About Me

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We are known as PaWingers or just The Wingers by our Geocaching friends. When we found our first cache we had to come up with a name to log the find. We came up with this name simply because of residing in Pa. and because one of our many passions is cruising this beautiful country on our Honda Goldwing. Aside from geocaching we are passionate about most anything outdoors including hiking, kayaking, snowmobiling and biking. We are blessed beyond words with a wonderful son and daughter in law. We're also blessed with some terriffic family and friends. We consider ourselves very fortunate due to the fact that after being married over 40 years we still enjoy these things together.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Creak, Rattle and Shake

You may have read the title of this post and wonder what kind of nonsense is going to roll off my keyboard this time.  I think I would be safe in saying that your cursor is probably hovering over the "Back" button or your finger is already poised to hammer the escape key, but out of pity and curiosity you decide to read on in hopes of being enlightened or even mildly entertained.  I thank you for hanging in there even if you are asking yourself why.  So let's get this underway and if you are disappointed let's just think of it as water under the bridge.

If one travels down rte 555 and heading toward Driftwood you will pass through a small hamlet called Grant.  If you happen to blink you will most likely miss it so keep those eyes open.  Before I get into the creak, rattle and shake I'll touch briefly on the village of Grant.  While it's not a tourist destination and the only chance of getting a bite to eat there would involve knocking on the door of a camp and beg them to grill up a venison burger.  All this being said, Grant definitely has some historical significance and in fact was named after our 18th United States President Ulysses S Grant.  Grant came to Elk County early in 1869 to do a bit of fishing on Mix and Dents Run.  He recognized the beauty of the area and returned again later that year and again in 1883.  And folks, this is where the village of Grant got it's name.

So if one continues down 555 just outside of Grant you will be nearing the subject of this Blog entry and maybe creak, rattle and shake will make some sense.  One needs to watch very carefully on the right side of the road for two very steep access roads that take you to a bridge crossing Bennetts Branch.  This bridge was manufactured by Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton Ohio and spanned this stretch of water for over 120 years.  In fact this bridge was the oldest bridge in Elk County.  Sadly, it is no more!

This particular bridge had character and although many would refuse to cross it with a vehicle we have crossed it countless times without incident.  Crossing it with a vehicle will reward you with a symphony of creaking, rattling and shaking.  We're going to miss that bridge.  Whoda' Thunk that when we crossed this bridge on Sept 29th that would be the last time we would be serenaded with these sweet sounds.  The following week we were shocked to see it was gone and gone forever.  Never again will we cross and listen to the clattering of the boards under the weight of our vehicle.  Never again will we experience the thrill of not knowing if it will support us or drop us to the water below.  We'll miss this iron monster.

It is our understanding that the crew working on the new bridge have 21 days to complete the project and they are well on their way.  As of 10/14/12 there is already a new iron structure spanning the water and no doubt the decking will follow shortly.  Until that time, the only way to get to the other side is fording the creek.  If you don't mind water half way submerging your grill it's a fun way to get to the other side.  So you might be asking what is on the other side that's so important.  For us it's a very old and interesting cemetery called the Johnson Cemetery.  One could drive right by it and not know it's there as it is so concealed by it's natural surroundings.  It's the final resting place for many early inhabitants of the area.  One such fella is Ralph Johnson who is buried alongside his 3 wives and several children.  Check it out sometime but getting there won't be near the fun it once was.  Time will tell if the new bridge lasts over 120 years.  For us, the creaking, rattling and shaking will be just a memory.  Whoda' Thunk!!

 The above photo was taken from the Bridgemapper web page

This picture was taken 10/14/2012 and clearly shows progress being made on the new bridge.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Please don't feed the animals!

"Please Don't Feed the Animals"

Now there is a sign that we've all seen many times and although it is usually seen at the Zoo it's quite applicable in the wild also and just as important if not more.  Last weekend we stumbled onto a small bear with a broken left front paw.  We had seen this same bear a  month earlier a couple miles from this location so in spite of the injury he seems to get around okay.  Sadly he isn't able to put any weight on that paw. We just felt good to see he is doing okay.

