Sky Devil!

We are fortunate to live in a rural area where the farmers use crop dusters. Every summer, we get to watch these amazing, talented pilots zoom up and down, and around and around the fields near us. This morning was one of those days where I got to watch this amazing pilot with his amazing talent conquer the pests that are the bane of farmers’ existences. (I can’t stand bugs, and use gloves if I am going to be digging in the dirt so I don’t have to touch any of those icky things!)

I sat in my recliner, watching this “sky devil” do his stuff, when it dawned on me that I should be taking pictures. DUH! So, out I went. Again, though, using an Auto setting – Scene – Sports, in order to better capture the moving target. This camera has a continuous mode of up to up to 7 shots/second, and I was glad, and thankful, to make use of it!

Here are some of my shots, straight out of the camera, except for cropping.

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Not quite as sharp as I’d like, but, they are neat! (Well, in MY opinion, any way! LOL)

And, SURPRISE! In the mail today, I got a notice from my former bank that they are using one of my previously submitted photos for their Featured Photo of the Month!!! Starting August 1, my photo will be featured on their home page! I got a nice prepaid Mastercard for it, too! (Doing happy chair dance!!!)

This photo was one I took in 2013 during a “high water” time. We had gotten quite a bit of rain that spring, and the Beaver Creek was running higher than usual. The train trestle caught my eye, and I had to get the shot.

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Somebody likes my pictures! (Another happy chair dance!)

Go! Shoot!

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Fair Disappointment

Well, I took the chance. I entered seven pictures in the fair. And, in my mind, I failed miserably. I really wish the judge would have taken time to give critiques. As it was, the judging was scheduled for 1:15 p.m. I got there at 1:16, and the judge was just finishing up. Hello???

Any way, out of the seven pictures I entered, I got one red (second) and two yellows (third). Devastation! Seriously??? I’d really like to know why. So, for your entertainment, and critiques (Please feel free to voice your opinion on what I could/should have done better/differently! That’s how I learn! And, keep in mind that they were mounted for fair, and the mats cover some, so the judge would not have seen the whole images.), I present my seven failures.

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Creating

Gotta get my butt in GEAR! I’m thinking of entering a mini craft “show” Saturday. I need to get more cards done, but, I’m stuck. Mr. Mojo has temporarily left the building.

So, because I needed to update the church’s website, I wanted to add a picture to it to have some “zing”.

I found a picture that I took while in South Dakota (see previous post for more!) that seemed to need a Bible verse, and, voila!

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I think the verse is quite fitting, don’t you? I adore this picture! When I saw those roots, I just had to capture that image.

And, back to creating…

I can look online and find many clever and wonderful things that I can copy. But, when Mr. Mojo is missing in action, even copying doesn’t work for me. Why is that?

So far, I’ve averaged about seven card sales per market day attended this year. Not too bad, but I’d really like to sell a lot more. I mean, if they don’t sell, what the heck am I going to do with all those cards? I seldom need many during a year, other than the birthday cards. Yet, I want to make more. My scrapbooking creating has moved to card making. I really need to get back to getting pictures scrapped and into albums, though, so…

And, to whine a bit (when don’t I do that?), I’d like to go out and shoot, but the weather hasn’t been too cooperative, or we have been too busy. I should just take time and read my manual. Really read it, and have my camera out when I’m doing so. Thinking I should just go back to Alexander’s Photo and take that lesson that we “bought”. Been too busy for that, even.

Any way, off for today.

Go! Shoot!

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South Dakota!

It’s still beautiful!

So, Lloyd’s family holds a reunion every other year. This year, his daughters were the hostesses, so how could we not go? It was the perfect excuse for going back to his home town of Rapid City (actually, his home town is Box Elder, but…), and an excuse for me to really use my new baby, a Canon 80D!

Our first day was spent just getting to Oacoma, where we stayed in a new Baymont Inn & Suites. NICE! Besides the fun decor, it was clean, quiet, and comfortable. I should have gotten pictures of the outside, but… Any way, if you like woodsy, this hotel is full of it.

The next day, we took the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway. I’ve been in there, from the east entrance, but only a short way. This time, we took the whole loop, and I am very glad we did. Wow! I normally do not care for wide open spaces, and much prefer to have trees around me. But, this place… Simply amazing!

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Above are some of my favorites from that tour. Beautiful, huh? I never imagined the Badlands as being so pretty!

