Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 in Pix

Big feet
It has become a yearly "thing" I guess.  For photographers, it's not uncommon.  We look back and try and pick out our best work- "the best of two thousand...whatever."  That's never worked quite right for me.  I mean, one is supposed to find the very best work I've done...all year.  But, by what standard?  What is technically great?  A perfect composition?  Subject?  Yeah-that's supposed to be how it works but sometimes I can't pass by a picture that I just plain like.  So I try to live by another slightly different credo: "I take pictures of things I like and I like these pictures. I hope the viewer likes these."  If not, that's okay...they're published here for lots of reasons.  I'm asked from time to time what I photograph.  "Hmmm, people, places, things." That covers pretty much everything I guess and no apologies for that.

So these are kinda chronological-some months maybe just one, others, like April, seemed to be flooded with photos I liked.  The intro one was and an early excursion after hip surgery-something that would define this year, or at least the first part of it.  It's just a flooded ditch, the result of a frozen collapsed culvert at the end of the driveway. It would end up costing over a grand later in the year to fix.  Glad I didn't know that at the time and was content to march around on the ice in snowshoes.

Two Thousand Fourteen in pictures:

Frosty Molly

Molly is pretty photogenic.  Her pure joy at bombing thru the snow (which we had plenty of in February) is unbounded and every once and a while, she'd plow through the snow back to me just to be sure I was following along.


What follows are a series of photos taken one wet snowy morning.  School was called off-the dumping making bus delivery of students a bit touch and go.  I love those days (of course). First thing I do is hop in the truck and go somewhere.  These are mostly from the Town of Hewett where the truck finds it's self driving around the most.  I know these roads well.  They can be dry and dusty, wet and sloppy or snow covered and beautiful.  I know-that's a matter of opinion but it's rural life.
Sydney Road

Maple Road

South Mound Road
Ermine and Fatbike Tracks
The fatbike has changed how I spend winter-for better or worse.  I consider(d) myself a diehard XC skiier, and enjoyed the change of sport seasons.  But... fatbikes are too damn fun.  They get me places I can't ski and opens the door to more exploring.  This pic represents two things I love to do-riding and tracking-trying to decipher what the animal is telling me in the sentiences of their steps.


Immature Eagle
A neighbor had up to 15 eagles in a field this spring-an event I couldn't pass up.  Camo tent was hidden and early morning before work excursions were taken to try to get some decent shots.  I think I fired 300 or 400 at least.  Of all, this was my favorite.  The birch and the moddled feathers seem to work well.


Arndt Road Cranes
Pairs of Sandhill cranes seem to always pick the 'hood here and try and take up a home.  Some succeed-others lose their precious colts to mother nature-she always holds the trump cards.  In any regard, I love their return and try to keep tabs on which pairs stay in the land nearby.  These two were not successful in raising any young, but hopefully they'll return next spring and try again.


Gander over frog Pond
Spring brings back waterfowl-even to lowly Clark County-not exactly the hotbed of duck habitat.  Down the road is a small waterfowl scrape and any ducks who spy it, seem to make it a home for at least a day or two.  The woodies stay longer and usually one pair of geese raise goslings there, so they provide some opportunities for a few fun shots. This is a bit "artsy" but it works for me.

Capt. Kris and John
So this falls under " a picture tells a story" category.  Kris started up his own charter fishing business (Northpoint Sport Fishing) and invited my friend John and I out for some early coho fishing to give the boat a shake down cruise. Kris knows his stuff and we did very well on the silvery fish.  What's funny to me here is that John knows more about fishing than about anyone, yet  big deep lake fishing is out of his element. A few pointers here by the captain seem to be saying "you turn this handle thingy and then the fish comes in!"  Funny to me anyway...


Patterns in the Forest

This is more for me.  I love flying and when up in a small small plane, one sees a world we're unaware of when traveling at ground level.  I had another opportunity to tag along on a radio telemetry flight with DNR pilot Beverly Paulan in search of collared wolves.  So far for me, that score card has remained empty, but no matter-I'm amazed by how the forest, swamps and marshes look from above.  I just don't tire of this view.


Porcupine Mountains Deep Forest
I've made some forays to the Porcupine Mountains and just a little taste on it's edges, but never deep into them.  Friends Mark Haferman and Dave Borman and I dove in last summer-maybe at the worst possible time.  I'll just say bugs.  But, we still saw beauty, had adventure, hiked through places unlike anywhere else in the Midwest.  Towering Hemlock forests just humble me and I'll need to get back here again.


Sturtz Prairie Morning

A native prairie is a pretty amazing place in the summer-one could drive by at 50 mph and miss everything there and not give it a second thought.  Taking a stroll though it however, opens a door to what so much of Wisconsin once looked like-a hundred or more years ago.  I'm fortunate to befriend folks that believe this matters and these places matter.


Bowles Lake Steam
Sometimes I have to force myself to shoot-or at least shoot things I usually don't.  That's not to say wading into cold water at sunrise is something I'd avoid, but necessity is the mother know.  I try to take a photography class each summer just to jump start "seeing" pictures.  What the class is on is less important that just doing it as they say.  Friend Mitch Mode offered me housing in his rustic off the grid cabin which facilitated a 5:00am dip in the cold lake each morning.  Grogginess disappears instantly.   On this daybreak, the camera came along for the swim.


I like boats-riding on them, fishing from them and making pictures of them.  Tugs are the under appreciated vessels of the ship world it seems.  This little guy was anchored in the Fox River just off Green Bay awaiting to flex some muscle and tackle his next job.


Bikes Planes beer and Buddys
For me again-just a reminder of Gnomefest and good times with wings and wheels and friends.


Famous Molly
This shot seemed to be pinned to the top of the Wisconsin Outdoor Fun web site all fall on the picture page.  Not that I minded-she's my girl!  Taken after a successful retrieve on the "USA pond" in Lehr North Dakota.  She's in her element here.


Duk Love
There is something only duck hunters will understand-the great satisfaction of getting the decoys out, hunkering down and waiting for the first whistling wings overhead.  No one else will get it and the pink sunrise is just a bonus.


Selfie with Black Lab
Bean field, North Dakota.  A little break from the potholes to see if the dog and I can prod any pheasants or sharptails in the air.

The Stand

Gun hunting is so much less about getting a deer and more about just being out there.  There is nothing like the pre-dawn hour, in the cold but not being cold-the optimism ahead and knowing there are hours of quiet time to look forward to in the stand.

"I take pictures of things I think are cool. I think these pictures are cool, I hope the viewer thinks they are cool too. Cool?" - See more at:
"I take pictures of things I think are cool. I think these pictures are cool, I hope the viewer thinks they are cool too. Cool?" - See more at:
"I take pictures of things I think are cool. I think these pictures are cool, I hope the viewer thinks they are cool too. Cool?" - See more at:

1 comment:

  1. Great photos! Shocked not to see your favorite lil man ha