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Picture This: Look before you leap

Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:59 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 7, 2014 12:46 p.m. CDT
(Danielle Guerra – dguerra@shawmedia)
Abbey, an Airedale terrier, walks in front of her owner Lois Schwanke, of Cortland, on the Prairie Trail in DeKalb. Temperatures reached the high fifties on March 10.

Since this is my first official photo column, let me introduce myself – my name is Danielle Guerra and I’m the new photo editor at the Daily Chronicle. I’ve most recently worked at the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake and took a short journalism hiatus for the birth of my son, Jude.

My journalism break made me very eager for my first day back, perhaps a bit too excited. When I see a photo, I often get overly distracted with capturing that photo and unfortunately don’t bother with the obstacles preventing me from attaining it.

Case in point is one of my first assignments back on my first day March 10. I saw Lois Schwanke walking Abbey while I was traveling on Route 23. I immediately pulled into a parking lot to get the picture of them enjoying those spring-like temperatures after the horrible winter we have endured.

Eager to actually get to the Nature Trail to take the photo, I didn’t notice the large ditch in my way. Since the temperature was in the high 50s that day, the snow was no longer hard and now more like a quicksand mush. So there I was, right beside Route 23, stuck in road slush up to my hips in less-than-appropriate cold weather attire.

Suffice it to say, I caught up with Schwanke and her dog Abbey. She helped by yelling out directions on how to get to the Nature Trail by parking next to Michael’s, 2341 Sycamore Road in DeKalb. When I finally caught up with them – they walk at a fast clip – I introduced myself and apologized for looking like a crazy lady stuck in snow.

Schwanke also asked me to include a warning to other dog owners. Since it’s getting nice out and more dogs, people, and the like are using the trail, she’d like to remind her fellow dog owners to keep all dogs on a leash. She told me tales of Abbey being attacked by nonleashed dogs as their owners stood by.

If you see me around, hopefully not stuck in ditch, please say hi, because I’m new here. I’m glad I learned two important lessons on my first day covering DeKalb County: Leash your dogs and look before you leap.

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