Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Limping People

    I notice them now,
    Though I never used to,
    Limping along with
    A gait like mine:
    The trembling knee,
    The steadying cane,
    The many I’ve been ignoring.

    I dreamt last night
    Of meeting someone,
    We were younger then
    With nothing minding:
    Coffee and conversation.
    I went on ahead.  We’d
    Meet by the way

    Some place, my dream
    Non-specific.  I saw
    It last night like an older film
    Her gentle looks confounding. 
    I’ll hold the tiller till the
    Dream dies away my
    Thoughts stay full of longing.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Morning Rain


    Rain, falling round about
    Is gently covering
    Everything I see.  Keeping
    Now is hard, rushing
    Off as thoughts strive
    To do.  There has been
    Much rushing, striving.

    I stood like this in the
    Yellow Sea, stretching
    From here through the
    Barbed wire fence
    On out to the horizon.
    Later with my
    Seabag near I
    Watched the bus coming
    To take me to Pendleton . . .
    And in a rain like this
    In a grotto near
    Newport Beach with her
    Eyes sparkling a sweetness
    I was sure would last forever.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Before the Wind

    Sailing before the wind
    This long while I
    Wasn’t prepared to
    See it change, put
    Me on a broad reach,
    Scrambling below for
    My spinnaker half-

    Heartedly, settling for
    The Genoa and as the
    Wind grew, the working
    Jib and then the storm.
    Fitting this if it's more
    Wind than I can handle,
    Limping from stem to stern

    Well enough when the weather
    Was fair, but this strange wind
    Shoves me whither it will.
    Now down to my smallest
    Sail, gripping the tiller with
    Knuckles white I feel
    The overwhelming come.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Wounded Bait

    I’m here as well as I can be,
    Braced at foot and knee,
    Thrust-spear honed sharp
    Pointed toward the herd –
    No time to think of what
    Comes next, whether to be
    Or not in a pleasant place.

    After the wolves my leg
    Won’t work as of old –
    Can’t run to hunt –
    Can’t pivot to fight
    Enemies who come.
    I can stand here and wound
    The beast that runs me down.

    Good food it will be for those
    At camp and good to see
    By those who dash out at
    The right time.  The sun sees
    Me too, breathing all this 
    In as I should, and fine:
    Hunting here one last time.

Friday, July 5, 2019

July 4th 2019

    Dreaded independence: Susan
    Died this day four years ago --
    Now bombs declare their dominion
    Once again.  Duffy again throbs.
    Ben leans hard against my leg.
    Jessica anxiously watches me
    Creating competing sounds.

    Duffy paws my leg
    Wanting me to make it
    Stop – this explosive
    Ritual we endure again
    ‘Til the powders gone. 
    There is nothing for it but
    That and gathering here

    Waiting while the sounds die
    Down and Duffy’s trembling
    Stops.  Ben moves away
    And Jessica closes her
    Eyes, tired of the fear
    She felt.  I lean back
    In my chair at the end

    And with my own eyes closed
    See Susan lying downstairs
    On the hospice bed sighing
    The last of her life away in the
    Silence following the sound
    Of the bombs that died
    Away with her last breath.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The progress of poetry

    Is it linear progress:
    Kingdoms, democracies, a
    Global identity, reactionary
    Brexits not withstanding?
    Similarly is there progress
    From Elizabethans to
    Augustans on down to

    Our Rock-Star lyrics?
    I wondered if my task
    Was to move poetry in
    Another direction.
    Chomsky told us we
    Must enter anarchy
    And I saw that we had.

    Fatigued, appalled
    I might be. It thundered,
    Impervious to change.                       
    It seemed enough here
    Watching her fade year
    By year to find the means 
    To write a new Inferno.


J. Alfred Prufrock explications

J. Alfred Prufrock explications
    A common explication, an explication I would call banal, sees The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock as a character depiction of a man who lacks self-confidence, who dithers, and can’t make up his mind.  As the poem proceeds Prufrock sinks lower and lower until he like a crab with ragged claws is at the bottom where he hears mermaids singing, but not singing to him.  The voices he complained about earlier in the poem then wake him, get him caught up in their concerns, and he drowns.

