They say that the two best days of a boat owner’s life are the day he buys it and the day he sells it. I’m not sure where the former owner of the boat in tonight’s feature image falls on that scale but it certainly wasn’t a good day. I have no idea how the boat ended up on the bottom of Summerville Lake but I know that for a while it was the playground for local scuba divers.
As I look over the wreckage it comes to mind that things don’t always go as planned. I have this vision of a day cruiser plowing through wakes at full through with the sun shining and everyone laughing when there’s a thump on the hull. Depending on the size of the driftwood the boat may have capsized. Some details are probably best left to imagination but I prefer to think that nobody gets hurt.
An accident on Summerville Lake is probably the best place it could happen if it has to happen. Boaters here are quick to respond to someone in trouble even if it’s just being out of gas. There’s a strong sense of community on the lake. I imagine that when this boat had it’s accident that the others came to the rescue pretty quickly. That’s the power of community. It means that when you’re in your worst moment that someone is there for you. You might not even know their name or their history but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that what you have in common brings a connection that makes you be there for each other. I used to pass the same car everyday on they way to work in about the same place. The car had very unique personalized license plate that was hard to miss. Then one day we stopped seeing her for a while. Even though we’d never really met my wife and I became a little concerned about what happened to her. She had become a part of our community and her presence was missed when she wasn’t there.
Now to be honest I have no clue how this boat was damaged. For all I know it could have damaged in dry dock or it could have been scuttled because it was just too old to maintain. But because I once spent a lot of time on the lake I still have that sense of community and feel a bit of concern for whoever once owned this boat.
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The cool clear night sweeps over the lake. The radiant moon climbs over the horizon to spill her pale silver beauty into the water. The lake fills with the night’s treasure. In the distance the sounds of the frogs and crickets are replaced by the occasional yip of a coyote singing for his mate. Down by the water a yearling fawn steps softly out of the bush to drink from the lake and take in the moonlight. Just a few sips and he disappears back into forest without a sound. I too must be on my way. I gather up my camera and tripod and climb back up into the big blue truck and head home with my silvery treasure forever preserved in my lens.
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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Night Treasure” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.
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The September sky was crystal blue and the time of the Equinox signaled an end to Summer’s warm carefree days. The sun hangs low on the horizon. She meets him by the boat launch as her father and brother packs the camp. The last weekend is nearly over. This is last hour of their summer romance. Here on the edge of the fading lake they embrace beneath the sun and moon. Like the celestial bodies above they can only share the same sky for a short season. The lake boy looks deep into her eyes which are the same color blue as the sky. She noticed how the summer sun has left it’s golden tone on his skin. They continue stare silently into each other. Memorizing every line of the other’s face. Every freckle on his face and every colorful fleck in her eyes. The summer was a time when two worlds met and joined as one. But like the sun and moon the forces of nature will only allow the sharing of the sky for so long. As the embrace for summer’s last kiss, he reaches into the pocket of his shorts and pulls out a small box. “Close your eyes” he whispers. She’s a little bit nervous about what comes next but she trusts him and does as he asks. He places a golden chain around her neck. Suspended from it was a locket. It was small but elegant. Inside was the picture of the two of them on the local fishing pier. Her brother had taken the snapshot when they wasn’t looking. “Don’t let me be forgotten” he whispered once more as he clasped the necklace about her neck. A single tear rolls down her cheek and she thanked him for the gift. By now her family waits patiently in the packed car. “I’ll be waiting here for you next summer” she replied with her voice cracking. “True love is faithful no matter how long and cold the nights to come will be.” She added. With no way to delay their parting any longer the young lake boy stepped aboard his day cruiser and drifting off of the shore. He watched with anguish as she got in the car and went home for the school year. Throughout the coming months they would call, text and even attend prom together. The following summer they met again in the same spot by the boat launch. And never parted ways again.
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Summersville Lake is unique in West Virginia in that we have the only lighthouse in the state. Standing on private land the lighthouse overlooks both the lake and the Route 19. The lighthouse is recent addition but when I was a kid there was a beacon light from the local airport. In stormy weather we would see the flash from the airport and think that there was a lighthouse that only lit up in storms. We couldn’t see the actual tower. Just the beam reflected off of the clouds into the window of our bedroom. It would light up the bedroom as we slept and we knew that somewhere out there it wasn’t so dark.
It’s good to have a guiding light when times are dark and dreary. We need a fixed point to center ourselves and a light to sweep away the darkness no matter if you’re on dark foggy water, traveling on a four lane highway or snuggled up under the covers on a stormy night.
The soft evening light draws me westward. The golden lines lead me home. Twilight is such a magical time. In the transitional light shadows dance to tune of the whippoorwill and coyote. Heaven’s door opens as angels march out. They go to and fro to the corners of the world in a changing of the guard. Their orders are to watch over the faithful. And if need be, escort them home to rest if one’s work is done. As the setting sun goes over the horizon the golden hue shifts to a crimson glow. It is a reminder of the price paid and the seal set. Travel on and follow the road. Home is just beyond the next horizon.
Tonight’s image was taken in Nicholas County West Virginia. It is Route 129 across the Summerville dam. As I was looking at this picture the yellow lines made think about the golden rule, the narrow path and the way to my heavenly home.
As the morning sun breaks over the distant ridge I can hear the voices coming from the rushing water in the valley below. The mists slowly rise up the mountain reminding me of something that might be seen in Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth. One by one the large rubber rafts come bouncing over the rapids . They’ve traveled from all over the world to experience the thrill of the Gauley River. The Corps Of Engineers and draining the lake for the oncoming winter. I believe that there’s magic in our mountains. All of the fun and joy of summer on Summerville Lake is stored up in the lake itself and released in the fall as whitewater. The fun then moves up paddles and is absorbed into the hands. Eventually this magical essence of fun travels through the heart and comes out as excitement and laughter. The magic is amplified by the canyon walls until it spills over high cliffs and I smile as it touches me. Switching to my long lens I capture a few frames of the rafts passing by and enjoy the last of my coffee. The big blue truck is waiting to take me to the next leg of my journey so I pack my gear and slip behind the wheel. Just before pulling out I roll the window down and allow the magic to fill the cab. Call it “one for the road”.
I never get tired of the rugged beauty of my home deep inside the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. The dense forest seems to swallow most of the small communities. It is easy stand on one of many overlooks and imagine that the world hasn’t changed in three hundred years. On the morning that I took the feature image with my Canon T5 the mists were hovering around the the sandstone tower. I look at the large tree growing on top of the ancient and weathered rock and I know that it’s probably sixty feet tall or taller. ( about 18 meters). It’s smaller than the ones growing around the base. It’s hard to believe that I’m in a public park about five minutes from the main road. I have my camera case setting next to me on one of the wooden benches. I was here to try and get some cool pictures of the Civil War reenactment group. (In an upcoming post) I was rewardedfor being there early by finding out that an international whitewater rafting event was occurring in the valley below. It was a real challenge for me and my 300 mm lens but I did manage to pull off a shots of rafts as they exited the rapids. (also in an upcoming post). The warm morning air and humidity allowed my ever present coffee to fill the air with a rich aroma. I could waste a whole day in this spot just absorbing the peace and quiet. Once my coffee tumbler was empty I stepped back to the big blue truck in the parking lot and placed in its holder. I was about to travel back in time and find the encampments of the Blue and the Grey as they prepare for the yearly clash in an effort to define the future of a nation.