Sunday, October 30, 2011

Unexpected Walkabout

Remember, in my last post, how I was complaining about having to bust ass over to the local park because Tuesday was the only day it was going to be sunny, and I wanted to take some fall photos?

All for nothing.  When I woke up today to dazzling sunshine, my first thought was, “Fuckin’ weathermen…” So after I got my newspaper and blog fix, I headed back to the park to get my fall pictures with sunshine, glorious sunshine.

See, doesn’t this look better when the whole side is lit?  Also, do you see that cave right by the shore?  Remember that because I got a better shot of it later.

Pinky and I have been going to this park since shortly after we met, in 2006.  But a couple years ago, they closed it down because the access bridge was deemed unsafe.  They only reopened the place a couple weeks ago.  It always used to be a haven for dog owners and in this incarnation, they’ve fenced in a place for dogs to play off-leash.  I like this idea because it allows dogs to run around without bothering or scaring the non-dog people who might just want a peaceful walkabout.

Last week when I went, I didn’t have time to cross the new bridge and go into the park, so I had my chance today.  The bridge crosses right in front of a dam and I took advantage of the many angles provided as I walked around the dam.

Caption: I took this from under the bridge at the bottom of the dam.

From near the top of the dam.  Rushing water fascinates me.

From just behind the precipice of the dam.

The foliage still isn’t in full swing… there were a lot of yellows but still lots of green.  Where is the red?

From along the path.

The main portion of the park is like a peninsula that juts into Roland Lake.  There was a path that we used to walk, that went around the perimeter.  As I was walking it, I saw that the dog park was placed on the end of the peninsula, which blocked off some of my favorite places to shoot.

Not being one to take that kind of disappointment lying down, I went “off-path.”  I scrambled down to the bank of the lake and went around the fences.  Hey, it’s a park, not an African safari.  Where’s the fun in staying on the path?  So I got down to my favorite picture spot, where I could shoot the lake, the trees and a railroad crossing.  For a change, I actually had a chance to shoot a train running over the bridge.
OK, it’s not technically a “train.”  It’s the light rail.  So sue me.

I’ve got a number of pictures from that vantage point, from winter, summer and spring.  This is the first time I’ve gotten decent fall shots here.

While I was “off-path” I made my way around the water’s edge. 

I love using fallen trees in the foreground.  This one looked like a sea serpent.

Also while I was on the perimeter, I was able to grab a better shot of what I call “The Bat Cave.”   Last time I was out here, my camera didn’t have a sufficient zoom to get an angle like this.
The Bat Cave.

I know I call it The Bat Cave, but it really remind me of that asteroid monster from the first Star Wars movie.
Put some teeth in that thing in my picture and change the angle, and you have the famous Space Slug. 

Along the way, I met up with a guy that was walking his golden retriever, Luna.  I’m completely captivated by goldens, so we talked for a bit as we walked the path.  I really wish I had taken a picture.  She’d just been in the water, as retrievers are prone to do.  That was probably a good thing for the owner, because it kept me from picking her up and running away with her.

I took about 125 shots in the space of an hour.  Of those, I deleted about 20 because I intentionally over-shot, not wanting to lose a good shot because of a random jiggle or loss of focus.  So while my main mission was to get fall foliage, this one ended up as my favorite.
Maybe it just captures my reflective mood.

The Mojo Boogie
Big game today against the Patriots, who have had the Steelers’ number in recent years.  I believe Tom Brady is 6-1 against the Steelers.  That’s called ‘ownership.’

I won last week wearing my Hines Ward jersey, with the Steelers at home and me watching the game at home.  Those circumstances remain, but I opted against wearing the Hines jersey again.  First off, Hines isn’t playing, due to an ankle injury.  Also, this is the jersey I wore when I went to the AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh against the Pats in 2005.  The Patriots mopped up the field with my boys that night, so I’m hesitant to wear it today.  I’m going with the defense, who has to step up tonight.
Lamarr Woodley jersey with throwback long-sleeved T, flannel Steelers jammie pants and the Hot Arizona Auntie-approved Steelers Socks.
Late Update:
The Steelers won 25-17 in a thrilling, hard-fought game.  The mojo worked, however Lamarr Woodley, whose jersey I wore, got hurt during the game.  That means that the Steelers may face the hated Ratbirds next week, missing 3 of their 4 starting linebackers.  As big a win as this was, I only hope that it's not a pyrrhic victory.  But it's still pretty sweet to get this hoodie-wearing monkey off our back.


Judie said...

Bluz, glad you had such a wonderful day for photos. Your's are soooo excellent! You have such a creative spirit and it shines through in your writing and photography.

Your Hot Arizona Auntie

bluzdude said...

Thank you, my friend. Coming from a true artist like you, that makes art with her own heart, soul and fingers, that means a lot.

Judie said...

Don't forget that I also paint with my breasts, or didn't you know that?

bluzdude said...

I did not know that. What do you specialize in painting, targets?

DG said...

What gorgeous photos! SOOOO glad the mojo worked yesterday. I was agonizing between Woodley and Lambert myself, but in the end decided we needed THESE Steelers to step up.

bluzdude said...

That's funny... I wore my Jack Lambert jersey to work on Friday.

I'm not looking forward to facing the Rats, though, missing 3 out of 4 linebackers. Hope Woodley can come back. His replacement was getting tossed around pretty good.

Mary Ann said...

Breathtaking photos. These are works of art, truly inspired and inspiring.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Those are some amazing photos. That first one in particular is so colorful. It's desktop background quality. It almost replaced my current one, but my current one has boobs, so current background > art. Sorry.

bluzdude said...

Brandon (Beer),
Yeah,I wouldn't replace boobs with any artsy-fartsy crap either. But thanks for the thought. It's nice to be in the same ballpark with boobage.

Kernut the Blond said...

Beautiful photos! Geez, those are better than the ones I'm taking on my travels. And I thought mine weren't too bad, but I'm not so sure now. Glad you enjoyed the day!

Jessica R. said...

These photos are gorgeous! I wish we got that much color here. What an amazing place to spend the day. Wish we had a dog park like that.

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

LOVE the reflection photo! And you can borrow Ringo, my golden retriever, for a week and take him to that doggy park. When can I drop him off?

bluzdude said...

I have you to thank for the picture quality. Wasn't it you that told me about upping the color saturation? Sure helps make the colors pop...

You can drop Ringo off any time. I'll take the week off just to play with him all day. But you'd run the risk that I'd never give him back.

bluzdude said...

PS to Sherry,
I love reflection pictures... it wasn't a good day for them though because the wind kept the water choppy. That pic was the only place I found the water to be still, so I jumped on it. It kind of looks like an abstract.

bluzdude said...

Your pictures are beauteous too! It's just that we're working with different color palates. Hard to beat fall foliage for 'pop.' Your pictures from the desert (like the Flacid Phallus shot) are wonderful.

Mrs. Bachelor Girl said...

That is one FANTASTIC park. And your photos are awesome.

bluzdude said...

Thanks. That means a lot coming from a professional photog like you.