Friday, October 31, 2014


This morning was one of those dark, gray, cold mornings down at the lake. I was liking it.
 Most of the lake was covered with dense fog and even the geese wouldn't stray from the shallow shorelines.

I headed up Muddy Creek in the jon boat through the fog and started to get soaked. That wouldn't do on a cold morning so I pulled over against the shore and put on my super duper 100 mile per hour rain suit.
The fog was actually more dense in the coves.  I've no idea what the science is behind that but it was so.
This is the first morning in four years that I haven't had my big camera with me.  I had to send it away for shutter repairs when I missed a fantastic opportunity to photograph a bald eagle cruising low on the shoreline.  I pressed the shutter button five times and it wouldn't release.  Missed the entire eagle. Then there was the huge whitetail deer that stood right beside the truck and asked me to please photograph it for the cover of Field and Stream.  Camera wouldn't go off.  Its in the mail heading for someplace special where hopefully it will undergo an operation conducted beneath the fountain of youth where it will emerge young and new again.  If it still proves abstinent, then I'll shoot it at dawn the next day.
 And, I wonder why folks can't make a proper fence gate post support system.  The gate hangs on hinges from a post that is constantly under pull from the weight of the gate.  The hinge post therefore has to have an assist - a support - in order for it to maintain its perfect vertical attitude with the result of keeping the swing end of the gate from dragging on the ground.  All one has to do is imagine where the pressure is applied to the hinge post and to the posts installed behind it that act as an anchor for it.  Easy.  I've not seen a properly built gate since I moved over here from my previous home in East Tennessee.  The one in the picture below is close but no cigar.  I really don't care but the issue is interesting.  Just sayin.....
I might have some really good news about finding Blue a home.

I was in the bank today talking to the lady at the counter when I overheard the girl at the window making over a couple dogs a guy had with him in his car.  The lady who was waiting on me commented that he talks to those dogs as if they're human.  She also mentioned he had a few more at home.  The thought struck me about Blue.  I asked the girl at the window to tell the guy I'd like to talk to him and I met him outside.
I asked him if he might know of someone who would like to have a super sweet companion in a mix breed dog.  He actually perked up and started asking questions about Blue.  We talked and exchanged personal information.
I watched him pull away and I thought that was probably the end of it.  So, this evening I was sending out emails around 6 PM and the phone rang.  It was him.  We talked and he said that he had to go to the VA hospital next Wednesday and could pick him up afterward.  I said that would be great but we will talk on Wednesday.  I asked more questions and found from him that he rescues dogs and has property that is fenced in.  Blue would have it made there.  He asked if Blue got along with other dogs and I had to state that I had no idea.  I said to try him and if he doesn't work to call me and I'd come and get him and I'm the one to call for any issues with him..  He replied that he doesn't give up on dogs.  We'll see what happens on Wednesday I guess.  The gentleman is a Vietnam vet and that makes him alright in my book.  Fingers crossed for Blue!
The temps are to drop here this evening and heavy rain is due in.  That rain is falling right now.  The rain is supposed to change to snow at any minute and continue on until 3 PM.  Ought to be a great morning at the lake tomorrow.
I noticed the tree stump laying on its side above and thought about the trees in the movie "The Hobbit".  They could walk but mostly they seemed to sleep..  The top of his head is to the right of the picture and his eyes appear to be closed in the center of the shot.  Funny what I think about!

The further up Muddy Creek I cruised, the darker the sky got.  Lake weather can be very strange.

The wind is suddenly howling and blowing the rain into the back of the house with a lot of force.   Lightning is flashing and I guess I better shut this computer down for awhile.  See ya tomorrow if I don't get blown away.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


