Or Stewie, as he prefers to be called. Grace and Stewie took runner up in the Best In Group competition on Saturday (in the future), which is equivalent to a Sporting Group 2 in the US (I think—I don’t really speak Australian Dog Show…). In addition, they went into the Best In Show Open competition and got best ‘Open in Show’, which doesn’t really have an AKC equivalent, but is definitely cool. Grace is definitely enjoying her winter (summer) vacation…
About a week and a half ago, we put Grace on a plane at O’Hare, bound for LAX. And from there, she was heading to Brisbane to stay with a friend (hi Tony!) for the next couple months—ostensibly to show dogs and see the sites. She’s been having a blast! Here are some shots from the first week or so of the trip…
Thanks to Tony for taking good care of her!
We had a great opportunity to witness and celebrate the joining of two spectacularly cool, warmly generous, and just all-around good eggs—our niece Carly and her husband, Justin. A Friday wedding was a first for me, and I will say that it was a lot of fun. A ton of family was there—many who we haven’t seen for some time. The venue was Turner Hall in Milwaukee—a great place to see a concert, and an even better place to hold a wedding. We had a great time getting to catch up with people, meeting new members of the family, and participating in the wedding.
As verbose as I usually am, I’m going to let photos speak for me: visit the album here. It’s very special to get to celebrate the sacred bond of marriage—and the beginning of this journey for Carly and Justin. Best wishes to them as they start this new phase of their lives together; may they be happy, healthy, and treat each other with the deepest love.
The internet is awash with cat photos. My guess is that this happens because cats are plentiful, and they seem to be good motionless subjects for photographers to work on. Around our house, they’re plentiful as well. We have Boo—the cow-cat, Arwen—the quintessential Siamese, Michael-Michelle—the cat with the most beautiful green eyes we’ve ever seen, and Jamie—the Egyptian Sphinx with very little hair. My issue is that none of them are ever motionless long enough for me to get a decent shot!
Jamie was sunning himself in the window this weekend, so I took advantage of a rare opportunity to snap off some shots. I’ve been happy with how accurately the DP3 Merrill focuses in these situations. It’s not the fastest camera out there, but it does really seem to nail the focus. And the last image of this series is a 100% crop—the detail this camera cranks out is incredible.
Finally, please feel sorry for our poor cat. He wishes he had hair!
Spring. Yard work. Raking leaves. Prepping gardens. And some years, taking down trees and limbs. This past weekend we put the finishing touches on clearing out a cedar grove in the dog yard—taking out six medium to large cedars. For those of you who worry about the trees—fear not, there are dozens more scattered around the yard. But these particular set were pretty scruffy, nothing nice grew under them (mainly nightshade), and they blocked the view of the sunset. Noah and I got our stuff together and I climbed the trees on a 16’ ladder, tied a rope to as high as I could reach, tied the other end to the tractor, and put tension on the rope as I cut the back cut that would fell the tree. That worked great for five out of the six. The last one was clearly leaning the wrong way, and there was a decent bit of breeze out. As I was taking the front side notch it started to go (it really was leaning the wrong way). Noah valiantly gave the tractor some juice, but the rope snapped and the tree fell on top of the wire farm fence. The good news is that with the branches and the high cut, it did negligible damage, and we were able to cut around it and get the fence cleared in short order. I might add that I had a nice drop cloth hanging from the roll bar on the tractor just for the case of a rope snap—it would save Noah from getting whipped across the back. But as luck would have it, the rope went the other way.
The brush pile. I can’t wait to burn this!
The wood pile. This is a combination of cedar and oak. We’ll use it for bonfires over the next couple years...
The bonfire, waiting for a match. This (and all the photos) was taken with the DP3 Merrill. I love the way this camera isolates subjects at this distance. The rendering is remarkable.
The loyal pointer. CJ was out helping me round up sticks.
That’s a big pile of sticks to pee on...
I took Cass and CJ out this morning, and did a little bit of portraiture work with the DP3 Merrill. Every time I open one of these files full sized, I’m amazed at the look—a combination of excellent resolution and a stunningly good lens makes the subject leap off the page. The term ‘3D’ gets thrown around a lot with this camera, and it’s easy to see why. But not so easy when they’re posted small, so go visit the gallery and click on the ‘1:1’ button to see these in their full glory!
Spring is finally springing around here, at the end of March. We were outside enjoying ourselves. Highs were in the low 50°s. It was time to take down Christmas lights, and do a little tree trimming. The only issue? Those limbs are huge! And they probably weigh several hundred pounds.
Before. Thanks to Max and his friends, we had the extension ladder set up. I couldn’t get it yesterday with Noah’s help. That thing is a pig.
And here’s the after. Note the big branches laying on the ground. I’d love to say no one got hurt, but both Noah and Jen suffered rope burns on the first branch, and Noah got pulled forward and through the gravel. I really hate doing this kind of work, and probably should hire it out.
Afterward, Jen and I headed to the pasture to worm Prelude.
I’m forcing myself to do a couple things this weekend. First—not do any AbbVie work (I really needed a break). Second—start to learn to use my camera in less than ideal conditions. So those conditions happen to be bright winter sun, temperature in the teens, and a 20 mph wind that makes you think it’s still damn cold. Which it is.
What I found most fascinating about my little tour around the yard was how much snow we’ve accumulated over this winter. It’s not that we’ve had much in the way of major storms (I think probably a half foot at the most on any one day), but the fact that it started snowing in November and hasn’t really stopped. And we’ve had nothing approaching a thaw. That means that we’ve got some 3-4’ drifts still hanging out with snow that’s probably a few months old. Crusty, but not crusty enough to hold me.
But before I got outside, I got to take a couple shots of my favorite model. CJ’s just hanging out on the couch, happy to be safe and warm. Well, I dragged his sorry spotted butt outside too! I’m not going to be the only one suffering...
So, we start with some shadows and snow abstracts—we’ve got those aplenty!
I call this one ‘Good Connection’.
Now we come to Angel, who’s patiently waiting to be bred. She’s visiting us from the far off land of Pennsylvania! She’s a Carmen x Thriller puppy—the jewel of Jim and Ethel Buzzard.
And I really like this one in B/W as well
With the pointer (who will not be siring this litter!). This is just a demonstration to let everyone know that I’ve still got some work to do with regards to the camera operation—Angel was supposed to be in focus and CJ was going to be OOF with his dreamy spots fading into the snow. Great conceptual idea—it just lacked execution. :-)
This gives you an idea of the snow that’s been blowing and drifting around here.
And finally, this was the only green I could find.