Sunday, February 28, 2021

Playing with color

I was feeling antsy and decided to walk to the ridge before sunrise on Friday. I did notice that a very light Hoar Frost had settled on the trees along with a low lying fog.

Taken with my unmodified camera. ")

Some wind blew as I passed the neighbor's yard and frost dissipated everywhere.

I'm just not able to help myself. I took the Infrared camera along with me.
I can't stop being curious about how things would look in a different light. I keep thinking that if I keep at it, I may even get proficient at it in all situations.

Seriously, I do not know exactly why certain colors show up. Items that reflect a certain kind of light appear a certain way. I can't explain it very well without referring to a long drawn out article on what spectrum the human eyes see and what we can't see.
In the 720nm spectrum, green leaves become white and the sky becomes very orange.
This is shot in the 665nm spectrum. 

I used a method called channel swapping to achieve these colors below.
The reddish tint on the trees can be yellow, reddish, or desaturated to be white.

And in the other direction...I removed the color in the trees but kept the bluish sky.

Have you gotten tired of Infrared? Two more samples from late afternoon.

This is with the 550nm filter. I haven't gotten the hang of it quite yet and I find I don't like it very much. The photo that comes out of camera is absolutely ugly.

I've did the channel swapping and the it still was horrible. More than likely it is because there isn't any bright green leaves, pines, or water to really make this sort of workable. Ick.

Edited to black and white, I find it somewhat pleasing, especially the sky.

The old car in the run off ditch is rusty colored but I sort of like this after I balanced the snow to pure white.

I went to black and white with this also.
And I loved it. The details in the rust came out like magic in B&W.

So maybe this filter isn't so bad as it shows variations in tone nicely.
Last year I did have one great day with that filter at the KVR big pond.

The thing I like about IR is there are no rules of color. It is like giving a kid a box of crayons and telling them to go wild.


Stay tuned for Dragons.
And a Foggy walk in IRChrome.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

KVR Wintergreen Trail

It was so refreshing to get off the farm and do something fun after weeks of being stuck at home because of cold wicked weather. Bill and I headed out to the Wintergreen trail. Named for the pines that line the last portion of the trail on the bluff that was to be part of the Kickapoo Dam. It smells wonderfully fresh!

Charlie joined us and was our Scout. He seems to know he should follow the trail and to not get too far ahead of us. I'm guessing that all of my work and 'training' has paid off. [I use training loosely. I think Charlie has trained me.]

And yes he wears his beeper/vibrate collar on these hikes. When he piled out of the 'Ru he literally squealed and wiggled while he ran up to Bill. Bill patted him a bit and then it was all business.

I took my newly converted Oly camera which is set up for all light spectrums. The conversion is called Full Spectrum, which allows me to add a filter for normal light and then different IR spectrums. I only brought the 665nm filter and the 25mm lens.
On a 3/4 camera that is the same as a 50mm prime. I like to challenge myself sometimes with limiting how I can shoot. This can make my more creative or be a huge exercise in frustration.
I'm so lucky to have a good pal hiker that puts up with me. 

Shadows through a pine on the overlook bluff. Below is the river which was frozen over but melting. The ice was pitted, something we used to call Rotten Ice.
It is never a good idea to try and walk on river ice.

Bill, waiting patiently while I look around at the bluff.

Bill wanted to see the Ice Falls and we headed there. I should have had my YakTraks with but I'd forgotten them.

Never the less, I slipped, slid, and made my way down the old equine trail to the bottom of the dry run. 
This area never disappoints. I try to get there at least a few times during the winter to see where the water drips and freezes making the most beautiful Ice Falls I've ever seen.

this was the end of March
Charlie was 8 weeks old and was
being held by friend of mine from Kenosha

February 2019
the ice falls being explored by my neighbor's son and dog

January 2019 

and then this year....
seen in Infrared 665nm spectrum 

and without the 665nm filter

With the internal filter removed, the colors are a bit different. AND the exposure is a LOT different. Apparently more light can get to the sensor which would make this difference. This is what makes this modification better for some astrophotography...I think

Near the end of the trail...
I never can get over the beauty of this section.

It generally leaves me breathless. When I come here alone, I generally spend quite a while on a log that acts as a perfect bench.

I can breath and just be silent if I wish to. 

We made out way back to the buildings and walked down to the bench where we could just sit and look down on the river.

Mother Nature is a marvel. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Mushy Mushy & funny signs

With temps rising into the 40's I knew that the snowshoes would collect snow pack as I walked. Lucky me, however as the guys with the 4 wheelers had been out tearing things up on the neighbor's land. See the oldest brother says it is trespassing and gets upset. The oldest brother lives 4 hours away. The younger brother that lives there lets his work pals [some who are of dubious character] take their UTV's and 4 wheelers out and rip up trails.

