Independence Day Yakking

Independence Day Yakking

Posted on Jul 8, 2017 in Day / Weekend Trips, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Dad got a kayak the other day and wanted to try it out.  I am always looking for an excuse to kayak, so we took them out over the holiday weekend!  As it turns out, this creek was also the first creek I floated with my kayak when I bought it about 10 years ago.  I can’t believe it’s been that long! We set out fairly early and were in the water by around 9 or so. What dad will learn is that if you go kayaking with me, you will probably end up in lots of pictures. I like the pattern of the darker rocks and lighter gravel on the bottom. There were several places I wanted a get out and explore, such as this little cave. Floating past some pretty bluffs with some unusual orange, tan, black, and grey stripes! Here is my little yak hanging out while I take a quick break. I haven’t had him out much over the last year or so, since baby Carter came, so I enjoy it when an opportunity presents itself! I like parts along the river like this where the water flows fast and is relatively shallow.   It was a very nice day to be floating down the...

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Recent Photos

Recent Photos

Posted on Jun 27, 2017 in Photography, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I thought I would take a few minutes and share a few photos I’ve taken lately. The first is from a line of menacing, though not particularly damaging storms that approached the farm from the south a few weeks ago. Next, a few I took last night of some storms approaching from the north. This time of year it’s much more typical for storms to approach from the north or northwest.  I always enjoy that because it provides a better, more open view. Also, at night there is less light pollution to deal with in that direction. I was hoping to frame some of the thousands of fireflies into the shot, but the conditions were making a particularly difficult subject even more so. I did manage to get a couple cool shots of the storm at least, even thought the fireflies aren’t very visible. Not my greatest work ever, but I’ll share them anyway. I like the second shot because of the dramatic clouds that were pitch black in person, only made visible by a 15 second exposure.  I find storm photography to be particularly fun, even though it is at times frustrating trying to manually focus in the dark and figure out which settings are working that night. Mainly it just gives me an excuse to stand out in the elements and nature comes roaring in, which is kind of an adrenaline rush.   And here’s a picture of my cute baby just for good measure…...

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Sandstone Trail

Sandstone Trail

Posted on Jun 20, 2017 in Day / Weekend Trips, Featured, Photography, Places I Go, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Stephy suggested I do a hike or something for fathers day. So I took the opportunity to get in some “training” for an upcoming backpacking trip. After tossing around several ideas, I finally set out for Prairie State Park, armed with my 17-40mm wide angle lens and a backpack full of unnecessary baggage, just to help get me into shape! I have been wanting to visit this park during the summer when wildflowers are in bloom, but the prairie is notoriously lacking in shade. Since I don’t particularly like being stranded in the sun on a hot day, I usually visit this state park only in fall or winter. But today was relatively cool (for June) so I thought it might be a good opportunity for a summer prairie hike! I selected the Sandstone Trail, most of which I had never hiked before. It starts high on a ridge and gradually descends across the prairie towards a small stream. My first impression was how many birds call the prairie home. I didn’t actually see many of these birds because they were hiding out in the tall grass, but I could sure hear them! The sound of all the birds and the wind made for quite a peaceful experience. Various areas seemed to have different assortments of plants. I particularly liked these coneflowers. The trail gets it’s name from the rocky sandstone areas found along the trail, particularly along the stream. Sandstone is not particularly common in Missouri, so I found the geology here interesting. Most of the prairie is rolling, but this spot has some small rock outcroppings and steeper slopes overlooking Drywood Creek, as well as some small groves of trees. It was a little more difficult to explore this spot in summer than it was in winter because of the tall grass and plants. But I still climbed around on some of the rocks. Another bonus of hiking this time of year is the free treats. After crossing back through the stream and beginning the return loop towards the truck, the trail started to wind through a wooded/thicket area where I discovered lots and lots of blackberries just off the trail. Even though I wasn’t hungry I felt obligated to pick a handful, getting my arms torn to shreds in the process, and munching them as I walked. Blackberries are such a cruel fruit! By the time I finished the 4.5 mile loop I had seen an owl, a turkey, lots of tadpoles, several quail, and numerous other birds that I could not identify. If you have never encountered quail, it is kind of a startling experience. Especially if it’s quiet and you are alone on the prairie! Given my obsession with trees, some might find it unusual that I frequent this state park, known for it’s lack of trees. But there are times where the open...

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Fall Colors

Fall Colors

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fall is not only the best time to be out taking photographs, but it’s also the best time to be out period.  The weather is sometimes cool, sometimes warm, but either way it’s usually pretty comfortable.  The leaves (the ones that haven’t been eaten by worms) are turning colors, giving the landscape an explosion of color before everything turns brown and grey for the winter. Our schedule has been hectic to say the least so my opportunities to get out and enjoy and photograph the vibrant landscape have been few and far between.  Nevertheless here are a few photos I’ve taken over the last several weeks of the fall colors this year…  ...

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Mammatus Clouds Over Missouri

Mammatus Clouds Over Missouri

Posted on Apr 6, 2014 in Photography, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Here are some super cool mammatus clouds that many of us saw thursday evening. This type of cloud formation is often seen around here this time of year on the back side of a passing mega storm. In this case, the storm really turned out not to be much by Missouri standards, but it nevertheless looks cool. I learned on the news that these unusual clouds are one of the few, or maybe the only type of cloud that is formed from sinking air, rather than rising air. Which would make sense, since we usually see them after a strong cold front has come through, and cold air sinks! What I think is particularly interesting about this set of clouds and the photo is that it reminds me of some of the scenes from war of the worlds where the space ships were coming down. Fortunately this storm was not followed up with an alien invasion. If you are curious about the camera settings on this photo, here you go… 1/100sec at f/6.3 17mm ISO 800 0.6 ND Grad filter (hard...

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Shortleaf Photography

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I post a lot of photography here, particularly a lot of tree related photography, but not often is my subject my photography’s namesake tree. Today I am pleased to share this image I captured of a Shortleaf Pine. Shortleaf Pines are the only pine native to the Ozarks and although most of them were logged many decades ago there are scattered pockets of them still remaining, mostly in Arkansas and southeast Missouri. I visited an area recently that contained a decent population of them and here is one of the photos. no images were...

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