Friday, August 1, 2008

God’s country (part 2 - the photograph)

I didn’t take the photo in today’s and yesterday’s post myself, so I am not able in good conscience to post it today on SkyWatch, but I am related to the person who did take it, and I was there when it happened, so I ought to know.

The photograher was my son. I was sitting about six feet away from him on a pontoon boat in the middle of Lake Lure, North Carolina, when he captured this unforgettable view. Fifteen of us in all had taken a two-hour cruise (I wish I could say “a three-hour tour” to make you think of Bob Denver and all the gang on Gilligan’s Island, but that just wouldn’t be true). There were six in our family plus a forty-ish couple from Michigan, another family of six from Macon, Georgia, and the captain/narrator of our voyage, a local summer resident whose lives the rest of the year in Tampa, Florida.

The brown haziness in the photograph is due partly to the fact that a small forest fire, apparently caused by lightning earlier in the afternoon, was burning high up on another part of Sugarloaf Mountain, out of sight on the left. We had seen it up close earlier on our cruise. The local folks were doing their best to put it out; we saw a helicopter outfitted with a large bucket suspended from a rope come to fill the bucket with more water from Lake Lure, then fly back to drop the water on the fire. So there was quite a bit of smoke in the sky, but it made the photograph take on an interesting quality that I am unable to define.

We were in Buffalo Bay in the middle of the lake when my son took the picture. Our guide said Lake Lure was over a hundred feet deep at that point. Then he let our grandson, soon to be twelve, take the helm or wheel or throttle or whatever it was for about five minutes, to his and everyone else’s delight, as we began the trip back to the north end of the lake. Whether it was a grand, generous gesture on the guide’s part or merely trolling for a big tip, I’m not sure, but it certainly made Matthew’s day.

I’m sorry I couldn’t put this on SkyWatch, but maybe some of you will tell a few friends, and they’ll tell a few friends....

[I wanted to post a picture here of the cast of Gilligan’s Island, but all the ones I found were copyrighted, the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley and all that, so you’ll just have to picture them all in your mind’s eye: Gilligan, the Skipper, Ginger, Mary Ann, and -- who could forget? -- Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell, III.]


  1. Oh, no! You forgot The Professor, even if he was sort of nerdy.

    Your son's photograph is lovely. It would be perfectly acceptable to post it on Sky Watch, with his permission, of course, and since you've identified as his in this narrative, I think you could use the specific link to this post when you sign up on Sky Watch. Several folks share their children's/sibling's,/parent's photos.

    If you should decide to do that, just click on over to, click at the bottom where it says "You're next" , enter your name or "handle" on Mr. Linky and in the URL, enter the specific link to this post, not just to your general blog (although that probably would be just fine.)

    I hope you will choose to participate; it's great fun! There's no commitment to participate every week, so you don't have to wrack your brain to come up with a sky shot all the time (even though that's fun, too.)

    My word.. I'm wordy!

    Hope you and the Lady Wife are looking forward to an enjoyable weekend, whatever form that may take.

  2. I think the photograph as some of the same quality as those old sepia pictures.

  3. Yeah, my thinking was the same as Ruth's. It has that sepia quality that is quite delightful. Misty and mysterious.