Sunday, October 25, 2020

A Short Manifesto

Never in history have we had so much data and so little knowledge. There is no contemplation any more, just an endless stream of 15-second clips followed by hot-take discussion panels. No one thinks for themselves any more. Why try when we each have an electronic device that will give us whatever information we seek to confirm our biases? Mixed in with some funny videos. What a system.

Freedom is fading as the extreme left tries to steer us into conformist socialism and the extreme right tries to keep us on the path of crony capitalism and scientific ignorance. No matter which group prevails, individualism dies and groupthink thrives. The two-party system in the United States is an anti-competitive duopoly perpetuated by the two groups in power. There is no Constitutional basis for it, but if any other voices try to be heard they are disparaged as lunatics. Free-enterprise capitalism, individual responsibility and the scientific method are quaint notions of the past.

This isn't a Libertarian call to action because I know my voice doesn't carry. But if there is a mechanism embedded in the Universe that will judge human society of the early 21st century, I expect it will be judged harshly. Both left and right are so wantonly stupid, so intentionally blind, so easily manipulated. It's deplorable.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

More Yellowstone

Now that we live just over an hour from Yellowstone, it's easy to do an overnight trip and see a lot. Yesterday we toured the waterfalls and the lake area, which are nice to look at but don't float my boat photographically. Today we saw the usual elk in Mammoth Hot Springs and a black bear at the east end of the Lamar Valley. Even though summer officially ended 10 days ago, I've added six images to the Summer 2020 gallery. Click on one of the images below to start the slide show starting with the most recent images.

Elk bugling

Black bear

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Summer 2020

It has been an eventful summer, and I'm not referring to the virus, sanctimonious politicians, or "protesters" helping themselves to "reparations" from smashed storefronts. I choose not to let any of these detestable infestations change the way I live, except I wear a mask when I go to Costco. We have been in the process of moving to Montana, and there have been a few photo ops along the way.

There were 4th of July fireworks in our new Montana town, and there have been deer running through our new back yard. My Browning trailcam even captured a moose wandering through the back yard. I drove through the Badlands a few times and found a concentration of burrowing owls. I was able to retrieve my Reconyx trailcams from a Montana mountain after 13 months and found some interesting images, including one of a mountain lion. We went to Colorado and I snapped a few hummingbirds at the venue of our wedding two years ago. And there was a quick trip to Yellowstone. It's a bit of a mish-mash, but click on one of the images below to load the slide show starting at that point.

Red Lodge Fireworks

Backyard Deer





Thursday, May 14, 2020

Get some sun

To paraphrase Dean Wormer from Animal House, “Fat, drunk and Vitamin D-deficient is no way to get through the pandemic, son.” There's nothing definitive yet, but it appears the best protection from the virus may be to improve your eating habits, refrain from drinking yourself into a stupor, and go for a walk in the spring sunshine. In particular, sunshine on the skin helps develop Vitamin D, which seems to be beneficial in fighting off the virus. Yes, healthy people with no known health problems have gotten and died from the disease, but there is no argument that by far those most susceptible are sedentary people with pre-existing health problems, people more likely to be sitting inside on their ass, even if that is not their choice.

Studies show that there has been no significant difference in progress of the disease between European countries that had no lockdown (Sweden) versus those that had police-enforced house arrest (Hungary). Somewhere, an authoritarian is, they're not weeping, they are suppressing this information. "Experts have expressed concern that Sweden's refusal to implement a lockdown will lead to increased deaths," according to a German news site. "Expert" opinions that so far are not backed up by the evidence. "We who are adults need to be exactly that: adults. Not spread panic or rumors," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said early on in the pandemic.

It is sad that the old and frail are dying in disproportionate numbers, but having everyone else hiding inside their houses does not help them. Nursing homes will not be allowing visitors anytime soon whether there is a general lockdown order or not. Be prudent and practice social distancing, but stop hiding. Get some sun.

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Today, ducks

The waterfowl near a local pond will be thoroughly documented in this year of the pandemic. Earlier this week it was geese, and today it is ducks. I saw a couple of mini-dramas playing out as a pair with six ducklings chased off an intruding drake, and 2 or 3 stray ducklings seemed lost. It is not a large pond, so I expect if the parents are trying to find them, they will. If not, nature can be cruel no matter how cute you are.

An interloper is detected by the female.