This particular evening we were heading home and decided to take a back road to see if we could locate a couple of bulls that we had been looking for.  As we drove by a small settlement of camps my wife spotted a small bear fairly close to the road but very close to a camp.  We stopped the Jeep and began taking pictures from a safe distance.  As we did this we observed why this bear was so close to the dwelling and actually at a couple times on his hind legs looking in the window. An inhabitant of the dwelling was continually throwing scraps of food out the door but yet was trying to chase it away as it got within inches of the screen door.  I just don't think it occurred to her that the bear isn't going to leave if you are feeding it.  The sad part is that this bear due to the stupidity of humans could try to tear his way into this camp or summer home and be declared a dangerous nuisance and could be trapped and transferred or even destroyed.  Now this is a pity!  So Whoda' Thunk feeding a wild animal could have such a tragic conclusion!

We realize it's very tempting to try to bait a bear or any other animal because it's so cool to watch them up close.  We definitely took advantage of the opportunity but as we observed this young bear it became so apparent to us that this could have a bad outcome.  Consider the fact that the only thing separating the bear from the food he knows is in there, is a thin screen.  Also consider the people stepping outside at night and cornering this bruin.  Hopefully the bear will run but it's still a scary thought and in the end the bear is made out to be the bad guy or bad bear in this case. Look at the pictures and reach your own conclusions.  Please forgive my temptation to add captions!

Broken left front paw.  He didn't stop at the stop sign.  He only Paw'sd and bearly looked both ways.

I'm a big mean bear!

Sometimes I just feel like dancing.

Excuse me but my car broke down and I was wondering if I could use your phone.

I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!

 If you could spare a couple burgers I would not be opposed to grilling them myself!

 Maybe if I climb this tree I can see into the kitchen!

Perhaps we can work out a deal.  I'll finish stacking this firewood and you bake me a pie!  You know me, I'm not picky, any kind of fresh Beary Pie would be wonderful.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bears, bears, they're everywhere!

After hearing that the 2011 Bear Season had harvested near record numbers my wife was a bit distraught over the large number of bruins bagged in Penna.  Our area alone produced high kill numbers.  Unofficially the harvest for 2011 was nearing 4000 bears.  The record year was 2005 when 4,164  bears were bagged.  That's a lot of bear!

While most people wouldn't be all that concerned about a possible shortage of bears we surely feared the thought of less encounters with these powerful creatures.  We find it rather odd when we talk to people that have actually never seen a bear other than in a zoo.  We even find it unusual when we talk to those that have maybe only seen one or two in the wild in their lifetime.  We find this so amazing because we have so many encounters with them every year.  Encounters with bears linger in your memory far longer than other critters and sometimes the memories are quite vivid.

My wife Jeanne recently had a face to face encounter that she won't soon forget.  We were traveling rte 555 just below Dents Run enroute to Lyman Lake. As we traveled toward Driftwood, we passed a small opening in the trees with a clear view of Bennetts Branch.  I caught a glimpse of something on the edge of the water that sure looked like a bear.  We were pulling a camper so we had to wait for a wide spot to pull over.  Luckily we found a spot real close to where the bear should have been.  I grabbed the Canon and we headed down through the woods and toward the creek.  When we approached the water I signaled my wife to head back toward the camper because she wasn't wearing rugged enough shoes to walk the creek banks.  I walked upstream but never got a look at the bear so I headed back to the road and down to where she would be.  Moments later I spotted her coming out of the woods and she was yapping something about seeing this bear up close and personal.

Whoda' Thunk that while I was trekking up along the stream I apparently kicked the bear and sent him right toward her.  As luck would have it she didn't have a camera but she did have a stare down for a few minutes with this black bear when they came face to face to each other.  Let's just say that she was a tad bit excited and she gave me a pretty hard time for putting her in the path of this big fella.  I felt badly but got over it right away. Geez, I thought she would be thanking me for the close look at this black bear, I guess I was mistaken.  So far this year we've had 7 encounters with black bears and some of the encounters were just a bit too close for comfort. Hey, it's just another great day outdoors!

 After the face to face encounter he did stick around for a few pics.

 Okay, take a few more shots and then I'm outta here!

This is just a bit uncomfortable with all these burrs on my butt!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Easter Morning eye opener in the marsh

It was early Easter morning and the morning sun had yet to show itself.  I had every intention of sleeping in this morning but the thought of the Wood Ducks and the lure of the swamp was just too much to overcome.  I crawled out of bed, slipped into my sexiest camo and slithered out of the house.  My wife never even knew I was missing.  I didn’t look at my watch but I would guess that I made it to the swamp at approximately Dark Thirty.  The picture below shows what I was hoping to photograph but things don't always work as planned.