I see the poem differently. T. S. Eliot knew (he wrote the poem at, I think, age 27) that he had it in him to be Prufrock, and that is what he became, but not totally. He knew what it was to be inspired during his writing of his poetry – the mermaids singing. And his early successes made him an instant success with the English literati. So should he have set his social and literary successes aside and seek the mermaids?  Or should he ignore them and settle for the fame he had already achieved, something he valued greatly and wished to enhance. He compromised by devoting himself to criticism, teaching and publishing. None of which activities required his listening for mermaids.

Even though he has “heard the mermaids singing, each to each.” He does “not think that they will sing” for him. And yet he has “lingered in the chambers of the sea / By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown” until “human voices” woke him [with banal responsibilities] and he drowned.

What do critics do with a poet who produced relatively few poems but is still (or they want him to be still a) major poet? Another such poet was Dylan Thomas. In his introduction to A Reader’s guide to Dylan Thomas, William York Tindall (in 1962) wrote,

“Thomas wrote sixteen great poems – give or take a couple. Few poets have written so many. If I were making an anthology of the hundred best lyrics in English, I should include two or three by Thomas along with half a dozen or more by Yeats. To those who want to know which sixteen of Thomas’ poems I have in mind I offer a list of seventeen: “I see the boys of summer,” “The force that through the green fuse,” “Especially when the October wind,” “Today, this insect,” “Hold hard, these ancient minutes,” Altarwise by owl-light,” “We lying by seasand,” “After the funeral,” “A Refusal to Mourn,” “Poem in October,” “Ceremony After a Fire Raid,” “Ballad of the Long-legged Bait,” “Fern Hill,” “In Country Sleep,” “Over Sir John’s hill,” “Lament,” “In the White Giant’s Thigh.”

Tindall goes on to justify his choice: “Value judgments of this sort, notoriously subjective, and uncertain, are not unlike the reports of a winetaster, which depend upon experience in tasting.  Saying that Thomas wrote sixteen great poems means that, having read his poems again and again and having read many others through the years, I find these sixteen agreeable. . . .”

Agreeable though they may be, my impression is that Thomas’s reputation as a poet is not faring well. He was a “rock star” in his age. That is, he had a beautiful reading voice. He did outrageous things.  He spoke his mind regardless of the cost, and was a drunkard and womanizer.   He was an interesting personality to a great number of people . But do many read his poetry today? Maybe in Wales, but they aren’t totally reconciled to his having written in English.

In T. S. Eliot’s case many still do read his poetry. I just reread The Love Song of J. Alfred Profrock” and found it . . . agreeable.

Friday, June 28, 2019


    In the middle of night a
    Coughing loss of breath
    Woke me, chasing
    In another dream she
    Who sped ahead.
    Laden as I was
    Unable to follow though

    Once I was filled with 
    Froth. Through the
    Years she skittered past
    Leaving me racing – her
    Mind beyond – mine
    Letting her run as
    She pleased being
    With me through those
    Years elapsing.  This
    Hunger, this waiting,
    Filled my mind with
    Suspense, bound she
    Became to come to
    Me as I lay back down.

Monday, June 24, 2019

We who won’t be moved

    Despite proclaiming I’d never be
    Moved, my knees seem weak, my
    Feet slide, I stumble, and stagger
    Several steps toward a
    Solid-seeming stone-worked
    Arch.  I stand, shocked
    At what is before me.

    Looking into that space
    I desperately wanted to
    Go back– return to my
    Study’s safe-haven and
    See round about those I’d
    Come to depend upon for
    Stability during this holding-fast.

    I laid my hand upon the first
    Thing that came to mind
    And held it while the world spun.
    “Look you,” an old man said
    To a child as they passed by.
    “That man has hold of a
    Monstrous thought and can’t let go.

