Category Archives: Just Stories


A Hard One to Shoot

Sometimes you run into something that’s a hard one to shoot.

This is one of those.

This little valley is maybe 200 yards wide, but I’ll bet it’s a half mile long.

I have no clue what these red leafed things are, burning bushes come to mind, but I have one of those in front of the house I rent.

That’s not it.

Doesn’t really matter.

Knowing the name of something doesn’t make me appreciate it any more, or less.

The ground cover in this valley is pretty sparse. Last week these red leafed bushes were just about all that was left that had any leaves on them.

They were everywhere, for as far as you could see up and down the valley.

None of the other shots I took did them justice.

Not convinced this one does either, but they are a hard one to shoot.

This will do, for now.


The Last Shot of the Day

There’s always the last shot of the day. That shot when you know you’re done, it’s time to walk away.

There’s a spot I go to at Silver Springs State Park to watch the sun set.

It offers an unobstructed view over a huge prairie.

Seems only fitting to watch sunsets over prairies in Illinois.

After taking this shot I started walking back to the car.

A glance over my shoulder.

There must have been a break in the clouds on the horizon that I couldn’t see. The pink/orange glow was starting to spread across the gray clouds in this shot.

I walked back to my spot, raised the camera, and…


Nothing happened.

The battery was dead.

I think I heard… No shit, really?

I walked backward to the car.

As I drove east, I watched in my rear view mirror as the pink/orange glow grew to cover all that is gray in the shot above.

It covered all of it.

I pointed my rear view mirror downward.

I had seen enough.


What the Hell are you Doing?

I walked into the kitchen. The wife was cooking… what the hell are you doing?

“I’m cooking up hot dogs for me and mom.”

(Insert laughing here).

I can see that, you’ve got a hot dog on a fork and are cooking it on a burner on the stove.

(More laughing).

“Of course, I do this all the time.”

(Still more laughing).

No you don’t. We’ve been together for nearly 9 years and I’ve never seen you do this.


(Still more. Besides the low light, the images suck cause it was hard to hold the camera still).

“I do this all the time when you’re not fucking home so I don’t have to put up with your laughing and standing here taking pictures.”

Seriously, did you think I’d respond any other way.

“Didn’t your mom do this for you?” I could hear mom chuckling in the living room.

Uh, no.


“I’ll bet your mom made up those hideous boiled things.”

Well, yeah…

“Damn Polacks boil everything to death.”



She finished cooking the dog and thrust the charred thing within inches of my nose.

“See, just like cooking it on a fire while out camping. Smells the same and just about tastes the same. Got anything to say about that?”

No, I’m pretty much speechless. (Cause I was laughing too hard).

“That’s gotta be a bitch for you, you always got something to say. Damn Polack.”


Sleepy Bees

I’ve always noticed that on cool, damp, drizzly days the bees don’t like to move around much.

Rather than busy bees, they tend to be sleepy bees.

Directly out my back door are sunflowers. They’ve been loaded with bees the last few days.

Today, this first one, has been sitting in the same spot for hours.

It even fell asleep with food all over its head. Pollen must do that to you.


There were two on another flower. The one has had its head jammed down next to the petals for hours.

The other has been doing its best to remain busy as a bee. It slowly goes back and forth on the same small sunflower over and over again. Every now and then it will walk out to the tip of a petal and vibrate the moisture off its wings. Then back to its slow exploration of the sunflower.


Come to think of it, that’s pretty much how my day has gone.


Sunset in the Neighborhood

Sunset in the neighborhood.

You take what you can get.

Or, you take what you got.

I live a short block from some busy railroad tracks.
Tiki the Bitch Queen likes to go for extended evening walks along the tracks.
Lots of fresh and new smells I guess.
She can shit where she wants and neither of us give it much thought.

Sunsets are more urban, more industrial, but I grew up that way a long time ago.
I guess back then I was an inner city kid.
Punk kids, I recall being called.
There are some things you’re perpetually used to.
Urban sunsets are one of those.

It’s no longer what I want, what I prefer.
But, you take what you can get.
Or, you take what you got.