It is quickly turning into an exciting and extremely busy time in these parts. I am confident in saying spring has finally arrived. It hit me with a burning of the eyes and that oh so wonderful smell of grass burning! Is that weird to love the smell of burning grass? Guess it really doesn’t matter since I do, weird or not.
I have not gotten involved in photographing the burns yet but, that will soon change. The next few weeks will go up in smoke in a blink of an eye. It is a tremendously hit and miss situation to go out exploring, driving and wandering around looking for large burn areas. Sure you can spot them many, many miles away, 10, 20, 30 miles away but, getting to them in a way that you can photograph them is a much different deal. But boy howdy is it exciting heading towards them. Like most photo opportunities the middle of the day is not the time to take pictures and when you throw in planning of sunset and fire all I have to say is you better have your fingers crossed. This very likely is a lifetime of exploration at least to produce a complete body of good to great work.
Ran across another interesting article online this morning about the burning that took place Saturday. Conditions were just right Saturday the main condition being light winds. I knew there would be fires galore when I stepped out in the morning and I was right. So much so that the online paper Omaha.com out of Nebraska mentioned it. With the winds out of the south it only took hours before the smoke reached Nebraska in a noticeable way.
I will be starting to dive in to the fire chasing the next couple of weeks so I have my fingers crossed that opportunity and conditions meet at least once for me. Here is an image taken April 17, 2010 just by happenstance. While returning from a day and evening in the tallgrass prairie I was heading back towards Topeka traveling I-70 when just as I was about to start leaving the rolling hills behind I popped up over a hill and there was fire reflecting in a pond. It happened that there was a rest stop at that exact spot, wow! I went down to the first road I could turn around at and headed back to the rest stop and parked. I grabbed my camera and tripod with what ever lens was on it and headed to the edge of the interstate. I had to cross I-70 to get down to the fence line looking south. I probably spent 30 minutes or so there. The conditions were not the best with the darkness that had already set in. I’m sure it was an hour or more after sunset. But it was one of those times of great excitement and smokey adventure.