Monthly Archives: July 2014

Well, I said I’d show them, and here they are …

Not very good quality, I’m afraid, but I think they’re presentable.
These are prior to the two last ones on the previous post, where I had corrected the problem. Somehow, the flash output had gotten set down too far, without my realizing it, and the pics were coming out ‘way too dark. Like a jerk, I was running the ISO sensitivity up, trying to compensate, which didn’t compensate at all, but did succeed in introducing a lot of noise. I could almost listen to my pictures. Anyway, the problem seems fixed, now (see the last post), but these were made (and Photoshopped like crazy, I might add) before that.
And, on a sunny day, he finds the shelf I made under the window to be a comfortable roost:
And another flash pic:
That’s it … I reckon they’ll be better in future …
Cheers, all!


Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized



Well, I was out again today … had to pick up a ‘scrip from WalMart that they had called me about, and, having a bit of free time, I went through my usual tour of the parks. I didn’t expect much, because the sky was a uniform grey-blue and rather uninteresting. (I don’t photograph clouds exclusively, but I sure do like to have them for a backdrop, if I can.) As I went along the road where I had shot the turkey pictures yesterday, I kept a sharp eye out on the roadside, to see if he had come back.
Sure enough, there he was! I stopped the car, put on the hazard flashers, and slid out the door, making as little fuss as possible, camera in hand with the 200mm lens attached.
Resize of DSC_3001 copyA rather nice shot, I thought, and being on foot, I began to move in the same direction that he was going.
I noticed several darkish shapes moving more-or-less along with him, barely visible in the grass. My first thought was mice, but then I realized that “he” was “she”:
Resize of DSC_3003 copyAnd the little shapes were chicks!
I did my best to photograph the little buggers, but it was devilish difficult; they were no taller than the grass, and usually very busy with whatever they were finding at ground level. You wouldn’t believe the wasted frames! At last I got this; there are five in here by my count … that black thing up in the corner is mum.
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And here’s another … I get a count of seven in this one. I don’t know if she’s picking that one up in the top of the picture, or it’s a trick of the light and perspective, but I’m counting it:
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So, off they go, eating whatever it is they eat … probably bugs.
Resize of DSC_3009 copy … and off I go, suitably chastened at my mistake of yesterday.
But, as compensation I got this little guy after he had run out into the road and quickly back again … Just a baby, although there’s nothing to give scale, he was very small.
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Why do I always get these things so I have to shoot into the sun? Oh, well … at least I got the light coming through his ears.
When I got home, I found His Majesty waiting for me:
Cheers, all!


Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Uncategorized


Lurkey Turkey …

Riding about yesterday, I happened to notice this youngster feeding by the side of the road. He’s smallish, especially when you compare him to the two I showed in an earlier post. Judging by his size and the time of year, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he were a hatchling from this Spring, possibly an offspring of the pair in the previous post. So, at least one hen survived long enough to produce at least one egg.
Here are the best four shots, with no commentary:
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That’s it; what else is there to say?
Cheers, all!


Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


I’m trying it again, dammit … Some more clouds, a different storm:

We’d had a couple of days of unpleasantly hot and humid weather, so yesterday … no, day before yesterday, thank you, Mr. Crappy WP Softare … anyhow, the 27th, a cold (well, cool, anyway) front came through in the early afternoon, bringing with it the usual instability T-storms. I must say that I not only did not hear any thunder, but I saw no lightning, but there was plenty of evidence of rain in various places. Typical of these small cells drifting along with a front, the areas of rain were scattered, and the quantity of rain was highly variable. But the clouds were really groovy! In case my references to directions may be confusing, it should be borne in mind that the front was roughly a line from Northeast to Southwest, and was moving roughly toward the Southeast. I hope that helps.
My first stop was at the Northern park; more specifically, the beach there. It has a commanding view of the Lake, and is a larger, much more popular park. I expected to find people there, and I did, quite a lot of them, having gone there to escape the heat. There were even some people in the water (the shallowing water there warms up a lot from the sun, raising it from the officially measured 60°F, which is kinda chilly for swimming), so apparently the e. coli levels were low enough to be safe (yeah, there are guys who go around measuring stuff like that). The clouds were great, and these next three are from that spot:
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I then piled back into the car and tooled down to the smaller, less-popular park, figuring I was going to get some better views, with fewer people getting in my way (you wouldn’t believe the people bumping into me, stepping in front of the camera, and asking me questions, like “You wanna take my pitcher?” or “Watcha doin’? takin’ pitchers?” DUH! … Maybe I’m an elitist, but hoi polloi can be a real pain. I reckon I lack the “common touch”.).
As I started down the bluff, I saw that the clouds looked really good from there, so I stopped the car and made this shot, looking straight out to the Lake:
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Then, turning more to the North, so as to get more of the bluff itself into the picture:
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Proceeding down the bluff (via the road! I hasten to add), I prowled about and got this one, looking North. It was almost textbook (a weather textbook), showing the rain from separate cells far enough away to be relatively well-resolved, visually:
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And, while in the same spot, I was about to move when I was suddenly standing in full sunlight. It was transformational, as it usually is:
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I looked Eastward, directly out at the Lake, and the leading Southern edge of the storm was putting on a nice show, so I got this:
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Then, another shot, directly out at the Lake, just pointing a little more North … it seemed worth it:
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And another, looking North again, with some excellent light. I love that the broken pieces of the clouds show so plainly under the storm (I think these pieces of cloud might be called “wrack”, but I don’t know … if anyone knows, please tell me):
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Then, I resolved to head home, feeling I had enough shots to work on. On the way up the bluff, I saw some views I wanted to stop for, but I had a line of impatient drivers behind me (hoi polloi, again), and thought better of it.
I think I ought to have a bumper sticker that says: “THIS CAR MAKES FREQUENT STOPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHS. IMPATIENT? GO AROUND.”.
Cheers, all!


Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized



It’s happened AGAIN!
I put up a perfectly good post, lots of writing and pictures, and I even saved a draft. The damned software even THANKED me for saving a draft!
And then, after at least an hour’s work, I went whole hog, and confidently hit “Publish”!

And the draft that the software thanked me for saving?

After I collect myself, I’ll try it again.
If it happens again, I’m through, here.


Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized


Well, jus’ dayum!

I tried to post this last night, and this dippy new software for making a post just dumped the whole business, I have no idea where it went, or what I might have done to make it happen. Or not. It seems to me, that when you “improve” something, it ought to work BETTER, damn it all. Well, here’s another try:
* * * * *
The weather here has been oppressive, to say the least. Yes, it’s been hot (well, hot to me), but not all that hot. I’ve endured worse in the Southwest and Southern California, but it’s the humidity, which has frequently been described as “brutal”. Dew points in the 50°s to 70°s are, basically, unendurable. Don’t tell me that there are people who live in conditions like that all the time; I know that. It doesn’t make it any less unpleasant.

As a result, I’ve been pretty well pinned indoors, except for as few trips as I could manage for groceries and pharmaceuticals. I never even carried a camera; I didn’t want to stay out a minute longer than I had to. So, NO PHOTOGRAPHS, for the past few weeks, save for the odd picture or two of the cat … you’ll see ’em sometime. So, I’ve been sitting here in front of this machine, getting fatter than I’d like, and quietly going “bushy” as the old sourdoughs used to say … “cabin fever”, you know.

Well, we’ve had a few days of relatively decent weather, especially for a Great Lakes Summer; temps in the 60° – 75° range and dewpoints in the 40° – 50° range. I made a quick run to Walmart and then my circuit of my usual haunts in the parks along the Lake shore … and I brought the camera. I wasn’t going to miss this chance; I might not get another until Fall.

Of course, life being the way it is, I had no sooner pulled into the first park when rain started bucketing down … I was nearly unable to drive. I wasn’t really upset; the clouds were basically air-mass rainstorms, and I knew it would pass … I might get caught in a few more as they’d drift Eastward over me. But I liked the effect of the rain on my windscreen, and got this:
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As the rainstorm drifted past, I revisited the spot where I got the “sunglint” picture in the last post but one. No sunglint this time … the rain was out over the Lake, and I was in a cloud shadow:
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I then went down by the Lake; I love the Lake, for one thing, it’s water, and it’s also a great place to see clouds. I picked up these:
Resize of DSC_2941 copyNotice the rainstorm out over the Lake.

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Resize of DSC_2948 copyThat flower is Queen Anne’s Lace, a singularly appropriate name, or wild carrot, as I recall. I have no idea about the little round beebles on the bush, so if anyone knows, tell me.

And another of a really nice cloudscape that formed before my eyes:
Resize of DSC_2950 copyIncidentally, in both these cloud/Lake shots, that white stuff along the shore is hundreds of gulls that were all gathered there, for some reason I am unaware of.

Then, off to the more deserted park, closer to my house … it’s quieter there, and frequently has some very interesting views of the Lake. When I got down to the shore, I found these:
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And this rainstorm just having passed over to the Lake:
Resize of DSC_2955 copyA touch indistinct, perhaps … the price one pays for being a little too close.

I love how the clouds change from moment-to-moment … this is looking North again:
Resize of DSC_2956 cropped copyI’m not too sure I like the water in that one, but it’s the way it came out.

And here you go, Merle … our milkweeds are in bloom, too. This one’s a little the worse for the pounding it took in the rain:
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Here’s that rainstorm again … a little farther away, and a little easier to see:
Resize of DSC_2959 copyI reckon I got the zoom a little better on this one, too.

Looking North again … a good sky, and off to home and the computer:
Resize of DSC_2960 copyIncidentally, that cape you see projecting out into the Lake is where the earlier shots of the beach and the Lake were made.

Well, maybe one more … LOL:
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I hope I haven’t bored you all to tears, but if I have, don’t let the tears fall into your keyboard …
Cheers, all!


Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


A Gang Problem in Our Park …

Excuse the poor quality and viewpoint; I really had no choice. These pictures were shot in haste at a crossroads in our local park. Traffic was backed up about 6 cars deep on all four roads, and I was seated in mine. The cars were being held up by the newest gang in the park; the goslings (see my post, two down from here “‘Twas a misty, moisty morning …”) have grown up enough to look like adults (they’re the ones a touch smaller), and they and their parents were crossing the road to get to the lagoon on the other side. And they were stopping all traffic into the crossroad as they crossed, in bunches of ten to fifteen. There were a good hundred of them, so the action was quite protracted.

As occasionally happened, there would come a point when there were no geese in the road, and a couple of cars would seize the opportunity and get through the intersection, then one or two geese would step off the curb, and cause the traffic to come to a halt until that batch got through and another break in the migration came along.

I came in on the tail-end of the action, so all I got were these two shots, against the sun, with no chance to change angles or background, so here they are. I thought you might be amused.

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Cheers, all!


Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

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