jim

Jun 132012
 

Every so often I run across the Long-Billed Curlew.  A unique bird..

The Long-billed Curlew is the largest nesting or regularly-occurring sandpiper in North America. It is 20–26 in long, 24–35 in across the wing and weighs 1.1–2.1 lb.  Its extremely long bill measures 4.4–8.6 in, and rivals the bill of the larger-bodied Far Eastern Curlew as the longest bill of any shorebird.   Adults have a very long bill curved downwards, a long neck and a small head. The neck and underparts are a light cinnamon, while the crown is streaked with brown.

And like most shore birds a blast to watch.

 Posted by at 7:49 PM
Jun 122012
 

Lately I have been reminiscing a lot about life in general.  And my life.

Whenever I do so my thoughts end up with the person I spent most of my early and mid-life with.  My Dad.  He taught me how to work.  He taught me to respect my elders.  And he taught me that debt was evil!  To avoid it at all costs.  As I have aged I realize the most important thing he taught me was personal status in the neighborhood/community and self respect where not connected.  Dad was wealthy.  I can say that now that he has been gone for over 10 years.  With never having any debt and working more than most men he had a good sum of cash.  He earned every penny through incredible physical and emotional stress.  A project at a time.    We put in the infrastructure for developments all over the county.  He was the best at his trade.  A very humble, modest and shy man.  His best traits.  Today as I usually do I drove home looking up our beautiful mountains.  As time as passed there has been a “king of the hill” contest on these mountains.  It has been a “who can build the biggest and be highest on the mountain” contest.  I don’t get it.  Really I don’t get it.  I drove up today and was reminded what these hilltop mansions look out to everyday.

They, in their multi-million dollar homes look out to the refineries, freeways, and us little people.  I say that with a little sarcasm.   At one event hosted by a wealthy (or very much in debt) family I overheard a person not of the area say while looking out the 2 story glass windows to the valley “look at all the little people”.  It made me chuckle.  I know a lot of people that live “up” on the hill.  There are a many good people there.  You would never catch my dad with that lifestyle.  In fact very late in life he bought his first new car.  Paid cash.  Then hid it in the garage.  He was to embarrassed to drive it.  He started driving it a little at night.  Mom took it out mostly.   The point is that dad could afford any house on the hill.  In fact when he was growing up and until his mid life he and his brothers owned most the land that now has huge mansions on it.  Used to be pasture.  Beautiful land.  Back then the rich lived near main street in classics like this one…

But you know what?  My Dad was the King of the Hill!  His life was spent saving, working like a madman, doing tons for all sorts of people.  Most of which any good deed he did anonymously.  He and I would go out often on Saturdays and do little side projects.  Mostly replacing old service laterals to homes that had failed.  He had created a way that we could take out the old galvanized pipe and replace it with copper without digging up the yard.  In most cases when we left you could barely tell we had been there.  He shared the proceeds with me from these odd jobs.  Extra spending money for car parts, etc.  After working all day he would approach the home owner for payment.   It was never a problem.  Unless it was a widow, a single mother or family in need.  As it turned out we would just leave and not ask for payment.  Man at times I wanted to kick my dad’s butt.  Let it be known that even at 73 in full Alzheimer’s he could still take me!   It was a bitter pill for me to swallow.  The money meant more to me than anything in the world.  And that was the problem and the lesson Dad taught me.  “if you do enough good things for other people, good things will happen to you”.  He said it often.  Only to me.

He built this home that I was raised by hand.  Dug the foundation out by hand.  Hand mixed all the concrete for the footings and foundation.  Took down a quonset hut piece by piece at Hill Air Force Base and hauled all the wood, windows and hardware from South Ogden to Bountiful.  Built the majority of the home out of the materials from the old building at Hill Air Force Base.  For many years he and Mom and my sister lived in the house with mostly unfinished stud walls.  A small home full of memories.  Hand built by the REAL King of the Hill.  MY DAD!!!!

 Posted by at 10:01 PM
Jun 122012
 

Do 6 year old boys really enjoy Baseball?

Depending wholly on the enthusiasm of Mom and Dad little boys are signed up for spring little league baseball.  Little mitts, cleats, and uniforms are bought.  Schedules of games are sent out to parents that in turn end up in grammy and pappas email boxes.  In most yards a baseball is tossed back and forth, to some little tikes more than other little ones.    They have to learn the American pastime as early as possible right?  According to Mom and Dad it is so.  Luckily for these parents superstars get their start.  And for others it’s a great time to get recognition from their son in the field just as a ball is hit right past him….

