During the last big wind and rain storm, I happened to stand up from my engraving bench to get a good stretch, and I saw a kestrel clinging to the dead tree outside my windows! I grabbed the camera and took a bunch, this one's my favorite. I'd just accidentally knocked the lens lightly in the window, and he turned and looked right at me for a moment.
And then I went down to Wilton for Thanksgiving, of course. I've really been missing the sight and sound of birds migrating, specifically waterfowl. There are some flocks of geese that pass over the ranch up here in Oak Run, but they're generally so high they can barely be seen. I heard cranes once, but couldn't see them. This time of year down in Wilton, there are so many cranes.
So I loaded up the cameras one morning when I was down there and headed out right around sunrise for the Cosumnes Wildlife Preserve. Turned out to be a lot foggier than I anticipated, oh well. I still got some interesting shots, and the fog did clear out mid morning. Later that day I took my mom out to the delta to see the "fly in," when the Sandhill Cranes fly in for the evening.
A couple weekends ago Jen and I went to Reno for a poultry show. First show of the season. I took ten birds, all Black Breasted Red. I'm pleased to have that many good BBReds to be showing this season, and would like to show a good "string" all season, plus probably some of the Brassy Backs as well.
We were anticipating some possible bad weather but things turned out just fine, and it was a pretty drive. I had a good time at the show, it was nice to see people!
The birds took Best and Reserve of Breed, though they were the only Rosecombs there, so that's kind of a given. ;-) I don't expect many big wins in my immediate future since I'm not showing Blacks anymore. But, my goal is to get the BBReds good enough that they can win big again! I'm pleased with how they are looking.
At the 2012 Colt Collectors Association show, last month, the "Greatest Generation" Colt 1911 won the Howard Dove award, and also Best Single Weapon, 1946-Present. The latter is not an award that is given every year, but rather is given as the judges see fit. It has been getting some huge attention and is going to get some huge publicity. The professional photos have not yet been publicly released, though I have been given permission to share one (and only one!) of them here. It wasn't easy to pick one, of course I want you to see everything, but this has everything. The gun, the knife, the gorgeous case, the awards, and the art that I created for the top slide. I am so proud and honored to be a part of this!
The project will be shown at the Firearms Engravers Guild of America show in Reno in January of 2013. I may have permission to leak another photo or two before then, but I think it's pretty much staying under wraps until the big public release!
Michael Dubber, Evansville, Indiana - Master Engraver
Katherine Plumer, Oak Run, California - Scrimshander
Larry Downing, Bremen, Kentucky – Custom Made Knife
Doug Turnbull, Bloomfield, New York - Final Finish
I hadn't been out on a long hike for probably about a month. Lately any snippet of "spare time" has gone to the chicken coop, and of course the time change makes it impossible to accomplish anything outdoors after dinner anymore. Busy busy busy. I've also been less inclined to be out and about on my own because the cooler weather may bring about different big hairy creatures in the forest. And while I am not yet adequately equipped to deal with big hairy predators (soon, working on that...), no cool animals will get near me when I'm carrying The Beast camera, so taking it along was the next best thing.
So the leaves are falling, and the grass is growing. You can practically see it grow. Does that seem weird? Other parts of the country do that in spring. By the end of May, if not sooner, the grass will all be dead again.