Photographer's Journal (October 31, 2021):
Halloween delivered a beautiful late autumn day in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, so I immediately took advantage of it and escaped into one of the forests nearest to my home, the Pisgah National Forest. I had been wanting to capture the reflection of the fall foliage in an image for a while but the weather had cooperated until that morning.
I stopped at several bridges that crossed the Davidson River in the forest in hopes of capturing the image I had been imagining, but sadly many of the views from the bridges were scattered with debris from Tropical Storm Fred that has devastated the area with historic flooding from earlier in the summer, or the foliage wasn't on point.
Thank God, at the last bridge, I found the view I had been dreaming about but the cloud cover was stopping the water from reflecting as I needed it to. I was committed however and waited for the sun to burn off the morning mountain mist. As I stood there patiently waiting, chatting quietly with God, I heard a voice come up from underneath the bridge, "I'm not ruining your shot am I?"
I looked down to find a seasoned fly fisherman wading out into the river to cast his line as I replied, "Oh no, you're good. It will be a while until the sun burns off the mist."
Then we started chatting further about fishing, family, his 50-year marriage to his "beautiful bride", how I needed to find a good lady, and even a great fish recipe (which I made at home, and it was delicious). As I wrapped up my hour-long conversation with Lou, the sun burst through the clouds and I was able to capture the image you see here.
I didn't get the chance to trade information with him before he drove off in his truck, but I will always remember his kindness, charm, and fish recipe. So to honor him, I call this one, "Conversations With Lou".