Sunday, May 31, 2009

Canadian Bald Eagle

Aparently there are no longer any American Bald Eagles on this (the Canadian) side of the border. This new requirement to produce Pasport when crossing the border has really fouled things up... LOL

Fantastic Caverns




I spent a little time underground this weekend at a place called Fantastic Caverns near Springfield, MO. Missouri is known as the "Cave State" with 100 or more new caves being found each year. Some are small and others are, well, not so small.
Fantastic Caverns was discovered in 1862 but not explored until 1867. The first explorers of the cave was a group of women from Springfiled, MO who were part of an "activities club". The cave goes back into the ground for more than half a mile and there are two levels. The top level is 125 below the surface. The bottom level still has water running through it and can only be accessed by special permission and only during the dry months of the summer. The bottom level requires hard hats, flashlights, knee pads and no problems with tight, enclosed spaces!
I didn't have to do any crawling around in the mud and dirt to get these photos, the cave has been a tourist attraction for many years now and they have some of the more stunning features lit so you can see them better. All I had with me was the on-board flash on the Nikon D80 so I had to put all of these through photoshop to brighten them up a little. I may have over done it some but I wanted to make sure all of the features could be seen.
I will put up some other photos over the next couple of days.

Final approach

Coming around for final approach. Note the use of lower inboard air spoiler just like the fighter jets. This is a tight crop of what started out as a fairly dark picture. (Thank goodness for Photoshop)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Big Bird (not the yellow one)

I'm not quite sure what kind of bird this is. Something from the crane family I would think. I was driving down the road the other day and this guy flew by me and made a couple of circles. I actually shot this photo while I was driving. I guess that's not any worse than texting while you're driving but I wouldn't recommend it.

I did have to crop this photo quite a bit to get the image larger. I just couldn't get him to fly along side of the car!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tempting Fate!

Crows have been pestering Eagles since the dawn of time. There is much Native fokelore to do with this very subject.

As I was looking through some Eagle pictures from a few years ago I realized that the Crow in this picture is actually pulling the Eagles tail feathers! Talk about tempting fate! One gets a better appreciation of just how big an Eagle really is when you see one in the same picture with a Crow.

Strange Architecture

I came across this strange building in southeast Missouri last week. I'm not sure what it is and I couldn't find anybody around to tell me. I do know it was built in the mid to late 1800's and was possibly used during the Civil War as a watch tower. Either that or a very tall, skinny guy lives there!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Water Skeeter

This is about a 50% crop of a shot I took with my 70-300 at maximum zoom as close as I could get and still be in focus. Who ever heard of a 300mm macro lens? In this case it worked out fairly good.

Taking the family for a swim

It would sure be nice to have a 2.8 500mm lens for photos like these but I would have to sell my car to get one I think! I took this just a few days ago with the Tamron 18-250mm. It would have been a better photo if I could have gotten just a little closer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Paradise found!


Found this place just around the point from Hanauma Bay. Don't look real close as this is a poor bit of photography... The composition is good but the picture I really had to work at just to get it to this point!
Can you imagine being the home owner with the property just above this beautiful natural bench? If it were me I know I'd be stealing the odd quiet moment soaking in the ambiance of this special place!

My next home

Well hopefully not but if the economy doesn't start back up soon it just might be!

My grandkids were in town over the holiday weekend so we took them to a kids park in Overland Park, KS that is designed to teach them a few things and let them pet and feed different animals along the way. I guess you need something in there to hold their attention!

There was an exibhit on how the Kansa Indians used to live and this is one of two tipis that were set up. They are actually pretty roomy, now if they only had air conditioning!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Three of a kind!

Calling your bluff! I got three of a kind... Show your hand or fold! LOL




My Wife hates taking these pictures of me being a tacky tourist... Normally I'm respectable, reserved, upstanding... aw who am I trying to kid! LOL


Moon Over Maui

I think you're bluffing! LOL

I apologize to anyone that may be offended by this photo but I have a strange sense of humor sometimes! :-)

This was originally taken to stick on my son-in-law's door because everytime I would pass by his house (he and my youngest daughter lived in a second house on our property) he would moon me to be funny. I thought I would return the favor but(t) with an ocean view.

