Black-eyed Beauty



What can I say?   “I stepped on a rake?” …uh, “you shoulda seen the other guy?” … uh, or maybe, “I got kicked by a mule?”  Nah, nothing that dramatic — just a bit of skin cancer removed.

The ignorance of my generation caught up with me; sunscreen didn’t exist when I was a kid.  My Mom would make us “build up a tan” gradually, rather than get scorched all at once, but that was the only precaution I ever took.  No shirt all summer, and never a hat any time of year.  People were more worried about nuclear war than sunburn.

Skin cancer is the nemesis of my generation, sun worshipers who think they are forever young.  Sort of like smoking was for my parent’s generation, and perhaps tatoos or some handheld electronic device for the generations to follow.  I guess the moral of the story is: Use sunscreen and don’t mess with Mother Nature.

Thought for the Day:  I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work — I want to achieve it through not dying.   Woody Allen

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Winter Home

Henry Ford's Winter Home

Henry Ford’s Winter Home

This cozy little winter home of Henry Ford is in Fort Meyers, Florida, right next door to his good friend, Thomas Edison — the homes are identical.  It is not a mansion by any stretch, definitely not memorable, but I needed something to remind me where these fascinating tree roots were found.

The roots belong to a 60-70′ tall fig tree, one of several varieties on the property.  The Ford property is very large with an arboretum-like feel to it.  Many exotic plants can be found here, like rubber trees;  Edison was experimenting with domestically grown rubber trees that might replace the expensive imports of latex used for car tires.

The weather in Fort Meyers was gorgeous in late January.  I might have to return if Spring doesn’t arrive in Nebraska real soon.

Thought for the Day:  Spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush.        Doug Larson

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Stare Down

Stare Down

Stare Down

Who is going to blink first?

I like going to the zoo, there is always something there to photograph.  Even if it’s not your own grandkids, there are always plenty of Kodak moments with other little kids.  I took a lot of shots here, but this is the only one that is relatively sharp.  Shooting through glass is always a problem, and the girl is on the other side of yet another pane of glass, causing double reflections in some areas.  I don’t understand the physics of the double reflections, like the gorilla’s forehead and parts of the girl’s chin, but one thing is for sure:  These kind of shots can become a real pane in the rear.

Who blinked first?  No contest here, the gorilla wasn’t going anywhere.

Thought for the Day:  God loved the birds and invented trees.  Man loved  the birds and invented cages.   Jacques Deval



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Inside Out

View from Covered Bridge

View from Covered Bridge

I used to think this was a nice photo.  Yeah, it’s okay, but certainly not the best.   When I took the photo, I was interested in showing detail of the Vermont covered bridge. I wanted sort of a muted or blurred background to make the subject more prominent.  My interest was the diamond pattern of the wood and not the woods and stream in the background.

Now, with two more years of experience, I think it would be a better shot if I had used a smaller aperture to increase the depth of field.  That way, the woods and stream would also be in sharp focus, and be “framed” by the diamond pattern.

I mean, really, what’s so interesting about some old 2×4′s?

Thought for the Day:  Experience is the name that everyone gives to their mistakes.                                                                                                                                          Oscar Wilde

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2-Headed Swan

2-headed swan

2-headed swan

With the help of a telephoto lens, I could tell this was NOT a freak of nature, but with the naked eye, it sure looked like a two-headed swan.  This shot was taken at Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge near Mound City, Missouri.

Thought for the Day:  In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.    John Adams

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Who’s Counting?

March Road Trip

March Road Trip

Spring break and the grandkids were out of school, so we piled in the car and headed south. Clear skies, light winds and moderate temps — a perfect day to witness the massive spring migration of waterfowl at Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge, near Mound City, Missouri.

Squaw Creek is an ideal place for the birds to stop, rest and refuel before continuing on to their final destination (Canada?).  The refuge covers 3,100 acres of wetlands surrounded by cornfields for them to feed.

The Visitor’s Center tracks the coming and going of all bird species and publishes the count once a week.  This includes four species of goose, 24 of ducks, 4 different shorebirds and bald eagles.  For example, two weeks prior to our visit there were only 2 snow geese sighted, but the count for this week was 1,087,439.  Additionally, there were 39,030 ducks of various varieties; the Red-breasted Merganser, however, was unaccounted for that day.

Incredible sight, but the biggest question of the day was, “How do they count those birds?”

Thought for the Day:  Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.                                                                                                                           Cicero  106 BC – 43 BC

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Guess what?



March Madness starts today so forgive me if I seem distracted.   See ya!

Thought for the Day:  What is so fascinating about sitting around watching a bunch of pituitary cases stuff a basketball through a hoop?  Woody Allen

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