Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Walking the twisty woods

Sadly, I haven't been going into the B&B studio much these days, but this morning I thought I'd peek in and see how bad the cobwebs are getting.   I'm almost blown away by the noise!

"Come on baby let's do the twist
Come on baby let's do the twist
Take me by my little hand and go like this
Ee-oh twist baby baby twist
Oooh-yeah just like this
Come on little miss and do the twist"
 For a moment, before he notices me, I watch Bagman and Butler dancing.  Bagman is flailing his arms, alternating between shaking his booty and doing some weird humping motion that would have made Chubby Checker blush.  Butler's twist is a repetative series of small, perfectly timed movements that are a combination of the twist and the robot.

But the moment they see me, they snap off the music and stand still, arms at their sides, heads down in guilt like schoolboys who have been caught doing the nasty. 

"It's okay," I say, "You guys are entitled to have fun even if I haven't been myself lately."

BAGMAN: "We were just getting ready to do a blog to cheer you up.  We know how much you like walking Daisy on the trail."

BUTLER: "Would you like to help us with the blog, sir?"

BAGMAN: "When you never even showed up for the Friday shoot, we thought you had gone forever!"

Things must have gotten really bad if Butler is calling me "sir."  So I decide to give it a shot.  "All right," I agree.  "As long as I don't have to dance."

Bagman frowns but Butler is already booting up the computer. 

The Twisty Woods
Although I still miss our old house with the pond and don't yet feel at home in the smell of new paint, I do like the fact that there is a walking trail just beyond our backyard and I have cut a path through the pricker bushes to reach it more easily.
The trail is wide and easy to walk and meanders for a little over two miles through woods and along a quiet river lined with reeds.
While I have become acquainted with my neighbors, I have become closer friends with the trees and discovered that they have created a fascinating development cooperating with the vines.  Of course they had no choice but they seem to have adapted well to their twisty neighbors who have woven their way into their lives.
BAGMAN: "You've forgotten how to write, haven't you, Mark."
BUTLER: "It does seem a little stilted for you, sir."
'Sir' again.  Dang.  These guys must think I've really lost it.
BUTLER (softly): "Perhaps a picture might help?"
They are almost all like this
The trees enjoy the walks that Daisy and I take as least twice a day (to keep the new carpets free from poop).  The trees don't even mind when Daisy lifts her leg on them which she does often even thought she is not a male dog.  
I've gotten to know some of these trees pretty well. 
The Sentinel Siblings -- An old pair, slowly dying, they still stand watch at the bend in the river and let all the others know when people are coming down the river or the path.  Since I now know the password, we just salute each other as Daisy and I pass. 

Gordo is Bagman's favorite.  You never see him move but he manages to place himself next to picnic tables in the picnic area and will steal the lunches of the unobservant. 
He sings baritone.
Albert is not as old as some of the other trees but he has the answers to any question you can think of.  Butler likes him alot.  If Albert doesn't know the answer to something, he will make it up.  I think Butler sometimes does the same thing.
BUTLER:  "I do not!"
"At least you've stopped calling me 'sir'," I reply.
It was Albert who confided in me that the Twisty Woods is a matriarchy and nothing of importance happens without the blessing of Mama Gooch (above).  I always bow my head when passing her and never let Daisy near her.  Bagman tried to flirt with her once and, believe me, he'll never try that again. 

BAGMAN (ignoring my comments): "I thought this was about the twist!"   He begins dancing again and trying to immitate Chubby Checker.

Yes, the vines. From the earliest time, Mama Gooch has ordained that trees not fight the vines but live with them in harmony.  I'm not sure the local arborists agree with me but I choose to listen to Albert and Mama Gooch.  

BUTLER: "Glad to see you using words like 'arborist' again.  Maybe there's hope for us yet. 

Many of the middle-aged trees wear their vines with pride and decorate themselves with honor. 

The partnership of vine and tree begins from earliest childhood.

Although some of the adolescent trees rebel, like teenagers always do, resulting a kind of bonsai-like struggle.  Mama Gooch will straighten these punks out very quickly.  Although, in tree terms, 'very quickly' can take years, according to Albert.

But it is time to end the walk -- next time I'll show some other landmarks and tourist attactions of the woods. 

BAGMAN: "Next time!!  Next time!!  You mean we haven't stopped blogging!!!"

"Just don't push me for a schedule, Baggie."  

Fortunately, returning from the Twisty Woods when I am sometimes lost in thought, not paying attention to where I am, I can count on another tree friend to keep me in line.

Officer Many Fingers, proud of his Native American name, stands beside the place where I cut a path through the prickers to my backyard.  He always reaches out and grabs me to keep me from wandering past the house.  He has also warned me that Mama Gooch was not pleased that I cut down the prickers and is still considering disciplinary action.

BAGMAN: "Oooh!!  Oooh!! Maybe she'll use a whip and wear leather.  I wanna watch!"

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday Shootout - Weather


"Whether" is more like it.    
Whether I'm going to post or not.   Since I missed Friday, whether to post on Saturday.   Whether to just post pictures with minimal banter.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Shoot - Shallow Depth of Field

Entering the B&B studio, I ask, hopefully, "How did the stuff we shot yesterday turn out?"

BUTLER: "You don't remember how to use your camera, do you?"

"That bad, huh?" I answer, crestfallen but not surprised.  It takes awhile for the eyes to remember how to look and I was also shooting quickly so I wouldn't lose sight of Daisy who was running around the trail behind our house.  

In fact, I paid so little attention to the camera settings -- except to put it on aperature priority (thanks, Rebecca).  But I did not bother to notice that it was still set on bracketing from a month ago so that 1/3 of the shots were overexposed and 1/3 were underexposed. 

BAGMAN:  "I've got an old Kodak Instamatic you can use.  It's in a box somewhere."

I turn on the computer and look yesterday's attempts at shooting shallow depth of field and, after a moment of private greiving, delete them all.   Time to turn to the archive and pull out some stuff from the good old days when I had some idea of what I was doing.

And that's about it.
BAGMAN:  "What a wimpy blog, Dude!  You haven't even bothered to insult me one time!."
BUTLER:  "And you have not even taken the time to do something cute with your header picture."
"Give me a break, guys.  At least I showed up and I wanted to save some time to look at what my friends have done with their blogs."
BUTLER: "You are going to be envious."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Where did I put that lampshade anyway?

Not sure how I had the energy to pick up the camera.
Photoshop almost makes it look like fun.   Not.
Maybe I like this copping better?
Not sure yet.