Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Wings has left me with an entirely unanticipated dilemma based on a very surprisingly realization. Until I saw Ese’s challenge and thought about it for a bit, I hadn’t realized that classifying my photos might well begin with the approximately evenly split categories “things with wings” and “everything else.” I have thousands of photos of things with wings in nature ranging from bees and wasps to butterflies and dragonflies to hummingbirds and cardinals to blue jays and bald eagles. In the wings found on machines  I have photographed hundreds of winged aircraft including the very small and slow ultralights, the tiny light sport aircraft, the very big Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and the very fast F-16 jet aircraft and things in between. How to choose?

Of course I have treated my dilemma with the solemnity it deserved and offer the following powerful message and accompanying photo to demonstrate the angst I have suffered  whilst considering this challenge.

When Donald Duck traded his wings for arms, was he trading up or trading down? ~ Douglas Coupland






I have had this blog for less than one year and recently I posted my 365th post so I decided to memorialize the occasion. has been pretty difficult for me. I suffer from a chronic disease that makes it hard to concentrate and to stay focused and I am often in pain and quite tired (thus the “fog”). When I started this blog I had no idea how much energy it would take and what a challenge it was going to be (thus the “war”).

I started this photo blog in part because the writing that used to come so easily to me now comes slowly and messily like the last bits of toothpaste squeezed out of the tube. Until relatively recently, I was able to work at least part-time in the career I had long pursued (I was an attorney working with intellectual property and technology law). That work is no longer available to me because it requires more energy, a better memory, and greater nimbleness of mind than I currently possess. I tell my friends that I am not dumber, but I am slower.

During the early days of my illness, boredom was a constant companion. Then, a few years ago, my wife bought me a new camera. While I had always enjoyed photography, suddenly I had a lot of time available in which to pursue it. So off I went on a photo binge. Many of my photos are taken of things very close to home – typically in our yard or neighborhood; indeed I have a category in my blog for “Photos Taken within 100 Meters of Our Home.” Many others are taken on the way to visit or at my in-laws. (My wife has a great family!)

As the years went by and the shutter clicked, hundreds and then thousands of images filled up space on my hard drive(s) and I began to think about sharing my photos. I am and always will be an amateur photographer. I do not have the energy nor do I have the desire to sell any of my work (although I do donate my work to non-profit auctions and the like).  Eventually I decided to try blogging and started start

Keeping up with this blog has been difficult for me. What has made this easier is that many of you who have visited this blog have been extraordinarily generous with your thoughts about my photos. I am not too proud to admit that when someone says a photo of mine is “stunning” or “wonderful” or “amazing” it makes me feel good. That isn’t the sole reason for the blog, but it sure doesn’t hurt! More important for someone who had spent all too much time just sitting at home is that my blog brought me into a community of people from around the world whose blogging about their lives and travels has made boredom impossible and made frustration, fatigue and pain more bearable. While it is still so very much more difficult to write than it used to be, I have all of the time I want to do it and so it is okay.

This post contains some of my favorite photos from my first 365 posts. When I was looking through the posts to put together this collection, my biggest thought was how thankful I am that I have had this opportunity. Mostly I thank all of the people who have visited my blog. I also want to give a shout out to WordPress because I really doubt I would have had a “Post 366” had I not been blogging with WordPress, which has made setting it up my blog and keeping it going so much easier for me than would otherwise have been the case.

I hope you enjoy this collection.

It is a little known fact that dragonflies require a regular exercise routine in order to maintain their agility and the ability to fly so nimbly. It is somewhat rare to catch a dragonfly during its workout routine since they typically do it at night in protected areas such as thickets where photography is difficult, It has been hypothesized that they choose such areas for their exercise routines in order to protect the themselves from predators such as the bat, which would naturally be inclined to take advantage of the dragonfly performing its workout routine because, as you can see in the photo below, it is in a vulnerable position. One way that scientist locate dragonfly exercise areas is based on the little known fact that dragonflies sweat profusely during their routines. Dragonfly sweat acts as a powerful attractant to bats and it is not uncommon to find  bats in a frenzy where a dragonfly thicket (almost like a dragonfly gymnasium) is located. By using detectors set to locate frenzied bats, scientist are about to hone in on dragonfly exercise areas.

Dragonfly Workout

I want to make it completely clear that there has been no digital manipulation of the above photo aside from cropping and routine clean-up. You are seeing actual dragonfly behavior in the wild. However, I should also add that to the best of my knowledge nothing in the first paragraph of this post is actually true. One has to be careful about what one reads on the Internet. I want to apologize to anyone who thought I was serious, but the photo is so unusual that I thought it deserve a good story.

Posted in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.



I took quite a few photos of bald eagles along the Wisconsin River recently. Here is a set of photos that tell a little story.

In the first group of photos, a bald eagle stands alone on a patch of ice in the Wisconsin River. In the second photo it is approached by another bald eagle. In the third photo the approach continues with the first eagle showing some activity at the sign of the approach. Anthropomorphizing this is silly but it here we go. This might be akin to a person standing or sitting alone or not interacting with anyone at a dance or a club. The person is subsequently approached by someone who is smooth, who glides across the room. The person being approached is a little excited by the approach.

