For them not interested in reading, you can see the bird photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery and a slideshow of the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery (it’s the same gallery). 

When you click the second link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

That’s a Common Grackle (LINK) trying to look tough.

Anyway, I wanted to do a quick post and in the process put Guido Jr. through its paces . . . it is a veritable pleasure not having to find stuff to do while I wait for photos to process. There are forty-seven photos in this post, and it seems to me I flew through the process of getting them ready. 

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow, click HERE<<link. When you click the link, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the bottom-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

So, more delays to the Deadly Sins Challenge. One of the writers had technical (software) issues, and the other writer is writing a novella covering all seven sins and needs to split out Lust into a stand-alone story. At least that’s my understanding of it.

They messed me up a bit, so if my story sucks, blame them. You see, I do my best writing under pressure; pressure of a looming deadline. So on the 13th, I buckled down and wrote nearly half of the story that was due on the 14th. But before I finished, I heard Perry and Gary we not going to meet the deadline . . . and I lost all my inspiration, drive, and desire to write.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the bird photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

That surely don’t look nuthin’ like a bird . . .

Good catch, grasshopper. Them be one of the first flower pots we be done did this year. We’re going to limit the number of pots we’ll populate this year . . . maybe.

Only forty-one photos in this post. What can I say . . . I’m older and slowing down.

Anyway, we begin with a small gallery . . .

For them not interested in reading my words but interested in the full-size versions of the photos, you can see the bird photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery and the other photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).
3) If you click on the photo, it will zoom to full-size (1:1 view). Depending on the size and details of the photo, it might take a few seconds.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Remember When I rested on May 2nd? Well, I also did a bit of resting on April 30th. Yup! Got me my camera, a cup of coffee, and sat outside watching for photo opportunities to present themselves. You already saw the first . . . a bug. Specifically, a Crane Fly (LINK).

For them not interested in reading, you can see photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Them who might have noticed me not doing much online these past four days probably knew I was traveling. Them who didn’t notice me not doing much online these past four days probably don’t read my blog.

Well, I was traveling, and when I travel, I travel with my photography equipment (plus the phone camera).

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

What’s interesting about this series of photos is this . . . they were shot through a heavy plate glass door and a double-pane glass portion of a screen door. I’m amazed at how well they turned out.

I’m kind of in a hurry and it’s late, so I’ll keep this short. Wait . . . it’s earlier than I normally go to sleep, but we’re traveling tomorrow and that means getting up about six hours from now. Hence, if I want a minimum of five hours of sleep, I need to keep this short.

Seventy. This post has seventy photos presented either singly or in small galleries. At the end of the post, there’s a gallery of all the photos . . . that’s for them who just want to see the photos and have no interest in my words. Well, other than the words in this opening paragraph.

This photo is for mvschulze — that’s the current look of the trimmed River Birch. We’ll see how it’ll look in the summer.

For them not interested in reading my words but interested in the full-size versions of the photos, you can see the bird photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery and the plant and miscellaneous photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).
3) If you click on the photo, it will zoom to full-size (1:1 view). Depending on the size and details of the photo, it might take a few seconds.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Common Grackle <<link

May 2nd, and like the mythical creator, I decided to rest (‘been painting and rearranging the garage, caulking, doing trim, and, in general, acting like I want to do stuff around the house as opposed to just vegetate and eat anything but vegetables).

For me, resting occasionally means sitting outside with my camera, my coffee, and my non-vegetable snacks. Specifically — on that day of rest — I aimed to catch me photos of birds and especially, birds in flight.

For them not interested in reading, you can see the animals photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery and the plant and miscellaneous photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery. 

When you click the links, it will open in a new window, and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button near the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: Above the play/pause button there’s the option to go full screen. Most of these look really good viewed full screen. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos (this will pause the slideshow).

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

Ok, so that photo is not the same as the previous post since I didn’t have any garden statues in that post. By the way, that’s a Note 20 photo. I’m getting a bit more time with the phone . . . er . . . camera in the phone and getting better at capturing stuff with satisfactory quality.

So, let’s do a proper continuation of the photos in the last post . . . we begin with the great egret . . . that’s its name, not a statement of its bird qualities.

I’m still busy, but I took the time to output a few photos; a sample of Note 20 photos and D7500 captures.

Let’s begin with some flowers from the memorial we had for Pops . . .

Nothing fantastic, but I was happy with these photos pretty much as they came right out of the Note 20 Ultra (I added the dark framing and a minor auto-tweak in Lightroom that barely touched the photos).

The “Z” stories voting block is progressing at a decent clip . . . but it could do much better. Unfortunately, this is the last chance for the voting to smash previous records. That’s right . . . it’s now or never.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

Just know that if you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than five days left.

For many people I know, today is kind of special. Whatever celebration you might be having — even if it’s just to enjoy being alive — I hope it is a grand day.

. . . I should probably express that more often since it’s my desire for readers and non-readers alike regardless of which day it is.

