Thursday, June 28, 2012

Don't be afraid

During last weekend's campout, I found some early morning time to grab the camera and walk some of the 1200 acres.  Here was an interesting sight, with a small swamp, fog rising, sun rising, and a small pier and boat on the backside.  A true writer could write a whole book in a short time just off that visual.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The property we stayed on last weekend was a private wildlife refuge called the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.
The Foundation sits on 1200 acres of hardwoods, prairies, lakes, gravel pits and streams,  on the Fox River in Dundee, IL. Included in this package is a pristine trout stream with numerous waterfalls and the home of  large number of trout including brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout.  This being a private refuge, it has members that pay dearly for the privilege to fish there and the trout stream is no exception. And on top of that, fishing is only allowed via "fly fishing".  We got to hike along the stream throughout the property and saw large pools of trout in certain spots and they really got the kids attention.  And even better, the people that got to the camp out early enough on Friday got to pitch their tents right along the river and hear the light sound of the waterfalls during their stay.  The shot below is of the back of the  main cabin our group worked out of during the weekend and a part of the trout stream.  Nobody staying in the cabin.  It was just where supplies were stored, some meal preperations were performed, and some light dishwashing was performed.  In front of the cabin, was where all the activities were happening over the weekend and about 40 cub scouts running crazy.  To get away from all of that, all you had to do was step behind the cabin.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Go Fish!

Spent the weekend at a Cub Scout campout with my son.  It was a great time.  This was our first outing with the pack and so far it seems like we hooked up with a good troop.  One of the highlights of the weekend was the fishing clinic put on by the proprietors of the area we were staying at.  They spent time teaching the kids the importance of good fishing technique, fish management, casting their poles, baiting the hook, and later even performed a clinic on how to properly clean and filet fish.  Heck, I think most of us dad's got as much out of it if not more than our kids.  Seems like the boy paid attention.  Shortly after the clinic, he was popping out bluegills, crappies, and even grabbed this 1-2 pound bass.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Look for the big mouth if looking for a leader

Well, it's true, isn't it?  The leader has the big mouth.  Especially if you are a pelican.  This post is dedicated to my mother-in-law who shares my interest in photography.  And she especially likes birds.  This spring she invited me to get up early on a Sunday and join her to see some migrating pelicans she had "heard" were in the area.  I gladly accepted the invitation.  Unfortunately, we got there and found the pelicans had already left.  So, of course, as long as we are there, we might as well hike the 30 miles around the lake/pond(Probably like 3 miles, but seemed to be 30).  This weekend I found myself in Green Bay, Wi for a family function.  I got myself up early today to sneak away and do some shooting along Lake Michigan.  I came upon a wildlife sanctuary that was really, really nice.  And guess what I found lurking there.  Pelicans!  A whole herd of them.  They were shy, but the area was big enough that they let me fire off some shots.
                                         I really think this is the way birds flip humans "the bird"

Friday, June 15, 2012

All A-Board

There's a new sport/hobby becoming popular these days.  Its called Stand Up Paddleboarding. Personally, if it doesn't have a motor and take either gasoline or batteries, I'm not too interested.  But, on one of my recent trips to Chicago I saw numerous people self propelling themselves down the Chicago River.  It was pretty neat to see people partaking in this with the big city buildings behind them.  Kind of like Venice.  Not really, but cool anyway.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

They're not monkeying around

Still feeding off the pics from the airshow.  One of the highlights of the show, was the "scrafing" runs they performed.  Since we hadn't been to a show like this before, we weren't really ready for what was coming.  They had setup a giant inflatable gorilla out in the field and used it for target practice.  Pity anyone or anything in their sights.  Although, the gorilla did escape the first run, even though I think that was part of the program.  Once the aircraft dropped their payload it felt like you were standing on the sun and the wind from the blast made you think it was Armageddon.  Quite the exhibition.  Oh yeah, the gorilla did not survive the second, third, or fourth passes they performed.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Gas Turbine produces..........

"A gas turbine produces a stream of hot gas that propels a jet plane by reaction propulsion."  This is the definition of a "jet".  It is powered/propelled by hot gas as opposed to propellers which propel an airplane.  This fact was pointed out to me by my a reader of my blog who is also a coworker of mine.  He noted that in a previous post I said I had shots of jets when I actually had posted shots of airplanes(Thank you for pointing it out in an email rather than a comment on line). But tonight, make no mistake about it, these are jets.  And they were really cool to watch. And by the way, Bob, there was alcohol served at the fest, but I did not imbibe.  It was just a little mistake.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Flight Deck

As I mentioned before, my son turned the ripe old age of 8 yesterday.  For his special day, the two of us made a trip to Rockford to catch an airshow.  I had heard in the past that it was one of the premier airshows in the Midwest.  It did not let us down.  Priced right, setup right, thrills galore, loud booms, fire, unbelievably large military aircraft to climb around in, army guys, food, and more sunshine than we could handle.  A guy's day in paradise.  This week's posts will mostly revolve around the show since I grabbed about 1000 shots throughout the day.(Hey, cameras these days are rapid fire and its digital so its doesn't cost anything to hit the trigger. And those flying machines?  They move fast so you have to shoot away). The scary thing about the 1000 shots is usually you, or at least me, are lucky to get 25% keepers of the shots you take.  I don't know what juice I ingested that morning, but I think I got about 75% keepers.  What do you do with 750 shots of an airshow?  You post everyone of them on your blog, that's what you do. Before I turn everyone away, I'm kidding.  But, there will be a healthy dose of Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines.  We'll start with the ones that jump out of their perfectly good aircraft and finish tonight with a threesome of some jets that don't know which way is up.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Slip, Sliddin' Away

What better thing to do after your awesome birthday party, but to come home and set up your new Slip and Slide, invite a few friends over, and start taking running dives.  Makes you wish you were 8 years old again.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

It's Good to be the King

Big day today for the boy.  It was Derek's, my son, 8th birthday party(real birthday is Sunday, but a tough day to get kids together for a party).  We celebrated at the "local" house of the mouse(Chuck E. Cheese) and he was the King complete with crown.  It was 2 hours of craziness, but, everyone had a good time eating pizza, cake, opening gifts, and doing what you do at the mouse house. The hard part will come Monday when we have to inform him he isn't really the king and he still needs to clean his room.