Little glimpses of time

    There is little enough
    Left here now: wood
    Chips for a fire;
    Gravel to pile upon
    The next one to die;
    Wry comments on
    The temperature

    Inside and out . . .
    We’ve paced back
    And forth as long
    As I can remember
    And know the final
    Result.  What comes
    Next requires

    Arrogance and aplomb,
    Though no one will
    Believe thinkers with
    That level of confidence.
    Appeal will be made
    To equality of thought
    And a democratic vote.


    He reasoned his way down
    To this time and place
    And sat legs stretched ahead
    Like Gandhi basking
    In his own wisdom.
    “It is all done,”
    He insisted.

    Everything that once
    Was has been discontinued
    And everything before
    Us has been disallowed.”
    His beatific smile
    Radiated self-

    “Worry not about
    Future Warming.
    I shall leave you ice
    And to sooth your
    Fears, each step
    From now on will
    Be someone’s last.”

Friday, May 31, 2019

My Last Bike


    I was in the right lane --
    Something wrong with my
    Crankcase and looking back
    I saw a line of oil streaming
    Out behind as a truck not
    Seeing nudged me off
    And down an embankment.

    Later, Susan wide-eyed
    Listened to my tale
    And between sobs said
    She had never until just
    Then imagined my death.
    I no longer ride - the
    Streets being crooked

    And my eyesight
    And hearing failing.
    But I may have wept
    Considering her death
    As it crept alongside
    And nudged her
    Out of my life.


    She sang softly, breathing
    Notes – not boldly, but
    With assurance
    Which glowed with
    Ethereal incandescence
    She alone could feel.
    I looked up from

    Her striving to
    Seek sense from those
    Sounds.  Her rhythm
    Slowed as her breathing
    Failed, her music
    Lapsed into gasping. 
    I followed her

    Down her tonal   
    Pathway, breathing in time
    With her breath all that
    Remained – the words
    She sang with those
    Lyrics, those melodies,
    I never comprehended.


    I render those days as
    Colorful as they sometimes
    Seem still, and the ringing
    In the town sounding again --
    Muted though by time even if
    Something still remains –
    Crushed stone, perhaps

    The bell.  Perhaps the steps
    Down from the church and
    Around the corner to the
    Library where when she
    Needed books my grandmother
    Took me.  I reveled in
    Them as well and still do

    Though I no longer
    Listen for the bell,
    And whatever ringing
    There is may be
    Illusion only and the
    Words still here arrange
    Themselves quite differently.

DNA on the rocks


    It wasn’t always true
    But now there is much new
    Under the sun.  With each
    Generation variables
    Cause some of us to dream
    Loud enough to drown out

    Normal means of thinking
    And speak to each other
    In a language we fail
    To understand.  No wonder
    We drink or fly from
    Frustration to drugs.
    We can’t recall all

    Of whatever is ripping
    Itself out through our eyes,
    Broached with our fingers. 
    You say Nature will select us out
    Of existence, but we know
    How to think around corners
    Clear through solid walls.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The picador in the corner


    In the corner near
    The standing lamp is
    A painting of a picador
    With arched back and up-thrust
    Arms just then ridden into place.
    What happens next, what we are
    Not allowed to see, is the

    Down-thrust of his lance
    Preparing the bull for eternity.
    Is it worthwhile now to
    Reach around and grasp
    A lance, ease it out if one
    Still has the strength, reach then
    For the other if there be two

    Or possibly three if one
    In one’s younger days
    Was especially fierce?  I let
    Mine hang, dragging along
    Behind upon the ground,
    Looking instead ahead 
    For the matador.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Social Combat


    They watched me limping
    Ahead steadily pretending
    I don’t exist.
    I ought to be remote
    From whatever they
    Whisper to and fro,
    And an hour or two

    Punching the heavy bag,
    Running the treadmill
    Should make it so.
    Stars later twinkle through
    My window and catch my
    Eye.  I pause, take
    A twisted towel and

    Mop my brow.
    These junctures
    Are thirsty work.
    Hoisting a beer I look
    About at all I’ve destroyed,   
    Ready now for the next
    That comes my way.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Neighborhood Watch


    The explosions, one after the other
    Moved away – a Brobdingnagian
    Striding off, marking each step with
    Olympian rage.  Smoke shrouded
    The neighborhood.  I counted
    The seconds until the next series
    Of mortar rounds would begin to fall.