The local law says if one brother says they can be there, it is not trespassing. I've talked with the UTV dudes and they know I am out there most of the time. We've run into each other a few times. [Only because I allow them to see me.] 

We talked on Sunday while I was out walking Charlie. I was happy they worked up the trails in the woods. Charlie and I could walk in packed down snow.

Charlie was ecstatic. He ran like the dickens up and down the slippery mushy trail. We hadn't been on a long hike since the cold spell. I walked along trying to ID trees and just watching out for coyotes. 

When we finally got down to the creek and valley, Charlie took off like a bullet and charged through the creek and scrambled up the opposite bank. He was chasing a turkey. 

Tiny dog on top of the stream bank. One of the places where the 4 wheelers have damaged the soft bank of the stream. I'm the shadow. Charlie spent a long time watching the turkey as it flew across the valley.

We headed upstream back to our land. The going was easy along the creek and got harder once we headed up my old snowshoe trail which was pure mush now. 
Step, slide, step, stumble, 
it was like an incredible work out. CrossFit had nothing on deep mushy snow! Balance and leg strength!

I thought we'd have it easy peasy when I reached the summer meadow. Alas. Not so.

Poor Charlie. Being a Low Rider presents issues in deep snow. But he went snow swimming.

He was still hunting turkeys. He'd pause every once in a while and scan the trees. Or perhaps it was squirrels he was watching for.

He was dragging butt by the time we got home. And I was tired of walking like a drunken sailor. 

I'd taken my little red pocket camera and for some reason I'd bumped the tiny switch on it to log my gps coordinates. I never do that . However, it was interesting to find out that the elevation change from the creek at the muddy bank to the house was 323 feet in elevation change. 

Lastly. I got bored and decided to order a couple of signs of my own.  Back by our fence line where the not so nice absentee landowner put up his signs. He also has a deer stand setup to shoot on my property. I will re-string the barbed wire and have a few more tricks up my sleeve to make deer hunting awful that little section.

One should not piss off an 'old' lady who has nothing better to do than think of creative ways to subtly get back.

And yes, I do carry a pistol.
And no, I never intend to hurt anyone. This person invites friends to hunt and they set up their stands to shoot on other's land. The whole group is disliked intensely by our ridge community as they 'think' they can do what they want. This land is really quite remote so I bet they think I wouldn't notice their stand OR their arrows on my land.

Today? I'm going hunting some ice caves on KVR. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Silence ~ But I can do better!

I live with a person who has several health issues and dementia. Some days are quiet and pretty darned boring. Those are really the better days. Then there are the days that something gets his ire up and well it can get rather tense.

The other day I was watering the large heated stock tank. The outdoor hydrant is above the house on a hillside. I use about 200 feet of construction strength black hose to run water to the stock tank which is plugged in on the porch of the house. I separate the hoses and drain them in the winter. Gravity is such a great helper. Once in the past 5 years I've had one hose ice up on me. 

I separate the hoses by the LP tank. You can see how the slope works in my favor.

The tank fills with very little work most of the time. The two mules that need special feeding requirements are kept separate from the younger mules. Fred the pony mule is 35. Mica is the grey mule. She is has heaves when it is dry and dusty and is a hard keeper. Mica is also blind in one eye. I still ride Mica and put kids on her even though she is our tallest mule. She has a very kind disposition and is very gentle.

So I finished watering, picked feet, and gave everyone except Fred a nice hug and some ear rubs. Fred is anti social and doesn't like being caught.

I wrapped things up and headed to the house. Rich had been watching from the porch door. When I got inside he proceeded to give me a very stern lecture on 'how to drain the hoses properly'. I had the angle wrong somehow and I left footprints and divots in the snow which made the hose freeze up.

He even showed me how to hold the hose properly along with how to walk. It went on and on and on. 

I internally rolled my eyes and then in a moment of stupidity blurted out. "I've been doing this for over 5 years and I've only frozen up the hose one other time during the other Polar Vortex a couple of years ago. It will be 40 today. The hoses will be just fine."

His retort was quick and sudden and a bit nasty. He turned and crossed his arms in a huff.

I realized instantly that I his time frames were confused. In his mind he'd just helped me with it not too long ago. 

He was also stressed out because the program he'd been binge watching had ended. And he was frustrated because somewhere in his mind that he was no longer out there doing simple things like draining the hose.

His punishment was the Silent Treatment. He tossed the remote and and sat on the couch. He stared at the wall arms crossed and breathing in big sighs. After about a half hour, he got up and went to take a nap.

I understand mental health issues a bit. I am a lay person who lives with it. I married a person with it. I don't have any regrets. But there are days when even I can't deal with it and I take my Angel Hat and toss it aside.

However, I grew up in a household where Mom was the Expert at Silent Treatment. She could've taught a Master's Class in Silence and exasperated looks.
I knew I shouldn't engage in it, but I did.

