It was a hell of a place, a heavily wooded hill between two lakes, a few miles from anywhere. We used to go camp there when I was a teenager, canoeing across the lake we lived on with marshmallows and vodka and sandwiches stolen from the summer camp kitchen.
It was filled with huge pine trees, big open spaces to sit and look out across the water as the sun set. I kept going back there for a long time, either riding horses or hiking. About 100 yards from where the stump in the photo was my horse once tripped and I broke both wrists and my back, spending the summer with two casts on my arms and one hell of a sore spine from the compression fractures. It bugs me more today than it did in the decade after the accident. Part of the price you pay for having a wild and often too interesting life.
We were out hiking the day I took this, sometime around 1978. I had only been shooting for a year or so, and it was one of those hot summer days where the air smelled of pine needles and swamp water, where the sun baked the horseflies and dragon flies into a happy frenzy of energy. I hated those horse and deer flies. They had a bite that felt like a napalm covered bee sting.