 I typically park up the road and around the corner a bit so the noise of the Jeep doesn’t scare the Wood Ducks or whatever else that could be lurking in the swamp.  I gathered all my gear and headed down the road in the darkness.  Just as I was about to leave the road and go down over the bank and into the marsh a car was approaching me quickly from the east.  Knowing that it would be difficult to see me I moved quickly and disappeared over the bank just as his headlights hit me.  I can only imagine what was going through this fellas  mind as I looked like a cross between Rambo and a photo journalist from Desert Storm.  I was in full camo, with a Doghouse blind strapped to my back, a folding chair over one shoulder and an extended tripod on the other shoulder.  I had my backpack strapped to my chest which looked oddly like a parachute and my Canon with the 100-400 awkwardly hanging around my neck.  Maybe he was coming home from a late night of partying and won’t dare tell anyone what he saw.
Okay, so I set my blind up at a different spot with the hopes that I’ll outsmart the ducks.  With the blind set up right on the very fringe of the water I crawl in and get my gear set up.  I know it will take a bit for things to calm down after the racket I made but patience is a virtue.  After sitting there for maybe 15 minutes it began to get light and I began to realize that it was freakin’ cold.  Maybe I should have dressed warmer.  This is what happens when my wife isn’t there to dress me in the morning.  No big deal, I’ll tough it out even though seeing my breath on each exhale was a constant reminder.  I bundled up tighter and pulled my hood tightly around my head.  For the time being, I killed some time by watching a big beaver at the far end of the swamp going back and forth carrying fresh greens in his mouth.

A couple hours had gone by and I had lost most of the feeling in all my fingers but I was having a great time.  So far no movement in the swamp other than me shivering violently.  A half hour later things began to look up.  The sun was now heating up the east side of my blind and by pressing my hand against that side of the blind I could actually sense some feeling coming back into my fingertips.  At this same point I realized I could no longer see my breath on each exhale.  At this point I also realized I was absolutely surrounded by the calls of a dozen different birds that frequent this marsh.  Off to my left there was the most brilliantly colored Blue Jay perched on a nearby branch.  Moments later a Common Flicker landed within range of the 400mm and was more than eager to show off his beautiful yellow tail feathers and yellow lined wings.  The swamp was coming to life!

As I watched and listened I was serenaded by the sounds of nature.  My trance was quickly broken by some movement directly in front of the blind.  Sure enough a Muskrat was heading directly toward me.  I watched him for a while and snapped some pictures until he dove under the water and out of sight.  Once again the swamp went silent.  I tipped my head down for a few moments and gave my eyes a rest.  Sometimes I do this in hopes that the next time I look up the swamp will be alive with activity.  Well, that was the case this time for sure!

As I opened my eyes I realized instantly that the one corner of the blind which didn’t completely contact the ground was now looking a bit different.  I opened my eyes the rest of the way and realized I was having a face off with a Muskrat.  Holy moley, what’s this crazy rodent doing in my blind!  Apparently he had thought it was a hut.  Everything happened real quick from here on.  Apparently this Muskrat didn’t have a reverse gear because he charged into the blind.  Chaos ensued!  This muskrat made 3 or 4 quick loops inside my blind and he wasn’t happy.  I wasn’t happy either!  In a split second I snapped to my feet but couldn’t flee.  Now I know what you’re thinking, I’m 6 foot and 250 pounds and he’s maybe 10 inches high and a couple pounds.  Yeah, I know if it come down to an all out hand to hand combat I’d probably  come out on top, but when that crazy rodent yelped and hissed you can believe he had my attention. 
If you ever watched “COPS” on TV you’ve seen the scrawny little guys that are on crack or coke or booze or whatever and it takes 3 or 4 cops to control them.  Well that’s kinda’ how it was with this crazed rodent in my 5 X 5 blind.  At one point he looked at me and raised one paw as if to say, let’s rumble!  At this point he made one more hot lap around the blind and hid behind my chair that had been hurled against one corner of the blind.  Now bear in mind this all went down in seconds and it’s hard to begin to explain the chaos inside that small blind that I can’t even stand straight up in.  I think I asked him nicely if we could just get along and he said he was going to bite me in the ankles.  I told him I had a pocket knife and he said he would pounce on me like a chicken on a June bug.  This was one crazed critter I’m here to tell you!  I think he and his buddies had been muchin’ on some bad mushrooms and he was on some kind of trip. 