    Beneath the floor
    In a root cellar they
    Wouldn’t have known –
    Musty with age and a
    Smell of sage I sat
    With shotgun in my lap
    And revolver in my hand.

    They were persistently
    Seeking my end having
    Given up efforts to meld
    Me into accepting
    The lot on which my
    House dwelt belonged to
    No one, much less to me.

    I checked the rounds in my
    Guns, drew the case of 
    Shells and the boxes of
    Bullets close by – this
    Alternative to submitting
    To force waiting here
    Beneath their feet.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Stand Up Comics


    He stood there grinning, pointing
    His gun at my head, showing
    Off for his friend.  I glared at
    Him, but he still held his gun,
    Pointing.  I turned opened my
    Car door, got my badge, turned
    And pinned it to my chest.

    He turned then, smirking in
    Satisfaction, laughing with
    His friend as they strolled
    Away.  “Why not arrest him?”
    The novice asked later
    Back at the station.  “How
    Exactly do I arrest someone
    Pointing a gun at my head?”
    “But you had yours.”  “Unpointed,
    As I said.  Letting things go is
    A skill you’ll learn as you age. 
    Not everything is worth fighting
    For.”  “But you’ve fought,”
    He maintained.  “I recall all

    That fighting pretty well.
    Didn’t walk away as often
    As I ought.  They know by
    The size of the chip on
    Your shoulder whether you'd
    Rather fight or ignore
    Their taunts and grow older.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Fading Dream


    I think I’d remember if I were
    Really there – though sometimes
    In dreams it seems something
    Like that -- fading as I
    Sip coffee from my cup.
    Sometimes vividness carries
    On into day-dreams strangely,

    And I wonder where it
    Originates – meeting
    Someone like her, knowing
    I could never have
    Had that reality or
    That she could be
    As lovely as I dream

    Or have an interest in
    Me, struggling,
    Yearning, hoping
    To find her hand
    Reaching mine,
    Her bright eyes shining,
    Watching me wake.

Thursday, April 11, 2019


    I cared for her up until her
    Frailties were past my
    Abilities, I assure myself
    With fading confidence.  I
    Go back over the evidence
    In the sleep of each night:
    I should have discovered how

    To prevent her diminishing,
    Hold her here still and watch
    Whatever happened as though
    It merely may have, but instead
    I wasn’t enough -- snapping
    Awake with pounding head, eyes
    Swollen from all that lacking.

    “You failed her” echoes
    From a once-watched movie,
    From the mouth of a
    Criminal too smart for all
    But the clever detective:
    Someone less old, less
    Inclined to get it wrong.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Social Solutions

    Down through the labyrinthine passages,
    Tunnels and clearways interspersed
    With stairs, winding up underneath
    A bloody moon and star-studded
    Sky:  They say dark signs
    Cause in us deeds like these.
    I considered all the possibilities

    Until only one remained.
    I remained on the platform
    Waiting for the helicopter
    To appear, hover, and set
    Down.  I watched the uniformed
    Police rush me and force
    My hands behind my back.

    It didn’t matter that I had not
    Yet killed, that no life had been
    Lost.  I was genetically unclean.
    Accepting that, I broke from
    Them and leaped off the roof,
    Down into the sea which was
    The last they needed to see of me

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Ulysses Agonistes 2

    I sought to reach the cove before
    The storm, but there followed
    A rising sea.  I put down anchors
    Fore and aft hoping they’d hold me
    While the sea swept harmlessly
    Past.  But I’m on a lee shore
    Roiling against God.  The trails I’ve

    Traveled have spilled me down 
    The mountain and out to sea.  
    Foul winds rose and shoved me    
    As far out as they could go.
    I struggled in weather gear
    Ripped and torn and missed
    My true way to the cove.
    Anchors held all through   
    The night, but now they drag
    And will soon let go.  Should I
    Hide below as I smash upon
    These rocks?  I think instead
    I’ll stand upon the deck and
    Watch my own destruction?

