Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tree Buddin' Time...

Man! It was into the lower 80's today and I'm noticing more and more trees budding. Our neighbor's maple tree was the unfortunate victim of the utility company's tree trimming campaign last winter and we've been missing it ever since- not to mention how much we will this fall.
Our red bud tree, even though it was right beside it, was spared and we're reaping the benefits of the 70-80 degree days right now. That's definitely the prettiest time of the tree.
But anyway I'm hoping that the vacancy left by the maple tree will allow more sunshine for the red bud and give it enough of a growth spurt that in time the area won't seem quite so empty.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Many Thanks...

Many thanks to my friend Claudia at In linii mari for giving me this award. I really appreciate any acknowledgment I get from fellow photographers. I'm pretty new to the world of photography so these things mean a lot to me as encouragement.
A while back David at One Foote Closer sent me an award and in turn I was supposed to award fellow photographers that I thought worthy. I dropped the ball on that one and I apologize.
So here's my list. Please look them up if you're not already familiar with them. It's quite a diverse group- all very worthy.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Typical Sunday...

You know, sometimes I just don't have much to say. It's been kind of a busy Sunday with church, out to lunch, home to watch a movie, getting a workout in and taking Brendon for a couple of games of bowling (I've started calling him The Dude ala The Big Labowski). That's pretty normal for us though- we don't seem to stop for breath too often. So I guess I've been left speechless (or thoughtless or maybe just clueless!)
Anyway here's another "no particular reason" picture. I was just going back over some older pictures and this is one that I've always liked- I hope you like it too.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ladieeeees and Gentlemen !

The Shrine Circus came to town the other night and although Brendon thought that he was too old to like it -he's almost eleven! - we all had a good time. It's been a few years since we last went so I didn't really remember what to expect. I would guess that in the "big cities" the circuses are well, bigger. But this circus had just about everything you could want under the big top. There were clowns of course. There were tigers jumping through flaming hoops. There were performing elephants and there were, among a variety of acts that took place high above the circus floor, these ladies. Situated at intervals around the perimeter each lady did a variety of twists, turns and "falls" each at her own pace so that you had to constantly look from one to the other in order to take it all in.
When the last act had finished and we waited for the crowd to thin I thought about how cool it was to be at the circus. I felt a little different than when I first walked in but yet I knew that I'd had this feeling before. I think, yeah I think I felt... almost eleven!

Monday, March 22, 2010

St. Louis Blues Hockey !

Notice the exclamation point after the title. That's there for a couple of reasons. One being- I love St. Louis Blues hockey and the other is , well you really have to be there. Hockey is not easily explained to those that don't know the sport. I mean there's cross checking, there's boarding, there's icing, there's face offs, there's off sides (probably the easiest to explain) and a whole list of other infractions and rules that seem to be unexplainable to those that aren't already familiar to the game at least a little bit.
Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of having a large fan base that I can relate to here in southwest Missouri. There are some fans but we seem to be awfully scattered out.
At any rate, my family took our annual trip to St. Louis for a Blues game this past Sunday and unfortunately didn't get back in town until around midnight so I'm posting tonight. (By the way, that was six hours of driving in the rain and sleet.)
OK imagine this- a 6 ft. 2in. man (somewhere around 220 lbs.) skating as fast as he can from one end of the rink to the other and coming to an abrupt halt with shaved ice flying. As he stops he passes the puck backwards between his legs to an on coming team mate who in turn skates forward and passes the puck to another player waiting to bank the pass to yet another team mate who one times it ( that's a shot off of a pass without stopping the puck) to another player that manages to get his stick at just the right height and just the right angle to get the puck into the net past a, by now, very disappointed goalie that seems to cover 90 percent of the goal opening all in just about the amount of time it took to read this scenario.
That's hockey! Exclamation point!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'Possums (Or Opossums)