As I was thinking of my next move he darted out from behind the chair.  I was spinning around so quickly that my hood had caught on my glasses and I was only seeing out of one eye.  While holding the tripod with on hand I swung my other hand like a wild man to get the hood away from my one eye but only managed to knock my glasses off my face and onto the ground.  The Muskrat took advantage of this mistake and ran to the other corner.  After getting focus enough to find my glasses I quickly snatched them up and slid them onto my face but I still couldn’t see well because that damn rodent had a muddy footprint on one lens.  He is one evil Muskrat and smart too but not quite as smart as me.  I suddenly got the brainstorm to simply lift up the whole blind.  Smart move on my behalf, wish I had thought of that earlier.  Okay, with my heart pounding I watch the Muskrat swim away but after swimming out to a nearby log he turns around and looks back at me and shakes his head as if to say “what just happened there”! 

So please, I need to have someone tell me that these thing happen to everybody!  Come on people, tell me it’s not just me!!  After all this went down I figured it best to crawl out of my blind and pack it up for the day.  As I walked back to the Jeep reflecting on what had just happened I caught glimpse of something perched on a wire.  The brightly colored Blue and White Swallow was just begging to have his picture taken.  I was glad to oblige but it was then that I was made aware that my steadiness was hampered by what just went down in the blind.  It took several shots until I was able to capture some decent images of  my feathered friend.  On a brighter note he seemed to calm my nerves and instantly all was right with the world.  Nature can do that you know!  Here are a couple images of this little fella.  Whoda' Thunk a quiet Easter morning could have turned out this way, I sure didn't.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Standing Tall and Marking the Line

How many times have you driven Rte 62 between Warren Pa. and Jamestown NY?  If you're like us I would bet several times.  I'm certain from time to time you take note as you pass the big colored sign that tells you that you are leaving Pa and entering NY.  Next time you pass that big colorful state line sign look on the opposite side of the road and you'll see a lone carved upright stone that has marked this state line for over 140 years.  This upright border stone is ornately carved all along the edges and is beveled along the top.  Check out the pictures but better yet stop and take a look next time you are passing through.  Whoda' thunk it took us this long to see this unique stone standing tall and marking the line.

Friday, March 9, 2012

It wiggles, it jiggles and there's always room for it. What is it??

I know what you're thinking, "he's really lost it now".  Or you may be thinking that I'm so desperate to add an entry to my Blog that I've resorted to this.  You may be correct on both counts or possibly there was a legitimate reason for this post.  So humor me and assume there is a legitimate reason. 

Here is my lame attempt at explaining why I decided to include this in my "Whoda Thunk" Blog.  Now if you haven't already figured out what the subject of this entry is, I will tell you.  It's J-E-L-L-O!  So just how did this subject pop into my mind you are probably wondering.  Well my wife got into a conversation today with a good friend of hers and it was concerning a Jello eating contest.  My wife proceeded to tell her friend why Jello doesn't have the same appeal that it once had.  Others were listening in and there seemed to be a mixture of chuckling and disbelief when my wife explained how Jello was made.  In addition to that they also quizzed her as to how she knew these things.  My wife explained that she gained this knowledge when she visited the Jello Museum.  Once again there was more chuckling and more disbelief.  To her surprise she seemed to be the only person present that had been to the Jello Museum.  Geez, we figured everyone had been to the Jello Museum!  I guess we are just a bit more cultural than others.  And yes, I do take my wife to some of the finer places and the Jello Museum is a prime example.

So how did we come to visit the Jello Museum and just where the heck is it?  The museum is in Leroy New York.  Where else would a Jello Museum be other than in a town named "Leroy".  We were on one of our spontaneous weekend trips on the motorcycle where we wander around with no destination and no itinerary when we spotted the Jello Museum.  Naturally we jumped at the chance to broaden our knowledge so we pulled right into the parking lot.  While it's true that we left there with gobs of information about Jello, there were a few tidbits of info that we would have been happier not knowing.  And we will share that with you.

By now your probably bursting at the seams with curiosity as to how this delicious dessert is made.  This would also be your chance to hit the Back tab and you will be able to go through life looking at this jiggly colorful concoction with continued delight. Okay, you had your chance so here goes nothing.

Jello is made of 4 main ingredients, gelatin, water, sugar or artificial sweetener or flavoring and food coloring.  Doesn't sound all that bad does it?  But lets dissect the first ingredient gelatin.  What exactly is gelatin and how is it made?  It sure doesn't sound bad does it?  Well here's how it's made.  Gelatin is actually a processed version of a structural protein called collagen.  Collagen is a fibrous protein that strengthens the bodies connective tissues giving them elasticity and movement.  It's in the human body as well as cows, pigs and other animals.  Gelatin can come from the bones of pigs or cows or from their hides or connective tissues.  Today, the gelatin in Jell-O is most likely to come from pigskin.  Now I'll tell you how this all comes together.