Ulysses Agonistes 1

    In an earlier time I sailed
    Out in full armor, but this
    Afternoon with a light breeze
    Coming from the north
    And possessing my full rights
    I let a burdened boat cross
    Before my bow, falling off

    Letting him take my place,
    Veering, trying for a better
    Wind further along.
    I’ll sail whatever course this
    Wind demands, never
    Needing to win at merely this.

    I won’t hear the winning horn
    But urgently seek my long sought
    Cove, Penelope there where
    I once dived down to find
    Her.  Let others swallow
    Their indignation.  I’ll
    Dive down unannounced.       

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

On he Road


    I’ve been on this road a
    Seldom understood long time
    And have never managed
    To catch its name:  The signs
    Wink by so quickly.  I must
    Do my best to watch for
    Directions: “Gas and Lodging”

    From time to time or 
    “Rest Stop” which I
    Pull in to and seeing no one
    To complain, let my dogs
    Out off-leash to run.
    I look about but see no
    Explanation of where this is.

    My sense of direction, always
    Poor seems to have gotten worse:
    The sky in this unpeopled place with
    Its immeasurable number of stars,
    Each one with a name
    I never learned, aches
    As I cross over a crest

    Away from the rest-stop’s lights.
    The night is full of explanation,
    But I am limited by the
    Energy I still possess –
    The dogs come near and wait
    To see where I will go – on out
    To infinity – or back to the car.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Heidegger on a bad day

     I on the other hand am fighting
    The not care-edness of being.
    The camera I use today will be
    Electronic junk ten years from now
    As may we all for all I know.
    Tip-toe as I might up every
    Little hill, past flowers

    Still in bloom, I see with
    Infinitesimal glimpses
    Using rheumy eyes and try
    I might think to reach out
    For something to grasp,
    Feel my last gasp coming
    In a cough like a fit,

    Fearing solipsistic sentiments
    I might give my camera away,
    Crush poppies in the field as I
    Walk by, lift my eyes to meteor
    Showers and eclipses beyond
    My reach even if I were to take my
    Hands from my pockets and try.

Daddy Long Legs

    The spider hung upside down
    With legs so fine they looked
    Like strands of his web.
    A wounded fly
    Fell in, struggling
    Weakly as the spider by
    Then quite close wrapped him

    Tightly and as soon cocooned
    Set him aside.  I raised
    My eyes and looked away.
    Whatever would happen
    Next required the spider’s
    Patience more than mine,
    Looking about at the rest

    Not web connected,
    Waiting none the less
    For what would happen soon,   
    I picked up my broom, swept
    Up blown-in leaves, tracked-
    In sand and debris, ready
    For whatever comes for me.

Bring me your dead

    “Bring out your dead,”
    “Bring out your dead,”
    Louder with each call
    A tall man with bald head   
    Looked in.  “We’ll have your dead.”
    His bass-voice demanded.
    “Have away,” I snarled,

    Looking up annoyed.
    “Don’t make me wait
    He snarled back.  I stood
    On wobbly legs and shook
    My cane.  “Do you see any dead
    In here?  You damned fool.  Try
    The house next door.  He checked

    His phone and checked my
    Number.  “No, no mistake.”
    I frothed, “You bureaucratic
    Muggins couldn’t find your way
    Around my block.  Get off   
    My porch or I’ll call the law.
    We’ll just see who here is dead.

    My anger overwhelmed
    My sense of being and I swung
    My cane, falling as I did.
    “I see him now,” I heard him say,
    Looking down with a glint
    In his closest eye.  I coughed, and as
    I died heard him contentedly sigh.

