I recently wrote about a walk we took the other day and mentioned that I had a bit of an adventure. The water surrounding the bridge support on the left (which I called an abutment but which I’m not sure isn’t more correctly a cutwater) doesn’t look all that deep, does it? I can tell you, from very personal experience, that it is. Or, at least it was deep enough to saturate me to the armpits as I made my way to the cutwater itself. Do not worry, my camera pack was well above my head during the traverse. At first I was going to post the image alone and then Joanna observed that the photo of the fallen log, taken just a few minutes after my swim, was also an image of a bridge. As part of the Pine Creek Rail Trail the steel truss crossing allows hikers, walkers, bicyclers, and runners to move from one side of the creek to the other. As for the bridge on the right, I can imagine any number of creatures, small and not-so-small, taking advantage of the placement of the log to negotiate the distance across the water. If you look closely, you may note that these images have something else in common. Both provide nice examples of specular reflection such that you can see the bridge, trees, and sky reflected in the water in the image on the left, and trees and sky in the image to the right. Interestingly, both also demonstrate what happens when the direct rays of the sun are blocked and objects are then illuminated by incidental light. This has a somewhat disorienting effect, making the viewer question points of spatial reference.

13 thoughts on “Bridges

  1. Hee hee – you were SOAKING WET when you took this, right? Or was it just after that you did your swim? Some day you must try this again only adjust the brightness of the reflection and then invert the image, posting it upside down. I wonder how many would catch on 🙂

    • I was wet … really wet. It took two days for my wallet to dry out and I was only afraid that the electronic key to Joanna’s Subaru would never recover. It’s funny how little I worried about the $$$$ of photographic equipment above my head! Joanna would say, ‘If only you had the little sense that God gave geese.’ D

  2. It’s amazing to me, a northerner, the length of your southern green season. One of the trees in my front yard is naked as of yesterday. The garden froze a couple weeks ago, and while covering it with blankets usually allows the pumpkins and squash to finish up in the warmer fall weather that comes after the first frost, this year’s was too heavy and everything that was covered also died back. We don’t receive much time to encounter nature in flower or leaf. Yet, most Canadian prairie dwellers strongly believe we live in one of the most beautiful places on earth… because it’s “natural” (you could also say, almost uninhabitable!). When I encounter mostly urban images of the US in the normal course of my day, it’s easy to join in with that point of view, about nature versus development, and overlook the beauty of your home. It gives me a lot of enjoyment to see the world come to life in your images each spring, and then stay so lovely long after dormancy has begun in the northern environment each autumn. The word “paradise” keeps popping up in my mind.

    • Thanks for expressing your Northern perspective so well M. They say that ‘The grass is always greener,’ (literally, in this case I suppose), but our lower latitude, which perhaps you envy, does have its drawbacks. Yes, we are warm, but often too warm. Yes, we are wet, but often too wet. Too warm and too wet equals too humid – which I hate. I envy your open topography. Your open spaces. Your endless horizons and wide-open landscapes. I am not a native to Pennsylvania and find its rolling hills and tall trees sometimes a bit claustrophobic. Although Syracuse, NY isn’t Saskatchewan I spent five years there as a graduate student. Long, cold, and dark winter months are not something I would like more of. Our Pennsylvania winters are long, cold, and dark enough … but not, I would guess, to the extreme degree which you experience. I am glad my image channeled a bit of our lingering warmth northward. D

      • I’m not envious, but more aware of a different type of beauty. I do truly enjoy the access your blog gives me to another part of the world. I did live in an area of Canada that was a small prairie surrounded by very dense conifer forests. Traveling in and out of the area was very uncomfortable for me. My animal brain likes to know where the predators are lurking. Nonetheless, I think it’s fair to say that you’ve found a way to share something beautiful that you’ve discovered, and that effort (and it’s object) is worthy of praises and admiration.

  3. Specular reflection? How about SPECTACULAR reflection? The clarity of these images is fantastic! Looks like you could just walk right into these locations. Love how you can see all the rocks beneath the water. It as worth getting wet for these! 🙂

  4. The steel bridge image is nice and the story of your swim that accompanies it adds a lot to it. However, I think Joanna’s encouragement has given us the star of the show with the fallen tree bridge. The “disorienting” feature is pretty cool and the fact that moss is only growing on the top, as it should, leaves the bottom of the log bare which adds another layer of confusion as to what we are seeing. I also like the idea of the log as a bridge for wildlife … something that makes me think of the wildlife corridors that are so important in developed areas allowing the animals to find their way from one fragment of land to another.

    • Absolutely. When will developers realize that fragments, especially when they are small and isolated, don’t help much to preserve wildlife? I think that maybe I’ve mentioned elsewhere that the state of Indiana has experienced significant forest fragmentation since the middle of the nineteenth century. Although what remains may help some of the plants to hang on (especially if they are wind pollinated) … I don’t believe that there’s enough continuity among highly fragmented bits of woodland for the majority of the resident animal fauna. I think, in this case, it is indeed fair to argue that they, the animals, were there first and that we have no right. D

      • You are arguing with the choir on that, David. We are interlopers, but few will recognize the truth in that. However, I am not ready to give up my acre and live in a highrise of 300-square-foot cubicles. But we do leave brush piles in our small woods and try to be welcoming to whoever decides to visit our yard … although we are not excited about the bears folding our feeder poles flat on the ground.

  5. I didn’t expect that you would be able to top your images of water! 🙂 Very beautiful!
    “Somewhat disorienting effect” is an understatement – I needed some time to “decode” the image of the fallen log!

  6. I love the reflections, but my favorite is imagining you up to your armpits with your camera above! Also, on the mossy log on the right, there is a small, darker rectangular shape along the waters’ edge of the log in the right third of the frame – it reminds me of a small doorway and I immediately think of something from the Wind in the Willows! Very nice photos, very lovely composition all. Thank you for sharing. It’s nice to think of you and Joanna out there taking in the scenery.

    • Hey there Farmer? Have you worked your fingers down to the bone yet! I hope not. I hope you are slowing down just a little in anticipation of the fall foliage and the R&R which comes with the winter season (yeah, right). We will be preparing to put the sheep out to breed as close to October 1 as we can manage. Wish us luck. Please say hello to everyone at Wing and a Prayer from those of us here at Pairodox. D

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