Collagen doesn't naturally dissolve in water so it must be modified to make gelatin.  To do this the pigskins are ground up and treated with either a strong acid or strong base to dissolve the collagen.  This treated solution of dissolved pigskin is then boiled producing a jelled scum which is skimmed off the top.  This solution is dried and then ground into a fine powder.  After that a bit of coloring, artificial flavoring and sweetener is added and we have Jello.  Probably not what you wanted to hear, but that's the scoop.

Jello actually had a really rough beginning.  In 1845 a man by the name of Peter Cooper patented a product made  with gelatin.  Although he did patent it, the concept never did catch on with the public.   In 1897, Pearle Wait, a carpenter in LeRoy, developed a cough remedy and a laxative tea using the gelatin. He stumbled onto a flavored dessert using the gelatin that appealed to his wife and she called it Jello.  He tried to market his product but his lack of capital and experience resulted in a complete flop.  In 1899 he sold his formula to another local fella for the amount of $450.  This gentleman was most noted for proprietary medicines.  It's unclear whether this gentleman simply lost focus in the Jello product or possibly got sidetracked with other interests but in 1899 possibly in a bad mood he sold the Jello name to a fella by the name of Sam Nico for $35.00.  Sam experienced amazing success with his new venture.  By 1902, after a successful sales campaign his sales soared to $250,000.00.  A year or two later and he had topped the $1,000,000.00 mark and from there the sales simply soared to the corporation it is today.

Did you know that radio personality Jack Benny coined the little tune that was sung with the 5 letters J-E-L-L-O.  Did you also realize starting in 1974, Bill Cosby became the spokesman for Jello and held that title for nearly 30 years.  Did you realize there are over 20 different flavors of Jello?  And did you realize there are roughly 36 flavors that were discontinued including celery, turnip and purple?  Pretty interesting stuff, huh?  You might also be happy to hear that although some people claim that Jello is made out of horse knee caps, that really isn't true.

Whoda Thunk there would be so much that you didn't know about that colorful wiggly and jiggly dessert!

The Jello Museum, of course!

Just had to pose at the Jello Museum

Bill Cosby loves Jello!

Here's an added attraction near Leroy.  It's a bridge that raises and lowers to allow boats to pass on the Erie Canal.  The little elevated booth is manned 24 hours a day.

Another view of the control booth and a shot of our Goldwing in the nearby parking lot.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Still Wandering Aimlessly

Ten years ago I was snooping around on the internet and I stumbled onto something while I was looking at the new Garmin GPS's .  I had owned a couple Magellan handhelds but never really cared for them.  During my years with a local Search and Rescue Team I became a real fan of the Garmins.  So as the story continues I stumbled onto something called Geocaching. I still remember telling my wife, "we gotta try this"!  And so it began and so it continues.

What the heck is Geocaching??
Geocaching is a hi tech treasure hunt utilizing handheld GPS's. Basically you log onto Geocaching.com and do a simple and free registration and then the fun begins.  You begin by entering your zip code or the zip code of where you may be heading.   After doing that a long list of hidden caches pop up on your computer screen.  You page down through them and make your selections based on your own choices.  You might choose based on closest to your home.  You might also choose based on the difficulty and terrain rating.  The higher number of stars the more difficult it is to find and/or the more difficult it may be to hike to.  You make the choices.  Every cache has a unique name and that name may be the reason for you selecting it.

Okay so now you have selected one or more geocaches to look for and you have printed out the descriptions.  All you need to do is to enter the coordinates in your handheld GPS and get moving.  You drive as close as you can by following your GPS and then start hiking.  We also check out the locations on our mapping software so we already know our approach.  You pick your line and let the GPS lead you to the hidden geocache. Once your GPS tells you that you have arrived you have to begin thinking like the person that hid it. Hmmm...if I was going to hide something where would I hide it!  You know you're close but where could it be.  You first use the methodical approach and search carefully and neatly and chances are you may find it quickly.  That isn't always the case as hiders like to make you work for it.  If the search goes on for some time you begin to look like a crazed animal tearing stumps apart, overturning every rock in sight and sticking your hands into places that common sense would tell you not to.  Common sense doesn't matter at that point, because you are in search of a geocache and you haven't come this far to go home with a DNF (did not find).

