Hodgepodge

I received a message on social media the other day about the location of another active (six kits) fox den. While I won’t be going there, my memories of other dens and the great times with friends remain fresh in my mind. There is nothing better to cultivate friendships than a common interest and goal.

Once again, I have been asked recently if my political posts are a thing of the past. No! It is far too late for me to stop commenting on the world around me. As they say, you can never go back. It is however nice, to take an occasional break.

I’d like to make a quick comment on a specific item in the world of auto racing.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is set to retire from NASCAR racing at the end of the 2017 season.

I did not care for “Jr.” when he was a young driver on his way up He was the son of a legend and frankly, he was spoiled and oft-times condescending in his style. When his dad died in the Daytona 500 he was thrust into the position of either becoming a man, or not. He came through and bit by bit over the years, became a fine race car driver, and an admirable person. In recent years he as suffered some head injuries in crashes. They are never to be taken lightly but he set a precedent for this sport by setting out almost and entire season for a concussion.

He has been recently married and no doubt, that is the overriding reason for his decision. He has slowly, become the spokesman of NASCAR for all things touchy, feely. He either chose the wrong woman, or (more likely) chose the right one.

He made the correct decision to retire. Auto racing is not as dangerous as it once was, but it still requires maximum dedication with an ample supply of nerves. Anything less should leave you in the pits, in the broadcast booth, or on the couch.

I am sure he will remain in the sport as an owner or some such thing, and I wish him the best. He set a great example of class in his later years behind the wheel.

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While many of the pictures below were not made in spring, flowers, birds and insects all “say” spring. I have certainly not chosen today’s images as being the best of anything. I found them in three folders on an external hard drive all living next to each other. In other words I was simply looking for an easy way to grab a few pictures to share.

These Lilies were photographed in summer but they are a good example of my love for moving up close with flowers. This is two separate blossoms that were right next to one another. The closer you get (second photo) the less inerrant depth of field you have. That makes it ever so important get what you want to be clear, crisp and sharp, well, is clear, crisp and sharp1Lily 042.

2Lily 035

This close-up of a sunflower required my camera back to be as parallel to the face of the flower as possible.3Blog SFlower 067

While I have much better “bee on a flower” pictures than this one, my memories of this day are nice ones. I actually made this image at Horicon Marsh NWR. You say, couldn’t you make a shot like this near home? Well, yes but I am always looking at everything no matter where I am.4Copy of HorE 160

A Ring-necked Pheasant (in autumn), a few berries and we have a picture. Nature photography is often not complicated.5DSC_8592

Spring shorebird migration was a favorite subject of mine. I caught this Dunlin foraging along the shores of Lake Michigan. They’re easy to frighten away at first, but once you are accepted they will at times walk within inches of you.6DSC_8244

Spring is most definitely the time (in these parts) for colorful birds like this male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Making images near bird feeders can lead you to both natural, and feeder shots.7HawthornOrioles 068

8RBGrosOriole 030

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are year round inhabitants in these parts and I am glad they are. They are active and engaging in their behavior. They tend to pose with a lot of nice backgrounds.9RBGrosOriole 003

This is an old, old, old film image of a Garden Toad. I found my subject along the edge of a field, as it danced in and out of shaded areas. A couple quick hand-held pictures was all I got. Well over 30 years later, this is still my only picture of this species. Much of photography is about being an opportunist.10Slides2 005

Count your blessings, each and every day,                                                                               Wayne

 

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