Wednesday, September 30, 2020

 Seeing -

“My eyes look, but I do not see.

Sounds enter my ears, but I do not hear.

I must stop.

I must think.

I must absorb all the sights and sounds around me.

For only then can I know the true beauty, the great power and the absolute magnificence of nature.”

Quote by Carolyn L. Fox

Have a good night. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

 I haven't posted on my blog for a long time, but will start trying to do that nearly every day.  Having a blog is a good way to keep connected to people and to share thoughts and images.  Please leave a message so I'll know that you visited.  Thanks and have a wonderful day!!!

The objects in this picture hold special meanings for me, especially the guitar.  The guitar was my moms.  It's an old steel guitar that's primarily used as a backup to the primary guitar in a band.  My mom, however, just played it for fun.  When I was young, and when our kids were small, she used to play the guitar and we'd sing old songs like "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore", "This Land Is Your Land", etc.  When she got older, Mom gave the guitar to me and I continued the tradition of playing it and singing those songs with our kids.  I haven't played it for a long time because my hands get dry and my fingers crack and it's very difficult to play a guitar with cracked fingers.  I'm going to give it a try again, though, because I do enjoy playing it. 

The saxophone is a Melody C sax and belonged originally to my grandfather.  He played it in the Union Pacific Band many, many years ago.  My mom played the sax in high school but quit playing it when she could no longer buy music for it.  Although Ive never played the sax, this is an instrument I treasure because of the family history connected with it.

Ok, now we get to the violin.  I played the violin for about four years when I was in grade school and junior high, but I don't have any particularly good memories of it.  The bridge is broken and the horsehair has fallen off the bow.  I'd like to find a place to donate it to someone who is interested in repairing and using it. 

Anyway, that's the story behind these instruments.  

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Trumpeter Swan Cygnets

 These are Trumpeter swan cygnets who live along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park.  The Park Service placed these four young swans here recently in hopes of increasing the number of Trumpeters in Yellowstone.  Since Lake Trout have eaten a lot of Cutthroat Trout, which is one of the primary food sources of the Yellowstone eagles, they have started eating the young swans.  No cygnets at all survived this year. This has led to a decrease in the number of swans in the park.  Hopefully these four swans will stay or return to the Yellowstone area and will be able to raise their families here.

Trumpeter swans are North America's heaviest flying bird, with males weighing about 26 lbs.  It takes 100 yards of "runway" of open water for them to get airborne. They usually mate at about four years of age.  The oldest known wild swan was a female who lived to be 26 years and 2 months.  The oldest in captivity was 32 years old.

What do you think this swan is squawking about?

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Great Gray Owl

I found another Great Gray Owl today.  He was drawing quite a crowd of photographers
and on-lookers.  I'm not sure what he was doing in the top picture but I thought the expression
on his face was pretty funny.  It's always a pleasure to observe the wildlife of Yellowstone.  Please leave a message so I'll know you stopped by.  :-)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Lake Butte Subadult - Known to locals as Snow

We watched Snow for about four hours yesterday.  It's always a pleasure to watch the wildlife in Yellowstone and grizzly bears are my favorite subjects.  I hadn't seen Snow much this year because it seems that every time I drove to the other side of the park she was hiding from me.  I was beginning to get a complex, so I'm glad she finally came out of hiding and entertained us for awhile.   She's the most beautiful grizzly bear I've ever seen and I enjoyed getting some new pictures of her.

Snow is what they call a "road bear".  She was raised by the road and spends entirely too much time on or near the road.  Although people love to see her this type of behavior isn't good for her.  The risk of her being hit by a car is high as is the possibility that someone might throw her some food.  When you visit the park try to remember that all the animals are wild even if they don't appear to be.  They are dangerous and can easily hurt you.  Your behavior can also hurt them.  More tourists have been feeding the wildlife this year and that often leads to the animal being euthanized.   The rangers have been trying to change Snow's behavior and encouraging her to stay back from the road, but it's very difficult to do that when she's been raised there.  If she ever comes close to your car please honk your horn and try to scare her away.  No picture is worth encouraging bad behavior on the part of the Yellowstone wildlife.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

After It's Gone

I copied this from one of my Facebook friends and thought it was worth sharing.

Five things you will never recover in life . . .
1.  A stone after it's thrown.
2.  A word after it's said.
3.  An occasion after it's missed.
4.  Time after it's gone.
5.  Trust after it's lost.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Changing Backgrounds

 Ideally when we take pictures of wildlife, there will be an attractive background, maybe a nice blue sky or something like that.  Often, however, that's just not the case.  What do we do then?   Do we go ahead and take the picture and use it as is or do we do some creative PhotoShopping?  Well, it depends.  If you're shooting for a magazine or another entity that requires accurate reporting, you have to use the original background and hope for a better one next time.   If you're wanting to create an attractive art piece, however, you might do as I did here and change the background.  Of course, these two pictures aren't identical, but they were taken at the same time and had the same background.  I looked through my sky folder and found a sky that I thought would enhance the pictures of the Harris Hawk.  I simply slid the sky picture on top of the hawk picture, lowered the opacity so I could see what I was doing, and used a mask to reveal the hawk.  I raised the opacity back to 100% to finalize the picture.

Some people have a problem with photographers changing backgrounds, cloning out problem areas in a photo, etc., but I think that when you're trying to create a piece of art you should be able to make the picture the way you want to see it.   Let's call it "creative license".  It gives us the opportunity to create something unique, something that is truly ours.  Did you know that Ansel Adams altered his photos?  The difference is, he did it in the darkroom and it probably took him a lot longer than it takes us today.   So, whether you agree with altering photos or not, I consider it a lot of fun and will continue playing.  Have a great day!