Saturday, December 1, 2012


It’s hunting season, the time of year when people gather and get gear to outfit themselves to stalk the animals of the forest and bush.  I would estimate most game brought home costs many times more per pound than the price of a nice beef steak.  But it’s the quest, right?  The bragging rights that legends are made of.

My deer hunting expedition was a little less elaborate.

I was seeking a shot at a mule deer like this one I got in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  The size of the antlers was not a priority.  I just wanted to catch one in the view finder of my camera so I could come back and boast.

Within a half-hour walk of our house is a tree-lined river 
far enough away from houses where all kinds of animals hang out.

It was a little before dawn on an icy, overcast morning 
when I took my camera and went deer hunting.

Even before sunrise the dog-walkers and joggers had gotten there ahead of me.
The birds were the only creatures who hadn’t taken cover.

There is a fence with a big “No Trespassing” sign put up to keep four-wheelers and similar vandals off property owned by a good friend.  I didn’t think that applied to me.

Neither did the deer.  
One of them had left behind a hunk of hair when he slid between the wires.

There were tracks in the mud along the road.

Plenty of deer tracks.

The Canada geese flew up from the pond, honking and calling.

One left behind a feather.

There were ducks on the pond so I shot them with my camera.  But I had to go home without getting a deer.  At least there are no rules against photographing deer out of season and the only carcass I had to drag back was my own.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Every month a blog called the Virtual Paintout posts a location somewhere in the world.  Artists are invited to virtually explore the place using Google Maps and Google Street View and then do a painting or sketch of  a site they choose.  November 2012's location is New Brunswick, Canada.

After "touring" this province located on the Atlantic Ocean I ended up in Fredericton, the capital city.  According to Wikipedia it is, "an important cultural, artistic, and educational centre for the province. Fredericton is home to two universities, the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and cultural institutions."

Across the street from Lansbridge University on Queen Street is a colorful line of businesses.

I did a little watercolor of Gordie's Pub and submitted it as my part of November's Virtual Paintout.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


News people seem to feel it‘s their duty to advise us about things everyone already knows.  For example, “The highways are snow covered and icy.  Stay alert, slow down and stay in control.”  Or, “The temperatures are dropping down below freezing.  Be sure and wear a warm coat and several layers of clothing if you have to venture out.” 

Duh.  How about, “Wear a brightly colored bra that you can remove and hang from your car antenna if you get stuck in a drift.”  Even if your car—like most new models—doesn’t have a radio antenna, just the removal of a red lace bra is sure to bring a guy in a four-wheel-drive pickup to your side quicker than you can say World Wrestling Entertainment.

 Even if the snow plow hasn’t left a wall of ice behind your car, just getting out of the driveway is a major challenge. Since your garage is full of boxes of clothes and broken bicycles you have to remember to go out and start the car at least fifteen minutes before leaving to defrost windows and heat up the interior.  It’s okay to run out in your pajamas since all your neighbors are doing the same.  Just wear flip flops or something so you won’t rip all the skin off the soles of your feet as they stick to the ice.

Yes, it's broken, but it works.
Keep the snow brush in the back seat so you can clear off the driver side door before entering.  Without fail there will be a heavy layer of snow on the door that will fly inside upon opening.  This heap of cold wetness will settle on the seat resulting in an unnecessary wake-up call when you plop down while wearing those pajamas. 

Don’t wash the car in the winter.  Or, if you do, don’t lock it.  The locks will freeze solid and stay that way until June.

If this happens, and you drive a Geo Metro, you can usually get the hatch door open and climb in that way and squeeze between the bucket seats to get to the interior front door locks.  But don’t lose the flip-flops and be prepared for getting snow in the pajamas during this maneuver.  It will happen.  I know.

Even though you are all ready far past late, be sure to clear the snow from the roof of the car.  This may seem unnecessary, but the first time you drive across railroad tracks all the roof snow will come loose and slide forward across the windshield leaving you literally snow blind.

When you try to get back in the house the storm door may have accidentley locked.  This will occur when you‘re the last one to leave the house.  When this happens, dig your way to the basement window where your son sleeps...that window you’ve never been able to lock since that past curfew incident. Re-enter the house hoping no neighbors catch a view of those pajamas with the split seam.

If you’ve lived in snow country you already know these pointers.  If you don’t live in snow country, you’re already smart.

And when will auto manufacturers figure out how to keep the big chunks of ice from forming in wheel wells?  We have heated windows, and heated car seats; but still we have to deal with those gravel-filled glaciers that tear up the tires and fall off in parking lots to look like so many Yeti turds.