The interloper gets the upper hand temporarily.

The drake drives off the intruder.

This little one and a couple of others seemed to be having difficulty finding their parents. They were driven off when they came across the pair with six ducklings.

Sunday, May 03, 2020

Most Years At This Time...

Events have conspired to keep me from traveling to my usual haunts, so I've been taking my Canon M100 with 70-200 lens on my local bike rides hoping to get the baby geese when they appeared. Today they did.

Couple days later with 100-400 lens.

Last May in Custer State Park and environs was more interesting but you take what you can get. Click on the image for a slide show.

Baby bison

Sunday, March 15, 2020


I feel so lofty and superior to the maniacs who are out scrounging for toilet paper. But I can feel that way because I did an inventory and found a treasure trove. From my last Costco run several months ago, I still have 11 full rolls plus two partials upstairs, and I'm guessing a couple more in the basement. Not to mention the partial roll out in the truck for "emergencies." In a Salon article on the panic buying, the author claimed that the typical person uses 100 rolls a year. In what universe do these TP hogs live? Maybe I'm not typical, but I would guess my annual usage is 30-40...OK, my bride just explained to me that men and women are different. We still maintain separate residences until our new house is finished in a few months.

But as the only full-time resident of this house, I calculate that I'm sitting like a king until mid-summer, at which point the crisis will be over...or we will be in a full-blown zombie apocalypse, in which case toilet paper will be the least of our worries. I may have to start watching The Walking Dead to pick up some survival pointers.

I've seen this before. When I lived in Massachusetts, people would grimly flock to Shop 'N Stop (or is it Stop 'N Shop?) to stock up on essentials every time a Nor'easter was headed their way. (I don't know why the media spells it with all those r's; New Englanders actually pronounce it "Naw-THEAS-tah.") Either these people had survived the Blizzard of '78, or they heard about it ad nauseum from their parents and grandparents. After the storm subsided and inevitably was not a repeat of '78, they found themselves with a huge cache of TP and bottled water, and gallons of milk that was about to spoil.

In August 1991, Hurricane Bob rolled up the East Coast, and just two months later the ultimate Nawtheastah, The Perfect Storm, came in from the North Atlantic. I admit, I lived to the south well inland, not in Gloucester on an exposed peninsula, but after surviving 30+ years of South Dakota blizzards I was not impressed. Bob, my very first hurricane, was just a rainy afternoon, and I don't remember The Perfect Storm at all. In the years I've been back in South Dakota I haven't seen routine hoarding leading up to blizzards, but a few days ago Walmart was almost (not entirely) out of TP and very low on rice and pasta. I know this emergency will last longer than a couple days, and I agree that it's a good idea not to gather in large groups and pass the virus around. I am not minimizing the problems the good people of Washington state and Italy have had, nor denying that it may still hit us hard. But so far the stores remain open and the local infection rate is 0.001%. Life goes on somewhat normally, albeit without basketball.

Update: I have 3+ rolls in the basement bathroom, but it's not the good stuff.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

I Can Relate

Back in 1973, unlike today, there weren't 150 NCAA Division 1 basketball games on TV every day. Games were played in gyms, not luxury-box arenas. I couldn't find anyone interested in watching the championship game that year, so I had to find a TV and watch it by myself. That was Bill Walton's signature moment, hanging 44 on Memphis as UCLA won its seventh straight title. With Walton as a senior the following season, that streak was broken by David Thompson and NC State.

Although Walton had his moments in the NBA, his pro career was cut short by injury. His selection for the basketball Hall of Fame was due in large part, perhaps primarily, to his college career. That would not be possible today. Back when Alcindor and Walton were playing, freshmen weren't even allowed to play varsity. Now if a college star doesn't go pro after his freshman year, the inevitable conclusion is he's not very good. As a result, nationally, the top players in men's college basketball change every year. Last year everyone knew about Zion, but who are the top college players this year? I have no idea. The NBA doesn't attract my interest either. The sense of entitlement exuded by NBA players is off-putting, IMO.

