Going for the green


Water tower at Lake Dick Arkansas with approaching storm

July is a good time to look for afternoon thunderstorms. This one cropped up near Lake Dick, Arkansas in July of 2009. It was a perfect set of lighting conditions, strong late afternoon light and turbulent clouds in the background. The image is a study in Mother Nature’s complementary color distribution: Green, gold and blue talking to us.

Our world, on November 24, 2013, here in LA (lower Arkansas), is bitter cold (for us), blustery, and brown. I am not casting aspersions on these conditions, but am merely observing their presence. There is a bit of sticker shock however, as these are the coldest temperatures we have experienced thus far this year. To top that, as winters go, last winter was puny at best, so our systems are far removed from the last bone-chilling experiences in LA.

Hollow cypress tree near Grider Field Pine Bluff AR

Click on the tree to see the start of the story.

Though my duck hunting friends will likely disagree, I believe this is a really good time to be inside watching a football game (or working on a blog).

For those who bemoan these present conditions, I am offering archival selections of warmer and greener circumstances. You can see where this idea germinated on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where you will see, among other things, a hollow cypress tree surrounded by, you guessed it, green.

Storm clouds in sunset at Lake Dick Arkansas

A day earlier from the water tower shot above, across the road from the water tower, with the camera pointing away from the tower, the setting sun is painting the clouds in vibrant pinks and pseudo-oranges supported by grayish blues. Corn is silhouetted in the foreground. Just being there was a privilege from on high.

Water tower in rice field

A year later, in July of 2010, the field was planted with rice. This is about the same time of day as the storm pictures above, less the disturbances, but nevertheless, cool.

remote abandoned stairs hear lake dick arkansas

Not far from the water tower, earlier the same day, I found a stairway to nowhere. It was likely the front yard approach to a family farm which succumbed to economics. The land around the stairs was not cultivated at the time of the shot.

lady bug on winter wheat near Pine Bluff Arkansas

Just a few miles from the water tower, in April of 2011, we found a nearly ripe field of winter wheat. Turns out ladybugs think winter wheat as a home site is cool. I am told they are beneficial to the wheat crop, since nasty aphids are their favorite treat.

Since we are just days from the time to be grateful for what we have and the opportunities afforded by our blessings, please know, dear readers, that you are a blessing to me. Stay warm and well.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

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Geese at the granary


hunter calling geese

Goose hunter Mike Goodwin, hunkered down in brush, takes a short pause to watch approaching geese he has convinced to come his way. The hunt was west of Humphrey, Arkansas off Arkansas Highway 13 near Crooked Creek. I was unexpectedly invited to be the guest photographer.

Old granary

Click on the old granary for the the start of the story.

Garnering an invitation to photograph a Grand Prairie goose hunt was the last thing I expected when I set out to photograph the old granary where Crooked Creek crosses Arkansas Highway 13, west of Humphrey, Arkansas. But then one does not question the favors of fate. Find out how this story started and see pictures of the old granary on the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com. We’ll wait here.

After shooting the old building, I drove to a field full of geese nearby, dismounted, approached them, spooked them to rise, and photographed them. As I left the field, I noticed a truck pulling up at the old granary. Believing I might have a source of information about the building, I approached the driver, explained what I was doing and asked about the old building. He did not reveal a lot about the building, but did invite me to be a part of the goose hunt he was supervising. Without hesitation, I agreed.

hunter and dog along irrigation canal

Goose hunter Mike Goodwin and his Labrador Retriever, Star. We joined Mike and Star as they pursued the hunt. They are facing the general direction of approaching geese. To their rear is a field where Mike has placed a dozen or so very realistic goose decoys.

See more pictures of the goose hunt in our Weekly Grist Gallery

hunters watching approaching geese

Megan Kerr (center) watches as Mike Goodwin (right) calls geese in. Megan's friend Lee Anne Woodall (left) joined the group. She had no camouflage, so she is doing her best to hide behind the brush. Geese have wary eyes for humans.

Mike called in two groups of geese. The first group of geese won and flew on their way. Most of the time the geese win. That’s why there are so many geese. When the second group came in, Megan bagged her first goose. Star, the lab retriever did her duty and brought the felled goose back to Mike. After that, the geese began to make their way back to their roosting areas for the night. They have an early bed time.

Loading game to four wheeler

Steve who invited me to the hunt, loads geese onto the four wheeler which will carry us back to our trucks, which are specks on the horizon.

See more pictures of the goose hunt in our Weekly Grist Gallery

Geese flying to their roosting areas

As afternoon turns to early evening, geese head for their roosting areas for the night, well out of the range of hunters. Smart birds.

 We were privileged to be the guests in the practice of a time-honored outdoor sport in which hunters ply their learned skills against wary natural instincts eons in the making. Most of the time the instincts win. That’s the sport.

dog retrieving goose

Click on "Star" the lab for more pictures

SEE OUR Weekly Grist Gallery
for more pictures

We’ve posted 29 pictures of the hunt and granary in our Weekly Grist Gallery including Star retrieving the goose, the four wheeler ride, calling geese, geese in formation flight, and geese on the water. It gives us goose-bumps just to think about it.

The pictures are larger and easier to see than the pictures on this page. Click and look.

Thanks for dropping by,

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html