On July 20th and 21st, 2003, a group of Churchville Club members enjoyed photographing deer, fawns and flowers in this unique meadow. Enjoy the serenity as you view the photos of the day and read what a couple of trip participants had to say below.

Photos by Anita Fanic, Gary Fink, Janet Hickey and Michael Hickey

deer path2v   anita in bm1 

michael in bm1v   deer path6  

garybarry1   marylou in bm1

mjh_back portrait   mjh_finding peace  

mjh_moonset at timber hollow overlook   the group1

IMPORTANT: The Churchville Photography Club encourages its members to enjoy each others company while visiting the locations of member trips. However, member trips are not sponsored by CPC and CPC is neither responsible for, nor assumes liability for, any loss incurred while participating in these activities.

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Self-Discovery at Big Meadows by Janet Hickey
We're tired, yet we're elated to finally arrive. Everyone's ready for the sunrise and for whatever we find. We see little heads popping up around us; the fawns are near. There are so many. Their mothers are close by. The bucks are grouped together, a few intermingling with the doe and fawns. The mothers will not allow a strange buck near their young. I'm standing at the edge of the meadow. It doesn't look like much in the low light of the early morning. We're here as a group of photographers, looking for the images that make are hearts sing. The light will be coming. We have to be here to catch it.

I've traveled 6 hours to arrive here at Big Meadows before 6:30 a.m.

The young mothers are skittish; this makes their fawns nervous. They run off into the meadow, away rom us. The older mothers are very familiar with the visitors to the meadows; especially the photographers. They keep a watchful eye, and keep their distance, but the young are much easier to approach. They may even approach you, with curiosity and caution.

Be ready for the unexpected, for this strange meadow. Things happen quickly; without warning. What you see will set you on edge. You may choose to frantically search for your camera, another lens...you may be caught red-handed in the middle of changing film. You can curse, and swear with excitement. But more than likely, you will give up, and surrender to the experience, rather than catching it on film.

It's that kind of place. You are among wild animals and nature doesn't wait for you. Stop and watch. And remember the images, the texture, the light, the smell and the feeling of elation that you have...here. That is your image. Take what you can, but you cannot capture it all on film. I have had more peace in that meadow than anywhere on earth. I walk in the deer paths and approach beauty. I see my fellow photographers settle in, and they experience what I'm feeling. Some of them appear disoriented and are a little unsettled as to what to do. We have only two days here. I hope they come away with something more precious than gold; more precious than their film.

We're photographers. But we are creations and we share the feeling of oneness here. Everything connects us. It begs to be protected, nourished and promises to feed our souls in return. No matter what we do as humans to ourselves, we should protect the legacy of places like Big Meadows. Our children's children should walk here; and their children. The earth is ours to spoil or protect. Make a choice. Take this walk and come away with strength and love and understanding. Share the image.

The Meadow  by G. Alan Fink
There is an exuberance that I cannot explain when I go here - an acceptance with some reservations on the part of the Meadows population who have not invited me yet show tolerance and some curiosity towards me.  The equipment needed is never right. You are always finding something to take you away from what you are doing and thus changing lenses or film in mid roll... I carried two camera bodies...

I could have carried three with better effectiveness.  Nature toys with your emotions but always you are awed by her magnanimous displays--and a total disregard for your needs and wants. This is her playground and you are her toy as events unfurl at such a pace that no one person can possibly expect to capture everything.  A carpet of patterns, hues and intense saturation lies quietly at your feet screaming at your senses and your mind cannot absorb the immensity of the effect... Big Meadows will caress you, subdue you then toss you senselessly into a whirlwind of unfathomed emotional upheavals.

I walked along pathways shared by both two and four-legged grazers. I shared in the harvest as I plucked an occasional blueberry from the groundcover... a lush carpet of changing colors so brilliant they looked out of place. As I walked amongst the others, I felt calm... a peacefulness that no emulsion can ever capture, yet I tried.