Monday, February 1, 2010

PHOTO FOOLS FROLIC ON FRIGID FORAY

Unbeknownst to me, Rich took this photo during one of the rare occasions when I could raise my cold-stiffened limbs up in an attempt to make a photo; unbeknownst to Rich, I have stolen his portrait and made use of it on this post.
The weather report called for a mix of sun and clouds. What Rich and I actually saw during our afternoon photo ramble was mostly the latter—though that wasn't any particular problem. Overcast days, with their soft, shadowless light are often ideal for picture-making.
Nope, it wasn't the quality or quantity of available light that tested our mettle, but temperatures that refused to rise above the single digits and a below-zero wind-chill born in some Siberian vodka cellar.
I freely admit that more than once while I was out there in the frozen fields, shivering and shaking, teeth chattering, spine warping, I thought we were either admirably dedicated or afflictively idiotic. Why else would grown men willing endure wind-driven cold that instantly froze the blood and cut to your spine like a razor-sharp machete? What excuse could be offered for facing harsh cold that demanded multiple layers of protective clothing, and a bitter wind that quickly numbed every inch of exposed facial skin?
Even bundled up we suffered, and the stiff, heavy outerwear and gloves added their own difficulties to the task of working and setting camera controls.
However, Rich, who's not only a fellow-father-in-law (his son, my daughter) but lately a budding photographer, had recently acquired a brand new zoom lens he was now hot-to-trot to field test. Everyone knows that when a fellow buys such a techno-toy, there's no better time than the present to check things out. If you are a would-be nature photographer, that means shooting birds or beasts or whatever flora you can happen upon while lurching around yonder winter wasteland. Unless one was willing to admit to being a slave to his survival instincts, and thereby earning the label of "weather wuss," the rules say exacerbating factors so terrible a polar bear would have thought twice about being outside, must simply to be ignored.
Of course, once you're actually afield, there are a few time-proven counter-measures the expert can employ to help alleviate such misery. Vehement railing and the occasional recourse to vivid imprecations are both permitted and understandable. Not that speech of any sort is truly possible when your blood is only a heartbeat away from coagulation and your tongue is a pink ice cube rattling between your teeth. Still, the linguistically determined should be able to express himself through sudden gasps, involuntary shudders, and all manner of pitiful groans.
Moreover, any test session conducted under such conditions not only assesses equipment, but simultaneously discloses the testor's capacity for self-abuse. Later on, of course, during the inevitable post-session reviews, it also reveals that individual's prowess at spin-doctoring—whereby such harebrained ordeals are retold so they sound like another round of jolly-good manly fun.
Indeed, that evening, after Rich and I had, with the table manners of timber wolves, consumed a few thousand sorely missed calories (hey, the body burns a lot of energy making the BTUs to keep itself within sight of that 98.6˚F standard) we stood in front of a roaring hearthfire, warming certain still-numb nether quarters. The afternoon's adventure had been recounted in detail if not accuracy.
Myladylove, savvy to the nuances of good storytelling and its frequent departure with truth, and also aware first-hand of the weather we'd faced, asked—logically, if not particularly tactfully—were we men, morons, or masochists?
I quaffed another half-pint of wine, grinned smugly, and knowing we'd doubtless proven ourselves, announced proudly and with all confidence…
"Two out of three!"

15 comments:

Gail said...

Hi Grizz-

Great picture and even greater story of 'men being men'. You couldn't have paid me to join you on your frozen adventure, braving the ellments for some pictures. Men! :-)


I was outside with Gracey-Blue the other day in sub zero temperatures and a crystal ice-mist and squall blowing about - I observed my neighbor whom I refer to as "Rambo" coming out of the woods, dressed like an Eskimo and his Shepard dog happily running along. He was covered in ice, that stuck to his clothes and hat and he looked SO freaking cold, but he was smiling ear to ear. Men. So ya, two out of three!!! :-)

Love Gail
peace.......

Richard said...

Boy I'm glad you let us know that was a picture of you. I thought I was looking at Bigfoot.

Rich said...

My Fellow Masochist,

Now the cat is out of the bag that my one and only good photograph taken on that cold and blistering forage out into the cruel winter has been so maliciously stolen. As recompense, I expect a 50/50 royalty split from the vast proceeds that will be generated from the sale of said photo. I must admit that the roaring fire in the fireplace, a fine supper, the wine, and the warm friendship all helped bring about the needed thaw after the day’s venture out in the frigid winter air.

Your friend and weather non-wuss,

Rich

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Hey, you couldn't have paid me either! We had fun, took some photos, and survived. You can't beat a day like that!

I grew up with guys like your neighbor…in fact, I might have almost been one. Almost. Had a shepherd dog, too.

Give Gracey-Blue a pat for me…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Richard…

I resemble that remark! (There were plenty of moments out there when I could have used bigfoot's shaggy hair. Man, it was COLD!)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rich…

I think the food, wine, and those chocolate-covered coffee beans went a long way toward restoring our life and perspective—that plus the fire and good company.

It was fun, in a bear-wrestling, falling-off-a-cliff sort of way. I even got a few fairly good photos. But it is a rather sad commentary that even the geese were smart enough to get out of the wind before we did.

When you're not as smart as a Canada goose……

Jayne said...

Oh, the dedication! ;c)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jayne…

Oh, the capacity for grown men to impose self-inflicted misery in the name of fun!

schererart said...

At first I thought this was a log, with a nest on top. The eyes do indeed play tricks on the mind.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Schererart…

A large, bulky, and well-chilled log, for sure. Possibly an old sycamore…

Don't know about the nest on top, though. I tried to keep that end well covered at all times. :-)

Bernie said...

It does sound like a fun day for you and your friend, not sure I would of enjoyed it as much as you and Rich did but I did enjoy reading about it....cute pic...Hugs

Bernie said...

I am still giggling over your day in the cold.....glad you had fun but my not my kind of day for sure, those kind of days I sit by the fire and read......:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Cute pic? Well, it does show my bet side. Actually, Rich and I had a good time. You don't get to pick the weather, just make a choice to go or not. I'd usually rather go, regardless.

Sitting by the fire with a good book is great, though…

KGMom said...

Ah, but which two out of three? Now there's the real question.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

KGMom…

Not so much a mystery as a subjective assessment.