OK, this isn't exactly what it seems. I could tell you some story about stumbling across this 'possum (or opossum if you prefer) in the woods one day while on yet another great hike but I won't. I like to be honest with my stories, that way when something really unbelievable does happen you'll believe me.
This was the second 'possum that I managed to trap out behind my shed. The thing is, my shed is 20ft. by 30 ft. and in the process of becoming my man cave. In addition to the two 'possums there's also an armadillo and at least one groundhog that have decided to make their homes under the future man cave! Besides the damage that the armadillo and the groundhog do to the foundation and the yard in general I just can't have them as tenants- I want them gone. So being the humane type of person that I am, I decided to trap them. Actually the 'possums weren't really doing any damage that I know of (other than driving the dog crazy at bathroom time) but they needed to go so I could get to the armadillo and groundhog.
I'm hoping to see the armadillo in the trap in the morning so I can move forward to getting that dang groundhog! We'll see. By the way, the 'possums were released in the woods at the same spot so hopefully they can reunite and make a new home together and have hundreds of little 'possum (or opossum) babies!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Take A Deep Breath...

This is actually a continuation of the last post. It seems like it's been rainy, cold and dreary ever since that front moved in. Spring is almost upon us so although the weather is not what we want, we also know that there's not much of it left. These cloudy wet days eventually take a toll on one's psychological well being so I'm just being pretty blah lately and I don't have much to say. You can bet though, that when the sun finally comes out and the temperature starts to climb into the 70's ( and I know that it will soon) it will be reflected in my pictures and words. Until then I'll just take a deep breath, think about sunny days to come and wait...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hang On Tight...

It was what you call a gorgeous day in the Ozarks today! The temperature got up to 73 degrees from what I gather. Unfortunately when the temps rise at this time of year it usually brings with it the big storms. As we speak (or I guess as I write) the weather over in the Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas corner is getting pretty rough.
I can sure understand the exhilaration that the storm chasers get when they're in the midst of a big storm. I get a real kick when I'm out in it taking pictures. I've yet to have the opportunity to photograph a tornado though. I think that it would be a hell of an adrenaline rush but at the same time I am aware of the damage they inflict and the lives that are lost every year to the storms. That being said I wouldn't wish a tornado to ever show up just so I could get some good pictures - I'm just saying if I had the opportunity...
At any rate it's soon to be that time of year so grab a hold of something and hang on tight.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Baxter Springs, Kansas

Every now and then I may refer to something or someplace as a "Mayberry" kind of thing or place. Hopefully you understand that this is in no way a slight to this particular thing or place. As a matter of fact it is, in my mind, a very high compliment. (For those that aren't familiar with Mayberry you should Google Mayberry, RFD or Andy Griffith - just to get the whole feel of what I'm talking about.) At any rate I don't know if it's because of the age I am, the life style I used to live or what but I find myself being drawn more and more to places that go at a little slower pace.
Now, don't get me wrong I'm no expert on Baxter Springs but this last weekend my wife and I did get a chance to eat at a very good restaurant there called Cafe on the Route (named for the fact that it sits on the old Route 66) and afterward take a walk in the historic district. I left feeling like I had a pretty good picture of life there in general, or at least hoped that I did, and I liked it! I There's just something about the old buildings and the neon signs that just make you want to hang out there.
Unfortunately we did not get a chance to check out the soda fountain but we did grab a soda pop from the Coke machine in front that still cost only 50 cents. That's what I'm talking about!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Field Behind Our House...

The field behind our house has been a great place for me to catch some really nice sunsets and various other weather conditions that happen to roll through. Our neighborhood used to be a row of houses, mostly on one side of the street, surrounded by fields. Unfortunately the fields are shrinking and the houses are multiplying. There has been four, yes four subdivisions rise up in our immediate vicinity in just the last three years.That's way too much, way too fast! I can see some day having to find a more secluded area to live- maybe when I become a "successful" photographer. But for now I'll keep climbing the fence out back to get a good view and every time I see the man that comes twice a year to mow I'll reiterate my plea for him to hold onto his land and never give in to the urge to sell.