Dark Waters

Drum roll please… it’s dog show weekend!  That is good news for my readers as that typically means – post-a-paloosa.  There is a lot of down time with these events and I cannot think of a better way to fill them… except of course, some ultra trail training.   Unfortunately, running for a lot of miles in unfamiliar places can get you lost or worse, find yourself reliant on your survival skills.  I’ll leave the trails for closer to home.   So posts it is!  This show might be a be interesting for Linda.  She managed to dislocate a toe a few days ago.  I came running in to help at first call.  On second thought that might be a stretch.  I waited out the standard oouch ooochie ooochiiiii calls assuming it was a stub which just has to be ridden out.  Problem was.. I thought that was just about to run its course when it took a dark turn to a much higher pitched series of “OH MY GOD”s.  Okay, time to ride in on the white pony.  I was not expecting to come into the room and see 9 of her toes staring at me and one outlier pointed 90 degrees to the right.  I think I might have laughed – not my best moment from a husband perspective… sorry, it was funny and Linda’s eyeballs out of their sockets by about 2 inches was just amping the humor.  Say what you will about my sympathy gene, my personal experience with resetting wayward appendages during sporting events was just the ticket.  Deftly moved the crooked toe in line with the others and then went to work on the emotional part.  Not to be deterred, our trooper will be taking on the courses with a mighty purple toe.  Oh, and big thanks to our call a friend Dr. G. for setting her mind at ease that she will indeed live to run another day – apparently Linda believes the word of a real doctor over my personal experiences (I’m hurt).   Sorry for the long lead in.. how ’bout a bird with big toes!?!

Great Egret found at Widewaters near Joliet, IL in April 2018

A bit of a departure for me in the digital dark room.  There are some standard treatments I do to all my images to get them into my preferred style.  Every photographer has their own signatures, some more subtle than others.  One of the areas I do not tend to rely on is hard contrast.  My eyes view life more on the soft side versus cold sharp edges. As a result, that area is used primarily to slightly dampen unintended jitters.  However, there is one time when I do like a bolder pop.

Great Egret found at Widewaters near Joliet, IL in April 2018

You happen to be looking at one of those times.  Beautiful white birds in dark, dingy settings has a natural contrast that truly intrigues me.  How do these birds manage to keep themselves so clean while strutting around in the muck.  Suspect there is a local distributor of Oxy Clean making a fortune. Hit the jump to experience some more shots from the dark waters.

Continue reading Dark Waters

‘Cause the Boys in the Hood are Always Hard

I just want to say for the record that I am currently camping at Purina Farms down in St. Louis and freezing my butt off.  Last time I stepped outside it was dipping below 30 and there were little white flecks hurling down on us from above.  Linda is in complete denial and not exactly pleased we are being treated with this weather during the Poodle Club of America Nationals we are entered in.  Raven will be competing with the big boys and girls in the agility ring (wish him luck!).  With that cold whine out of the way, let’s get on to this weekend’s theme.  Wait – make that themes.  Carrying over from last post, bringing you another bird post, another plus one on the bird list, shoots from this very month (a miracle) and yes, another set of soft pictures.  I purposely went with the Woodcock shots first in hopes those shots would make these look better than they really are.

Hooded Merganser located at Widewaters near Joliet, IL April 2018

I mentioned in a previous post I was heading up to the Joliet IL area to do some birding with my brother Ron (link here).  The goal of that trip was to finally get that Ross’ Goose in the tin.  It had been hanging out with a bunch of Domestic Geese that had taken up residence in the area.  More specifically in Wilmington IL  Ron was threatening to drive there, scoop it up in the car and drive down to my house to get the picture if I waited any longer.  Note, that was only threatened, he didn’t actually do that … this time ha.   Turns out, our little white Goose was nowhere to be found.  We did locate the resident Geese behind Nelly’s Restaurant, but their little friend was either staying inside thanks to another cold weekend or it figured out it was hanging with the wrong crowd.  The day was still young, so Ron offered to show me some of other birding spots in the area.

Hooded Merganser located at Widewaters near Joliet, IL April 2018

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of this distinctive duck.

Continue reading ‘Cause the Boys in the Hood are Always Hard