Last week I received a call from my friend Vicki asking me to join her and others for a lunch in Mason City to support long-time Rotary District Secretary John Last.
I hesitated a moment because I realized that Mason City is a 3 hour drive from Dubuque and then said okay. 🙂
In 2003 I was the District 5970 Web Master and held that position for five years. I worked very closely with John and built a lasting friendship with him. Vicki (right side of image) was District Governor for one of those years and Richard (left side of image) was also a District Governor. I served under 5 District Governors during my tenure.
We had a two-hour lunch and had a lot of fun reminiscing about the past.
John is being asked to retire from his District Secretary position. I won’t go into the details of the situation but I am disappointed in the way it was handled, which in my view is not the Rotary way.
It was a long day but I was glad to see Dick, Vicki, and John. It and they made the drive worth while.
Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have three images for today. Yesterday was a miserable day weather wise. Constant rain, temperature only about 42 degrees and windy. Not a good day for photography. I had an appointment to get my hair cut yesterday morning and then an hour to kill before meeting my good friend Mike for lunch at Mario’s Italian Restaurant. One of my favorite places to eat in Dubuque.
Even though the weather was unfavorable for photography I decided to drive down to the river to see what was going on. As luck would have it there were two large barges parked one in front of the other waiting their turn to lock through the dam. I have never seen that before and decided on my return trip I would capture some images. I drove on to the lock and as I pulled into the parking lot there was a turkey vulture sitting on the asphalt. I have never been that close to one of them before. Now the camera is in the back seat still in the bag, it’s raining hard, and the vulture is giving me a close look.
Sure enough when I stopped the car he started unfolding his wings and as soon as I opened my door to get the camera he flew a few feet away to a large rock. Not too bad, still well within range of my big lens. Just got the camera out and a train came though. The tracks run between the bluff and the parking lot, so away he flew and I couldn’t find him after that. 😦
This lonely pelican was floating near the lock so I thought I would capture him since I already had my long lens on the camera. Back in the car, I dried off the equipment and then headed out to see if anything was going on at McDonald park. Of course I had forgotten about the two barges sitting there. It was raining harder and I’ll admit I didn’t want to get out and change lenses in the rain. So I just continued on my way to the park.
The only thing I found of interest at the park were some Common Grackles feeding on some berries. They looked miserable in the cold rain but at least I was able to photograph them from the dryness of the car. 🙂
Do you get the idea that I’m somewhat of a fair weather photographer? I don’t mind getting wet but I don’t like getting my gear wet and of course I forgot to pack my rain pouch for the camera.
Anyway it was time to meet my friend for lunch. We had a great lunch with wonderful conversation and a few self-deprecating jabs. Then home for a nap. 🙂
Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have three snapshots for you today. We celebrated Mother’s Day by having a picnic at Eagle Point Park with Angie, Ben, Mark, and the Grand Kids. Been a long time since I’ve been to a picnic. Ben offered to do the grilling on this obsolete charcoal grill, which proved to be quite the challenge. He did a great job the burgers and brats were prefect.
Considering it was a celebration of Mother’s Day I don’t have any images of the two Mothers. I didn’t take many shots as the kids wanted to play. 🙂
After the picnic we stopped at the DQ near the park and stood in line for a long time to get an ice cream treat. It was a fun day and a great way to honor these two wonderful women in our lives.
Enjoy your day and be careful.
Happy Saturday and Happy Birthday to one of my favorite grand-daughter, Gabby!!
I did a few thing around the house yesterday and then was lucky enough to meet Angie at a restaurant for a long lunch. It’s always so much fun and satisfaction to spend time with my children who have both grown to be wonderful, responsible individuals.
After lunch, I drove down to the Great River Walk and spent a couple of hours just walking, sitting, and observing. I made 140 images and have one worth showing. A ubiquitous Ring-Billed Gull. I’ve only got 10,000 images of them. 🙂
I watched him for about 25 minutes and each pass he made he came a little closer to me. I shot this image with the Nikon 80 – 400 mm lens and the focal length was 105 mm so he was getting very close.
One more pass and I was afraid he was going to dump on me. 🙂
That’s it for today. Enjoy your day and be careful.
