Monday, November 5, 2012

Self Portrait

I'm not nearly as old as I look.  I've only taken on this appearance to avoid being carded at the liquor store.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Nature of Stones

Season of wisdon
enlightenment comes abruptly
when minding the stones

Monday, October 29, 2012

Geology meets Abnormal Psychology

A twisted mind will often find items of peculiar interest while casually observing the trail of dark experience.

While neither the trails nor the experiences are always dark, my twisted sense of humor more often is.

I found this stone on the path to the Los Ebanos Ferry last year and immediately saw the humor in its shape.  During the past year, I've worked on several images trying to create something within, at least, the fringe of social acceptability.

How does a basalt stone get from its original home to the alluvial plain of deep south Texas?  What mystery of forces defined its shape?  Did it have its present shape when Mayans dominated this part of the continent?  Why was I the one to see it, pick it up and create the photograph?

There are three images of the stone in this illustration - they are all variations of the same photograph.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Still Looking Goofy After All These Years

The photo on the left was taken by my big brother, Dick, in the spring of 1955 (late April, early May).  I am holding a Northern Pike that he speared in the creek behind Grandpa and Grandma's house.
The photo on the right was taken a few days ago by my friend Wes.  I am holding a Chinook Salmon I caught while fishing from his boat in White Lake.
I have the same goofy smile, but the hat covers my serious loss of hair over the past 57 years.  About three years after I posed for the photo on the left, I began wearing glasses.  Note also, the similar appreciation in haberdashery between then and now.
I don't recall fishing again until I was in my early twenties when I took up fly-fishing and it became a consuming hobby.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Salmon Fishing

Salmon fishing season has begun on the Great Lakes.  Large numbers of people come from all over the country to participate in this exciting event when the enormous fish begin their annual spawning run from the deep lakes into the rivers and streams.

An interesting contrast is the wide open spaces for boats on Lake Michigan compared to the elbow-to-elbow "combat" fishing on piers all around the lakes.

This shot of the two piers at the White Lake Channel was taken about 8:30 in the morning, two hours after sunrise - well after experienced fishermen have gone for the day.  Most of the fish are caught in the hour or so before daylight and an hour or so after.  Although, during my visit this morning I saw two people catch very nice fish, a salmon in the neighborhood of 15 pounds, and a Lake Trout that weighed in at about ten pounds.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

Already the dog days of summer are upon us.  In the mid-west Queen Anne's Lace is abundant in every untilled field, fence row and highway shoulder.  There is a tinge of yellow in the Poplars and the air smells of autumn.

As usual, I am not ready.  It seems summer has only just begun.  I didn't go trout fishing nearly often enough, as usual.  I didn't get as many photos as I had planned.  My plan for this blog was to update it with at least one new picture every day.  Too many things left undone.

Next summer...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sunrise Over the White River

Cursing circumstances, whatever they were, I was wide awake a little before 6:00 this morning.  A glance out the window to check the weather revealed a low flying fog over the river and surrounding marsh.  There was a potential for spectacular sunrise photos so I grabbed the camera and tripod and headed to the fishing bridge.  Arriving just in time to capture this golden glow about ten minutes before the sun crested the horizon, I quickly set up the camera and took the shot.  It required some Photoshop work to reveal the minimal detail in the brush and reeds at the left as well as a contrast adjustment to intensify the golden reflections against the blue sky.  Maybe it was worth a couple hours of lost sleep.  Even so, I am beginning a campaign to move sunrise to about 11:00 A.M.  Anybody with me?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Antique Street

Downtown Montague is all about antiquing.  I am drawn to photograph this line of shops every time I walk by; each time I see something different.

This time it was the dominant vertical nature of visual elements.

Fishing in the Marsh

Lady fishing in the marsh next to the White River near Whitehall, MI.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Petie the Pigeon

A Rock Pigeon had been frequenting the Trailway Campground most of the summer; residents had nicknamed him "Petie."  In mid-July he mysteriously disappeared and then the first of August, he reappeared.

During his absence there were many guesses as to what had happened to him.

These illustrations show what my friend, Rocky, had been suggesting all along.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whitetail Deer Lunches in White Lake

A Whitetail Deer browsing on Water Lilies in White Lake.  This was taken just at the instant he saw me; a split second later he was bounding off to the right into a tall stand of cattails.  I have never before seen a deer wading up to his belly in a lake for food.

The breeze was blowing in my direction so he didn't smell me or hear me until the fourth click of my shutter.  This was the best shot with him looking directly into the camera.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Still Life - Apricots & Grapes

This was shot in the shadow of our trailer at about 3:00 P.M. today.  If you look carefully, you will see my reflection in the grapes as well as tree tops in another.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lake Michigan This Afternoon

Five to six foot waves breaking over the south sea wall at the White Lake Channel.

