Your own home is often seen as the ideal working place. Let me tell you one thing: it certainly is the most pleasant place to work in, but you need to be very vigilant about working hours and time off. For a long time I have now been working on a huge project, private for a company I work with. The project is now finished and delivered, all I have to do is deal with the unavoidable typos and bugs.
What does that have to do with photography? Well, being “on call” for fixing bugs and other annoyances results in no real time off. Lunch breaks become working hours as colleagues will more often than not call you during that time as not to interfere with their usual activities. As a result, your lunch break becomes a time of higher stress than the rest of the day. After a while you feel your energy dripping away, never to be recovered.
Gradually you find that your Windows Update rebooting your computer for an hour or your Mac upgrading its system to the next unstable version is becoming a welcome break in your working day. After all, there is nothing you can do to prevent this, right? Your system needs to be up to date for all the right reasons. Once the update is done, your normal work resumes.
If this is your state of mind, you might be in need of a more “extreme” lunch break. You may need to go outside to a park instead of sitting at the table, munching your lunch while thinking about how to solve that problem for work.
The path to recovery
I found myself in this very same situation lately. Stressed out over everything, short tempered with everyone, including my family. Something was wrong. I decided to take my lunch breaks elsewhere, away from the kitchen table. The first step was to get out and make sure the troubles stayed where they were. Stepping in the car and driving off with my camera gear was enough to accomplish that.
Working from home can mean that you have freedom over your time. That is not the case for me. I still have hours where I am supposed to be available for questions and answers. Me providing the answers, of course. I cannot be like the guy above, seemingly following a random path over the beach in search of some metal left behind. From a different angle, it showed that he was not following any random pattern, but a carefully laid out path.
Not so random after all
Looking at his bags, the harvest was not plentiful. There was nothing to photograph…
The icy pond
The second pond in Birds Hill Park, just behind the public swimming pond was still frozen over. I was hoping for some shore birds to shoot, but all I got was ice. Even the bull rushes had not been raided for nesting material yet. The soft plumes are often used by smaller birds to line their nests for comfort and warmth.
American Robins are back
A newcomer this year was this little American Robin. Curiously looking at the big guy with that black spot where his head should be. A second later it had taken off, probably to safer places in its mind.
The recreation pond
By now, I was looking for signs of spring. The Robin was already a nice surprise, but after a long winter one is always looking for more. All the snow had not yet disappeared, the grass was still brown. Only the evergreens were, ehm, green. I suppose this will change in the coming days, when the temperatures will go up and up…
During the winter, some animals have taken their time and a toll on local trees. Birds Hill Park is apparently home to some beavers. They are eager to fell trees and dam the streams to create a better home for themselves. This is all that was left of the young trees, no sign of anything else here. When I was young I liked to chomp down on some liquorice root, but I have never gone to this extent of chomping .
Screaming for a change
Then, high in the sky a cry. Piercing and welcoming. At least for now. The Gulls are always screaming when the weather is going to change for a wetter version. By the time you read this, you will know that that bird was right about screaming for more water. Over the weekend we will have gotten something like 50mm of rain and snow in some places.
A sure sign of spring
A last look at some trees revealed that spring is indeed on its way. How far she is behind that fabulous corner, I don’t know. Nature seems to know better than humans with all their technology and divine guesswork. I am not sure what weather forecasters use, technology or divine guesswork. At least the pussy willows have popped open, that is a sure sign of spring.
As for a lunch break, this one definitely changed my mind about the day’s work. The afternoon was way more productive than usual.
I think I will do this again, one of these days.
Until next time…