The photo connoisseurs of the internet often disparage the snapshot, but in reality some of the best scenes are those most unplanned.
Fields of bamboo grass spread off into the distance, offering gorgeous unobstructed views.
It was the next morning after 萌 and I watched the sunset over Stonehammer together. I rose early as usual the next day to catch the sunrise. This time I looked not west toward that rocky mallet but rather eastwards that vast field of sasa grass spreading out on the slopes high above sheer cliffs dropping a hundred meters or more to the valley below. As I waited, suddenly the sunlight caught the grass on the mountains shoulder, lighting it brilliant gold.
At the foot of the mountain the sign read, “Watch out for vipers.” The fields of bamboo grass covering the slopes would have been an ideal home for a poisonous snake, but as I crested the summit of the mountain I found no dangerous reptiles but rather a tent already set and waiting for evening though it was still hours until sunset.
The sound of my approaching footsteps brought attention to its occupant and soon there emerged like the budding of a flower not a serpent or medusa but possibly a siren. She said her name was 萌.
And so we spent waning afternoon together chatting idly as the sun settled towards the shoulder of the mountain. Suddenly the light was right and I jumped to work. 萌 stood behind me watching. Almost as an afterthought I said, “Stand over there. The photo will look better if you’re in it.” Then I took the photo.
She was tired and went to bed. I stayed up to watch the moon rise.
Copyright Brian Heise, 2019
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