So I've been following the local college teams more than national or NBA teams. Players like Mike Daum of South Dakota State and Tyler Hagedorn of South Dakota develop over 4-5 years and their names carry over from year to year. But the local men's teams also attract itinerants such as SDSU's David Jenkins, Jr., who followed coach T.J. Otzelberger to Las Vegas, and USD's Matt Mooney, who grad transferred to Texas Tech and ended up on a national finals team. I think Jenkins was originally from Washington (the state), and I have no idea where Mooney was from. (Wikipedia says Illinois.) I don't begrudge them the opportunity to go elsewhere, but it's hard to attract my loyalty with guys from somewhere else who can't wait to go somewhere else.

So the basketball I watch is ... wait for it ... Summit League women. Specifically, South Dakota and South Dakota State. South Dakota is 27-2 and ranked in the following polls: #20 in the AP, #12 in the USA Today Coaches, and #1 in College Insider Mid-Major. I think the Coyotes' signature win this year is a 15-point beatdown of Ohio State, a projected tournament team.

South Dakota State won on Syracuse's home floor in the NCAA tournament last year to make the Sweet 16, the best-ever finish by a local team. But the Jackrabbits are having a "down" year at 21-9 and are ranked only #18 in the Mid-Major poll after living at the top of that poll in recent years. Their signature win this season was 65-59 over Notre Dame in front of 259 spectators at a tournament in Cancun.

The prominent players on both rosters are from South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska. No one is leaving early for the pros. There are a few transfers in, but those players (SDSU's Tagyn Larsen, USD's Hannah Sjerven) came back to their home area. For the most part, we get to know these players over the course of four years. And sometimes we see families over a longer period of time, such as the three Arens sisters at USD. They come from Crofton, NE, just over the border from Vermillion. Current all-around player Monica was preceded by scorer Allison and defensive stalwart Bridget.

There's also Ciara Duffy, whose older sister Caitlin Duffy starred on USD's WNIT championship team in 2016. Ciara, now a senior, has mostly avoided the injury bug that afflicted Caitlin. Ciara's list of honors is getting quite long. Just to name a few: Two-time Academic All-American, pre-season Summit League Player of the Year, and nominee for two Mid-Major Player of the Year awards. And we went to the same grade school!

Humans are tribal. This young woman and her team have my loyalty (in part) because we played basketball for the same Catholic grade school in Rapid City, South Dakota, albeit 42 years apart. This year has been USD's year, but next year it could be SDSU again with the players they have coming back, including Myah Selland from injury. I don't think South Dakota is big enough for its residents to choose up sides against each other, although many do. Because I graduated from and worked at both SDSU (1978 BS Journalism, South Dakota Public Radio) and USD (1985 MBA, business school grad assistant, adjunct instructor of business), I want both to do well. For reasons of loyalty and because they've been really good recently, the local women's teams are more interesting to me than the mercenaries at Duke and Kentucky.

Unfortunately, life as a successful mid-major has its drawbacks. After the aforementioned WNIT title four years ago, Nebraska plucked Amy Williams from USD, and she was replaced by Dawn Plitzuweit. Dawn's salary now is $250,000, which sounds good but is much less than half of what Williams is making at Nebraska even though the Coyotes are better than the Cornhuskers. Someday, perhaps just a few weeks from now, a Big Ten team is going to make Coach P. an offer she can't refuse. It doesn't matter that the USD women are ranked higher in the coaches poll than every Big 10 team except Maryland. The Big 10 has money to throw around, and USD is maxed out. That's just the way it is. Fortunately, SDSU coach Aaron Johnston seems content to stay in Brookings, and (to be honest) a male coach is probably discriminated against when a power conference women's job comes open. Minnesota admitted as much a few years ago. Once again, that's just the way it is.

But for the remainder of the tournament season, it's all rainbows and unicorns. If the seedings hold, see the Coyote and the Jackrabbit women play on ESPNU at 1 p.m. CDT March 10 for the Summit League championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Update: A reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal threw Plitzuweit's name into the ring for the now-open UNLV job. He probably figured UNLV poached some podunk school in Dakota for their men's coach, why not do the same for the women? The big difference is UNLV doubled Otzelberger's salary from SDSU. The reporter cites the former women's coach's salary as $190,000, and as mentioned, Plitzuweit currently makes $250,000. Yes, very likely, UNLV is going to attract one of the 10 finalists for National Coach of the Year by offering her less money. It's like an NBA fan calling into sports radio and saying, "Hey, let's trade Jeremy Lin for Zion...straight up."

