Monday, February 25, 2008

Curves Ahead

As I write this I'm pushing 72 hours without a cigarette. No big deal if you're already a non-smoker, but it's quite the beginning if you're looking to become one.

I've been here before. Several years ago I managed to "quit" for nearly two and a half years until some nicotine-fit devilry conspired with circumstance and weak-mindedness to start me up again.

So I'm giving it another go.

Today's image is yet another oldie. It was taken with the modified camera contraption I call the mini-view, and it's the extreme DOF manipulation made possible with that setup that gives this image its oddling fuzzy, sharp, then fuzzy again look. Which, in many ways exemplifies how I feel at this moment.

Whatever happens, I'll strive to enjoy the ride.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Might There Be Morels Here?

Some 23 odd years ago a good friend introduced me to morel hunting. You go out into the woods, look around a while, and hope you find some mushrooms. More often than not we came up empty-handed, but it was so much fun when we scored. It was like finding treasure amongst the trees. And the taste... ooh, the taste. Crispy, Nutty, buttery goodness. If you have never had them then you just don't know, and I can't describe them properly. Suffice to say that there is nothing quite like a lightly breaded and fried-in-butter Morel.

In fact, looking back on it all, it's hard to say which I preferred more, finding them or eating them. Because for me the two always went hand-in-hand. And to this day I have never eaten any without having found them first.

For several years we were avid hunters. We noted the change in seasons, the amount of rainfall, the severity of the winters, all in an attempt to make some magical connection that would lead us to another big score. Ultimately, though, what we found was that we could never predict things worth a damn. Those freakin' mushrooms would pop up in places and at times when we weren't even looking, and often fail to surface in the same soil that had them in abundance the years before.

Such are the trials of Morel hunting in Arkansas.

Eventually my friend moved to Tennessee, I moved to south to Little Rock, and Morels became a fond memory of times past. I'd still think about them when the season rolled around (March to June in Arkansas... dependent on where in the state you were looking) and I always kept my eyes peeled for them when I was out, but it's been a long time since I made a concerted effort to find them. Not surprisingly, then, its been a great many years since I have tasted them.

The other night I happened to sitting around chatting with my Daughter when we caught a show on the Travel Channel about hunting Morels. She has never been, so this is the year I begin searching again.

And the image... well, this is one of the places I plan to look. Though it was taken years ago and I have never seen a Morel in there, it's all about the timing. And luck. Lots and lots of luck.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Coco's Coming to Town

It's been a couple of years now since I last saw one of his performances. He always puts on a great show, and I just learned last night that he will be in town this weekend. Yippee!

I got this image at the Hot Springs Blues Fest in '86. Great fun.

Maybe I should do up a print and see if I can get him to sign it?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hash... Re-Hash

As much as I hate to admit it I have come up completely empty this week. This was not for lack of effort. I went out into the world and snapped a good many images, but none of them tickled my fancy once they were back home on the monitor. All in all they amounted to a big, fat... Ack!

So I went in search of an image and came up with this one from the depths of my photographic past.

Titled Winterberry, this shot was entered into an online photo contest on a site called Dpchallenge back in November of 2004. The theme for the week was impressionism, and my image placed 21rst in a field of 39 with an average score of 6.2. Not bad, considering the talent that trickles through there.

Those were the days...

I used to spent a lot of time with sites like Dpchallenge, but I have largely given them up. Just like going to school, they were fun, a great learning experience and all that, but I am rather glad to be done with them. I still keep up my membership to read the forums, and I still feel compelled to enter a competiton once in a while, but for the most part I just don't have the urge to mix it up with that crowd any longer. There is some good stuff going on over there, though. Mighty good. Just be sure to look back through at least the top 100 (200?) images of each challenge. You never know where you'll find the real gems.