Yesterday at the Laundry

Boy and Machines
Little Sister Models

No matter where I am, there is something interesting to photograph.  When I was about the age of the boy in the top photo, I went with my mother to a laundry-mat in Deming, New Mexico.  My arm got caught in a washing machine ringer (you have to be familiar with the time to know what that is); Mom rushed over, hit the release lever and saved me.  Nonetheless, it was a trauma burned into my memory forevermore.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bicycle Repairman

My bike has an annoying click whenever I'm pedaling.  After greasing all the bearings, adjusting the derailleur, and replacing the pedals, to no affect, he advised me to turn up the radio.  No charge for the advice.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bird of a Brown Feather

Rarely do we get pigeons in the park, even more  rare is this brown pigeon.  The bird has been hanging around for about two weeks now.  It seems nearly tame, at least very comfortable with people.

If anyone has any information about brown pigeons, please let me know.  I haven't seen much on the Internet and most of the people who have posted were as surprised as I am to be able to get so close to a wild bird - or is it really wild?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wandering Around in the Early Morning

 What idiots get up and go walking at this time of day?  I wasn't really walking, just shuffling along, numbly wondering why one foot kept stepping out in front of the other.

At a break in the tree line there was this gorgeous pattern and coloring in the clouds above the marsh.  Seeing the way the light set apart the cattails and grazed the grape leaves made the venture outdoors worthwhile.

Down at the fishing bridge when the sun was a couple degrees higher, the sky colors reflected off the river in a glorious display and I was the only one to see it - it was all just for me.  But I'm sharing; you can thank me later - sometime after my nap.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nap Time

Beside the Montague/Hart Bicycle Trail, this gentleman found a nice place for a nap on a warm Sunday afternoon.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Last Night's Fire

On a wind-blown day, late in the afternoon, when sand grains were marching ferociously across the Lake Michigan beach, I came upon this small pile of stacked and charred driftwood.

It was too small to have supported a wild and crazy party, too small for up-to-no-good hoodlums, certainly not boy scouts practicing their campfire skills.

No, this was a fire of romance, burning when the breeze was soft; water lapping gently on the mocha colored sand, but who built it?  Did they come to the beach to share a bottle of wine and watch the moon set over the big lake?  Perhaps just to sit and listen to the gentle night.  Did they come to re-live an old memory?  Young lovers?  Old lovers? 

They didn't stay long enough for the fire to have burned itself out; left no evidence of themselves.  Small.  Quick.  Hurried.  The curious remains, the meaning of the night, the flicker of small flames - lost to all but the drifting sand and the memory of those who came to share precious secrets on the beach.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Reel Deal Bass Tournament on White Lake

 Registration for The Reel Deal Bass Tournament began at 5:30 A.M. Sunday, May 27 at the Montague Municipal Boat Launch on White  Lake.

Fishermen returned to the launch site at 3:00 P.M. for official weigh-in.  Many of the participants returned with a daily limit of  5 Bass with the largest fish weighing in at more than 3 pounds.  Most fish caught in the tournament were returned to the lake alive immediately after they were weighed and recorded.

I didn't stay until the final contestants weighed-in so there may have been even larger fish registered.

To learn more about the Reel Deal Tournaments visit:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lake Michigan - May 23, 2012

Lake Michigan so calm people were casually paddle boarding well out from the channel at White Lake.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Brief, Powerful Storm

Blue sky was evident all around this ominous storm cloud that included much lightening and thunder.  A sudden, cold, fierce, wind brought a rain squall that quickly dissipated into a night long sprinkle.

The white condos stood out in stark contrast to the frightening clouds.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Footprints in the Sand

Lake Michigan was its typical self this morning.  Cold, dreary, desolate.  The damp air fueled by a frigid breeze off the lake penetrated to the bones.  Not even the Seagulls showed their beaks.  Footprints were the only evidence of a recent visitor.

On a warm summer day this beach will be jam-packed with single moms, single dads and grandparents who have found the next best thing to TV for an afternoon of entertaining their wild, screaming children.  Not that I don't like wild, screaming children - we bring our grandkids here too.  But on a May morning when viciously brutal glacial winds are raging in from off-shore you might think people come here only to commit suicide or otherwise sadistically torment themselves.

Yes - I could have stayed in the Rio Grande Valley another couple weeks.

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 4, 2012

Fishing from the Whitehall side of White Lake early spring, 2012.  They had lots of bites, but landed only one small Rock Bass.  Still, a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Up on Pear Street

This was an idea that took more effort than it was worth, I think.  My thought was to show a contrast between the homes on Pear Street, where I live in the winter, to the multi-million dollar, beachfront condos on South Padre Island.

The motor homes in the park, along with the park models and mobile homes are now mostly closed for the summer.  Meanwhile, down on the beach, the condos seem to be closed most of the year.  Oh, to have so much money that I could own an expensive home to be used only a couple weeks a year.  I think I would find other ways to spend it.   Probably whiskey and wild women.  Well, at least I would know what to do with the whiskey.