The other difference is Otzelberger had a reputation as a national recruiter before he got to SDSU, a perfect fit for UNLV, a former national power trying to recapture lost glory. Plitzuweit's reputation is not centered around national recruiting. She seems to be more of an X&O coach, and the recruiting is done close to home. I would guess she would much rather have a Big 10 job at 2-3 times her current salary and continue recruiting the upper Great Plains rather than get demoted to the unfamiliar wasteland of Vegas. Some Gopher fans were whining recently that the Lindsay Whalen experiment seems to have gone wrong (local legend as a player at Minnesota and in the WNBA, but no prior coaching experience), and their women's team was incapable of beating teams like Ohio State. USD didn't have a problem with Ohio State this year. It shouldn't escape the notice of Gopher administrators that there are four Minnesotans on the USD roster this year and five on the SDSU roster. Maybe they need someone who will keep the local talent at home? Minnesota probably won't make a change now since Whalen just got an extension, but maybe there's some other Big 10 team looking for a coach.

I would rather see Plitzuweit stay in Vermillion indefinitely so she can watch her son play for the USD men's team for the next three years, and of course continue poaching Minnesota players away from the Gophers. However, I realize it would be crazy to turn down the Big 10. She is a native of Wisconsin. The Badgers just got bounced from the Big 10 tournament after a 3-15 league season, just saying.

But Vegas? Not a chance.

Two months later: Duffy is now a three-time Academic All-American, 2020 Summit League Player of the Year, winner of the Becky Hammon and ESPNw Mid-Major Player of the Year awards, and AP All-American Honorable Mention. Her team won the conference tournament and finished 30-2, ranked 11th by the coaches, but of course saw their season end without the NCAA tournament. With the world on lockdown during the virus, there has been no news of coaching moves. Assuming there is a 2020-21 season, USD and SDSU will be odds-on favorites to meet once again in the conference championship game.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Thanks California

I don't disagree with the intent of the new California data privacy law that went into effect this year. Anything that makes Google or Facebook squirm is fine with me. But so far the only effect of this and a somewhat similar European regulation is there is one more stupid button to click on when you visit a site, joining the ranks of millions of meaningless government-mandated disclosures that pollute our lives. My web site does not plant cookies or collect data so I will not be adding a stupid button.

Saturday, December 21, 2019


I just read a short story by Ray Bradbury, "The Murderer," in which the perpetrator crushes or shoots the technology that is demanding his constant time and attention. The victims are the TV, phone and various portable devices. In the police interrogation room, the perp even smashes the device carried by the psychiatrist who is interviewing him. No electronic noise interrupts them as they converse. Then the disturbed man is led away to a quiet jail cell and the psychiatrist returns to air-conditioned reality in which he is in constant communication with a myriad of people without seeing anyone in the flesh. Once again, he is safely immersed in his devices.

The story was published in 1953, decades before Al Gore, Steve Jobs and Satan himself Mark Zuckerberg conspired to steal our souls.

Bradbury wrote of the world as it was 66 years ago, and we know what the world is like now. Imagine how deeply embedded the children of 2085 will be in their technology. I may be becoming a Luddite in my old age (as I'm typing this on my tablet) but Yikes!

Wednesday, December 04, 2019


My first photo expedition to Northwest Missouri was in 2005. The wildlife refuge near Mound City used to be called Squaw Creek, now it goes by the bland PC name Loess Bluffs, but the attractions are still the same – eagles and snow geese. The geese start coming in November with the eagles following, and I have found the first week in December is usually the best time to see some of each.

There is a public event at the refuge this weekend, Eagle Days. There are many eagle events located throughout the country this time of year, and I encourage everyone to find one in your area and check it out. But you won't see me because I want to see eagles, not a bunch of people clogging the road. My advice is to avoid the crowds and hit the location of your local event the week before.

Unlike some recent quick trips to Loess Bluffs, I had all day Tuesday and half of Wednesday to hunker down and wait for things to happen. This worked well on Tuesday with the eagles, but the only snow geese I saw were high in the sky, on their way elsewhere. There are two eagle nests, one on the west side and a newer one to the southeast. Unlike last year, there didn't seem to be any construction going on, but there were eagles hanging out at both locations. I have one image of an eagle in the west nest, but it just seemed to be resting there momentarily. Prominently present in the pools were hundreds of trumpeter swans, a formerly-endangered species. On the way out at the end of the day, I came across a large, scary cloud of red-winged blackbirds.

