A thunderstorm over Price Lake with some autumn color was hard to pass up. When I got there, however, the setting Sun seemed to have taken the energy out of the storm. It began to shred apart above this high mountain lake (3,500 feet). Sunlight seemed to poke holes in the cloud, adding a sense of drama to the sky. As I’ve said in a previous post, I don’t as a rule shoot straight into a bright Sun, but this was hard to pass up. The storm receded enough to uncover the Sun, exposing the brilliance of the colorful fall foliage… the lens flare saturates it even more.
This was taken during sequestration by President Obama concerning a budget battle with the legislative branch of government. He had shut down the national parks as a result… you could still get to the Blue Ridge Parkway, but no services or campgrounds were available. I had the tripod set on likely the best vantage facing west. Before long, another photographer came to check it out. Though he spoke English well enough, it was tinged with a Russian accent. The sequester had occurred the previous day… he had been camping in his van and had planned to spend his evening here at the nearby campground, only to find it gated. Joyce and I had rented a cabin with a lot of room, so we invited him to spend the night… he was a bit reluctant at first, though he gave in.
His wife was a tenured professor at the University of West Virginia. When their schedules didn’t quite jive, he would take a driving sabbatical with just he and his camera. He knew some about the parkway, though little about its periphery. I was delighted to have him tag along to some highlights of the Blue Ridge in this area for the next few days. We made fast friends at the cabin’s table at breakfast and dinner… we were the same age… and we had once been determined enemies of the Cold War, he in the Russian Army, me in the U. S. Air Force. We traded many stories, some of his of which I had known the conclusions. While the meaning of Pravda was "truth", it defied the very definition of truth, and there was very little of truth in it as journalism to the people of Russia. Perhaps that's what our media has become, overall. Despite problems in this nation, one of the things that had stood out to him in his time in this country was the graciousness of the American people as a whole. He expressed that to me as he left to continue his excursion of the parkway… I asked him to just pass it along.
I’ve stood in this very spot to shoot stars on the darkest nights… bright images like this make me realize that the reason for light is to expose what lays in the darkness. My once upon a time “enemy” Russian friend reminds me of that. There's a lesson in there somewhere... figure it out.
Grandfather Mountain Reflects Autumn Color in Price Lake Watauga County, Western North Carolina Accessed via the Blue Ridge Parkway (mp ) Date taken:...