Sunday, September 21, 2014

Morris and I do 'Duck Egg'


Duck Egg County Park is not hard to find and has two entrances.  The upper entrance on the ridge and the lower entrance in the valley.

We chose to hike the lower end of the park and see if we could get some great views of the changing colors and get some shots of the Springville Branch of the Bad Axe River.

Bad Axe River...that name is just so cool.

Anyway the drive into the valley was beautiful and very very twisted.  You need good brakes and you need to be careful!


One of the more interesting things to try and do is take good photographs with a dog on a leash.

Some folks let their dogs loose but these trails are shared with equine and I really wouldn't want Morris to spook a horse.  I know I wouldn't want to be spooked.

We walked in the valley and admired the beautiful fall colors.


As an experiment I only brought my Nikon with a 50mm lens and my new pocket camera.

I however did bring my tripod in hopes of getting a nice shot of the river flowing.

We walked out to the 'big' pond where we saw a Muskrat who was rather unconcerned about us.


Morris seemed interested in the smells on the shoreline, but I wanted to keep any encounters between Muskrat and Morris to a minimum.


My biggest fear was that Morris would decide to get into the river which was running rather hard from the 1/2" of rain we had the night before.

He proved pretty smart about that.  Stuck his nose down into the river and quickly pulled back.
After that I wasn't too afraid of losing him to the swift current.


I used my very dark ND filter and was able to set up a shot by one of the foot bridges.
I let Morris loose and he stayed near.

This view is from the horse crossing.  It was a hard shot to get as the light kept changing.

Then we found a small trail that led us to the edge of the river that was off the beaten tracks.


This was a very neat spot and I would like to return without my 'helper' to worry about.
The current was running pretty hard.


Then we set up at the second bridge to take some shots.


Note that my camera assistant is making sure no one disturbs us while we are on top of the slightly bouncy bridge.  He actually stood very still so I could take some timed exposures.

What a great dog!


Facing downstream 30 second exposure.  Edited for a bit of fun.

Facing upstream.


This is the only place I regretted not having a wider angle lens.  But I still ended up happy with this shot.
Morris stood quietly while I packed my things up and we started back down the trail towards the parking lot.


Old Dog Morris was dragging his butt by the time we made it to the Subaru.

I asked him if he thought this would be a good place for him to bring his buddy Teslin.
He really didn't answer.

When he hopped into the car .... 


...he fell immediately asleep and snored most of the way home.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gone Fishin'

"How about fishing?"

My husband's head snaps around and a huge smile plants on his face.

After we've loaded the boat in the water and have our poles in the water ... nothing happens for a while.

A bluejay screeches and two geese fly over head.  We listen to the woods surrounding us and sit quietly.

Two very content people.

I begin to mess with my camera and start taking some photos of the amazing colors that are starting to show up in the trees.



I just can't get over the pure reflections of the land, forest, and sky.  I put JV back on my list of to do's again this next week.  Dawn and perhaps sunset stops for shots of the changing leaves.
I remind myself to look into other hiking areas also.

Oops.
My bobber has disappeared while I've been daydreaming and doing taking photos.

I've got a tiny tiny fish.  I toss it back.

"Little fellas bitin' now," says hubby.  I agree.

A bit later we start catching some nice fish.  First he catches a few in a row, then I find a hot spot and catch a few.

We laugh.  We are enjoying ourselves.


We now have the little man made lake to ourselves and everyone has left.


And we enjoy the lake until dark falls.


The scenery and the hills never disappoint me.

I love returning often to Jersey Valley.

I do know that my grandkids love this place also.

When we got home hubby headed upstairs first to bed and paused on the steps...

"Say," he says with a slight smile.  "Suppose we oughta go back and get some more tomorrow?"

I smile.
Of course I wouldn't mind.
I never get bored with sitting quietly in the boat and listening to the forest around us.

Or of the nice peace that sitting on the lake brings me.

Gone Fishin',
it's a good place to be.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Old Dog's Busy Day ~ by Morris


She asks if I'd like to go along with her into the woods for a little walk.

Do I look dumb?  Heck yes, if I don't go with her and show her the way, she could get lost right?

So I start to do the bounce thing around her feet and whine.  
Really I do it so she does NOT forget that she has promised to take me along!

Off we go down to the creek by the big boulder.  She is looking for something I guess.  I'm not sure what.  She walks along quietly looking this way and that.

Finally I climb up a deer trail and stand to watch over her and the rest of the creek.  
You never know what lurks out in those woods.  I will be her alert system and if something frightening comes by, I will rush to stand and growl at it...
right between her legs.

I am good at that!

Anyway, she has the pistol and I am only about 15 lbs of hard core ninja dog muscle.  If she would miss, I'd take care of her.
I don't think she knows this.

