Before the Storm
"After Midnight" is available for purchase, in a variety of sizes and price points, at Art166.com.
Look for it in the “Yesterday's Trees” gallery.
The Backstory -
The source photo for these images was taken on the back roads of somewhere, Texas, September 19th of last year -- just a couple of days before Hurricane Rita came to call.
The day was miserably hot, the atmosphere heavy with that oppressive-heat- approaching-disaster prickly sensation. We'd been on the road for a zillion hours and had already invaded, photographed, and abandoned Flatonia, Texas (see Tuesday and Wednesday's posts).
Earlier, we'd stopped at a very nice Dairy Queen, and I was still trying to finish off the biggest, richest, most chocolate-filled, frozen treat I've ever eaten. If I remember correctly, the ingredients were: chocolate ice cream, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, with crumbled brownies folded in for good measure -- in a cup the size of Utah. I don't often get a chance to stop at Dairy Queen, in fact, I'm sure I don't even average one visit a year. However, if I'm gonna eat something blatantly unhealthy, I think I chose very wisely!
Are you curious about Tom Cruise and Dairy Queen?
But, I digress . . .
So, we were headed merrily down the road, near the end of a very l-o-n-g, very hot day, when suddenly, there it was! The photo op I'd been waiting for! Of course, as I had just consumed 1,000 calories of chocolate, my blood glucose was attempting to erupt through the top of my skull, and my sugar-fogged brain just wanted to slip into a good nap (or maybe, a diabetic coma), what I thought was photographic euphoria might have just been near-fatal choco-indulgence.
Whatever the motivation, I was foolishly happy to leave the comfort of Joe's big Dodge Ram truck and hop directly into scarily tall roadside grass (where, come to think of it, there might have been a seething nest of rattlesnakes just waiting for a quick nip of bare ankle). I proceeded to meander along the roadside, the big truck trailing me like a poor man's entourage, ostensibly looking for the perfect angle, which would result in the perfect photograph. In reality, I just couldn't concentrate on what I was trying to do. 102 degrees shimmering up from the blacktop is just not conducive to coherent thought.
After some almost-lucid consideration, I managed to take about a half dozen shots of the day's last good tree. Furtive rustling in the tall grass convinced me to remove myself from the local flora -- also, I was beginning to wheeze like the hair-trigger asthmatic that I am, so a retreat was definitely in order.
Brutal heat, approaching storm, rampant allergens, wicked chocolate, good company, and the "really big things" in Flatonia.
Will I do it all again?