The reunion ran Friday through Saturday, but the family had some get togethers on Sunday, also, so my next shoot time was on Monday, when we went to the Black Hills Mining Museum. This museum is based on the Homestake gold mine, where Lloyd used to work. Of course, it was of particular interest to him after he found that out! LOL

The tour was interesting. We paid for the whole thing, which included “panning” for gold. Well, almost. The gold was “salted” (meaning, they poured it into the pan for you), and we didn’t do most of the panning. Rather, the tour guide did most of it. Kind of disappointing, but we got a couple of kind of expensive souvenirs from it. All together, though, the tour was enjoyable, and I’d go back, minus the panning for gold part.

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Things remembered… These are quite interesting if you note the sizes of these pieces of equipment. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the elevator. Lloyd keeps saying it was “nuts to butts” packed. The best I could find, to fit his oh so eloquent description is this picture. Holy cow! I guess he wasn’t kidding! LOL

The next free day, we took the Wildlife Loop route through the Hills.

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And, we actually did get to see some! Those bison? They were so near the truck I could almost have reached out and touched them. Made Lloyd nervous with their sparring, so he drove ahead a bit. They were getting rather close, and we didn’t want them bumping into the truck. And that jenny was about at that upper-right-hand curve when we first saw her. She just meandered along, until she got to us. She almost put her head into my window, but must have realized we didn’t have anything for her to eat. Doesn’t look like she needed anything! And, isn’t that foal CUTE!?! I took several shots before it finally turned its head so I could actually get a decent picture of its face. Adorable!

Well, I’m sure you are tired of my going on and on. But, to my defense, I had the BEST time, and am so thankful for the sights we got to see. It’s hard to not share them!

‘Til next time… Go! Shoot!

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Life – Sometimes it gets in the way

I’ve been busy, but not. Make sense? Not to me. However, it seems like when I want to do something, Life happens. For instance…

Spring is here. Lloyd is getting itchy – itchy to get out in the field. I, on the other hand, am not. I don’t enjoy being out in the heat and sun, doing dirty, sweaty, back-breaking work. I don’t mind gardening, but not on that scale. By that scale, I mean HUNDREDS of plants. Probably even THOUSANDS! Yeah, it’s got to be in the thousands. Endless rows of, well, dirt and sweat and seeds and plants…

I digress. And, really, it isn’t all that bad. I got to take a couple photography classes the last two Saturdays. The instructor is a professional portrait photographer who did a wonderful job! She made it fun, and interesting.

I’ve also been busy making cards. Still no sales from here, but I do have hopes for the farmers market. And, after the first photography class, I went out and did a shoot of a barn I’ve been meaning for some time to capture. So, that was “interesting”. Funny how the camera sees things I don’t, and I see things the camera doesn’t. I wasn’t happy with any of the barn shots, shot with the whole barn in the view. However, I did get some that I liked that were not of the whole barn.

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All have had affects of some kind applied to them, but the shot of the door has the least amount. Gosh, I adore old barns!

So, that’s all I have for today. Go! Shoot!

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This is a change! LOL

TWO DAYS IN A ROW! Can you believe it? I’m shocking myself! LOL

So, yesterday I posted a whine. Part of the reason for my wanting to hear from people is to know if I’m on the “right track” in what I am pursuing as a money making endeavor. My post for today is to inform anybody who cares (yeah – another “pity party”) about my newest try. I will now be offering handmade greeting cards that people can order from this blog. As I’m not willing, yet, to pay for a WordPress blog, I won’t be adding an order form to it. Should you like to order, you will have to contact me via email. I’m going to see if I can link the cards to my email account so all one should have to do is to click on the card he/she wants to order, and it will bring you to my email address. Gotta figure that out, yet. Hmmm… !!!

Anyhooo… I am in the process of making greeting cards for farmers market. I am trying to find something that I can do to make money so I can pay off a bill I’ve had hanging over my head for some time. (It’s a long, boring story, and no I won’t slough that bill off!) So, I thought since I *may* have greeting cards already made up, why not try another venue to sell? If you do visit my blog, look for the Greeting Cards tab that should be coming soon. ūüėČ

In the meantime, since I still want to show my photography skills, such as they are, here are some shots I took in 2014 when visiting the Grotto of the Redemption, in West Bend, IA. I haven’t processed many of the pictures, yet, but will be shortly, and then I’ll send them to be printed so I can use them in actual paper scrapbooking! I’ve been doing mostly digital lately, and am kind of itching to get my hands on paper.

Enjoy! And, Go! Shoot!

 

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Maybe I should just quit?

I don’t know why it is, but most things creative that I try just don’t appeal to anybody but myself. I am in my 50s, and still haven’t found a niche. I enjoy several creative endeavors, but, apparently nothing I make is “good enough”. Yep. I’m whining.