Yet another Hibiscus

I see your Hula Dancers and raise you a Hisbiscus!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Now see what you started...........

This was taken on Maui (of course) at the beach at sunset. The Hyatt resort where we stayed had a sunset ceremony every evening. It made for a nice little show just before sunset and they had the show right by the pool near two of the bars which made it really nice!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Scratching Hawaii for pictures...

So the other day as you know I added this picture of the Easter Island monument to Hawaiidigicam. What you didn't know is that I had to make a few changes before I posted it.

You see to start with this was a "Paul Hamming it up" picture taken by my wife but due to the fact that I am so totally out of Hawaii pictures I had to clean this one up some (ie. get rid of the "stupid tourist") And they all thought this was a serious picture. LOL

Amazing really what you can do with Photoshop... It is so totally time to head back for a couple of weeks...


Building Mural

I came across this mural of a Civil War scene on the side of a building in Ironton, MO. I cropped the photo down to just the mural so I could get it as big as I could. Since this shot is so wide it still isn't easy to see all of the detail in the small, blog size photo.

The town had several murals on different buildings and there were a couple of other towns along the way that had taken up this type of art also. I'm not sure if it was for Southern pride or tourist dollars.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

FV "Lawn Point"


The back eddy on the west side of Quatsino Narrows is where you want to be if you are bucking tide in either direction. In all but a couple of places you will get your rigging hung up in the trees before you ever scraped bottom. I had fun taking pictures of this fellow as he followed me through the narrows a couple of days ago.

The world's largest rocking chair!


I came across this "chair" in eastern Missouri this week. It's about ten miles north of St. James, Missouri just off of Interstate 44. The chair stands 42' 4" tall, is 20' wide and wieghs in at a whopping 27,500 pounds. It is made of all steel and welded together.

If you lived in the house behind the chair and a big wind blew the chair over into the house, I wonder how you would explain that over the phone to the insurance company? "Yes, that's right, a chair blew over and demolished my house." I can see the insurance adjuster reaching for the "claim denied" stamp now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another lucky shot

Lucky I had my camera on the boat with me and lucky the deer in Quatsino are more or less tame. This picture is as shotat 135 mm, no croping, no sharpening, nothing. every once in a while you get lucky I guess. Oh yeah the deer got lucky too because I shoot with a camera not a gun! LOL.


A little rain, a little sun..........


And before you know it, you have to mow the lawn!

The small, blog version of this doesn't look as impressive as the full size version since you can't really feel the wide angle of the space. How's that for sounding "artsy"? If you click on the photo it will open up the full size version which in my humble opinion, looks better. :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stawamus Chief

The Stawamus Chief is a well known land mark near Whistler where the 2010 Winter Olympics are to be held.


Every once in a while, say 1 in 1000, you take a picture and it just works, no editing, nothing. This is one of those pictures. Now I just have to work at getting my average down to something like 1 in 20...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer sun rise!

I took this about 5:30 am... I think us old guys should stick to sun set pictures! 5:50 is too darned early...

Playing with photoshop

I took this photo a few months back and decided to play with it in photoshop some since I didn't have this program then. I hope I don't bore you with so many sunsets but I like trying to catch the different colors. Having photoshop gives me a lot of ability to change things around to see what it looks like and fix a few things I didn't have set right in the camera!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Directions to WWII DC3

For the person who left a comment wanting to know where the DC3 is... The DC3 is located very near the Bear Cove Ferry Terminal in Hardy Bay. Though very close as the crow files the easiest way to get to the wreckage is by following an old logging road then a poorly marked overgrown trail. Total walking distance 2.5 to 3 km each way. Hopefully the Google earth picture I drew on is enough to get you pointed in the right direction. Have Fun!