After she sets up the camera, she tests it and I trot down the trail and she is able to see me in camera.

All is good.
Then we head back up the hill road towards home and again she is looking for something.
Me too. I am smelling everything I can and making my mark.  I find something disgusting to roll in while she is bent down taking photos of something she calls
puff balls.


Today she seems interested in the little things that she calls fungi... and sort of says she should have brought the camera with the micro/macro lens thingy.
Whatever that is.


I don't know, the fungi doesn't excite me at all.


However, we eventually come out into the Merry Meadow and I see Him driving the tractor around and around cutting weeds down.

NOW that gets me excited!

I love that tractor.
I love to sit on the seat and pretend to drive it.
I like to ride on it.  I got to do it once.
I love machinery.  I think it is a rule that they should make Jack Russell seats on all farm machinery.

After all, I do ride a mule too don't I?



So He stopped the tractor and shut it down, then I ...
I...
well, I begged to get up on it.
Yes, I am ashamed to admit I begged.
But I do love that orange tractor!



And even better was when He picked me up and let me sit at the wheel.

Don't I look Grande?



I was so happy that when we got home and She gave me a bath, I didn't even mind it.

I snuggled up inside her sweatshirt afterwards and took a very satisfying nap.

And dreamt of fungi and awesome tractors.


Monday, September 08, 2014

Cameras and Such

I just finished reading a blog by The Dancing Donkey, the author had purchased a new pocket camera and it was giving her fits and starts.

I love my 'pocket' point and shoot cameras [ I think they have the most shots on them and they are on their last legs...], and my blogger friend makes some very valid points regarding photography in this day and age when everyone is taking photos.

I mean I see some fantastic stuff with phones that have cameras in them!  Who would have thought!!!  Back in the day of film...taking a photo with a phone???

But you can read about her thoughts and rules regarding cameras and photography in her post, I think I'm winning...

The reason I bring this up is because I have been 'told' that I am a creative person.  Creative thinking people [in my own opinion] don't like to be told that the sky is blue, the grass is green, and YOU must follow the rules of thirds in photography...
or many of the other rules that come along with a camera.

In today's age, I see the rules being tossed out of the window.  Hand a pocket camera or any camera to a youngster who just takes photos without regards to rules and you can get great results.



And in some ways that is great!

I usually don't 'plan' photos, I leave it up to chance unless of course I know there is some awesome weather going that will make things look more interesting.

So yes, on a morning with heavy dew I will go out and make a special effort to grab some misty morning shots.


at other times ... I just wander about and find something that may catch my eye.


and working with animals is never easy.  Especially those who have no intention of co-operating.


...and sometimes you just get lucky.
I did try and plan this shot with Morris on the hay bale.

While taking these shots yesterday, I was not looking for the rule of thirds, or placement of subject, perspective or carefully planning out shots.

But I found them to be personally satisfactory and I guess that is good enough for me.


However with today's modern cameras you can really have some fun with the features that are in camera.  

Not like the old days of film.  I can recall taking this photo with an ancient Pentax ME with manual focus and manual exposure.
Plus ... I had to take this shot in a blink of an eye...

Xena was not one to stand still for very long.


See?  Shot into the sun!
But this is still one of my favorite photos.
No rule of thirds...but just a nice shot of a dog from long ago...

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Variations of one set of parameters in Mandelbulb 3D


I've been experimenting with Mandelbulb 3D again.  Part of the group I am in offers up daily challenges along with a partner to do 'Tweaks' to Ping Pong back and forth.


The idea is to get a set of parameters and then create an image and pass that image and parameters to another person.  That person 'tweaks' it by changing colors, editing formulas, and other things.

Then that person sends the new 'Pong' back to the other artist.


I sometimes add a little something like this space ship for fun in the backround.


Then there are times that I just plain get stumped and can't seem to make any headway....

The above ball and the fractal below are from very similar formulas but the colors and the 'camera' angle have been changed, as well as the added backround created in Incendia from a few years ago.



This one feels like Pandora's box...

