Sunday, November 30, 2014

Off the beaten path

Traveling some of the backroads of Northern Wisconsin, it never ceases to amaze me some of the structures you find.  A turn down a gravel road and a few more zig zags brought me to this dwelling.  While obviously not lived in at the time, if ever, the area around it was nicely kept up with a little bridge going over a ditch and the remains of what was a little swingset.  The bridge was fairly new, nothing else was.  There wasn't another structure within 2 miles of the property.  Fixed up and the addition of a hot tub and a satellite dish would make it a nice little mancave for Sunday afternoons.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What did I do?

Out West, at almost any time of the day, I noticed, you could look around you, and in some direction or another you would find an incredible cloud bank. This would happen several times a day and it would kind of just creep up on you.  Here is a shot of just one of the many cloud banks we saw.  Even more impressive when you have a mountain or something in front of you and you come around a corner and see a mammoth spectacle like this one.  But, what bothered me here, is I always had the feeling someone, or something, was flipping me off.  I don't what I did, but I got over it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

We've Got A Jumper

Growing up in Northern Wisconsin, there was a local river spot where, as kids, we would hang out some in the summer.  One of the highlights was the crazy guys and gals who would jump from a set of rocks down into a small pool of water. It was a 40 foot leap of faith.  Trust me, it looked much higher standing at the top of those rocks.  I experienced it. And each year 99.6% of the people attempting the jump survived.   While out West, my buddy took me on  hike to a similar area.  Known about only by the locals.  About a mile trek along a river to a secluded area.  Perfect for the younguns' to hang and sip some "soda pops".  And they, of course, could not pass the opportunity to live on the edge.  Or jump from it.  I took a few moments, and shots, of a young gal as she was coaxed on and tested by her friends to make her first jump.  She passed the test with flying colors.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

May I have this dance?

Haven't been to a high school varsity football game in many years.  While on vacation in Arizona, I had a chance to go to one due to my buddy's hometown team was playing in the area we happened to be that night.  Sounded like a good way to soak up the local vibe.  And it was.  And we got to witness his teams running back score like 6 or maybe even 7 touchdowns while enroute to a 400 yard night of rushing.  Incredible.  I was able to practice some sport photography during the contest.  Unfortunatly, all that practice just proved I need to practice more, especially under the lights.  Not many keepers out of the bunch, but I did get one that shows the intimacy of the game.  Crunch, crunch, crunch.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Deer Arizona,

They aren't actually deer, but saying "Elk Arizona", doesn't work.  Some of the Arizona wildlife sneaking through the woods.  They were pretty skittish during my time there; it was hunting season for them.  Might have seen a nice bull with them, but I think we saw him in the back of someone's truck earlier in the day.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Morning has broken

And when it breaks over the ridges of the Grand Canyon, it really breaks.  In my limited travels, I don't know if I've ever seen a better place to witness the dawning of new day, as I'm sure the guy in the picture believes also.  He was probably thinking that same thing,..... or planning a jump to end it all.  I'll go with the first option.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sharp eye development

One of my memories as a kid growing up in Northern Wisconsin is my dad being able to pick out a deer moving through the woods while we are driving down the road at 50+ miles an hour.  I'm sure those abilities came with him being a deer hunter, boredom while driving the miles of countryside roads, and just a natural development of looking for wildlife.  Back in the day, you HAD to look for deer since they weren't as numerous as today and the roads were not as wide as today, therefore, it was a matter of avoiding an accident with the four legged creature.  I was always amazed when he would point them out standing in the edge of the thicket along the roads.  These days, especially since I started my photography journey, I have gotten quite good at it myself.  Sometimes deer, but often times Herons, Egrets, Hawks, and other small game.  Its always satisfying to spot these creatures when no one else around you does.  But, that is changing.  With all the times I've pointed said creatures out to my son, the tables are reversing.  While heading out to bring my son to school the other morning, he says, "Look dad" and points ahead.  I'm not seeing what he is seeing so he reemphasizes and points again.  Still not seeing what he does, he finally says "Look.  A hawk in that tree."  Sure enough, straight ahead just above eye level was a young hawk staring back. I pulled over and told him it was worth being late for school to get some shots of this guy.  He, of course, agreed. As I struggle to get my gear out, the hawk takes flight and swoops over my van, about 10" above the hood enroute to try and snag a young black squirrel(yeah, how about that, an actual black squirrel). He missed, but landed on a fence to wait for another chance.  That chance never came as he sat there for what seemed an eternity.  Even with me stepping closer and closer, snapping multiple shots with each step..  Eventually, again, a reversal of the norm, I got tired of shooting shots and decided to get my kid to the education system he needs while the hawk continues to sit there and check out his surroundings.  I got great shots, but the best part is knowing that the kid is always watching and learning from the old man even when you think he's not.  Wait a second.  That might not be a good thing come to think about it.