Clearing of head

Every once in a while, when doing web design, it is necessary to get up from the computer and get out and take a walk to clear one’s head.

I usually take my favorite walking stick, my dogs (Max & Xena), camera (Pentax K-10D), gun (holstered 9-mil Sig Sauer), hat and gloves, because I live on a timber ranch in the middle of nowhere and because I remember my boy scout training (“Motto: Be Prepared!”)

Mountain lions, bears, lynx and coyotes, are all confirmed predators here on the ranch, and I keep a sharp eye out while walking, as it actually can be a dangerous environment here if you don’t pay attention. And not too dangerous if you do pay attention and stick close to the roads. And if you’re prepared.

I feel very privileged to live and work here, and to be able to take walks through this ranch and see what is here to be seen.

The preparation paid off yesterday – this oak tree caught my attention during the last light of this winter day. I was glad to have the camera along.

oak tree at sunset

It’s on a few acres of oak savannah we have amid all the fir trees — through long tradition we call it “Hell’s Half-Acre”. A small herd of coastal elk regularly graze here (although I rarely see them when out walking) and today a few cows have wandered down from our neighbor’s ranch and are leaving cow-pies all over. I see them briefly, then hear them crashing through the underbrush in a panic to get away from my dogs — who do not give chase.

A few days before, I took this photo in a lull during a major storm blowing in. It caught the hills before they disappeared behind a wall of rain. This was mid-day, although the clouds were stacked up so that it seemed quite dark.

hills disappearing

2 Responses to Clearing of head

  1. Desi January 13, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    Ooh, pretty pictures, dad. The new camera works really well.

  2. Owner January 13, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    Thank you. I set it to “bracket” the automatic exposure, so the first photo takes a picture at what the camera thinks is the right exposure, then one that is slightly underexposed according to its calculations, then one that is slightly over-exposed. So it does a lot of the work for me. I used to do this routinely with my old Pentax ME Super (a 35-mm film camera from the early 1980’s.)

    With the “anti-shake” feature of the camera, it seems to take crisper, clearer photos, too–less shaking of the hands during the exposure, just as advertised.

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