Gifts: Today it was things with wings

It was William James who spoke of the ‘slow dead heave of the will’ and boy, did that expression come home to me this morning.  I was getting ready to go see my mother and I thought I would stop off at Fort Harrison State Park on the way home and shoot what there was to shoot (with a camera).  I had a good visit with Mom and then it started: do I really want to go shoot or not?  What was I going to shoot?  What would be interesting?  Anything?  Maybe I won’t go.  I’ll go tomorrow.  You get the idea.  And the moral of the story is that the head should not be in charge of some decisions.  Sometimes it is best just to go do it.  Which I did.

I went over near the walnut plantation and was roaming around among the weeds and I came upon a good sized thistle with lots of blooms and on many of the blooms there was a butterfly.


Hoo boy!  This is the good stuff!  Fortunately the camera was in burst mode where all I had to do was point it and hold the button down and it would take up to six and a half frames a second.  Butterflies were coming and going and everything was changing from one moment to the next.


Bumblebees were getting into the act as well.

And that was when the Canada geese showed up.


Yes, the moon was right there.  I will admit I didn’t even notice it until much later.  Some days we’re just lucky, which is nice because it balances out some of those other days.

To shoot or not to shoot is no longer the question.  My hero is Elwood P. Dowd, the Jimmy Stewart character in the movie ‘Harvey.’   If someone said the two of them ought to go for a drink sometime, Elwood would reply ‘When?’

A trip to Clifty Falls and more

My wife Ellie and I had talked about it for some time and we finally got the chance to spend a few days at Clifty Falls, a state park in southern Indiana. 

We went down Sunday and came back Tuesday.  We’ve been married nearly 48 years and since it is easy, over that span, to take each other for granted, I thought I would have flowers waiting for her in our room.  Last week I called the Clifty Inn where we would be staying and yes, they would take care of putting the flowers in the room if I would order them from a florist.  I asked for numbers for some florists in the area and they provided them.  The first one I called said they don’t deliver on Sunday so I called the second number.  A guy answered the phone and I asked if they could deliver a dozen roses to the Clifty Inn on Sunday.  He said no, he couldn’t deliver roses but he could deliver 12 cans of motor oil.   I replied that I hadn’t thought of that as a gift.  It turns out the number I dialed did belong to the florist at one time but that it now went to a car repair shop.  The fellow who answered the phone had received other calls like mine and he was waiting for me.  We had a good laugh about that.  None of the florists delivered on Sunday so I set it up for some durable flowers to be delivered on Saturday and they would still be fresh on Sunday.  All was in order and Ellie loves the flowers.  I told her that flowers are nice but they wouldn’t last like motor oil would.  After all, what says romance better than a couple of oil changes?  She just smiled and said ‘Yes, dear.’

It was rainy when we arrived and overcast when we left but we had a good time.  There was one short period of sunshine on Monday evening and three photographers popped out of their rooms at the inn to get some shots.  There is a generating station near the inn with three smoke stacks.  I liked the soft light on the left stack and in the sky.

It rained most of the time but that didn’t matter, we had a good time.  We saw some wild turkeys in the park Monday morning so we stopped to get in a shot.  They saw me and headed in the other direction but I clicked anyway.  Ellie looked at the shot and said ‘Hey, great turkey butts, Barry!’  They aren’t all mooning me, one is offering a side view.

I partially redeemed myself a few minutes later.  A little soft, but better although there again are two butts and a side view.

We spent some time in the city of Madison, which is right next to the park.   Our camera club had gone on a field trip to Madison last fall and I wrote about it then.  Ellie is a quilter and when she visits a quilt shop, it is a good idea for me to have some way of amusing myself, which in Madison is easy to do if you enjoy photography. 

The overcast sky saturates the colors.  Here’s an unidentified shrub poking through a crack in a fence.

In our initial tour around the park Sunday afternoon we heard a wood thrush.  If there is a more beautiful bird call in North America, I don’t know what it is.  We didn’t hear another until we were leaving the park Tuesday morning.  Great book ends for a very happy time at Clifty Falls.

But the trip wasn’t quite over.  We went home by a different route and along the way found Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge.  There wasn’t much to see but this shot was worth the side trip.

We were away a little under 48 hours but we will remember this trip for a long time.

No herons for you today, would you take some nice Canada geese?

Becky and I went over to Fort Harrison State Park this morning.   I wanted to see how the trees were starting to come out across Lake Delaware.  I had taken a similar shot a couple of days ago and this time of year, things change pretty quickly.  That earlier shot was included in my last post.

The trees are starting to turn green and I was glad to be there to record it.  As I was setting up for this shot I was showing Becky where the heron was that I wrote about last time.  It had come in from the left and swept across right in front of me.  But because of the camera settings I had forgotten about, I blew the shot.  As I was talking she was nodding rather vigorously and when I was through she said a heron had just flown behind me.  This was April 2, not April 1.  She was telling the truth.    OK, I can be philosophical about these things but then Mother Nature rubbed it in.  She gave me Canada geese.

There was a nesting pair across Fall Creek and why not get a shot of them?

The nesting pair attracted others and we counted nine geese.  There were probably more.  They were everywhere.

The occasional Canada goose is nice but I’m holding out for the heron.  Next time I’ll be ready.  Unless she (or he) is readier.