As you may recall, I fell into a creek during my trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway earlier this year. This picture is the reason why.

You see, I took some shots of the creek and then saw the flowers on the other side. Perhaps it would be a better picture, I thought, if I could get those flowers in the foreground. So I tiptoed my way across to the opposite bank, but lost my balance and fell in halfway across. Thanks to my instinctive sense of self-preservation, however, I sacrificed my body in order to keep the camera from getting wet.

In retrospect, the obvious question is: why didn’t I just take off my shoes and walk across normally? Beats me. That sure would have been smart.

The other question is: was it worth it? I would say probably not, since the flowers aren’t prominent enough to make a big enough difference. But your mileage may vary.

May 7, 2019 — Otter Creek, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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