Back at the end of April, just before I headed west for realzies, Jez and I had one last photoshoot on the beach. We didn’t really have anything specific in mind, we just wanted to go play and see what happened. I really loved how this shot turned out, so I was tickled to see it as one of the shots she gave me permission to use. I love shooting with her, and I’m always surprised and tickled with what we get.
I try not to say too much directly about Jez, she’s a much more private person than I am. She chose to walk a different path, and her stories are not mine to tell. But there’s no real way for me to talk about anything without her coming up in some way. Hell, every single photo I take is thanks to her. Last year on my birthday, she pestered me into finally going to the eye doctor and getting contacts, which were her big gifts to me. I was losing over half the frames from my shoots at that point to being out of focus.
I see the world through eyes she gave me.
I’ll love her forever for my 2 eyes alone, nevermind I’m still carrying 1 torch. I don’t know if our paths will ever cross in that way again, I hope so, but I’m glad they still cross in so many other ways.
While I’m out on The Making Lemonade Road Tour, I’ve traveled over 8,000 miles and been to 20 states and the District of Columbia so far, if my count is right. And there are at least another 2,000 miles and 10 states before I get back home, depending on my exact route (to be determined). Of those 30(ish), I’ve never before been to about 11 of them, increasing the number of states I’ve visited to 41 or 42, if I’ve counted correctly. It’s probably easier to just count the ones I’ll not have visited yet. That’s about a 30% increase in a little more than half a year.
I wonder what percentage of Americans have visited more or fewer states than that by the time they’re 50 years old. I’m sure there’s a statistical model out there somewhere.
I’ve seen temperatures drop below 50F, in the deep south, in the summer, now. That’s just odd to me. And I’ve driven twenty-five miles from that spot and felt 105F on the same exact day. It’s amazing what 8400 feet of altitude will do to the temperature. I wonder if there’s a good rule of thumb for how much temperature difference to expect per some difference in altitude, or if it just depends on where you’re standing.
I’ve added something like 25 species of birds to my photographic life-list, got one off my Goddamnit List and added one. I’m well over 200 now, which makes me happy. I don’t go looking for a particular species of bird, I generally just go places and shoot whatever birds I see. I’ve been shooting birds since 2009, so at 225(ish) birds now, divided by 8 years, that’s about 28 species per year. And I didn’t even do much birding at all in 2016, so that’s a mitigating factor.
But after all that nonsense, there’s only one important number to me on this road trip.
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