Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Familiarity is a magician that is cruel to beauty but kind to ugliness.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Not So Much Spring

Usually, by mid-April, the snow has receded from the narrow valley in which my cabin is located and I am able to drive in and see how everything has overwintered.  Yesterday, that girl, her sister, and I drove up to the cabin to do just that.
Big news: We did not experience a normal winter.
Something close to three feet of dense, crusty snow remains spread across most of the valley like a hard shell.  The road in is still no more than a narrow trail cut between snowbanks.  Parts of the road have degraded into full-blown mud bogs.  All along the creek, the once upright willows have been squashed utterly flat by winter’s inordinately heavy snows.
Not terribly far from the cabin, I managed to find a wide enough spot in the road to park.  The girls pulled heavy boots onto their feet and we crabbed across the surface of the snow to reach the cabin.  Each of us crashed through the snow at various points—often finding ourselves buried nearly waist deep.
We found the cabin still held in snow—looking like a precious stone fixed in place by a heavy white setting.
We poked around.  The cabin had fared well.
After leaving the cabin, we drove into Lincoln.  There, we stopped at Lambkin’s for a Bloody Mary.  I chatted about the snow and our long winter with the woman tending the bar as she scuttled about mixing the drinks.
Long, this one.
When I asked her how deep the snow was in Lincoln at heart of winter, she said: “Deep enough that we had a few roofs collapse under the weight.”
We drove home by way of Stemple Pass.
As we ascended in elevation, we encountered cabins and homes along the road with several feet of snow still remaining on their roofs.   I spotted one log cabin with an addition that had experienced a total roof collapse.  Every mountainside supported at least one temporary cascade of snowmelt crashing down onto the roadway.
Not so much spring just yet.

-- Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Early this morning, while soaking in my hut tub, I witnessed as a meteor stabbed a brilliant blade of white deep into our starry sky.
Consider: the chunk of debris that I saw as a shooting star was born of violence and then hurled through empty space, without meaningful contact, for untold years, only to perish in a brief and nameless flash upon reaching our vital atmosphere.   
Consider: some people are an equivalent.
-- Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Love Story in the Potato Chip Aisle

Had Kimberly reached for plain potato chips she might never had married.
In reaching for barbeque chips, she inadvertently knocked the vapor cigarette from Roger’s hand as he stood nearby.
“What is that?” she asked, watching Roger retrieve the vapor cigarette.    That was the first vapor cigarette she had ever seen.
“That is the beginning,” Roger told her.
“Beginning of what?”
“Of us.”
That struck Kimberly as a curious thing to say.  Roger was a total stranger.  She was four-hundred miles from home and only passing through.  Just the same, Roger’s voice sounded warm, somehow.
And Roger, as she learned later, was seldom wrong about matters of the heart.
-- Mitchell Hegman

Friday, April 20, 2018


Late yesterday evening, I glanced over at that girl while we were sitting together on the sofa and asked: “Is that a jet I am hearing?”
“Yes,” she answered.
I could hear deep rumbling over the sound of our television.  The sound was profound enough I felt it lightly tickling at my skin.
Curious, I stepped outside the front door and looked up into the sky.  High above our valley, slicing through thin layers of clouds, I saw a formation of four jets flying straight southward.
Big jets.  Transports or Bombers.
I returned to the sofa and gave the jets no more thought.
At 4:30 this morning, I stepped out the front door after getting my coffee started and scanned the stars, as is always my habit.  Low and to the east, I noticed what I thought was a cluster of four stars blinking.
What would make stars blink like that, I wondered?
I studied them more closely.
They were advancing against the stationary stars nearby.
Curious, I walked out into the chill prairie darkness and studied the blinking stars.  The stars began to approach more rapidly as I watched.   Soon, they transformed into a diamond formation of four jets flying westward high above our valley.
Big jets.  Transports or bombers.
-- Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


A spoonerism is an error or purposeful play in speech where consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched between two corresponding words.  A famous and somewhat crude example is saying “He is a fart smeller” as opposed to “He is a smart feller.”
Spoonerisms are named after a rather smart feller named Reverend William Archibald Spooner.   Mr. Spooner, a Warden of New College, Oxford, was afflicted with a propensity to regularly (and accidentally) flip words in what we now term spoonerisms.
Spooner, who died in 1930, was an albino.  He also suffered from poor eyesight and was said to be somewhat absentminded.  One of his more famous spoonerisms was this: “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.”
Pretty good stuff, right there.
Spoonerisms and other forms of wordplay are something of a bane in my life.
I enjoy them a bit too much.
In my mind, I don’t walk “around” something.  I walk “asquare.”  I don’t “forget” something.  I “fiveget.”  A carpenter buddy and I have been calling the backing boards inside walls “fronting.”
My list on this kind of wordplay is fairly long.
On occasion, I will fiveget my place and use wordplay during the course of an important meeting or while instructing a class.  I suppose I should, at this stage of my life, outgrow such childish habits.  But…no…I have a few more to toss out there befive my done is day.
-- Mitchell Hegman