I have one image for you today. I have around 2,000 images of eagles from last January and February that I have not shown to anyone for a variety of reasons. 2016 was my best year ever for photographing eagles. I found two places last year that were just spectacular for photographing eagles. One of course was Lock and Dam 14 at LeClaire and the other was around the Bee Branch Project. I’m getting excited to go to LeClaire again soon.
I had my post op check up yesterday afternoon and everything looked great. I tested 20/20 vision so I’m thrilled after all those years wearing glasses not to have to wear them anymore. My surgeon asked which procedure I liked the best normal surgery or laser surgery (since I had each eye done differently.) No question the laser surgery was tops in my view. 🙂
That’s it for today. Enjoy your day. Stay warm and be careful.
I have three images for you today. First of all thank you for the wonderful sentiments and congratulatory greetings for our 40th anniversary. The Queen deserves all the credit for sure, but thank you Kathy for your thoughtful comment. 🙂
Jeanne and I drove to Green Island Wildlife Preserve on Saturday. I really didn’t expect to find much considering it’s still hunting season and the main area of the preserve is closed, but Jeanne hadn’t been there in over a year and wanted to go. We enjoyed the time together.
We stopped in Bellevue for Lunch and this large barge was getting ready to lock through. I’m not an expert on the locking process but South bound barges must need this little tug boat to keep them lined up to the lock. Perhaps because of strong currents but each time I’ve seen a South bound barge lock through the tug gets towards the front of the barge and pushes in a Westerly direction.
Heading home I saw this Red-tailed Hawk sitting on the power line next to the highway. I turned around and drove on the shoulder until I could get this shot. I was still pretty far away but they have a pretty wide level of sensitivity and when you reach their boundaries they’re gone.
So I kept inching up as slowly as I could but as you can see I broke his boundary line and he took off.
Just a word about the lens used for this shot. I purchased it about a year ago. I’ve had a love / hate relationship with Sigma lens for several years. There are some who say it’s just me and my lack of ability and I’ll not argue that, but there was one time that I bought 5 Sigma 500 mm lenses (not all at once) and put them through a series of tests only to determine that whatever particular combination of f-stop, shutter speed, and finger crossing that was required for a sharp image was just beyond my ability. So I would send it back (within the 30 day limit) and order another. I finally found a 500 mm that I could get pretty decent results with and so I kept it.
Then Sigma released the 150 – 600 mm “Sports” lens and I of course had to have it. I struggled with it for almost a year. I got some good shots but the ratio of keepers to throw aways was not good. I finally sold that lens to a company that buys used equipment and decided to try the Sigma 150 – 600 mm “Contemporary” version, which by the was half the price of the Sports lens. Right out of the box on the way home the day I got it I had wonderfully sharp images. I have to say that it is my favorite lens of all time and it has given me some wonderful wildlife images.
Call it the luck of the draw or that Sigma got their act together doesn’t really matter to me. I just love this lens. By the way the full name of the lens is Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens.
Okay that’s my “photography talk” for awhile. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by the blog. Enjoy your “rainy” day and be careful.
I have three images for you today that are from my wanderings through the country side this past Monday. I drove about 100 miles looking for things that interested me and these are three of the things that caught my attention.
I was driving slowly along an old road that goes by the river and saw this little volunteer tree standing tall with the river in the background. I had to back up and make an image of it. 🙂
Driving through Clayton County I saw this hay-rake sitting in the harvested corn field along with three bales of corn stalks. I liked the story it told so made an image of them.
Finally I was going through the little community of Buena Vista and saw this magnificent weeping willow catching the last rays of the sinking sun contrasted with the shadows of the late afternoon. So I had to stop and make some images. I’m sure some of the cars that went past me wondered what in the world I was doing. 🙂
That’s it for today. Jeanne and I are attending our oldest Grand Son’s birthday party today. It’s actually the party for the Grandparents he has already had his other birthday party. So you’ll probably get some grand kid images tomorrow.
Thanks for checking out the blog. Enjoy your day. -45 degree temperature change from this time yesterday morning. Wow! Be careful.