In my most recent video, I went diving at Lake Phoenix, in Rawlings, Virginia. The stated goal of the trip was to carve a pumpkin underwater—which might sound absurd, but was an absolute blast. I succeeded in carving my new logo instead of something a bit more spooky. You can see how it went in the full video above. If you want even more pumpkin carving action, I’ve uploaded a timelapse from two years ago where I carved an octopus—see if you can figure out what’s actually happening in the video below.
With the eye-catching pumpkin-carving out of the way, let’s talk about diving. I think people have a perception that diving and snorkeling is really just for saltwater—that that gear is best used over a coral reef or sunken ship. I don’t think that’s the case and I think we should all take more time to check out our own backyards.
A half-dozen times a year I take the mile walk to my local stream. Once I’m there, I slide on my wetsuit and put my snorkel and mask to work. It’s amazing what you can see in just about any stream you come across. Even though my local stream is only about 18-inches deep and a dozen feet across, it’s teeming with life!
Take a look at the gallery below. These are all photos I took during an hour visit to my local stream this past summer. You can see shiners in their full colors dancing in the current, pumpkinseed sunfish basking in the sunlight, and the beautiful rockwork that is so distinctly natural and so challenging to recreate in an aquarium.
If you’re interesting, get yourself a snorkel and find your local stream. If you want to take it up a notch, get certified in scuba and check out a local scuba club—just because you’re landlocked doesn’t mean there aren’t incredible things to see in your own backyard.