Started my year off in a wintry creek…imagine that. Worked hard on two balances. The first one was an utter train wreck. Ugly balance, poor location, utter frustration. I wasn’t sure the second one was going to happen. Took a long time to finally come to fruition. Super cool topper on a small, wobbly spine. Cold hands and numb feet from sitting in position for far too long (hours). Had to regroup, clear my mind and focus on the design that I set in motion. I kept telling myself it was going to happen. Again coming down to fading daylight. If no photos happened I was going to be cool with it. I just wanted to see it completed with my own eyes. Contemplation as to possibly changing the topper filled my head many times. It helps to be unbelievably stubborn in this game. Proper way to start the new year! even managed a few photos 🙂
So I have this wind chime located on my front deck. It’s hefty and actually sounds more like a cowbell than a typical dainty wind chime. It was purchased on a trip to Colorado lifetimes ago. It doesn’t ring too often since it takes a rather robust wind to even get it swinging. It’s become a gauge to help me decide when it’s favorable conditions for stone balancing. Usually if the chime is ringing, its time to stay home. Yesterday as I contemplated my work day, I heard it dinging away… SHIT!!! Experience tells me that it’s probably not worth the effort to head out, but my mind was telling me otherwise. Being a frugal, conservationist type person, I opted to save the atmosphere and not burn gas driving to a spot on such a low probability day. Instead, I packed my kit and hoofed it to the old ski slopes in my neighborhood. I spent a few frustratingly productive hours balancing and enjoying the outdoors. Fate put a really interesting topper in my hands and I even managed to create 3 variations with it. On the third collapse, it broke in half putting an end to my efforts and sent me home to repair my driveway erosion from the recent “flooding”. Next time I hear the Colorado chime ringing, I may just reevaluate my actions 🙂
Despite being down a critical piece of equipment, some quality time was spent enjoying the snow and creating some balance prior to the large snowfall that hit our region. For a few days everything’s been under a few feet of snow making time away easier to cope with. The “Frozen” balance was one that was left overnight. The slightest amount of spray from the creek transformed the balance into a an object fixed in the creek. The other three photos are of a different creation that I took a liking to. I used a Nikon D50 (circa 2005) to shoot these photos. The batteries are as old as the camera and have barely enough life to snap a few photos in cold weather. I even used the cold weather trick of keeping them warm with “shake and bake” hand warmers trying to squeeze out as many images as possible. Luck and a small amount of skill netted several decent shots with a nostalgic “old school” digital appearance. Not that they’re worthy of massive enlargement, but they work for social media sharing after the arduous task of removing the hundreds of black dirt specs due to the badly neglected image sensor 🙂 Can’t wait to get a proper camera back in my hands!
The last couple days have been spent in the same location along Indian Creek in Indianhead, Pennsylvania. Close to where I grew up as a child, I find this creek to have some very interesting stones to choose from. The weather yesterday was a mixture of rain and snow making for less than ideal conditions. Actually downright unpleasant. I managed to build two balances. The first one was hideously aweful, the second was a little better. The first lasted less than a minute and produced 4 photos, the second I improved upon a bit, but also lasted about 50 seconds. Wet, cold, miserable and with darkness closing fast, I called it a day and retreated home for some warm dinner.
Today I returned to the same location and was greeted with somewhat more pleasant weather. It snowed large flakes almost the entire time which felt like a real life snow globe. The wind was blowing slightly less, which was better. I managed a few balances. The first was an astonishing point balance that may be the most minimal contact point I’ve ever achieved… hard to believe it was done while wearing gloves in a snowstorm? It lived a short duration of just a few moments allowing a quick examination and a few photos before toppling into the creek. I was going to rebuild it, but the point was damaged in the topple, rendering it less than ideal in my eyes. The second balance was less appealing in design, but technically more difficult. Balancing it became more of a game of “can I accomplish this before dark” than a well thought out, interesting piece. The snow came down harder producing a thin blanket of snow over the balance. Despite the balance being less than beautiful in my eyes the moment and experience made up for its lackluster design. I almost found myself dancing in the creek as the snow fell, then suddenly my hands quickly reminded me that they’d spent far too much time in frigid waters and that it was time to bid farewell to Indian Creek.