Random Thoughts From a Very Random Mind

I am indeed the possessor of that random mind and those random thoughts. That might be a good thing, or it might mean I have a short attention span. I can live with that, I’m just happy that the mind (brain) still works.

A lot of what I write on this blog is simply me making an observation. I also give a lot of opinions, but many of my observations are meant to stand on their own. When I make them, I care not if they support who I admire, or those who I appose. They are not to make a point, unless I clearly use it to bolster an opinion. In other words, I’m not being sneaky. I had a friend who I often had to explain this to, and I do understand the confusion.

The points I make below are offered mostly because I believe that some of my writings of a few years back were misinterpreted at the time. It also fits in with the idea that I often make observations and simply tell it like it is.

In writing about my own life, especially stories from my past, I have occasionally insinuated that there have been a lot of different woman in that life. That has just been a statement of fact that needed to be said in order to set the premise for what I was writing about at the time. I tried to be modest in those statements, because I would have to be stupid to think of it in any other way. I do not understand how any of those woman (including my ex-wife) would choose to be with me. In my opinion, I was the lucky one in every single case. They all could have done better, and most of them did once I got out of the way. Once again, when I first insinuated (I insinuated because I felt silly writing about it) those things, I was making a self-observation that needed to be said in order to keep in context the rest of my story. It is something to be ashamed of, not bragged about. Do note, I would never mention names, including my ex-wife’s. I always considered myself fortunate she went out with me, much less married me.

The idea that I often just make observations needs to be carried further.

I would imagine that everyone who has opinions, has them because they believe in things, and those things are either upheld or destroyed by what we show or say to bolster those opinions. If you have opinions, and share them publicly as I do, the opinions are worthless if the reasons for holding them are false. That’s why I examine the world around me and share what I see. I will do that whether it supports what I believe or not. Ultimately, what I stand for, is usually upheld. At least that is what I have seen so far. I have changed some of my opinions over the years, but at my roots, I believe the same things as a political/social conservative, as I did as a liberal. The people who used to represent what I believe in have changed in both their philosophy and their tactics, and that caused me to find other people and other organizations to support. It has been in some respects, a freeing experience.

If you are walking down the street and a man walks up to another man and slaps him in the face, and you say to the next person walking by that the tall man over there, just slapped that short man over there, that is an observation. If you say he slapped him because he hates short people, that is an opinion. If you know he has done this before, and has confessed he hates short people, then it is an opinion based on both some facts, and your observation.

The news media presents itself as a sharer of observations.  Observations which have been probed for the truth. That shipped sailed many years ago. Today’s news media is a political, social commentator. They select which observations to share and which to ignore, based on their personal (group think) opinions. They select which parts of any given story to broadcast and which to “forget” based on their “group think” criteria. They are the ultimate example of intentionally manipulating observations to turn them into opinion.  There is no honest media left.

It is always difficult to share one’s opinionated thoughts in one sentence, and share with those same people a simple observation in the next, and make ourselves clear that one sentence is an opinion and the next is not.

I have been writing this blog for a long time now. I am proud of much of what I write but I do have my times when my thoughts are a bit scattered. In other words, I write a thought in one paragraph, then think of something different having little to do with the previous thought, and then write that. Then, I return to the first thought for my next paragraph.  I do understand that when I allow that to happen, it is disconcerting.  That is my opinion, based on an honest observation.

I am not only a random mind with random thoughts, I have always been a random photographer. Below are eight pictures from the three major categories of nature photography, wildlife, macro and landscape.

Photographers who are new to wildlife/bird photography, usually, as logic dictates, begin by making portraits before any action or unusual behavior. Action photography follows portraits far more easily than most photographers think. It is a natural extension. Those perched birds will eventually either commit to some action/behavior while you are there, or as you leave.

Those static images that are made while they perch, have their own brand of charm and are a worthwhile endeavor in and of themselves.

A simple look over the shoulder towards the photographer (and by proxy, all future viewers of the picture), adds a bit of charm and a personal touch as this Broad-winged Hawk is casting an (only one) eye in the direction of everyone who will ever see this image. My Sigma 300mm macro lens was used. Of course macro lenses are good for more than just close-up images.1BWingedH

This Red-tailed Hawk is turning away from the camera. It makes me wonder what it sees. A Chipmunk? A Vole? A shiny bottle cap? I was there when the image was made and I still wonder. Of course it’s obvious that hawks can’t read, otherwise he/she would put its talons away and leave. Nikon 500mm f4 lens.1cDSC_5702

The curious expression and pose by this Eastern Kingbird helps turn the ordinary into what is at least a pleasant picture. Nikon 500mm f4 lens.1dCopy of KbirdEgret 026

This very old picture is that of some startled Dunlins. They took off in unison and flew in patterns that the Blue Angels, and the Thunderbirds military flight aerobatic teams could only dream of. I am guessing that this picture was made with either a Nikon 18-70mm lens set at somewhere in the 50-70mm range, or my Nikon 70-300mm lens set at 70mm.2Dunlin Unitityb

Of course there’s no reason why a wildlife shot can’t also be a macro, and such is the case with this close-up of a Bull Frog. This photo was created with that Sigma 300mm macro lens. I had my tripod split to it’s lowest vantage point and was laying on my stomach.

I had so much fun making this image that I have pretty much wore it out showing it over the years.3I

Bees are wildlife too and any telling image of one of these critters will automatically be categorized as a macro. The photo was created with the Nikon 70-300mm macro zoom set at 300mm.4FlBee1

Amazing, two vertical landscapes from me in one day.

This picture is a film conversion and it aptly shows the glorious colors in the much under photographed Theodore Roosevelt N.P. in North Dakota. I am guessing that the photo was made with a 35mm prime lens, and Velvia film.5TR12

The Maroon Bells, especially at sunrise, is one of the most iconic scenes of the Colorado Rockies. Two of the most glorious mornings of my life (1986, 2007) were spent here and my only regret is that I never visited this scene in winter, although on my first visit, I spent a 20 degree May night in my car waiting for the sun to rise. This one was made with my Nikon 18-70mm lens set at 18mm.6MaroonBells 057

You can see in this particular image that I did not use a graduated neutral density filter to hold back the light on the sky and mountains. That would have kept the reflection of both the mountain and the sky, closer to that of the actual mountain and sky. In the past I have produced two copies of this file from this original. One was greatly over exposed from this one, and one slightly underexposed. I combined them along with this original using some HDR software, and produced a pretty, well-balanced, and heavily saturated (from combining three layers of color) image. In the end I still opt for this one.

Variety is the spice of life, and only a varied (random?) mind will support it.

God Bless,                                                                                                                                            Wayne

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