Any way, that is part of the reason it’s been so long since I have made a post. After logging in, I saw my stats, and they are pretty much zeros across the board. However… I’m not¬†quite¬†ready to give up, just yet.

And so, I’ll get off my pity podium, and continue on. We’ll see what comes.

So, this winter, I haven’t had much inspiration, nor ambition, to go out and shoot. I have, however, gotten a few photos that I like. I did get one that fairly satisfies me. I do wish, though, that it were sharper. I am not certain why I can’t get those tack-sharp photos, but I’m hoping that new contacts, and resetting my diopter will help. Any way, here it is.

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I took this one because I have a similar of the truck (see it?), only that one is in the summer, and the trees are not so grown up in it. I really liked how the sun was shining on the pines in this shot, and barely caught it. It is amazing how very quickly the scenery changes when the sun is rising and setting. It took me just a few seconds to run and get my camera, and already in that short time, things had changed quite a bit. I just missed that really “golden” moment – that glow that is so well-liked in photographs. But, I do enjoy this lighting.

So, this photo was taken shortly after “the big snow”. We had our first true snowstorm of the season, and got about 14 inches of that lovely white stuff. As happens rather frequently in Iowa, the day after is lovely. This time was no exception, and I wanted to go out and see what I could see. Of course, I had to take Zest with me! Boy, were we both sorry.¬†But, about that later.

I did manage to get a nice shot of him, shortly after we got outside, and were not yet into the deep stuff. We have a row of pines along the east side of the house yard, and they did a good job of blocking the worst of the snowfall. So, here is my little “Zestimator”, having a sniff (for bunnies or squirrels, of course!), under the pine.

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This shot was taken shortly before “it” happened. This little guy liked (remember this tense) snow. He would run, jump, play, and roll in it with all the glee a dog can have. Snow was his friend! Until…

Our trek took us around the whole “house yard”, including the several stands of pines we have that act as wind blocks. It really isn’t all that far of a walk, but, in the deep, heavy snow, it quickly becomes burdensome. And, while I was keeping an eye on Zest, I wasn’t paying¬†enough¬†attention. After all, I was out shooting! (Hmmm, or trying to.)

Having exhausted myself to the point of almost passing out (I’m out of shape, but add that to the Meniere’s, which is exacerbated by cold, and that does not a good combination make), I decided I’d had enough. So, back to the house we went, following the lane from the house to the field. That lane is quite protected from wind, for the most part, and it was deep with snow. The going wasn’t all that easy until I got past the shop, where the lane is less protected.

Now, I knew Zest was behind me. I could hear him. But, in my own “suffering” of¬†floundering¬†through that “four-letter-word”, as Lloyd will call it, I didn’t notice that he, too, was having a difficult time. It wasn’t until I got to the front of the garage that I realized Zest was no longer behind me.

Thinking that he was off on a bunny or squirrel chase, I turned to look for him. And, there he was. Just sitting in the middle of the lane. Not too far past the shop. He was looking at me, almost expectantly. I called him, and he got up, and hopped forward, then sat again. Okay, so, I’m slow. I did not yet realize what was going on. I called him again, and once more he hopped, this time twice, and I saw.

Take a good look at him in the above picture. See all that hair? That hair that is so meticulously groomed for show? Ah! What a problem that is. Especially. In. Deep. Snow.

There he was, almost “stuck” to the snow because the snow was stuck to him. He was a little gamer, though, and finally made it to the front of the garage where I was standing. By that time, I really saw why the poor dog was having such a hard time. He was one HUGE snowball!

This first photo is¬†a close-up.¬†I was in a hurry to get pictures of him, and they don’t have the greatest settings, nor are they all that good quality, but, the red lines are there to show how much snow is attached (or, I’m sure he would think, “attacked”) to him.

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And, here is a whole-body shot, where you can see a bit better how much snow is on him.

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See how wide it is? Poor boy! And, these pictures don’t show the back end of him! So, I carried the poor guy into the house. I put him in the shower, and sprayed that crap away. I’m guessing he had about 15 pounds of snow attached/attacked to him, which makes that a little under half his body weight! Worst of all, Zest no longer cares much for snow. ūüė¶ He most certainly does not like deep snow, and that was reiterated a few days ago when we got about 10 inches more of that “stuff”.

So, if you enjoy my pictures, and stories, please do let me know! If I’m reaching anybody, comments would be nice, and will give me hope that “somebody” may “like” what I’m creating. (I’ll quit begging now!)

Go! Shoot! (And stay warm and snow-free!)

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