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LITTLE BLUFF JOURNAL - January 2019

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Little Bluff cabin cam January 21 - the Full Wolf Blood Super Moon at full Eclipse over the cabin last night. It was pretty darn nice. HAPPY MONDAY!

Journal updated January 19th - SNOW!

01/01/19 My year began at 2:30 this morning when I woke up wide awake, sipped a cup of java, had a bowl of cereal, and was ready to get to work. I had wanted to hike into a waterfall at first light, but after working for a while in the office, it was still a couple of hours from first light, so I just drove to the trailhead and waited in the van. An hour before first light I loaded up and headed out into the dark forest - guess it was my version of cabin fever and I just wanted to be in the woods.

Since it was cloudy the deep woods remained dark a little bit longer and therefore I ran into more trees and rocks and vines than normal - hiking in the dark is delightful - as long as you are able to avoid literally running into things! (I hike very slow.) But I love being able to see the geographical features and shape of the land around me as the slightest hint of light begins to creep into the landscape, even if they are just silhouettes. "Oh yes, there is a hill up there and it slopes down in front of me. Nothing but darkness that direction - must be a wall or hillside. Looks like level hiking ahead, but watch out for that tree!"

I did use my dim headlamp a time or two. Once after crossing a stream I happened to look back across where I had just come from and there was a pair of eyes looking at me through the darkness. They seemed wide apart for being so close to the ground. I moved in a little bit closer and realized it was a river otter! Sleek and almost black with diamonds for eyes. I immediately turned my headlamp off and he disappeared - there was just blank space where he had been. Turn lamp on again, and the diamonds and black otter shape returned. Eventually he turned and disappeared for real into the hillside. As I continued on up the creek he seemed so much larger in my mind than he should have been. Hum.

It was heavy overcast so no sunrise, but it was almost daylight by the time I reached the small waterfall way on up the hillside that I was headed for. I really wanted to see what the entire scene looked like against the sky - if there was any - and if it might be a candidate to shoot with stars behind and above it. I shot a few pictures just for reference, made a couple of calculations with an app on my iphone (can't believe I just SAID that!), then packed up and headed back to the car. The location may or may not work for my starry waterfall photo, but I hope I can remember to return the next time we have high water and clear skies with no moon.

On the way back to my van I followed the contour of the land, crossing a steep hillside most of the way, then made kind of like an otter and slipped and slid almost straight down the hillside and landed in the bottom with a CLUNK. It was level hiking from that point on, stopping only once to get down on my hands and knees to photograph a tiny waterfall on the creek. The bubbles it produced were what interested me, but it was a tough location to place my camera. I ended up with only one good photo, and by accident I had shot the scene at a "film" speed/ISO of 12,500 in order to freeze the motion of the bubbles. I was able to pull out an acceptable image to post here, but not sure it will ever see the light of day anywhere else.

I was back home by 8:30am and ready for a nap. HAPPY NEW YEAR HIKE TO ME!

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Since I never made a last post for December I will make a brief one here. My bride arrived home from her week-long trip to Florida with our daughter, and I don't think it was a good trip for either of them. Pam came home exhausted and with a cold - ironic that both of us managed to make it through our second program season in a row without getting sick, and now she went to sunny and warm Florida and caught a cold! Anyway, it had not been our finest year and I think both of us were happy to see 2018 end as soon as possible. Pam was in bed by 7:05, and I followed quickly by 8. We are big party animals as you can tell, ha, ha! We look forward to a better 2019....

01/02/19 A nice gentle rain is falling tonight, and the temp so far has remained above freezing - and in fact has risen from about 33 to 36 right now. Supposed to drop into the upper 20's by first light, but I think the precip will be done with by then. At one point today the van was covered with ice, but roads and trees remained warm enough and I never saw an ice coating. We would LOVE a foot or two of beautiful snow, but I'd rather keep the ice in the freezer or glasses.

I was a slacker today and slept in until about 3:30 this morning. It was chilly and damp and dark when I hiked up to the gallery before dawn. Seems like much of my day was spent driving back and forth to town running errands. My time would have been better spent in the woods behind a camera, but work marches on.

There was one magical moment this afternoon as the pups and I made our way back up to the gallery after lunch. The forest the trail goes through is so rich with color right now - earthy tones made all the richer by the moisture in the air. Hardly any wind about, and so it was pretty much just yourself and your thoughts. Within a few seconds of each other I took notice of the sweet aroma of approaching rain, then my phone made a funny sound, and a quick glance at the screen told me it was going to rain within a few minutes. And sure enough, within a minute of that announcement it began to rain. It is still pretty difficult for anyone to predict the weather with any accuracy, but these little weather apps have all of a sudden been able to predict rainfall about to hit your head - and I'd say they are right about 75% of the time.

