June 2007 Archives


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Since we've (read "I've") been writing about pictures lately, I just have to rave about an engaging photo my friend and mentor John took of his best pup Kodiak. He's already the most recent post on John's site, but bears repeating, IMHO.
I'll say no more, as a picture is worth a ...fill-in-the-blank!

Nephew Bill

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There's more talent in my family than I can shake a stick at! My nephew Bill, who has been working for Variety out on the west coast for the past few years, has launched a new website for himself. It's clean, simple, and visually stimulating. Which is exactly what I thought about his art as it was proudly paraded before my eyes each Brithday, Easter, Confirmation, Graduation, etc., over the past 15 years. He's my husband's Godson and the apple of his mother's eye. One of the most interesting things about Bill, to me, are his tattoos - he has a full sleeve on one arm and each and every image is his exclusive design.

As much as I'd like to show off his talent by posting his URL, Bill says I can't because most of the work is copyrighted and the site is for ad design & record label companies "in the biz". I can't argue with him, it's his line of work not mine. Corporate America sure has it's quirks.

Point & shoot?

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"No matter how advanced your camera you still need to be responsible for getting it to the right place at the right time and pointing it in the right direction to get the photo you want."
- Ken Rockwell

I just read this in an IDG Connect email. I navigate there once in a while and usually like what I see. However, the quote speaks to the photographer in me. Better charge that LIon battery and wake up the shutterbug. John was talking in his blog recently about how the digital age makes it more affordable to be an artist. Ditto for photography. I think it was Eisenstaedt who said he shot at least one thousand images for every one that was considered for Life Magazine. I devoured that big glossy monthly as a kid. And my kid shoots dozens of digital pics a day. Mostly of her nose, or her eyeball, or the cats. But the only possibility we'll ever see a great photo from her is by letting her take that liberty, and then doing a little juducious editing of the results once they get on a harddrive...which speaks to the point that technology offers a certain amount of financial freedom to the field of photography as art. Click away, no film to buy, view on an lcd in your camera, delete, upload to your computer, view, edit... But painter & photographer John takes the printing piece to a whole new level. I can't wait to see how it worked out at his show in July.

Reunited with Mama

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The lucky duckling story has taken a surprising turn. At the Farmers' Market yesterday, we went to see the gal who took Hargy home to care for him. She told us that she had trouble keeping him contained. No matter how or where she tried to confine him, he kept on running away. So during the next few hours she gave it some instinctive thought and finally took him to the pond nearest the location where I picked him up. It's called Bordens Pond, and it's our local nature preserve, about 1/2 mile up the road from that fateful intersection. (There's a stone in the wall there with our family name chiseled into it as a symbol of our support of the project when it was developed a few years back.) A she approached the pond with the duckling in hand he became very excited and vocal, and his cries were answered by a Mama duck i the pond with 5 other chicks just like Hargy. So she set him down and the family was quickly reunited. Now everything is in it's rightful place in Chatham's little duck world.

lucky duck update

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I was helping our local bird expert (yes, she really is an expert) find her missing article for the newspaper (yes, it was about birding) this week when she broadened my knowledge about duck chicks. She said they practically all look alike and wondered why I had decided the abandoned one I found was a mandarin. I told it her it was the first photo I spied that looked just like it. Within 5 minutes she showed me 3 more species (via google/images) that also looked just like it. So I stand corrected. Marion Ulmer suggests that the chick is likely a wood duck or a mallard. I'm sure she is right. I hope to get an update on it's condition tomorrow at the Friday Farmer's Market and will post a report. See? It's not too hard to admit you're wrong.

The good luck duck

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I found a duck yesterday. It was a very small chick and when I first spotted it my heart stopped.

It was hopping in between five o'clock the rush hour activity at the only traffic light in town! At first I thought it was a sparrow which would certainly fly away. But all it could do was hop, and peep frantically, as it dodged one car tire after another. When I was finally able to safely pull my car off the road, I set out to catch it. This was accomplished on the double yellow line directly in front of the Catholic church. I had to put out my arms to stop four cars, who were approaching a red light, but as none of the 30 other vehicles had stopped for this tiny creature, I had no expectation these blokes would.

I brought the little fuzzy warm handful to my friends around the corner at the Chatham Farmers Market for help. The duckling was milk chocolate brown color with intense gray eyes and a dramatic stripe running from the front of the face straight to the back of it's head. It had a narrow, small dark beak, a wide fat tail, and very fine dark webbed feet with the tiniest curved claws. The folks from Red Barn Farm agreed to take her home and add her to the other various hatchlings on their farm property. A small bit of homework this morning revealed this birds identity: a Mandarin Duck hen. I'm pretty sure of it. Heres an image:


Feeling very proud of myself for taking time (and some risk) from my busy day to save a helpless wild animal, I decided I had earned the right to name it. "Jesus Christ" and "Oh God" are the first two names that came to mind, since I had uttered these many times while watching helplessly from my car as the poor thing bobbled about in the middle of the road. I still can't believe it didn't get run over! Sensibility won out, however, and I thought Hargy would suffice. Here's an image of what she should look like when fully grown.

FemaleMandarinDuck.jpg The drakes are far more beautiful with their dramatic copper markings, but I'm afraid Miss Hargy won't have any to choose from when the time comes, as this species is not native to our continent. What's still got me scratching my head is how the heck this creature found herself smack dab in the middle of routes 66 and 203 at 5pm on a Friday in June.