Wednesday, a big flock of snow geese did come down to earth, but in a location I don't usually see them. They were in the Pintail Pool on the west side rather than the Eagle Pool to the southeast near the main entrance. I waited around for a while, but finally they did the big cloud thing. I snapped some final pics then headed home just before noon.

I took a few videos with my SLR, and caught about 30 seconds of an eagle screeching. There is some wind noise, but I thought it was worth posting. See this YouTube Video.

Click on one of the images to start the slide show of 37 images.



Lots of geese

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Meth, We're On It!

As a resident of South Dakota, I just have to cringe at the new state anti-meth ad campaign that uses the above slogan as its tag line. After watching it the first time, I thought it was a Saturday Night Live skit. I was expecting Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin to pop up in cameo roles.

As a taxpayer I wonder if we can sue the ad company that came up with that to get our $449,000 back. I wish there were video of the pitch meeting where the ad company presented this lunacy to state officials. Everyone thought it was a good idea? Unbelievable.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019


I have been eating more sensibly recently, but I still have one packet of Maruchan Ramen lurking in my pantry. Does throwing away the flavor packet get rid of all the 830 mg of sodium? How about using the packet for cooking but draining away the broth, which is what I usually do? The back panel of the package doesn't break it out, and good luck finding the answer on the internet. Let's just say opinions vary.

I did notice one little disclosure on the package that should cause Millennials to flee to their safe spaces: "Partially produced with genetic engineering." Cool. Now I want to eat it every day just to be a contrarian. Instead I'll probably switch to Rice Ramen (0 sodium) or (if the United States Postal Service ever finds my spiralizer) zucchini noodles aka zoodles. My Amazon tracking update says the package was left in the parcel locker yesterday, but the USPS didn't give me a key.

Update: I stood and stared at the mail carrier today to make sure he put the parcel locker key in my box. Zoodles!

Monday, November 11, 2019


On the 11th day of the 11th month, it was 11 degrees in my yard as I prepared to witness the Transit of Mercury. The forecast said it might be cloudy until 10 a.m. but by 8:00 there were only scattered clouds interfering occasionally. In the warmth of August 2017, I got a few images of the total solar eclipse through my telescope with the old Canon S45 camera attached. Today it was just too cold to fiddle with that setup, which is very hard to aim and focus. I gave up on that and just used my DSLR with 400mm lens. (Everything is protected by appropriate solar filters, of course.) I also set up my little Coronado solar telescope, but photography through that is impossible so that was for visual observing only.

I could not see the planet through my camera, but on the solar scope I was able to make out a little dot near the center of the sun. The apparent size of Mercury is much smaller than Venus, but we won't see another Venus transit until 2117. So this is what we have today. Unlike the total eclipse, which was rather exciting, this really doesn't get the adrenaline pumping, but it is a somewhat rare event involving another world. The next such transit is in 2032. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Next celestial events are an annular "Ring of Fire" eclipse Oct. 14, 2023 (I plan to be in Albuquerque) and a total eclipse Apr. 8, 2024 (I probably will be near Austin, TX). Previous celestial events:

2017 Eclipse
Total Eclipse 2017
2017 Eclipse
Total Eclipse 2017
Annular Eclipse Iceland 2003
Annular Eclipse 2003
Transit of Venus 2004
Venus Transit 2004
Transit of Venus 2012
Venus Transit 2012
Partial Eclipse 2014
Full Moon 2015
Full Moon 2015
Transit of Mercury 2016
Mercury Transit 2016

Monday, November 04, 2019

Badlands Bighorns

There are certain places where I stop just about every time I drive by, and the Badlands is one of them. I know there are usually bighorn sheep in the Pinnacles Overlook area near the western entrance, and the rams usually hang out just west of there a short distance down the Sage Creek Rim Road. I saw a couple of rams when I drove through there Oct. 28, but on my return trip yesterday I saw nothing on my first pass. After a pit stop, I did another short loop and saw a herd of something off in the distance.

It was a herd of bighorns, including five or six rams of various ages. Most of the group eventually came closer, and a few approached the canyon rim just a few yards from me. A couple of the rams curled their lips and tasted the air, which is a mating behavior, but to my disappointment they didn't engage in any head butting. There were only about four ewes, so it seemed the females who usually frequent the area were elsewhere.