Here are the parameters for it:
Mandelbulb3Dv18{
g....si....j0...u....2I...Uuu9j8jgwyzIK.LL1hKp.Enyp50xMG5.o2ccMxJ80yzI29elNYX0.E
................................taLtAwUXd.2........Y.dD.................o.2...sD
....z6....kF.....I.1/......e....n1....E4.....scpGaullomD/IE8hYbEd/E7/dkpXk1....k
.VkAnAnD1A../2UNaNaNal5zzOaNaNaN2MzjOaNaNadD..2...........U0.....y1...sD...../..
.zHnAnYDC.PwAfjHMwXBd87fnWE7zUCQ1Ipzk.mDfE.R0gmewvvv6XLv/V36zapxC1uKgTmDeixacIFH
ewHW70ltuHy3ziuREnK5Y1kjU.....YA....A.........sD.2....sD/.G.....................
.............oAnAt1...sDHdw.zw1...................................EgVOfEO....k1.
.....Ksulz1.......kz.IjfO0EP.o7.G....I1....G....a/...s3...E9....j....ca1....THzG
...U.SBec/zcK7HU....UNXBq...1QozrTzx..UPAI91pRxD6oa4dabdnz1...........I.8.UF4N2.
.sM93P58iz9.3yuedc8tz0...........6U0.wNj4/...........s/wQOr9PExD..........E/EOYz
eO77..EwD0xQi./EteRlZ.N99y9.5eK59wuuzIUUXtTE0p...IG6kndUE.28xolvU8Okz0UwLr24K6zD
/6U0.wzzz1....................................xN2/.C272FImlMR.2.WWuVcmyBui8J.UdY
fVtNHBMNB0EEjE2FZv3imZ5.2xGA2VHOHmdH.6bQC7LkeB7bC/UQmtYQfx5obF2.sEYE27uTET4F.U1F
0Fo/.0xN2/.C272F...obFoUpnlMR.YBAWXifGZdCVpUZpcQl2XAic4Qb/......................
E....AU2V2U.....I....A....kL4x4PYZaPbZoMjBLM.........................MU/4.......
..................I9.1......610E........c.A...................zD................
........................kz1.............................Uz1........sz.........yD
........Uz1..........Y0..../....1....2IPVdLOiR460x4S.65.........................
.Qk0.................UnAnAnA9Wzj/......DgznoAnAnAnhuz...........................
.............timemit............................................................
................................6....E/...E/....T7pPo34RZFKEWB5.mp4.............
..........U/4M...........................................................y1BnAnA
nAnQz.........xDbNaNaNatNzfaNaNaNaNxz.........zD................................
............................................}
{Titel: Wings 12 box of secrets}




If you need to know how to use parameters please see my blog instructions atMandelbulb 3D Parameter Sharing.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Salsa!


Last night the neighbor lady and I made up 15 pints [?] of salsa to can today!

Yikes, we chopped and diced and stirred and we made a wonderful combination of smells.

After we put all the ingredients in the pot she turned to me and asked me why the heck we hadn't used the food processor of hers!

We both had a good laugh and I said that the salsa would taste soooo much better because it had been hand chopped.

Of course!

I hope tomorrow to get out and take some photographs and perhaps hike to the back valley and mess around in the creek back there.

It is a long hike but worth it.
Generally it is about a 3 mile round trip if I don't detour through the valley and the creek itself.

But the forest is preparing for Autumn and I enjoy trying to catch the beauty of the change of seasons.

Soon enough it will be winter!




Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The Ice Cave and Road Trip

There is a little short trail at Wildcat Mountain State Park that takes you to the Ice Cave.

If you take the trail you may be disappointed in the summer as there is no ice in the cave formation.  But there is in the winter and early spring.

The trail isn't difficult and runs alongside Billings Creek.

Ariel and I decided we'd explore the trail and take a peek at the cave formation on Labor Day.
We went when it still looked as though it was going to rain.


The trail is not a difficult one at all.  It winds through a heavy forested area and takes you to a rock formation that in my mind is not truly a cave but is called such in this area.

Alongside the trail if you keep your eyes open you can find little interesting things.  Since we'd had rain almost every day and lots of heat and humidity we were able to find coral fungi


Turkeyfan fungi


...and of course a tiny tree toad hidden in the mossy trunk of a tree right next to the ice cave...


The rock formation is really quite impressive and we spent quite a bit of time exploring the place.


The biggest challenge we had was getting proper photos of the area.  It was so dark, photos were difficult unless you used a tripod.

I did have one and was able to take a shot of us partially in the cave.

On our way back down the trail we took a side trip and discovered an incredible place ... we were able to get into Billings Creek and do a bit of wading.


The beauty of the rocks and the water were just mind blowing.  ...and I live in this area!
How could I have missed this gem all these years?


The water was cool and crisp and very refreshing.  We even saw crayfish!

I even had a grandchild who was fun enough to take a candid shot of the 'grandma Val'.


We left the Ice Cave trail and headed out for a bit of exploring.

We stopped and waded for a bit in the Kickapoo River.


We snacked while sitting in the back of the Subaru.  


I don't recall what Ariel said, but it was funny and she 'shot' me with the Fuji camera.  

We ended up with a bit of a road trip.

But it sure was fun having someone along who was as adventurous as I was.


Sure would be fun to do this again!