Actually the photo above is my grandson.  And boy is he grand!!!  Since his birth he has brought laughter and interest to Grammy and I.  He loves puzzles.  He loves to sing.  Like his two brothers he takes life seriously.  His enthusiasm at times puts his brain ahead of his mouth. It’s a real kick.  Especially when he throws in the pallet tongue slapping “L”‘s with his stuttered attempt to get full sentences out before being interrupted.  I can be anywhere and at anytime and think of him and a smile breaks out!  He’s probably not going to be a baseball superstar.   Just like all our grandsons to me and grammy he is the greatest superstar.  Even when running to first base with an oversized batters helmet……

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Amazingly to me at this young tender age there is some real talent for Baseball.  Without a doubt dad or mom spends extra time with these little athletes.  The genetic athletic skills carried to them being drawn like juice from an orange.  One little baseball prodigy hit two home runs in this game.  I’m not talking about the Keystone Cops chasing a base hit while he ran the bases.  This little guy with his hitting gloves in force hit out to the outfield.  Airborne the whole distance.  A real home run.  Impressive especially for  an individual just learning math and reading and doing his first science projects.

I placed myself just beyond the first baseline looking back to home plate to photograph the expressions and body shapes as each player made the dash to first base.   I love these photo’s and the enthusiasm reflected by each boy in them!

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 Posted by at 8:44 PM
Jun 102012
 

What does a 19 hour old baby see?

What does he feel, or smell?

He is helpless.  Without doctors, nurses, extended family, grammy, pappa, and most importantly his Mom and Dad he would not survive.  Is his tiny little brain as clean and pure as we might expect?  Does he have a “few” remnants of a pre-earth life in there?    When those teeny weenie eyes peer open for just a second I am sure its all blurry and very bright.  CBB is not 24 hours old yet.  When I saw him again tonight, swelling down, just a tiny bit more comfortable out of the womb he had just been fed from Mom’s best gift to him.  God’s secret potion for newborns..Colostrum. He can only get it from his MOM.  It’s the start of “that” bond between mother and child.  So I held little CBB.  We had a talk.  Yes we did.  He opened his eyes to express his trust to me that he was listening.  Though his mother is holding him in this photograph he is still trained on me ……

There is no way to describe what I feel when I witness my daughter hold, sniffing and kissing her first Son!  She has waited literally all her life to create and nurture this miracle.  The world stopped for a few seconds tonight.  I had no worries for my grandson, his mom or his dad.  Because right then they were engulfed in one of Gods greatest gifts and miracles to us.  And wow you can see it in his moms and dads eyes and little CBB’s demeanor.  He knows what his mother smells like now.  She is his sole source of nutrition and motherly love.  There is no greater love on earth than that of a mother for their child.  My daughter without doubt will give 100% of every fiber of her being to her son’s welfare.  She has prepared her life for today, tomorrow and beyond.  She is ready!  And she is well prepared!

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Then there is his Dad!  This one is special.  I have the best son-in-laws out there!  Ben loves my daughter, treats her like a queen.  He’s known for his integrity and high standards.  His virtues are near flawless.  He’s not perfect though.  None of us are.  At least his parents dig deep to come up with some stories about he stripped some leaves off a bush once or some horrible thing like that.  Dang juvenile!  Good thing his parents don’t know my past. They might avoid any public appearances with me.    This little angel is Ben’s first also.  This new little boy in their life reinforces that Ben and my daughter are a team for Eternity.  I’ve often wondered how Ben would be with a brand new son.  Well like most other things in his life …it’s natural.   I can however see a different gleam in his eye.  Last night he witnessed the miracle of birth.  It was pretty darn tough physically for my daughter.  A couple of scary moments.  I know that Ben’s faith gave him the stamina and courage to stand strong and support my daughter.   There is absolutely no comparison of what the dad experiences at birth to what the  mother experiences.  It is extremely emotionally draining to watch your wife suffer and endure through child birth.  Tonight though drained when his son was handed to Ben his whole countenance changed.  He is now a Father!  And he is ready…

 Posted by at 12:53 AM
Jun 082012
 

Just about everywhere I go my Camera(s) is with me.  And a few lenses.  A few accessories. And misc need photographic gear.


Most mornings I stop at McDonalds and get my healthy Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal.  Did so this morning.  Enjoying every bite today.  Then right in front of me at eye level landed a huge Mosquito eater on the windshield.  Holy crap what a perspective to capture a photograph.  In seconds I had the D800 out with my 200 Macro attached and firing away.  Then I bumped the windshield wiper.  Got one good shot.  Lucky me!

