Hiking stories. How photography and a deep connection with nature help me to keep up the good spirit in these sad times... A walk among the beautiful colors of the autumn wetlands from an overcast dawn to a bright day
Hi everyone! Hope you are doing fine, despite everything is happening in our unfortunate planet.
The autumn season, that I have been longing for so much, is definitely here now, and yet, I don't feel the usual enthusiasm and happiness ... And although it's true that a lot of very annoying things are happening to me, I don't think they are actually the ones impacting my mood and energy, rather something else.
For some time now, I cannot help but feeling an unpleasant anxiety, the one I always have when something wrong is about to happen.
I feel like we are going in an awfully bad direction, back to old bad habits. That we are regressing instead of progressing.
Things like the war, that we were finally starting to consider as "obsolete", at least in the so-called developed countries, are now back in our life.
Many important rights and social improvements achieved in the past with struggle and sacrifice are lost again, here in the future. In the meantime, real predicaments, such as the devastating conditions in which we have reduced our planet and the consequences suffered by more and more people every day, are disregarded to say the least.
And the list in my mind goes on and on ....
Not so good, is it?
I know that many of you are feeling the same, that you are as astonished as I am by what is happening and that you are also wondering how we could get to this point, like frogs slowly boiling to death...
And I also know that there are a lot of you having a hard time coping in many ways ... Well, you are not alone my friends! Speak your pain, look for help, do not isolate.
This is exactly what I am doing here, with my pictures, my video and my words, talking about my concerns and how to overcome them through my photography and my deep connection with nature.
So, let's get to the hiking story ...
Last week, I managed to get out in nature again after a long-time immersion in all sorts of little problems that are having anyway a great impact on my work. Like my jeep that is still at the mechanic after two months, waiting for a replacing component that will maybe sort the issue, or the renovation works of my wooden house that ended up costing double the expected price and draining my wallet.
As a consequence, I am a little stuck. As I cannot travel to many of my planned locations, that are only reachable through unpaved little roads, I am losing the autumn photography season and its income. Also, the money that I saved to buy new gear to improve my work, has been used to pay the renovation bills ... 🤪
But rule number one in bad times is never surrender and try to adapt to any circumstance!
So, with my normal car, I managed to reach a nature reserve called Knuthöjdsmossen, locally known for its wetlands, wild birds and wide spaces ... It wasn't planned at all, I have already been there in summer and winter, I have already photographed it and talked about it here.
But it was easy to get to, and I have never been there in the autumn season, so I decided to give it another go.
It ended up being not only a pleasant, unexpected photographic surprise, but a great journey for the soul too.
Under a photographic point of view, it's always an interesting exercise to return to a place you have already visited and being able to notice the little differences according to different seasons.
The picture below for example, is almost an exact replica in terms of composition of the one I took last winter.
Of course, the colors palette is different. But have you noticed that nothing has really changed from last year? I mean look at the trees, they are exactly the same, same quantity, same position, same height, same foliage, everything is precisely the same.
The fact is that the pine trees of these nature reserve are so old that they are not really growing anymore, they are like frozen in time! And yet, they are still proudly standing more beautiful than ever.
The old pine trees of the reserve captured in autumn and winter
It’s a cloudy morning in the wetlands, there's total silence, and the lack of light darkens every hue and shade of the autumn. The perfect light for moody photography!
The crows are singing. I am alone in this wilderness and yet I don’t feel lonely, just connected and very alive. The little path leads the way but just for a while, then it disappears into the unknown.
That’s where the journey begins …
After having walked for a while, I reached the shore of one of the numerous ponds of the wetland, and I stopped there, entranced by the rippling reflection of the trees in the water ....
Suddenly the sun pierced the sky and I found myself shooting nonstop against the blinding light. It was like I was hypnotized, I couldn't really see anything, but I kept on going. I felt there was something down there at the bottom of the pond that was worth taking pictures of. I even filmed the scene.
It was only when I returned home and I looked at the pictures and the video, that I noticed that I was actually filming the sun... It had fallen into the water!
That wonder reminded me to always trust my instinct, especially out there in nature .... If you feel something, it means something is there ...
Nature likes to surprise us. You just have to listen and follow her, however weird her ways to communicate might be.
The sun is fallen into the water
Once the pond eventually broke the spell it had casted on me and let me go, I realized that I had spent at least one hour staring at the water ...
But when I woke up, my mind was clear and all bad thoughts were gone, along with the anxiety that I had felt in the past weeks. I was feeling well again, I was happy and in good spirit.
In that precise moment, I looked up at the sky. A gentle breeze had started wiping the clouds away, dissolving the grey cover of the early morning, exactly like the bad thoughts from my mind.
I looked down at a new footpath and this time there was some light on the ground and on the flowery bushes. The landscape was changing its colors and its mood.
I could see more details now, like the beautiful movements in the texture of a tree trunk fallen on the ground.
Or the tiny, tiny snail without shell on the stipe of a beautiful white mushroom. Actually, snails without shell are called slugs. Did you know that slugs evolved from snails and lost their big shell over the years as they found ways to survive without it? Some of them actually still have it under their skin, a thinner version of it, while most of them have totally lost it.
I felt sorry I did not bring my macro lens ... some mornings I prefer to leave with a lighter backpack. But then there is always so much you can discover looking down. Sometimes I find hard to decide where to dedicate my attention, shall I focus on the landscapes or the details? Nature has so many wonders to offer that I happen to feel totally overwhelmed.
I walked till sunset, although I had to stop taking pictures in the early afternoon, my memory card was totally full ... But it was a good thing. Without the artistic tension I was able to enjoy nature in a different way, less intense I would say, but somehow more relaxing ...
By the end of the day, the sky had cleared up and when I stepped into the forest that connects the wetlands to the parking lot, the autumn sun was shining fiercely through the trees.
The weatherman had not foreseen that ...
And it's exactly with this image that I'd like to leave you for today. With the sun making its way through the forest, as an omen of our journey through these dark times and a sign of hope for the future.
That walk in the wetlands was like a journey to me. From darkness to light, from an anxious, downhearted mind to a clear, happy one. And it was my deep connection with nature and my love for photography that made that journey happened.
Nature heals my soul and art keeps it alive.
I wish you can find your way to connect with nature and enjoy her healing powers, and I wish you can find something to hold on to, helping you keeping up the good spirit.
It's the only way forward in these bad times ...
Take care of you my friends,
Till next time, lot of 🤍