Scuba Diving


I can't really take credit for taking this photo since I'm in it but it is a nice photo. Maybe it's the subject matter? LOL
This was taken as my wife and I surfaced just off Maui, Hawaii after swimming with the turtles. I thought the mountains and clouds made the perfect backdrop for this photo and showed a little bit of Maui and the ocean too.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Old WWII DC3



The Northern tip of Vancouver Island was a busy place during the Second World War. It was widely believed that if the Japanese were to attempt to put ground troops in North America that this is where they would be most likely to make landfall.
To that end Coal Harbour where I live was a RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) Seaplane Base and nearby Port Hardy had an airport large enough to land the largest bombers of the day.
Todays pictures are of a DC3 that almost made it back to the Port Hardy airport during the wartime years but crash landed several miles short as it had run low on fuel. Though much of the equipment and engines were salvaged the plane still lies where it crashed 65 years ago.

The un-enhanced version

Here is the un-enhanced version of the photo I posted before. It's still not a bad shot but I do like a lot of color and saturation in these kinds of photos. This will give you something to compare to the photoshop version. Even this is better than gray skies and I took this from my front yard! LOL

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More New Ferry Pictures






Today was open house (or open boat) for the New Ferry. Not being one to pass up an opportunity to take a few pictures and being that it was Sunday and there was nothing else doing around here, my Wife and I went to have a look.

I was partarcularly impressed with three portions of this new vessel:

Obviously the "Bridge" is the command center of the whole ship and the nerve center for all the ships operations. You could film a sci-fi movie up here!




But what would a ship like this be without an engine room...




And the fellows who keep it all running properly...


But the conclusion I came to is this: Without the cooks who keep everyone fed and happy the whole operation would come to a screetching halt!





Clear Skies

Even though storm clouds make for great photo opportunities I prefer my skies like this!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Brand New Ferry



You might recall about 3 or so years back an incident where a rather large ferry (M.V. Queen of the North) traveling between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy ran into an island and sank. Well here is the brand new replacement! The new vessel won't be put into service for several more weeks as the crews are still in training.


M.V. Northern Expedition

Just plain crazy?

Storm Chasers! Once again Kansas was pounded last night with severe weather including one inch hail, winds gusting over 55 mph and up to four inches of rain in one hour in some spots. When the storm front came in the temperature dropped 25 degrees in just thirty minutes.

Storm chasers from the Discovery Channel were in the area to do their thing and they drove through my little town headed for the storms that were just north of us heading our way. Being the wise man that I am, I too was out and decided to get a few photos of my own. :-)

A vehicle completely covered with steel plate, do you think it comes with a DVD player and fold away seats?

This is a shot of what they were headed into. I brightened it up a little in photoshop to get a little more detail in the clouds.


This is a shot of what it looked like just inside the storm line looking back from where I just came from. It was dark enough that I tried this shot with a flash to try to pick up the green in the grass. Once you crossed under the storm line it went from clear and bright to almost pitch black. Then the rain and hail came and it was time to head for the house!
All is well now and according to the weather forecasters we are supposed to have clear skies and sun the rest of the week. Like they really know what the weather is going to be a week from now!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A favorite beach.

Just 2 miles up the inlet from where live is an isolated little beach accessable only by boat. Over the years this beach has been a favorite place to turn the dogs loose and enjoy a wennie roast while basking in the summer sunshine.

Arizona "hill" top

I took this photo from the top of one of those Arizona "hills". It took me about four hours to get to where I took this shot. I really need to get in shape!!

This was taken just outside of Mesa, AZ looking towards the north east.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quatsino Sound, ultimate hideout.

One can see why William Quantrill er... I mean John Sharpe gravitated towards this part of the world. To this day it's still beautiful isolated wilderness much as it would have been over 100 years ago when he showed up here.

Arizona Mountains

I took this photo from the top of a mountain I was kiking on a little east of Scottsdale, Arizona. Lots of mountains in this area, all surrounding by cactus and Indian reservations.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Old pilings, tell tale signs.

The West Coast has a short but rich history of boom and bust industrys. Often old pilings such as these are the only signs left of an old cannery, saw mill or mining operation. Further investigation in these areas usually lead to interesting finds such as old bottles, bricks and rusted lumps of cast iron that were once well oiled pieces of machinery.