Friday, January 20, 2012

A HAPPY LAB AND SOFT LIGHT ON THE MUD

click photos to enlarge
Train trestle across Douglas Dam at Leadville
I haven't taken Shade out with me much lately as I have been doing a lot of driving while searching for boat ramps on Douglas Lake.  I didn't think she would be very happy spending the day cooped up in the truck on the front seat.  But, I took her today, Thursday,  because I would be working at a lake access area, on the boat ramp and she could do what she wanted to all morning long.
You can see where she went as soon as the truck door opened up. That water is about 45 degrees and she doesn't even care.  Actually, she has under fir that protects her skin from the cold water.  It's a walk in the park for her.  Shade has grown in stature over the past year and has made a transition from a big goofy black dog to a well behaved, fantastic woodland and water dog.  She has bonded very tightly with me and will follow me into any situation no matter how demanding it might be.  She responds instantly to every command I make and most times all I do is point in the direction I want her to go and she responds instantly. I really can not explain her evolution from just a great dog, to the greatest dog and friend I have.  Just can't explain it!
Her job is to keep the lake free of floating wood
Shade is swimming in some pretty fast current.  She is a very powerful swimmer.  Her legs and shoulders feel rock solid to the touch.  Just the same; I kept a close watch but, there was not really any danger or I wouldn't allow her to get near the water.  She's having a blast.
Good girl!
Shaking off the water
I wonder why dogs always seek out the places that have the wettest, softest mud?  Shade loves those places.  The river bank was bare and comprised of sopping wet, soft mud.  Normally those areas are submerged but, in the winter the water level of  Douglas, like Cherokee, is lowered drastically exposing much of the river bank that is normally under water.  She ran straight across the muddy banks as fast as she could and never slowed down when she came to a vertical bank.
Her feet are really large and she has web between her toes for swimming.  This webbing also gives her the ability to run over this soft mud and gain excellent purchase.  She is flying!
She is still running fast in the shot above.
She ran straight up that vertical wall as if it wasn't there
Over the top and never broke stride.  Look at her fly!
Shade is the happiest dog in the world in the above picture.  She is literally chasing the wind.
She ran non stop to the lake and ran back to repeat the same performance again.  I found myself saying out loud;  "look at her go.  Wow.  Look at her.!"
She's magnificent!
Look at the size of that log she has.  She's running full speed carrying that thing.
When it was time to go I took some sticks down to the lake at the bottom of the boat ramp and had Shade retrieve them from the water.  The result was an instant bath.  All the mud was washed off.  I then said "truck" to her and she ran top speed up the ramp and sat down beside the driver's side door of the truck.  Just amazing.  I put these shots on this blog so I could find them if needed.  I enjoy reviewing my dog photos and they will be easy to find here.  I have over 37000 photos on my computer and sometimes it takes me much searching to come up with what I'm looking for.  I hope you enjoyed watching Shade being a free dog and enjoying the life that I wish all dogs could enjoy.

I was working with the state boat on Muddy Creek today, a tributary that feeds into Douglas Lake, and I noticed that the colors of the muddy banks of the river appeared as if they were painted with a brush.  The sky was overcast and the soft light of late afternoon was not present.  But, the muddy banks actually were pretty.  I still don't understand what caused that look.  I probably can't recreate it in this little camera but I'll try.  It's unusual for me to comment on anything beautiful or pretty on Douglas Lake so, you can bet something unusual was going on and it had to do with diffused light.  So, the following shots are those muddy banks and their unique reflections in the water.
It's a river bank
I hope I don't bore you with all these shots.  Oh well;  you can always change the channel.
The two shots above were manipulated.  The rest are straight out of the camera.  I like to play.


I've done these reflective shots in the Fall when the colors bounce off the smooth water surface but, never have I caught the reflections of entire beach areas.   I just have to get a panoramic lens for the big camera.
I found a great cove that will be a good place to stop for lunch breaks when in the boat.  I named it Shade's Cove.
Shade's Cove
The light got better and better later in the afternoon.
I turned the contrast adjustment up about 4 clicks to achieve the crispness noted in these photos.
The sun is dropping pretty fast and it's time I get this boat out of the water.  I hope the pretty pictures made you feel good.  After all;  that's what they're for.  See ya.