Ahhh, your persistence pays off and you found the cache.  In this case it's an ammo box and you hold it with that "I have conquered" look on your face.  You open it up and you sign the log book.  You sign it with some clever geocaching name you have chosen for yourself.  You look through all the trinkets and if you see something you like, you take it and leave something else in the box.  You now have found a geocache.  All you need to do is rehide it as you found it and then move on to the next cache.  Are we having fun yet?  Once you get home you log onto geocaching and go to the cache that you found and log it as a find.  You can make some comments about your find.  Your comments might include, found cache on cold rainy day, tore off part of my right ear with blackberry briars, ripped out my crotch stepping over deadfall, found bees nest in hollow tree, pulled tick out of my left butt cheek, couldn't find car after hiking back from cache, but  had a great time.  Don't forget to take pictures and upload them onto the cache page.  Preferably not your left butt cheek.

How did this all begin
In the year 2000 President Clinton removed SA or Selective Availability from the GPS satellite systems that continually hover high in the sky all over the world.  Perhaps Monica told him it was a good idea so he put down his cigar and made it happen.  Prior to SA being removed civilian GPS's were only accurate to 100 meters.  That would make searching for something in the woods a bit frustrating.  By removing SA civilian GPS's would be accurate to roughly 10 meters and so let the games begin.  Within days of that being removed a fella named Dave Ulmer hid something and gave the coordinates and lo and behold people went looking for it.  They had so much fun, they hid something and more people went looking and I think you see the pattern.   A group called Groundspeak got hold of this and the sport took on a whole new look.

Basically there are roughly a million things hidden all over the world.  Some caches may be large like an ammo can while others may be a little magnetic nano cache stuck to the bottom of a parking meter.  There's a type of cache that appeals to everyone. 

So how did our first cache hunt go
We will always remember our first cache.  At that time, roughly ten years ago, geocaching was in it's infancy.  We didn't have a lot of caches to choose from.  We printed out the nearest one called "Elk Country Cache".  We knew approximately where our hke would begin so we entered the cordinates in the Garmin and headed down the road. After hiking for maybe 15 minutes we got to the place where the cache should be hidden.  We looked around and truthfully didn't expect to find anything.  We jammed our hiking sticks into every nearby hole and brush pile but still found nothing. We were close to giving up when we jammed our stick into another pile of brush and we heard a metallic sound.  Could it be that there is something hidden in there. We cleared away the brush and sure enough we found our first ammo box. The rest is history, as the saying goes.

Yes, we were instantly hooked.  Over the past ten years we have found nearly 3000 caches and have hidden nearly 40 of our own. Geocaching is loaded with rewards.  We have seen so many amazing places  and met countless great friends thanks to geocaching.  Give it a try, you may just get hooked!  We sure did!

One More Day
There's the saying lucky in love, lucky in life.  I have been lucky in both!  Here is a video I made for my wife and life long friend (one in the same)  a few years ago for Valentines Day.  It is loaded with good memories of our life together.  Most of the pictures just happen to be taken while we were wandering aimlessly looking for geocaches.  I thought the title "One More Day" was appropriate and what we wish for each and every day.  Hope you enjoy the video.  Bear in mind the quality of the pictures are the result of old images taken with cheap cameras and we never figured one day we would put them in a video.  Whoda' Thunk ten years ago when we found that first ammo can we'd still be wandering around in the woods tearing apart stumps and overturning rocks.  We sure wouldn't have but here we are.

Start video by clicking white triangular button.  Video can be viewed full screen by clicking full screen tab or double clicking on video while viewing.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Winter's Beauty

Every season offers unique photo opportunities and sometimes unique challenges.  In the summer it could be the skeeters nipping at your ears while you experiment with the multitude of settings on the DSLR.  Spring sometimes means trying to get that perfect shot before the next shower hits.  Fall is a great time for photography if you are obsessed with the elk rut.  The challenge is getting close but yet not too close to the giant bulls when they are just a tad testy.  Winter photography offers some beautiful contrast with a fresh snowfall but getting the proper exposure can make you pull your hair out.  Too much exposure and you wash out all the detail of the snow, too little and it looks gray.  But the biggest challenge of all can be the physical challenge.  When it's single digits out the patience can wear thin rather quickly as you set up and take dozens of shots trying to get that perfect time exposure to provide the silky look to a mountain waterfall.  Whoda' Thunk a fella would do all this writing in an effort to make excuses for a so-so winter landscape.  Hey, give me a break, my little fingers nearly got frostbite taking these shots.