 Posted by at 10:02 PM
Jun 082012
 

Right now at this very minute I am sitting in a Maternity floor waiting room at the Hospital.

My middle child is having her first.  Not here yet.  But they say as soon as an hour and maybe a few hours.  This beautiful woman has wanted a real child as long as I remember.  Even as a teenager she was begging folks to babysit.  And asking me why she couldn’t have her own.  Waiting for the perfect man took some time.  She will be 30 in a few months.  And this little angel, her son is coming non too soon.  My eyes are wet as I write this blog with deep gratitude that she has fulfilled her dream thus far.  Nothing is ever easy for her.  Between endometriosis and other problems she is always tested.  But like my other daughter complaints are limited to extreme cases.  Like all three of my children I love her dearly.  I look forward to her snuggling her son.  Watching that bond between a Mother and a child that we men will never, ever relate to.

Ironically when I received the call tonight from her husband that she was ready (finally) to actually start the birthing process, I was photographing a brand new born Pronghorn at Antelope Island. Watching the mother pronghorn clean the newborn and nurse it took my thoughts  to my daughter.  Then the call came…..speeding?  Me Speed?  No way!!!!

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 Posted by at 9:40 PM
Jun 072012
 

I day dream of shots that I will probably never get.  You know the ones you see in the Nature and top photography magazines!

Theere are photographs of Terns out there that are unbelievable.  In reality my goal is always to get that type of shot.  This particular photograph I really like.  The background is nice.  The background color and texture works for me.  The Tern?  Well it’s not perfect.  I will however file it under favorites…….

Nikon D4, ISO 400, 600mm lens, f/4 @ 1/3

 Posted by at 9:22 PM
Jun 062012
 

I really, really miss my time with big game.

I hope to get up to Yellowstone, Glacier or somewhere soon where I can get out and find the big critters!!!!!

Tonight I practiced panning on Terns, panning on Harrier Hawks, angle of view with shore birds, etc., etc.

And then I followed around a particular Killdeer.  Man they are fun to watch.  They always move in hyper speed.  Walking and flying.  Tonight I realized I have never really captured a Killdeer eating.  Usually what they are ingesting is so small I haven’t noticed what it is.  Very small bugs, critters, etc. I would suspect.  I lucked out again when I noticed this guy tugging at the yellow/green moss.  He really was putting all his muscle into this snack.  Eventually up through the moss popped this….BUG?  Not sure what it is (was). I’m sure it was like the full buffet all in one package.  King sized!    It sure was fun to capture and record one of these cute birds dining!

 Posted by at 10:04 PM
Jun 032012
 

Main street in Bountiful, Utah is taking on a bit of a new life.  New buildings, apartments, retail space, and a brand new bank.   Looks nice from the road.  Look close.  Especially at the drinking fountains……

Yikes!  Not sure I will drink out of these anytime too soon.

A couple of weeks ago a sidewalk chalk-art festival was held.   Seen it before.  Some real talent is put onto the sidewalks.  I found that if I go back at least a week later and maybe even one rainstorm later the chalk-art is surreal.  I walked it today and photographed many art pieces.  And as I expected it was beautiful.  I like it better in the worn state than fresh and new…

This one is my favorite.  It is right in front of the Post Office on Main Street.

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 Posted by at 9:44 PM
May 312012
 

Today I went under the “knife”.  Hopefully very soon I can breath through my nose like the old days.

Yesterday I went back in history at Virginia City, Nevada to when most medical procedures probably included some whiskey or other strong spirits.  Today at 6:30 am I entered a surgical center and was home at around 10:00 am after having my sinus’s torn to smithereens.  Believe me I feel as though I am having a blood transfusion through my nose.  Little pain and no PANIC or ANXIETY.  Glad I was born in these times of incredible medical advances.

The photo opportunities in Virginia City are endless.  I had an hour and a half yesterday to enjoy camera time in Virginia City;

What first caught my attention was “Iskey”  I am sure Iskey and his mule was a plant for the benefit of tourists. Iskey is for real.  He talks, looks and smells the part.

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The buildings have not changed much in over 100 years.  From the wood planked sidewalks to the window frames everything feels like an old west mining town.

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At one end of Main Street sat a 1937 Graham Automobile.  It is in pretty darn great shape.  I was on my way back to Reno. Probably blew it and didn’t get a shot of the whole car.  There was a dumpster on one side and a trashed new truck on the other side .  So I tell myself a great shot of the whole car may not have been a good thing.  Loved the hood ornament and the grill!

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All shots with Nikon D800, 28-300 f3.5-5.6 lens.

 Posted by at 11:17 PM
2016