But, seeing as today is a holiday for some, I thought I would do a quick reminder post, and what better way to do “quick” than take previous photos and artsify them? That’s right; there is no better way. 

All of the photos are treated with Topaz Restyle, Topaz Impression, and framed using Topaz Studio.

The “Z” stories voting undergoes bursts of activity and — since this is the last of the stories — I figure I would do a bit more reminding and prodding. You know, to maybe have this last block smash the previous voting records.

And you, yes, YOU, can be a part of it and help us reach that goal! I don’t mean just reading and voting for the stories, but also pushing them onto friends and family (presuming you have friends and family who like to read). I mean, it’s not that much of a commitment (for them or you) since this is the last group of stories. Still, I get people may be busy hiding or hunting eggs and stuff, so do if you can, but don’t feel bad if you can’t (or, don’t want to).

Just know that if you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

The links to this last trio of stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than five days left.

Yellowstone NP is (so far) our favorite National Park. I mean, there may be parks out there we’ve not seen and that would supplant Yellowstone’s lofty position, but they have a lot to live up to. 

I mean, Yellowstone has the views, the animals, the mountains, and valleys . . . and then there are the geothermal features.

The “Z” stories voting is moving along at a reasonable pace. As a reminder, this is the last block of the Alphabet Challenge. If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to get involved, well, this is a good one.

If you’ve been a loyal reader of our offerings and someone who votes, you have the writer’s unending gratitude.

Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge Z-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Thursday, April 8th, 2021. That means you have less than a week left.

So, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 was a camera I purchased in December of 2009 for the sole purpose of shooting movies. And for the 12x optical zoom. At the time, neither my phone nor my DSLR were capable of shooting decent video. Of course, the little camera was capable of shooting decent photos.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! I didn’t know Canada Geese liked hanging around in trees.

The above is an example of how and when I used the camera. Always on trips, of course, and I’ve shared videos captured with the little camera, but I seldom shared photos from it. In this particular case, I was golfing . . . and I saw two geese take flight — obviously in fear for their lives due to my erratic golf prowess — and I was flabbergasted to see them land on a nearby tree.

It’s been a while since one of these. Such a long while that I almost forgot about them, so I can only imagine what a surprise this will be for the few readers of this blog.

What prompted me to author this post? Well, I got annoyed. I read a post on another blog (from which I’ve since unsubscribed) and stupidly commented. Do you know how annoying it is having someone imply you’re a bigoted white Christian? You don’t? Well, let me tell you . . . it’s annoying.

Anyway, I had a choice . . . I could fume and plot the demise of the Human Race . . . but I then worried about all the pets that can’t work a can-opener. So, I decided to relax by processing a few photos and composing this post. I’m not sure I made the right choice, but here we are.

As mentioned before, all the WitW photos are collected in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  Each new post will identify the previous post’s photo. The poll at the end of this post is mostly to amuse and entertain (me), but I name the location of these photos along with a red herring or two. It’s fine if you look up the answer, and I won’t care much which name you vote for because, hey, you might want to amuse yourself as well. It’s open to multiple voting for people who like more than one answer. Let me know if multiple voting doesn’t work.

The location of the photos in the previous post<<link showcased U.S. Botanic Gardens<<link. For them interested in looking at it on Google Earth, here’s a screenshot of Google Earth’s street view. It’s close to the approximate location from where I snapped the 2003 photo, but know that the landscaping has changed (the coordinates are in the lower right corner of the screenshots — click for a larger version).

The “X” stories voting block has a little over twelve hours to go before it closes . . .

. . . and you know what that means. Yup . . . another reminder post, although I got to tell you, you ain’t got much time left.

But, if you plan on making the effort and squeak in just under the deadline, thank you in advance for casting a vote for your favorite of the three. Links to the stories and the poll for voting for “Alphabet Challenge X-Stories” are HERE(link). Votes will be accepted until  Noon (Central Time) on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021.

So, wildflowers . . .

Believe it or not, those are wildflowers . . . insomuch as they grew in a wild place. But, between me and you, I think these are remnants of cultivated flowers (probably Dianthus barbatus) that might have gone wild.

I had three previous posts alerting readers to the December 21, 2020, Saturn and Jupiter Great Conjunction (LINK, LINK, LINK) . . . and I’m a bit behind in documenting the actual event.

This will be a “longish” post taking us From December 10th to December 21st. There will be another post documenting the days after the 21st’s closest (visual) approach of the two gas giants. But for now, let’s proceed.

This post documents days in which I was able to photograph the planets in reasonably clear skies — six days, starting with December 10th and ending with December 21st.

December 10, 2020, 17:10 — Marion, Illinois
Nikon D7500, Nikon AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm 1:4.5-5.6D
Photo: 80mm 3 sec. f/7.1 ISO 500

Impressive, no? That’s what happens when you forget to change camera settings . . . but, luckily, I shoot RAW, so I can salvage something from that.