The weather has been turning cooler over the past week and the motorcycle stays in the garage for longer periods of time.  Several searches of the vast clothes closet to find bits and pieces of long underwear sets turn up nothing.  I never understood where long underwear parts disappear to from year to year.  The Fall and Winter mornings are going to be cold on the lakes and I better find all that stuff pretty quickly.  The insulated coveralls are ready for action as are the insulated Arctic Muck boots.
The past five or six days here at the house have been testing my ability to maintain a cool head as I've been dealing with an incompetent water company as well as a county that has a minimum degree of leadership.  The water service on my country road is the worse I've ever experienced in my life anywhere I've lived.  Three or four times every month there is no flow of water when the spigot is turned on.  This happenstance occurs at any hour of the day or night.  I visited the water company about this anomaly and explained how distraught I was over their inability to maintain water service.  I told them my job is to pay, and I do my job well.  Your job is to do what?  Service?  And how well are you doing you're job?  The very next day the water went out.  Can't win.  Incompetence, incompetence, incompetence or - they just don't care.  I really think its a southern thing as I've never seen such lack of motivation to satisfy customers by companies when I grew up in the north.  Better off with a cistern or a rain barrel.  I'll stop complaining now.
I'm having a lot of problems with my camera and I had been cleaning this connection or that one and wiping off contacts with alcohol and all the while shooting test shots around the yard and else ware while driving.  All the pictures will probably be deleted but a few do have some merit I guess.  Anyway, I thought I'd stick some of them up here on this blog just for something to do.  Most all are nothing to write home about but some are OK shots that someone might enjoy looking at in passing.  Besides its 4 AM and I can't sleep.
The camera has been developing an issue with the shutter button in that the shutter won't release reliably when the button is pressed.  Often times I have to press it twice or three times and with more pressure from my finger.  
This defect has already cost me two bald eagle shots that had the potential to be great pictures.  It is either repair the shutter button or go for a new camera.
I mentioned in an earlier entry that I've sold the Gheenoe and now have no boat.  That situation can not go on for long and I've got my eye on a new boat system that will fill that void.  I can't do a new camera and boat at the same time due to cost issues.  Then there's the old truck (that is still reliable as I write this).  fingers crossed...
By the way, the following link will take you to a "You Tube" video that will show the boat and motor combination I'm leaning toward.  Its very different than the Gheenoe in its simplicity but will allow access to all areas of stream and lake where I can find the critters and unique photo ops that I seek.

The set up appears very stable and the seventeen foot boat will be capable of carrying camp gear as well as the large Australian Oz Tent that I absolutely love.
With all the above taken into consideration I've decided to send the camera off to United Camera to have the shutter release button replaced and the camera cleaned.  This by no means will guarantee that nothing else will go bad but at least that issue will be taken care of.  Every other function on that camera is perfect.  The EOS 50D has been a fantastic camera and I'd purchase another one when this one gives up the ghost but, I don't see them advertised any longer.

My 50D Canon has over 100,000 shots taken and the shutter life expectancy is 100,000 so its a toss up how long the old camera will last.  I certainly can't complain about Canon's quality.  I have been looking very hard at the Canon 7D for the past year and have pretty much decided that the 7D would be the next camera.

 Another camera has caught my attention however and that one is the Canon 60D, which I've ignored totally.  It is less expensive than the 7D and has video incorporated into it.  If that camera contains all the attributes as does my 50D I may consider it more seriously.  But then, by the time I'm ready to purchase a camera - both the 7D and the 60D will probably go obsolete just like everything else electronic does.  Such is life---or is it the American way.  Not sure.

Anyway, life is good and one shouldn't complain even if the water service is poor and the electric goes off rather frequently for whatever reason. 

 Nature is out there to enjoy and it has become my retreat, my place to go where I can recoup and replace the electrolytes that society routinely drains from my essence.

I do hope you find a picture of interest in this mix of diverse subjects.

All these shots were taken over a couple days while I decided what to do with this camera.   A camera has no preference where it finds interesting scenes to capture and sometimes the front yard will do nicely as a place to escape to and find some really interesting things to capture in the magic box. 

Time to get things moving around here.  Its 5 AM and the coffees ready.  Hope you enjoyed spending time with this entry.  See you later.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I have a camera that is giving up the ghost and have run into an eagle photo opportunity today that doesn't come along in a lifetime of roaming the wilds.  What a combination!
I was cruising down Douglas Lake this morning when I started to run into bald eagles.  Yes, I said eagles - plural.  There was one eagle youngster that was located perfectly in a tree with the light "almost" just right for great pictures.  He was located deep inside some foliage which provided a sort of dark environment and made the finished pictures intriguing to say the least.  Here they are.  I think these are some of the finest "immature" bald eagle pictures I've ever taken.   The shots are similar with the slightest changes in facial expression and posture.

I'm guessing this fellow to be about two years old.  He is coloring out nicely and should have a white head and tail feathers in another two years.  What a majestic bird he is becoming!

You are looking at one of the freest spirits on the planet.  This guy will find a mate and stay with her for his entire life and only move on if she meets an untimely fate and she will do the same if he pulls the death card.  These particular shots are a real privilege as this bird alighted in a tree pretty much horizontal with my position on the boat making it appear that I'm on the same plain with him...

 And he's away!