve captured something great. How quickly the moment turned.

I was putting my gear back in the car when I felt this itch on my cheek. As I put my hand up to scratch, the itch moved.

I clawed whatever it was off of me. I looked down, and there it was, all eight hairy legs and beady eyes. It wasn’t the fact he was ugly and plump; wasn’t the fact he was black and bristly. I’d seen worse. Normally spiders don’t bother me, but this one did.

I must have turned to stone for at least a couple of heartbeats for the fear—a change the shorts kind of fear. There were at least one hundred—maybe a hundred and fifty—of these creepy crawlies all over my clothes. In my hair. And I have long hair. They were everywhere. Over 800 hairy, scurrying legs.

I was running around in circles, swatting them off. I was freaking. I felt like Indiana Jones felt when those snakes got to him. It was at that moment I looked up and realized that not only were there trees all around me, but their scraggly arms formed an arcing canopy above me. And lo and behold, I’d never seen such a sight. Everywhere I looked, I saw nothing but thick webs—and nothing but spiders.

Being the dumbass that I clearly am, what do I do? Stuff my tail between my legs and take off? Oh no, I leave that to the smart people. I spend the next half hour trying to ward off more of these hideous things as I struggle to get a nice close-up of the webs (another post, methinks).

You know, sometimes I make Homer Simpson look like a genius. Got me beat? I’d love to hear about it. DOH!