Performace of the Bald Eagles - 1  Performace of the Bald Eagles - 2 Performace of the Bald Eagles - 3

After a bit of conversation, it is off to the dance floor where they demonstrate their moves.

Performace of the Bald Eagles - 5 Performace of the Bald Eagles - 6 Performace of the Bald Eagles - 7

Afterwards, they retire from the dance floor, where they talk before going on their separate ways.

Performace of the Bald Eagles - 10  Bald Eagle Watch - January 10, 2014 - 935-Edit


Anamoose - December 22, 2013 - 87

My father-in-law is from Anamoose, North Dakota. We have stopped in town in years’ passed, but haven’t been on the highway passing by town for a while. I’m not sure when they put up the new sign, but it shows they have a sense of humor, which you need in winters such as this one.

Great Blue Heron - October 02, 2013 - 198-Edit-Edit-4 -2

The Challenge is the Hue of You

The state of mine is black and blue

with just a touch of color

But as you see from my entry ( Poor poet may I be)

That even black and blue of hue

My You still has its Points of View

Where lives a sense of wonder


Note Related to The Daily Prompt: Release Me

I almost never read the Daily Prompt, but in an interesting coincidence today’s Daily Prompt: Release Me asks about the blog post I was most nervous to publish — and what it was like to set it free. It happens that the post was my blog post above because I wrote and posted what I know is a not very good poem (it would not have been better had I worked on it for a week; I’m just not much of a poet). I am reluctant to post things that aren’t pretty close to as good as I can make them and at least meet some minimum level of competence. My poem didn’t really meet either of those qualifications, but since I thought that it had the advantages of being true, a little funny and fitting the photo nicely. I published anyways. The world didn’t end so it was okay.

Luxury Housing - ND Oil Boom

A square is an interesting geometric object and as usual serves as an interesting subject for the word a week photo challenge. The photo above shows in rather stark relief what is one of the most common uses of the square (or extended square otherwise known as a rectangle) – construction. In this case we have what appears to be the rapid construction of apartments, which I shall call “Luxury” apartments because they are located in the oil boom area of North Dakota where 800 square foot apartments have been known to rent for $2500 – $3500 per month (when they can be found at all) and since these units appear to be new who knows what rent the landlord will be able to demand. Personally, if I was paying in the neighborhood of say $4000 a month for an apartment I would think it should be a luxury apartment but as the realtors all say, price is based on three things: location, location and location.

Thoughts about squares vis-à-vis circles.

You might ask what is so interesting about a square? At first glance, I suspect most people would say not much. For example, a square self-evidentially lacks the elegant turn of a circle as, in the same manner, a sphere is generally going to be viewed as more beautiful than a box.  Further, while a square seems so, well, utilitarian the truth is that when it come to its ability to put in a good day’s work the circle (let’s call is a wheel here) wins hands down. If we were all moving around on squares they would likely be pushed over skids in the manner of the Egyptians who built the pyramids.  This is fine if you are a Pharaoh. However, without the circle, where is the pulley and the water wheel (critical for the Industrial Revolution) and eventually the steam engine. It seems to me that the world of squares in all likelihood the world would have to have waited for the ripple of sentient intelligence to course through some other species before we got to the technological wonders we experience today.

So why do I say that squares are so interesting? First and most important, squares are easily constructed. If you want to construct an apartment building such as the high-end luxury housing shown above you  will make it a box-like shape and not a sphere or a cylinder. This is because not only are boxes more easily constructed than spheres or cylinders, but the cost to construct them is likely lower. Second, while an extended circular shape, let’s call it a pole may be quite useful in moving rapidly though a fire house and in certain types of entertainment establishments catering generally to men, such devices are rarely safe for use by the elderly, the very young and people with certain illnesses and injuries. The box-like elevator is quite safe and is usable by all age groups (although some require supervision). I have never seen a circular elevator although it is possible that one might exist (my point here being they are quite rare if the exist). Further, it would be more difficult to build vertically without using the square because of the challenge of making steps out of circles or cylinders (okay maybe a few lumber workers  and others can during log-rolling contests walk on cylinders floating in water but generally going up and down stairs that are shaped out of round cylinders would be pretty tough. (Rather remarkably, there is a governing body for the sport of log-rolling with standardized rules, log sizes and the like.) Second, try getting a good night’s rest on a mattress that is made out of sphere. Forget it. Third, although a circle/sphere is the most efficient way to contain a given area/volume, it is not the most efficient way of packing most things. Squares (boxes) offer huge advantages over circles (spheres) in and most shippers have realized this. For example, there is the effort to grow square fruit to make it easier to ship. The rectangle is of course the poster child for efficient transportation by sea or rail – most people have seen at least pictures of the giant container ships filled to the brim and seemingly far above it with rectangular containers. There is a reason those containers aren’t cylindrical — the owner of the ship would be wasting huge amounts of space between the containers – space that he would otherwise be selling to someone else to transport their goods hither and yon.

So there you have it. Just a few moments of reflection allows us to see at least a bit of what makes squares interesting. There is of course much more, but I’ll leave that for another day.