Philosophically Speaking

    “It’s going to get buried,”
    I heard him say. “It” being
    Something I held dear. I began
    Thinking:  The sound as
    He spoke was immense
    With authority.  But so many
    Do that in these late days,

    I slung my gun belt around
    My waist.  “Well see about
    This,” I mumbled aloud,
    Checking the loads in my old
    Colt and feeling the few
    More in my pocket if it came
    To that.  Turning I saw

    The one who spoke near
    The end of the bar – hat down
    Over his eyes – thumbs in his
    Belt looking nonchalant.  “Hey
    You,” he heard me say and looked
    Around. “You better think again    
    Before you grab your spade

Sunday, February 24, 2019

In case of diminished capacity

In the monthly report packets from my broker on 1-9-19, I found slips asking who he should contact in case he noticed "diminished capacity."  I had pretty much concluded that there might be no one in easy reach in case I noticed any such thing in the world round about.  It isn't that I blame God for Susan's years of suffering and demise in a wasted-away condition, but I did notice that the church round about seemed in a diminished capacity -- unless it was the other way around which those involved seemed willing to believe -- that is, that any diminishment is in what they saw and not in what they were.

I often think of Ted Kaczynski and how our part of the world thinks of him as a thorough-going nutter.  He was partly right of course.  We have filled up this planet and then some -- not enough to destroy it most likely, but enough to destroy us; which Richard Leakey in Nairobi Kenya wrote about before giving it (writing) up to protect the rhinos and elephants; that is, that our species is unlikely to last any longer than any other species, which he told us was about 200,000 years.  Of course that was before all the work done by geneticists so, not being a geneticist,  it is just as well he gave up writing about it. 

Perhaps we ought to ask who we should contact in case of our species diminished capacity?  Perhaps if provide the evidence of the cave paintings in France and Spain of our species having begin just shy of 200,000 years ago, we are very near Richard Leakey's time limit.  But if as the geneticists say, we have evolved only slightly from the "species," that preceded ours, I don't think that is what Leakey had in mind.  If the Great Ape in Kenya and elsewhere dwindles further and as a species dies, Leakey can count back and pause perhaps in his tracking down of elephant-tusk poachers and say to himself, "yup."  But in our case it is not quite that clear cut.

Kaczynski thought that if he killed a few scientists and got the world to read his manifesto, he could coerce it away from technology and return it to a system of pre-technological villages -- well he was a complete nutter, but he was right about believing that something needed to be done. 

Being privy now to genetic information not available to Richard who predicted our diminished capacity and demise, or Ted who attempted to cause our demise, evolution is continuously at work and "may" cause us to supersede our species in the same way that we superseded homo erectus and his like; thus causing Leakey's 200,000 year clock to begin again (of course the "us" in the above is a matter for ongoing speculation and concern). 

Or . . . if we accept the Koheleth "there is nothing new under the sun" belief that mankind is the same as it has always been and will be the same on into the future however long our future lasts; then, as we can read in NASA and other such organizations' proposals, we can hie ourselves to the moon, Mars, Saturn's moons, and continue on as we have always been for another 200,000 years and etcetera. 

Kaczynski built himself a little ten by ten hut and lived as a hermit before his brother and the law caught up with him.  In my case I had my son build a ten by ten Hobbit House . . . or at least that is what I told him to build, but it looks pretty much like the tool sheds in my neighbor's yards.  And of course it contains tools and not me.  I live mostly upstairs in my study (in case anyone is trying to catch up with me); although I have converted Susan's bedroom to the room in which I do dumbbell exercises.  My main workout area is downstairs in my three-car garage.  Having just one vehicle, I have plenty of room in the other two spots for barbells, and some other workout equipment.  Also, I use all this equipment, and beyond that continue to hike very regularly with my dogs while brandishing a camera.  Thus, despite actuarial criteria to the contrary, at age 84 I am not feeling a need to have anyone else determine when my capacity has diminished.  My portion of 200,000 years is showing no signs of ending any time soon.

