f I had to pick one place to spend the rest of my life,
it would be here at Sparks Lake. It possesses so much
beauty and diversity of landscape, flora, and fauna
that it astounds me every time I go there.
I arrived at the lake on a warm July evening in 1992
to scout photographs, hoping to create something special
the next morning. As is often the case here, I was treated
to a wonderful wildlife experience. I was walking back
to camp at dusk and out on the tree scattered island,
a deer scampered across my periphery only to be witnessed
as a silhouette. I paused and questioned whether it
was real or only imagined.
The next morning I rose at 5:00 o’clock and devoured
a hot breakfast. Still having not identified a subject
to photograph, I set out along the shoreline with all
my senses tuned to the possibility. Soon I came to an
overlook and spotted some red-orange color below and
beyond the point. I began feeling the sense of anticipation
I get when something special is about to happen. I moved
down to the lake shore and waded across to the lava
island where the Columbine flowers awaited me. This
was it, and the time was now!
The sun had just peeked over the ridge line to the east
bathing the scene in warm soft sunlight. I knew I had
maybe 10 minutes to get set up and capture the image
before the sunlight became too harsh. Would the wind
blow and ripple the surface of the lake? I immediately
switched from thinking to instinct. When I get my thinking
mind out of the creative process and focus on, ‘how’
what I am seeing ‘feels’, my success rate
rises dramatically. Before I knew it I had this beautiful
composition locked in and began exposing film. After
eight exposures, the air began to stir and the light
became harsh. My door of opportunity had closed.
Since creating ‘Life in Balance,’ one of
my greatest joys has been to swim out to this island
and sit among the wildflowers observing hummingbirds
feed on the plants and chase each other while defending
their territories. Truly heaven on earth.