The Red Shadow of the Forest

As I slowly drag my feet along the path, I begin to wonder whether I have herald the unfortunate end of my photographic degree by being a bit too ambitious.

Frustrated and annoyed, I helplessly rummage through the thoughts that have now accumulated in my head. What next??? I begin to question the truthfulness of the information that had been presented to me. Are they really here?

A sudden buzz echoes from my coat pocket, phone signal, in such a remote area?? Very surprising.

“Has the camera captured anything?”

I reply in a somewhat monotonous manner, “Nothing, I don’t know what to do next”.

“Stop, close your eyes and listen, what do you hear?”

Perplexed, I do as I’m told. I’ve tried a variety of other approaches so what harm could this do? Little did I realize at the time, how significant this simple sentence would become.

I close my eyes and let my ears do the work. After a short pause I reply, “Birds singing and the stream”.

“Go find them and photograph them, have fun, experiment with different perspectives”

I slip the phone back into my pocket and with a clearer mind; decide to free myself from the shackles of this final project for a few hours.

Five minutes later I find myself trudging along a muddy trail, winding its way through the dense clutches of brambles. I pause and look down at my trainers, which had now turned into clumps of mud. I quietly utter to myself, “Why didn’t I wear my boots?”

My attention is suddenly disrupted, a flash of grey with a streak of orange bolts from the undergrowth a few yards to the left, I freeze like a rabbit in the headlights. Could this be what I desperately wanted to capture?

I remain motionless; a familiar outline hurries behind the small ridge which separates us. I slowly lean to my left and am met with the inquisitive look. Unable to raise the camera due to the surprise, I helplessly watch the perfect opportunity for my project slip away into the forest.

All doubt had been erased, they were here.

21

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