Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Woody & Other Pics (#213)

There's a wood duck that hangs around a large pond (generously referred to by the locals as a "lake") near Hilary's place. We first noticed him last year. Normally, the pond is wall-to-wall mallards, so this little drake really stood out. Before too long, we noticed him keeping company with a female mallard. Not too surprising really. You’ll see what a handsome fellow he is in a minute.

Well, Woody quickly became a magnet for every wildlife photographer near and far. Hilary got some fine shots of him. I’m sure others did too.

Me, not so much.

Let me back up a tad here (although I mentioned this not too-too long ago).

There was a time, in the long-ago and far-away, when I fancied myself a decent photographer. I owned a couple of good cameras. I bought and digested hundreds of photography magazines and knew my way around a darkroom. I even came to understand, and manipulate, arcane concepts like depth of field! But I drifted away from it for nearly 20 years when the hobby became just too expensive.

Flash forward a couple of decades.

I bought Hilary a pretty good camera because I knew she had a gifted eye and encouraged her to start a blog. (Anyone who’s visited The Smitten Image knows how spectacularly that turned out.) Largely through her lens, my dormant photographer gene was reawakened and hallelujah! - digital photography was more affordable than its predecessors!

I haven’t yet treated myself to a digital SLR but, as mentioned a few weeks ago, I did buy a nice little grab-shot camera that fits into a pocket. And, if I do say so myself (and I just did if you’re scoring at home) I got a few decent shots from it.

On three different occasions, I had opportunities to shoot pics of Woody. Out of about 30-some snaps, two are keepers. That little rascal has a way of ducking (sorry) my focus.

Anyway, after that windy intro, here’s a couple of pics of Woody, as well as a few others taken semi-recently.

Here's the handsome devil in all his iridescent glory (Remember to click the photo if you'd like to see it enlarged):

I like this next one because I think it captures his cocky personality.

Remaining with our duck theme for a bit, here's a good looking mallard venturing onto the snow for a nibble.

There's a wonderful, dead tree near the aforementioned pond at Hilary's. It's often a gathering spot for the local birds. At night, we can add "mysterious" and "ghostly" to its description.

Here's a pic idea I shamelessly stole from Hilary. We were in a restaurant and she took a shot of this fixture. I really liked how it looked so I hauled out my camera and took one too.

A couple of weeks ago, on an evening walk with Ben, I was saddened to see a rainbow trout in great distress. Most likely, an angler hooked him in a vulnerable area and released him anyway, hoping he'd recover. It was a middling-sized male, about five pounds, and he was being ushered downstream by the current. He was on his side and every few seconds would feebly try to right himself. He was unable to do so, even when he managed to thrash his way into a gentle eddy. The light was fading and he was some distance away but I took a couple of pics anyway. I walked along the bank parallel to him, encouraging him to find the strength to recover. I lost sight of him as he tumbled downstream in the dark.

On a more cheerful note, here's a shot of one of Hilary's neighbour's Christmas lights.

And we'll close this session with an "aww" shot of Hilary holding her newest neighbour, baby Lily.


Hilary said...

Beautiful photos here.. and they all look so incredibly familiar. That duck is still hanging around and so are some of the Christmas lights. Too bad that trout isn't.

"... if you’re scoring at home"
Rest assured that only happens when you're here. ;)

Thanks for the linkage, dear. :)

Elizabeth Guy said...

Wow, that first shot of Woody? Looks more like an oil painting. Great photos, Frank. You have the eye.

The South Pasadena Flasher said...

Great stuff...a very painterly duck and a tree that's beyond ghostly (in a good way).

Leah J. Utas said...

Frank, those duck pics are so incredible.
I really felt for that poor trout.

Lori A. Basiewicz said...


Anonymous said...
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Unspoken said...

I quote you, "Life is weird." It is. :) I hope you will visit at my new place. Left a message at Hilary's, as well.

Love the picture of her with the baby and also the reflection shot!

Frank Baron said...

Thanks Hil. As I have since explained, that particular scoring reference was a baseball one. ;)

Thanks Elizabeth. :)

Thanks Flasher. By the way, is that a colander....?

Thanks Leah. So did I. They're noble critters.

Lori, it's the Mom in you.... ;)

Thanks for the return visit She Writes. I'll be sure to drop by. :)

Skunkfeathers said...

I can't hold a candle to Hilary's photographic eye, and I don't blame you for thinking the same thing, but you did alright here ;)

As for Woody...I'll add a tale (a true one, actually) about a visit to a private lake in northern Wisconsin in the spring of '91, a borrowed boat, and what began as a futile chase to get a close-up of a wood duck couple, only to wind up with them chasing ME...

Bernita said...

They are simply lovely photos.

Reb said...

Well done Frank. I too like the second shot of Woody ;)

Frank Baron said...

Skunky, that sounds like a story I'd like to read.

Thanks Bernita.

Thank you, Reb. You have great taste. I've always said so. :)

Dianne said...

baby Lily is precious, I love her hidden hand

I really like the cocky shot of woody - wow!! that's a play on words ;)
I love his head, his feathers are quite jaunty

wonderful photo series Frank

Unspoken said...

Frank, I deleted my email to fats to reply to your recent comment at my blog, but that was hilarious! Thanks for the laugh :)!

Frank Baron said...

Thanks Dianne. (Especially for the pun.) ;)

You're welcome She. My pleasure. :)

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I'm gonna try to get back into writing again. Wish me luck.

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Frank Baron said...

Hiya Poppy! Of course I remember you. I bought your poetry volume too, remember? Thanks for the visit and good luck angling for that new guy. ;)

Thanks Anon, and you're welcome.

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Anonymous said...

Stunning photography!! I have a new Canon SLR that I still don't understand ... The 'handsome devil' is so beautiful it looks like a painting. Happy New Year, Frank.

Kappa no He said...

I can't tell you how much I spent on cameras and developing film and all those books that taught me about apertures and shutter speeds. I feel your pain.

That duck woody is one handsome fellow. I've never seen such a duck. We just got the "regular" kind here.

And finally, that tree in Hilary's yard is like my favorite picture ever. Looks like the cover to a book or something.

Frank Baron said...

Hiya Kimmi. If you keep the new camera on "auto," you'll get fine shots most of the time. But if you get to know some of the tweakable functions, you'll get a lot more out of it. Take your time. It's a process. And Happy New Year back atcha. :)

Hi Terrie. I love that tree too. It's not quite in Hilary's yard, though. It's a few hundred metres down the street, near a pond. Thanks for the visit. :)

Grayquill said...

Barbless hooks, artifical lures and flies - nothing larger than a number 8. And, D@*#^t leave the fish in the water - keep those grimmy hands off. Try yelling that at the next bait fisherman you see. I only do it when I have a good quick get away, my fighting days are over.
Nice pictures, maybe you have not lost the touch.