My wife Jerri had plopped a copy of “Wildlife in North Carolina” on my desk in the Library along with a comment: “Susan says you should enter the Magazine’s Photography Contest.“ Susan is married to Jerri’s Nephew and is a frequent visitor to my flickr site. Aside from Jerri, she‘s the lone supporter here on the farm of my photographic endeavors such as they are.
As usual, the magazine got replopped on my very casual to-do pile: Bills on top, everything else stacked up in order of receipt. It’s usually a kind of archeological dig of printed stuff, direct mail junk, long forgotten post-it notes and…..magazines. Anyway, the Wildlife Magazine and Susan’s admonition got lost in the pile for several months. It wasn’t until September that I was jogged to dig through the historical layers of paper to pull it out. “Did you Enter the Contest” she yelled one afternoon as I was shooting pictures of butterflies.
I’ve never entered contests before. Well none except journalism contests which the company I worked for was very big on. Big promotional value. They got the plaque. I got a mention. In the interest of full disclosure; when I left they did give me all the plaques I had won. It was either I took them or they tossed them out. An effective treatment for “Legend in One’s Own Mind Disease”. But the disease does endure…. The Plaques look rather impressive on my “I Love Me Wall” here in the house.
But aside from the Journalism hardware, I’ve never won much of anything. Not even a good neighbor game at the Emporia Volunteer Fire Department’s annual Bingo Fund Raiser which is to say no one sitting on either side of me ever bingoed. I was devoid of bingos.
You know where this is going, right? Nah, I didn’t win the NC Wildlife Photography Contest, not first place anyway. But I did win in the Wild Plants Category. My shot of Wild Olives here on the farm took third place.
I was pretty jazzed about it. You’d have thought I’d won a Pulitzer. As it was, I get a 50 dollar check, my photograph in the magazine when it comes out and a spot in the NC Museum of Natural Science for three months. Jerri snuck a mention in the Church Newsletter and a couple of folks gave me the requisite kudos. My Sister June in Maine sent beaucoup congrats. But mostly, it just kind of validated all those miles of trundling and slogging around with cameras in tow taking pictures of anything that moved or wagged, had one pixel of color or jiggled some recessed cell of artistic appreciation in my feeble brain. In other words, it was a nice little self induced high. Don’t get many of those at my age. See you soon on most of this same blog.