A point of reference that I just noticed a moment ago. The ringing in my ears is beginning to sound like a summer's eve around here - the constant sound of summer cicadas. I've had some degree of this ringing for a very long time, but it wasn't until we moved here to Little Bluff last year that I really began to notice it a lot more. I think one reason may be that it is a lot quieter here than it was at Cloudland - mostly because at Cloudland the voice of the Buffalo River could be heard rising up 600 feet below - as an almost constant background (when the wind wasn't blowing too hard). That stretch of the river never goes dry in the summer, so there is always water spilling from one pool to another, and when the water is higher the rapids play a very nice tune (when the river is high it is a pretty loud roar). But here the water sounds are about 1,000 feet below the cabin, 'cept for when we have a lot of water running in our little creek to the north, then the creek and waterfalls play a pretty good tune too!

Anyway, I read somewhere that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like Aleve and Ibuprofen can make the ringing worse, and since I've been on prescribed elevated doses of them for the past couple of years (for back pain), that probably had something to do with all that too. I have backed off almost all medications now for the past month (cut in half last summer to start), but I can't really tell much difference in the ringing yet - although the more I think about, it the louder it gets, ha, ha! My overall body pain has increased with out the medications, but it's probably a good idea to give my body a rest from all that anyway, for a little while. (Rollin - the jury is still out on the oil - works great in some limited doses, but not enough data to know yet.)

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01/03/19 Elvis came to visit 42 years ago today.

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Elvis at Mt. Sherman Cemetey, 01/03/77 (photo by David Spencer, we thinks)

Elvis Presley Visits Mt. Sherman Assembly of God Church

Mt. Sherman is located approximately five miles from Jasper. According to Walter Lackey's "History of Newton County", the first post office there was called Killgore. It was established October 23, 1891 with Jackson Killgore as postmaster. It was discontinued in 1898 and the mail was sent to Jasper. It reopened on February 23, 1914 with a new name, Plumlee, but the name changed again on March 15, 1934. The name Mt. Sherman was suggested by John C Spencer. Mt. Sherman was a small, thriving community with school, church, and store/post office. Land for the church was given by William Alonzo Spencer, who was called to preach and was ordained by the Assemblies of God on February 15, 1918. A little country church was built and Alonzo preached there for many years. The church faced many changes in the 1930s when it was rolled back from the road on logs, a stage was built, and the pot- bellied stove was replaced by gas heat. In the early 1980s, a foyer, classroom and two bathrooms were added and a new front porch. In 1977, it still was a little country church with only twelve pews, six on each side. There was an old, high-backed piano badly in need of a tune-up and no full-time preacher. But something happened on January 3, 1977, that made Mt. Sherman Assembly of God the talk of the area. Elvis Presley came to visit. On this day, the church would conduct the funeral services of its founder, William Alonzo Spencer. He was the maternal grandfather of Ginger Alden, who was Elvis' fiance, and Elvis would be by her side at the funeral. The Rev. Martin Villines and Rev. Guy Jones would officiate for the service. A young minister who had just arrived to take the pulpit at Jasper Assembly of God would be asked to sing. He was a long-time fan of Elvis and his Jasper congregation often enjoyed some of the same gospel songs Elvis sang. One of the songs chosen for this occasion was "How Great Thou Art." Rev. Roger D. Maddox had sung this song many times, but on this occasion his voice broke about halfway through. Then the solo became a duet. Elvis began to sing the harmony as they finished, "Then sings my soul, my Savior, God, to thee, how great thou art, how great thou art." After the service, the King of Rock and Roll apologized for joining in the singing. Young Reverend Maddox thought quickly and replied, "That's all right, Elvis. You can sing with me any time!"

Written by Diana Nelson and printed in Volume 13 issue of the Newton County Historical Society Newsletter.

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01/04/19 Here's a snapshot of a waterfall I visited yesterday morning...

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01/05/19 Looks like we got a LOT of rain! This is actually just a mud puddle in the front yard shot up close with a phone camera.

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01/06/19 Sunrise...

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01/11/19 A very cold rain today, probably all day, with a little bit of sleet and snow mixed in. We love a rain like this, especially because we just had gravel spread this week to finish off our 1/4 mile driveway and circle drive - hopefully the LAST gravel we'll have to buy for a very long time - it has nearly busted us. Soaking rain helps to settle all that gravel into more of a hard-packed surface.

We also need a good rain every week or two in order to keep the waterfalls up and running - YIPPIE for WATERFALL SEASON - hope it is a long and wet winter and spring!