I plugged my earphones into my smarty phone and dialed in Pandora. Mom was the expert and I learned from her. My Mom had some mental health issues too, so I'd learned from the expert. My poor dad, I don't think he ever could understand Mom.

Silence feels like a superpower. It is a very powerful weapon. Sooner or later hubby would need help with the TV or he would want supper. I rolled these things over in my mind and decided that I'd break his silence as soon as he got up from his nap.
After all, I should be the better person in this as I am caring for him.

There is no arguing with Dementia. I discovered that with his mom. Let them rant, let them tell you what is what and simply move on. Hard to do when you literally live in close proximity.

After his nap, he wasn't having anything to do with breaking Silence. He stood with the remote and kept clicking through programs and sighing loudly. I let him.

I started to bake chocolate chip cookies. Our cottage/house is very tiny. Pretty quick, he entered the kitchen and stood.

"Whatchya doing?"

Me: Baking cookies.

Him: Didjya fall on your head? [His joke at any attempt by me at baking.]

Me: Must have.

Him: Let me have some.

Me: Okay. Can I help you find a program?

Him: Yes please.

The Silent Treatment broken and things back on an even keel.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Where did it go?

Time, that is.

10 months ago, a self portrait in April of last year. Don't mind the messy table, it is always that way. Of course this is where we eat, discuss life, and hang out. It is my 'work' station and our dining area. 

This morning.

I don't like self portraits per se. Especially now that I can see how I have aged. I wonder why it is okay for guys to be aged with wrinkles and it isn't so cool for women?

I'm an outdoors person. Most of my time is spent outside in all the weather. I've beat the hell out of my facial skin. Hopefully wrinkles will come in vogue. You know those lines around the eyes and mouth. That ugly neck that everyone covers up with fancy scarves. 

I thought it would be fun to do some black and white work while I was in the mood.

Hands. My hands and how they have aged.
Once upon a time I looked at hands that worked in an office that were primped and polished. Beautiful nails and smooth skin.

Funny how I never saw the arthritic bumps and lumps and rough skin that are my hands now. But that is the progression of age and outdoor work. Our skin is the organ we all choose to ignore.

I remember being so impressed with my grandmother's hands. They were knotted, crooked, and bumpy. I recall standing with her as she used a scrub brush to get the garden dirt out of the cracks in her fingers. She was going to church and didn't want the other church ladies to see her rough hands.

While I was thinking about hands hubby sat down to cut up and apple. He didn't realize I could 'shoot' from across the table. The benefit of having live view and a flip screen. I set the camera to silent.

If I didn't know these hands belonged to my husband, I would have thought they were my father in law's hands. Age, medical conditions, and medicines all contribute to this dramatic change. 

I find it intriguing and curious. I see his hands while he is using them, but they look so stark when caught in a moment of time.

I'm making my mind up to get more comfortable with the looks of age. After all, I can't avoid it at this point. And I am not going to look suddenly younger. 
The face in the mirror is still aging even if I don't quite feel it on the inside.

Then there was this matter of going upstairs to clean up the room I'd left a mess with things scattered about. Suddenly, I found myself distracted. 

And amused.

I went to put some things away and organize some other things.

Well there you go. Another benefit of aging.
You can always give the excuse that 'my mind wandered' while I was upstairs.

Time keeps going. Funny how we are surprised at the changes we never noticed.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Have you ever...

Have you ever wandered lonely through the woods?
And everything feels just as it should
You're a part of life there
You're part of something good
If you've ever wandered lonely through the woods
If you've ever wandered lonely through the woods.

Have you ever stared into a starry sky?
Lying on your back you're asking why
What's the purpose I wonder who I am
If you've ever stared into a starry sky
Have you ever stared into a starry sky.

Have you ever been out walking in the snow?
Tried to get back where you were before
You always end up not knowing where to go
If you've been out walking in the snow
If you'd ever been out walking you would know.

~Brandi Carlile

So I was listening to Pandora and this song came on. I had to pause it and look up the lyrics. It was that stunning and spoke to me. 

Yesterday was a wandering day. I just slid on the snowshoes and started out. I had absolutely nothing in mind but just to go and observe. To see what would catch my eye.

Ice Crystals

Sunburst Lichen
I think...

I have no idea...

.....but it is
crazy cool...

Robins eating
Buckthorn berries
and spreading the seeds
in poop.

The ice wall

I took off the snowshoes and meandered down the creek. I had no idea what I was looking for or what I wanted to do.

Grumpy Dragon to his 
brother the Forest Dragon:
Hey, I thought you said
Spring was on the Way!

Cool Clear

Moss along the 
rock wall.

Have you ever been out walking in the snow?
Tried to get back where you were before
You always end up not knowing where to go
If you've been out walking in the snow
If you'd ever been out walking you would know.

That was me.