I'm still not altogether sure about the illustration idea.  Perhaps I should have just eaten the pear - yeah, it was very tasty.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The New Pioneers

Joyce, Bill and their little dog too.
This photo is about three weeks old - so much for my "new photo every day" plan. 

Bill and Joyce had been preparing for their departure  from Sleepy Valley for about two weeks.  On the morning of this shot they were almost ready to leave south Texas.

They are part-time RVers who maintain a home in northwest Arkansas, but in the winter they travel south to places where temperatures are warmer.

This image reminds me of Grant Wood's painting "American Gothic," which has been described as a depiction of  "steadfast American pioneer spirit."

To me the photo depicts a newer, less austere, pioneer - retirees with their home on wheels ready to move wherever the spirit takes them.

Next winter they tentatively plan to take their motor home to Arizona or southern California.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wild Egg Shells

These egg shells were lying in the street some distance from each other.  It is impossible to tell whether they were stolen from the nest and the eggs eaten by a predator or the chicks hatched and the shells were kicked out of the nest.

In either case, there are bazillions of doves in the park that begin their "coo, coo, ka, coo" well before sun-up every morning.  It makes me wish for the "boom, boom, ba, boom" of 20 gauge shotguns.  There are Mourning Doves, White Tip Doves, Inca Doves and pigeons everywhere you look.  A blind man could put dinner on the table with only a couple shots and then sleep well the following morning.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blossoms After the Storm

Ginger blossoms on the boulevard at Sleepy Valley RV Resort after yesterday's storm.

The sudden storm came and went in about a half hour.  20-30 m.p.h. winds, marble-sized hail and torrents of rain blasted through the area in a manner that made me sure the end was near.

After it was over, there were sirens screaming from every direction, but so far as I could tell, there was no damage to speak of.  All is well and the spring blossoms continue to flourish.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bentsen Rio Grande State Park

Mating Dragonflies

Unidentified Lizard

There wasn't much wildlife out and about during our  recent visit to the park.  According to the park ranger, this is breeding time; the birds are in hiding and protecting their nests.

In addition to the dragonflies and lizard, I got photos of a couple butterflies, Retama blossoms, Turks Cap and a few other shots, but I've already posted similar images either here in the blog or on the web site.

This is part of a recent initiative to post something new everyday.  It's not easy getting motivated to find interesting shots every single day.  Already I'm cheating by posting photos taken a couple weeks ago.

Looking forward to the next couple weeks, I will be on the highway driving back to Michigan for the summer, beginning next Wednesday, so there will be a few days when I probably won't have access to the Internet.

In the meantime, stay tuned.  Also, if you are a photographer, blogs such as this are free, easy to set up and maintain.  Establish your own account with Google and begin posting your own images for all the world to admire.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Unidentified Leaf

This leaf blew onto our driveway a couple days ago.  The interesting tonal values, intricate patterns and textures drew may attention.  I'm still undecided whether I prefer this B&W conversion or the natural monochromatic brown tones in the leaf.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

They were my Friends

Sherwood (Moon) Mullen

Moon posed for this portrait March 5, 2011.  At that  time his cancer was in remission, he had lost more than 100 pounds, but he said he was feeling better than ever.  He liked to talk and was very proud of his service as a police officer and his career with the railroad.  

He told me the most interesting things he had done were jumping out of airplanes and working narcotics with the Detroit Police Department.  The one thing he would most like to do again was take one more jump with the C-47 club.

Moon died January 14, 2012

Gary Larson
Gary posed for me the same afternoon Moon did.
He was suffering with chronic back pain and thought it  was a spinal alignment problem.  In January, this winter, he was informed that the problem was cancer. 

Gary served with the U.S. Army's occupational forces in China and Korea.  He told me the most dangerous thing he ever did was serving with the U.S. Army in Korea where he was a weapons and supply specialist.
The most exciting thing he ever did was to take flying lessons, although he never completed the training.  The thing he would most like to have accomplished was shooting par golf.

Gary and his wife Joanne served as King and Queen at the Sleepy Valley RV Resort for the 2009 season.

Gary died February 12, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

This magnificent horse was dancing at the staging ground for the Citrus Parade in Mission, TX this afternoon, January 28, 2012.  It seems a shame that such fierce, proud, beautiful animal is enslaved in a bridle and forced to perform unnatural acts, such as dancing to a marching band.  On the other hand, I am too far removed from horsemanship to truly know the nature of the beasts.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Christmas in Mexico.  A bartender at the Old Town Restaurant in Nuevo Progreso, coming to terms with the concept of a Martini that has no Vermouth and no ice.  He learned to make a very dirty Absolute martini with 5 huge olives.  It was delicioso.