Hunters call it buck fever, or overexcitement at the sighting, or shooting, of a deer (leading to a feverish disposition or, in the worst cases, a heart attack). The term is used loosely to describe other people and situations as well. I caught a mild case last night at dinnertime. The sky had grown dark and the sun was down behind the hills surrounding Dayton, Washington, my stop for the night. A bowl of chicken noodle soup was finished, emails had been checked, and I was sitting down to read the local newspaper when the tops of those same hills lit up with the rich evening light no sensible photographer can resist. “There it is, I see it!” Quick, change lenses…no, just put the bag in the truck. No, the light is fading. No, it isn’t. Back the truck out of the small lot, drive to the other end of town (eight blocks), turn around, take a real look at the situation, and…slow down. Remember that you don’t have any idea where you’d drive to if you could…it’s not your town. Enjoy the fleeting moments when the sky tried to color up, and go back to the motel, thankful for a bit of neon in the landscape.
There is no known antidote for buck fever.