I reviewed some tape I had shot at a local wetland spot from 2005. Decided to edit it together. The result is the video below. Here are some notes from my journal at the time:
At Swallow Pond, while eating lunch, a couple drove up and parked in an adjacent lot. They let a small terrier out of their pick-up. After lifting its leg, it took off straight for the pond and the waterfowl there. The dog flew through the shallow water sending the geese honking into panicked flight. My first reaction was to call out something about leash laws and disturbing wildlife. Instead, sort of by force of habit, I lifted my camera and taped the little dynamo hurtling around the preserve.
My anger was side-lined and I gained a few moments to reflect in a less knee-jerk fashion to the dog’s marauding. Perhaps the geese were used to this kind of harassment from foxes and maybe wolves up north? Even though the geese were disturbed, they seemed to get over it quickly – the ducks on the far bank hadn’t even moved. The dog’s enjoyment was supremely evident. Was it really interested in catching a bird? And, how is its right to such behavior less defendable than the geese’s right to undisturbed refuge? Perhaps this idea of refuge is purely a guilty human concept to help assuage the pain of being responsible for the lack of wetlands in the first place.
The moment became richer and full of content. Offering an opportunity to act in a less rash, idealistic manner, to step back and acknowlegde the complexity of the simple moment. Maybe it is better to observe and hold back judgement when I am out gathering material.