As to writing, I still do quite a lot -- nothing poetic recently, of course.   T. S. Eliot, I hasten to remind the inquisitive, gave me permission to write away in all sorts of forms so that when the white-hot heat of whatever it is that inspires me to write poetry is of a sufficient incendiary nature, I shall be able to.  Still not feeling in any way diminished I expect I shall be sufficiently fiery in the not too distant future. 

Hike on 1-1-19 with lots of birds

This was my second outing with the Nikon D800e.  One person wrote me that he also had an 800e, had it for a long time and was planning to upgrade to the D850 – the most advanced Nikon full-frame camera short of the Pro D5.  Maybe one day I’ll want a D850 as well, but for now the D800e suits me.  I like the way it handles.  I’m sure I’ll like it even better once I learn what all the buttons and dials do.  A manual for the D800e was waiting for me when I got home (not the Nikon manual, but one intended to be of use to the user . . . maybe I should say “of more use,” but just barely). 

The lens I used today, the 70-300 is considered a good lightweight lens for the hiker.  It’s only flaw was (I read) soft edges at 300mm, but I discovered that only my left edges were a bit soft, and then not always. 

I took a lot of shots of birds, especially at 300mm and especially birds in flight.  I would think I should be able to do everything I did with the D800e with my full-frame Pentax K1ii, but the shots I got of birds at 300mm seem sharper than anything I’ve managed with my Pentax gear.   And the D800e isn’t supposed to be quite as good as the crop (AFSC) D500 which I have yet to take out on its second outing.  It has been sitting on a shelf for more than a week,  so long in fact that my nephew thought I might want to sell it.  No, no, no!  I will get to it shortly.  I know the D500 will do well.  I wasn’t sure about the older D800e, however, and since I had more questions about the D800e, I wanted to try it first.

Starting with shot 146, I took several shots of ducks in a rather foul-looking pond.   I would certainly not want to spend any time in one of these ponds, but the birds don’t mind.  I've seen them in these ponds every years.  My D800e shutter seemed extremely loud.  In the first two you can see the duck in the foreground watching me.  As we moved along and I took more, the ducks swam further away.  The shutter on my Pentax K1ii isn’t nearly as loud, but at least the ducks didn’t fly off.  A few years ago I was using a camera that made a sort of beep when a shot was in focus, and as soon as the birds heard it they flew up in a huge chaotic panicky-seeming cluster.  I later noticed that the beep sounded very much like the sound a red-tailed hawk makes.    But we didn’t beep today.  In shot 163 and subsequent you can see one of those very hawks.   It wasn’t ducks who flew off after hearing the hawk-sounding beep, but the small white sea-birds you can see in a pond further along.

The dogs nibbled on some of the farming leftovers on the fringes of the fields.  In shot number 173 Ben has something the seems  to be extremely bad-tasting. 

Shot number 183 is a genuine BIF (bird in flight) at 300 mm – not a great picture perhaps but it is fairly sharp, and the bird is flying.  

Shot 191 and subsequent shows three ducks in flight at 300mm.  They weren’t close enough to get great shots, but they too appear to be in focus and sharp. 

Shot 238 is the cute-shot of the day.  Why Jessica likes to rest with her tongue hanging out, I don’t know.

Shot 256 and following shows a three shot rabbit chase – although it could have been a squirrel.  I didn’t actually see what they were chasing. 

The last three shots, 275, 276 and 277, are of a tent containing a young woman and a small dog.  You can see her looking at me through her window in shot 276.  In the right edge you can see my Jeep.  We didn’t see her tent when we started our hike because we went straight down to the river from where my Jeep is.  Although now that I think of it perhaps the dogs saw her then.  I took a bit of time to get my gear on and I don’t know what they were doing while I was doing that.   The woman had a small dog that caused my dogs to run toward the tent, but she called her dog inside before mine got there --- no harm done . . . other than the fact that she is living there; which strikes me as rather harmful thing to be doing.