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The First Week of February

It’s only the first week of February and we have had an unusually mild winter, but it is even more unusual to see the daffodils and a few stray gladiolas already poking their heads above ground.

They are jumping the gun.

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Normally this time of year the ground is frozen solid, there’s at least a six inch cover of snow and along the parking area is a wall of snow three to four feet high that doesn’t melt off till April.

This year there is nothing.

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The first week of February I usually don’t even go looking for sprouts. March 1st is more toward normal, but bird feeders needed to be checked and there they were, sprouting already.

This corner is protected from the north and west, the prevailing directions of our cold winter winds and in the mornings the sun, when it appears, beats down on this spot and reflects off the house walls. It’s the only small section of the yard that stays snow free through the winter.

I could see why they’re jumping the gun. Yesterday it was 45 degrees out and this morning when I found them it was 41. Not normal for the first week of February around here.

They are in for a rude awakening though.

The next 7 days shows a few days with highs of 18 and lows of 6, but a little further out we’re back into the 40’s again. Almost spring like. And it will still be February.

The first week of February and already a false spring. I’ll take it along with the unusually mild winter we’ve had.

As the wife said, “this is why we need to move south, imagine it like this every winter.”

I can imagine that.

And I can also start planning for that to happen.

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In 2015 I only took about 6,000 photo’s

In 2015 I only took about 6,000 photo’s, give or take a few. Which probably explains why I don’t have time to go back and play with them much.

Decided to start a project today. Went back to June 10, 2015 and a sunset storm I shot out at Silver Springs State Park that had some of the most amazing clouds I’ve ever seen. Took 209 shots that day.

I’ve set aside 6 single shots to play with, will probably go back for more. Also set aside 25 sets of 2 or 3 shots to make into panorama’s.

Picked out one of the simpler pano’s to start with. I try to keep the processing to a minimum and do my best to make it look like what I thought I saw. Then I turn it to black and white and make adjustments to that to make it have the same feel as the color shot.

We’ll see how this goes. Took a half hour to make the pano and get the colors the way I want. Took 7 minutes to turn it to black and white.

I need to retire and just play around. For just these 31 final images let’s say I spend an hour on each. It will take about 31 hours to finish this one little project. With a full time job eating up a good 12 hours a day, this could take some time.

That leaves me about 5,950 photos to go through and play with from last year alone. A rough estimate dating back to the year 2000 when I went digital shows I have about 25,000 more in my collection. Let’s say that only 5 percent may be worth playing with. That means I should be able to whittle it down to about 1,500 images to play with.

What am I getting myself into.

From here on I’m going to figure out how to make posts and galleries on my website for these. Might be a challenge. This site is reminiscent of the forums I’ve been leaving stories and pictures on for nearly 20 years. Takes no real effort on my part to put things here, it’s second nature.

For nearly five years I’ve had my eye on a paid theme called Photocrati that would work perfectly. That also shows how long I’ve been toying with the idea of making a switch like this. Each passing year has shown that my fishing stories keep getting shorter and the emphasis has been put on the images. I’ve always been image heavy, but now the images have a lot less to do with fish and fishing and the words keep getting fewer.

Well, I won’t fish again till the smallies start heading up the creeks some time in March. Which means I have some time on my hands till then.

But still, the thought nags…

What am I getting myself into.

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First Sunset of 2016

All afternoon I toyed with the idea of going out to one of my usual spots for the first sunset of 2016.

Ventures out had me wondering how smart that would be. Cold penetrates differently now and my bones don’t react well to the cold. I don’t particularly like being stiff and sore.

Besides, glances out the windows had me wondering if it was going to be any big deal. Lots of clouds, no real sun light. The makings of a dud.

Got that one completely wrong.

I happen to be out as the sun set anyway and I always carry my point and shoot in my pocket. The sky was lit up and in order to capture it at that moment would have meant stopping the car in the middle of the road and abandoning it as I scurried around looking for an ideal spot to stand.

Didn’t think that was a good idea.

By the time I got to a safe spot to park the car, which was a matter of a couple of minutes, the light show had already been cut in half. I scurried over to a good spot and did what I could with the cheap camera and lowering light.

Results aren’t great, but I got something.

One of my other fascinations is with light reflecting on water.

The river is high and flowing fast and with the low light I knew there would be some blur to the image no matter how it turned out. The end result would be, or could be, a pleasant surprise.

I’m pleased.

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New Year Resolution

I put the below New Year Resolution on my Waterdog Journal Facebook page the other day.

Thought I would give fair warning to those that somehow subscribe to new posts.

Over the holidays, with a few extra days off, I’ll probably start going through my FB page to find the things that I should have been putting up here all along.

For those that have subscribed to this place via email, you shouldn’t notice anything, I can check something off to not send out a notice. For those that do everything through smart phones, you might be out of luck. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t know how they work. I have no clue how you all subscribe to anything and I’m pretty sure I don’t have any way of not sending out a notice of a new post at that point.

So, basically, you’re out of luck. Might get a little annoying for you, but then, what else would be new.

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New Year Resolution

I never make them, but for the past couple of years I’ve wondered why I put things up here on this Facebook page and not my blog. Then I could just put a link up here to the blog.

Pictures and words I put up here would easily be a nice short post on my blog.

The reasoning behind this is that I’ve always hated Facebook and don’t trust it, but it is simple to use. Main reason for not liking FB is that I don’t own what I put here. I’m just renting space and they basically own my data. I learned a long time ago to not trust people with my data. They’ll eventually fuck you over and poof, it’s gone.

The control freak in me also likes to have complete control over details. I really have none here. FB does whatever it feels like and half the time I can’t find something that I KNOW I put up here a year or so ago. On my site, piece of cake, I know how to access everything with no real effort on my part.

But I keep defaulting to laziness and simple to use. Time to end that. I have a feeling a lot of people will not make the simple click and go look at a link I put up, that’s their choice, but it’s time to cut the FB cord a bit.

Along with that I have a photo site that has been waiting in the wings for a few years and my ChicagoNow blog has been sitting idle for a couple of years. I might expand my New Year Resolution to those two sites and see what happens.

I also have a forum I basically shut down a couple of years ago. Been looking at that wondering what to do with it, but I can’t help feel that forums have gone the way of the dinosaurs.