You would think that after 40 + years of searching (Actually, I wasn’t really searching; this is more for dramatic effect) and finally finding the perfect swamp—the swamp of my dreams, if you will—that I would be satisfied. After all, it’s been very good to me. It’s given me so much and never ever let me down. What need did I have of other swamps?
But, as human nature would have it, I began to yearn for something more, something different. I had become content with my swamp, but I longed for that excitement I felt, when I first laid eyes on it.
Hahaha. Not really. The truth of the matter is, I was out at my swamp, when a trio of great blue herons flew over. I surmised that they must be nesting somewhere in the area, and I set out to find them. I went so far as to order a couple of topo maps of the area from the U.S. Geological Survey. That is how I came to find “the big swamp”.
The problem with the big swamp is that in order to SEE the big swamp, you have to be IN the big swamp, due to the thick growth that surrounds it, much of it being of the thorny kind. Undaunted, I went home and ordered a pair of chest waders from Amazon. That was back in the days when I had Prime, so I had the waders in plenty of time for my next weekend excursion.
At my earliest convenience, I was sporting my brandy new chest waders and heading for the big swamp. In those first days, I stayed close to shore. Stalking along the edges, I would measure every step, painstakingly, lest I trip over some hidden rock or tree or get sucked into the murky depths, never to be heard from again.
Sometimes an obstacle would force me to wander out beyond my comfort zone with the water occasionally coming up to just under my armpits. To be honest, I was never that concerned about myself. As long as my feet were on the ground, I was fine. I was more concerned about my camera gear. There is nothing more depressing than being out on a shoot and having your camera stop working, because it decided to go for a little swim. I know this feeling all to well, and it sucks.
Btw, no herons were nesting at the big swamp at this time, but there were plenty of other sights to keep me interested. The interesting thing is that the birds seemed to be more tolerant of my presence, when I was in the swamp than when I was on shore.
The big swamp is also the sight of my first close encounter with bears. I wrote about it on another blog last year, so I’m not going to regurgitate it here. However, if you really want to read about it, you can go here.
Anyway, this is what it looked like from my perspective: