Today on Sunday 24 September I finally decided to visit one of the pine trees up on the dunes every two-hours for a day, creating a time-lapse video in the manner I have done in other places. I decided to start at eight in the morning, after sunrise, and finish at eight at night, after sunset. And here I intend to write some notes of each session. So, it is time to begin….
First image. Fresh morning, quiet, empty parking lot on the hill (one car that has stayed there from yesterday), the parasols of the souvenir stands all tight and shut. I am early; finding the spot for the camera tripod is easy, framing the image is relatively easy, too. The sun is only a yellow colouring in the east, showing only as a vague glow on the tree trunk. It is quarter to eight, I climb up in the tree and sit there for approximately five minutes, enjoying the silence and the wind. Then climbing down, packing my things and returning downhill to the colony. The rays of the sun are turning brighter behind the trees.
Quarter to ten, the first bus stands on the parking lot, with a few cars around; all the souvenir stalls are up. A couple with bicycles rests on the bench by the road on the way up. The sun is high, brightening the surroundings. Suddenly the yellow leaves in the small birches stand out. I repeat my routine – second time and it is already a routine – sit in the tree and enjoy the view. I am aware of cramping my thighs around the branch unnecessarily, but if I try to relax I immediately feel unstable. The sun is not really warm and there is a chilly wind from the east; the morning is still, fresh and new.
Quarter to twelve, noon, and sun shine. It is warm, now. The bus is gone, replaced by lots of private cars; I can hear the car doors banging while sitting in the pine. An ant is moving towards me on the branch, I hope it finds a way around me, and choose not to wipe it away. I have learned how to get up on the branch and how to get down with relative ease, but I still have not found a way to sit comfortably. What feels OK to begin with soon becomes uncomfortable, and I do not want to move in the image. After all, I am sitting there only five minutes at a time.
Quarter to two, midday to afternoon, warm like summer. A woman is walking in bare feet past the tree when I arrive with my camera bag. While sitting in the tree, in its shade, I hear voices of children behind me, adults laughing, speaking Russian or Lithuanian or both. Later, when I return to the camera it has turned black; the battery? No, when I turn the camera on, it has recorded 7 seconds, and then stopped, why? Well, there is nothing else to be done but to climb up in the tree again. This time I wait to see that the camera continues working at least 30 seconds. I have no idea what happened, but this was a good reminder not to take any of my collaborators for granted. At least there were less noisy humans around the second time…
Quarter to four, almost hot, lots of traffic. The guy selling souvenirs closest to the slope looks at me with suspicion; why is she here again? Or then I am the suspicious one. The sun is no longer above me, but luckily not straight in my face either, or in the face of the camera, that is. Only two more sessions after this one; time passes so quickly it is almost scary. The walk up and down the slope feels like nothing, especially the walk down the slope, except for the constant stream of cars and huge coaches. I uploaded the clips on my computer and tried to combine the ones recorded so far. The image jumps quite a lot between each session, probably because the tripod sinks into the sand a little different each time.
Quarter to six, evening is approaching. In the forest below the hill it is already chilly, although the sun is still high in the sky when viewed from the dunes. It is hard to believe that it will set in less than two hours. There are no more coaches in the parking lot, one came down while I was on my way up the hill. Most of the souvenir stalls have closed, but there are plenty of private cars still. The pine looks really beautiful in the evening sun. This was the next to last session; the last one will be right after sun set and I am already worried that it will be too dark, for the camera to record anything and for me to find my way back. But for now everything is glowing bright and beautiful with warm evening colours.
Quarter to eight, after sunset, or actually a few minutes before, I guess, because I hurried up the hill, scared of the approaching darkness. But no problem, the light lingers on and up among the dunes the sand reflects the light, too. There were two cars left on the hill, and while returning down I still had no need for a torch. The view from the pine, with a pale violet sky and a thin crescent moon was so beautiful; what a pity that the camera sees it so very differently. I had to make all possible adjustments to let it record something, and it did. So now my Sunday with the pine is over, and it passed so very, very quickly.