By my count I have posted 268 images of bighorns on my site, including 11 from this trip. Click on the image to start the slide show:

Bighorn Rams. The one on the left is tasting the air.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


The Sioux Falls Air Show was over the weekend featuring the USAF Thunderbirds. Including Friday's practice, I had three chances to track the Thunderbirds through their routine.

While there may be some value in being on the flight line at the airport, I camped out on a hill a mile or so from the airport and waited for the planes to fly over. I missed out on the static displays and some of the other performers, but I avoided the crowds and the Thunderbirds flew right over my position several times during each show.

The other highlights of the show were the old warbirds. I didn't get great photos of the Corsair, P-51, and TBM Avenger, but I did post a couple images of the latter two. (I got much better warbirds shots at the 2016 Sioux Falls Air Show.) I had more success with the Heritage Flight, which this year featured Navy planes including the AD-4 Skyraider, FJ-4B Fury, and F/A-18G Hornet. The Skyraider and Fury were Vietnam-era ground attack planes, one being prop-driven and the other being a jet. The Fury is related to the Air Force's F-86 Sabre. The Hornet is a version of the same plane used by the Blue Angels. Another Hornet at the show was a CF-18 Canadian version, which did solo shows before the Thunderbirds. It was reported that this was the only appearance by the RCAF at a US air show this year. It seemed like five minutes after finishing its performance, it took off again and headed back to the Great White North.

By my count this is the 11th air show I've photographed since 2002, the third with the Thunderbirds. The last time I saw the Thunderbirds was back in 2005 at their home base in Nevada. That was a gigantic show. Click here to see the air show listing on my Galleries page.

I posted 63 images, including 47 of the Thunderbirds. The light was constantly changing during the three days, so at times it was challenging. The Thunderbirds images are roughly in chronological order, but with single planes first, then formations of four, five and six. Click on the images to start the slide show.

Update: I just added seven new images to the 2016 Sioux Falls Air Show gallery. The new stuff is three AV-8 Harrier images, and additional Blue Angels and B-25 images.


US Navy Heritage Flight

Monday, July 08, 2019

Painting with light

The Fourth of July once again brought me to Red Lodge, Montana. Last year I shot the fireworks with the Canon M100 on a tripod, which was OK, but this year I decided to use my real SLR, 5D Mark III, with the ultrasharp 80-200 f4 lens. For some reason the difference was dramatic, perhaps due in part to the ability to fire continuously with a shutter release.



Saturday, June 08, 2019

Thursday, May 23, 2019

He knows Tom Brady

Who wouldn't dream of walking in the shoes of both Graig Nettles and Roger Staubach, playing third base for the New York Yankees and playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys? Drew Henson experienced both of those things during his unique but short pro sports career between 2002 and 2004. He got a hit (just one) for the Yankees, and he had a start at quarterback (just one) for the Cowboys. I got this photo of him in the 2002 Arizona Fall League when he was battling to make the Yankees.

But Henson's greatest claim to fame probably comes from his college football days at Michigan when he battled Tom Brady for the starting quarterback job. (Brady was thought to be a baseball prospect at catcher but never went the dual-sport route, instead concentrating on football.) There's an urban legend that Henson beat out Brady for the Michigan job, which isn't true. The two platooned for the first seven games of 1999, after which Brady was named the starter. In the image below, Henson made a good stop on a hot grounder to third, but was indecisive and threw late to first base. Just like his career, didn't quite make it.

3rd baseman Drew Henson

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Osprey, 16 years later

This is the third installment this week in my "old images revival." This time the setting is Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge, Maryland in April 2003. There were lots of osprey in the area but it seemed I would have to be content with distant shots. Until...I was walking along a trail and heard a crash in the tree above me. An osprey had landed with a huge fish that was still flopping around. I carefully got in position to shoot up at it, and fired off 85 images in 10 minutes.

The lighting conditions were difficult. It would have been much better if the sky had been blue and I had a flash unit for fill flash, but what I recorded was a low-contrast bird with a washed-out, cloudy background. At the time, I posted a couple of images with which I was never really satisfied. I took another crack at the images today with my more modern version of Photoshop Elements and another 16 years of experience with photo editing. There are still the limitations of the original images, but I think what I came up with is more presentable. I ended up posting two revised images and eight new ones. Click on the image to start the revised slide show.

Osprey with a fish