Gaggle of Thoughts


gag·gle - n. A flock of geese. See Synonyms at flock1.
A cluster or group: “A gaggle of photographers huddled on the sidewalk beside a swelling crowd of onlookers” (Gioia Diliberto).
[Middle English gagel, from gagelen, to cackle, probably of imitative origin.]

I can't believe that it's been a month since I uploaded an image to the web. Time files, especially when you you are dealing with various issues that at last, have come home to roost.

Financial fallout from several near brushes with disaster have reappeared and there are some tax issues looming.

I have been quiet for as some nights have been sleepless, some days have been speechless.

Sunday however, was a day of sunshine even though the thermometer never rose above 16 degrees ( - 10 C). Mrs asked me if I wanted to go to the symphony (insert suppressed yawn here) and I gave her an emphatic "No Way." She asked about my plans and I suggested a walk in the park to which she gave an emphatic "No Way, It's WAY too cold."

I had thought that I would head on out and try to duplicate a photo that I took last year when a finch landed on my outstretched hand. Since the signs at the park say that one should not feed the wildlife, I went to the local hardware store and bought 5 pounds of wild bird seed. What, am I supposed to attract a finch with my looks?

I really only wanted a handful of seed, and since I did have some extra, I decided to stop and share with a gaggle of ducks upstream from the park where I was headed.

As the sun poked through the clouds I decided to try and capture the luminescent green on the head of the male Mallard. I'm pretty pleased with the quality of the images, but I'd like to go back and use a tripod to see if I can't get some even sharper images.

Although we recently have had quite a bit of snow, the entire area is suffering from drought conditions, with lake and river levels down about 3 feet from normal.

Just on the other side of the bridge I spotted a couple of swans, and I added the new telephoto converter to the camera so that I would have the equivalent of 400mm lens.

(larger image here)

As the swans swam closer, I spotted a couple of very large birds in the marsh across the river, and so that you can see their relative size, I've included an image of one of the swans in the foreground. At first I suspected that I was looking at a couple of blue Heron's and decided to cross the bridge to see if I could get a closer look.

Turns out that the camera can catch stuff I couldn't see. When I brought the images home I was totally surprised to see the tufts of red on the tops of the bird's head.

(larger image here)

Anyhow.. I am really quite pleased how the new camera performs.

And speaking of performing, work is going really quite well - several projects are in the works and so far in the last 6 weeks or so I've gotten several thank you notes from the people I work with and one vase full of fresh flowers from an appreciative client. That's all good.

Then today I got word that one of my closest friends and business associates went in for an heart valve check up and they felt a lump in his stomach during the routine pre-cath exam. The heart valve issue has dropped to second place since he has a malignant humor.

Sometimes it just makes you wonder.

And then sometimes you get too close to the subject at hand and it takes flight. The bird, a Sand Hill Crane, that turns out to be Michigan's largest. Standing about 4 feet tall, it has a wingspan of about 7 feet.

And speaking of flying away.... I got handed a rather plush "assignment" just yesterday. It's nasty work, but someone has to do it. Turns out that a new business venture has been approved for sale by the folks in our office. Proper investment due diligence requires an on-site visit, and since the director of investments couldn't attend, I was given the offer.

The new boss graciously allowed for a "free day" to be tacked on to the whole thing which turns due diligence trip into a paid for (air fare at least) long weekend pre-due-diligence ski trip.

Denver, how could they pick such a place?