I spent a couple of nights out wandering around shooting star trail "circle" photos this past week - we had just incredible clear and brilliant night skies and stars. Gearing up for many more night shoots this winter and on into spring and summer, I hope. My back was not too happy about it, but we'll get along.

Yesterday the famous fireman boys stopped by and helped move several large items out of grandma's house and into ours, then hooked up an important bracket on our roofline to make it easier for me to install the new weather station - it is recording rainfall data now, but this week I will hoist it up over the roofline so we can get accurate wind data too.

LAST NOTE - I GOTTA GO. My lovely bride won't be with me for our last two programs of the year THIS AFTERNOON - 3pm and 4:30pm at the Bull-Shoals White River State Park visitor center. So it will just be me to run the sales table and do both programs and not much time to do either. Have a great FRIDAY!

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01/13/19 Cold and wet with a stiff breeze at first light today. We've had ice in the trees the past couple of mornings but it has all melted off now. Some areas nearby had significant ice damage to trees, but so far I've only found one pine tree limb down here at home. Mostly it's just been blowing cold light rain here and there, duck weather - and also pretty nice hiking weather as long as you keep moving.

Our last slide programs Friday night were bitter-sweet as always - we run an exhausting and dangerous schedule for about six weeks doing these shows each year, and it is oh so SWEET to be done with them for another year - we both survived, no accidents or sickness (until Pam got sick in Florida), and we were able to cope with the impossible schedule with many 20-hour long days back to back to back.

The BITTER part is the fact that while I do LOVE getting out and taking pictures: including the sometimes minute-to-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day struggle to get the job done (that most folks simply have no clue about or can appreciate) - all of that work for months and months each year with zero pay (I've not been paid to take a picture in more than 30 years), to try and capture the great beauty of our natural world to share with you; and it is great to come home from a shoot and find a single image out of hundreds that makes my heart soar; and the special feeling I get when someone hands over some of their hard-earned income to purchase a print of a scene that touched my soul; and the great satisfaction I get when I'm able to produce enough good images to fill an entire book that often takes a year or more to accomplish, and sometimes even the book printing turns out pretty nice and we are able to sell enough copies over the years to pay off the printer bill. But the pinnacle of my work is when I'm able to pair those best images with some beautiful and moving music and present it up on a big screen to YOU, someone who has taken time out of your busy day to make the effort to come attend a slide program and sit there in the dark and watch and possibly be moved to tears - THE SLIDE PROGRAM gives me more joy than anything I do.

And now we're done with those until November, when we'll reload with a new program - AND a brand new picture book for 2019 - and do the program circuit all over again. I hope you have enjoyed our show this year and it was worth your effort - THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING!

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So I'm sitting here on the living room couch in front of our ten-screen panavision of the world spread out before me soaking in the first light and colors and motion and feeling of the new day. There is soft music - mostly piano - drifting across the room from a tiny wireless speaker on the mantle over the fireplace (we don't have a stereo or even a radio, so we use the free version of Pandora), and I'm laid back on the reclining couch and all seems beautiful and good. Puppies are asleep next to me (wet mops from a trip or two outside already). And my lovely bride has bravely headed into town to grocery shop. With one exception when she went over to her parent's house last week to discover a mini-flood in progress that would require five days of emergency cleanup, tear out, and dry out by a service company from Russellville (and eventually replacement of floors, walls, furniture) - Pam has been cabin-bound by her sickness since December 31st. She is a real trooper. She's had a difficult week.

Her story is really just beginning, but we wanted to share some of it now in the hopes it might impact someone else who might be in the same boat. Cut to the chase - she had a breast biopsy procedure done on Thursday and we are waiting to find out if she has cancer or not - hopefully we will know tomorrow.

She's had some issues for a couple of months and back in November she tried to get a mammogram done early (had already been scheduled for one in February). They could not get her in any sooner. So she turned to the magical Dr. Andrew Monfee in Russellville, and he was able to get her in for a mammogram a lot sooner, before Christmas. And while her problems were not related to cancer ("cancer does not hurt" we're told), they did find several "masses/lumps" that needed further attention (they did the mammogram three times to be sure - as you ladies know that is not any fun!).

So they scheduled a biopsy for last Thursday, the first opening. It was hard enough waiting several weeks, but made worse when she came down with this terrible cold. When it didn't get any getter as her biopsy date approached, they told her it could not be done if she had a cough, which is where her sickness had progressed to. Once again she called upon the magical and most wonderful Dr. Monfee in Russellville, and late one night he called in a prescription to the Walgreens in Harrison and I was able to go in and pick it up just before closing time that night. The medicine helped a great deal, but did not completely stop her cough. The alternative was she could not get the biopsy done - and find out if she had cancer or not - until next month. So she dug deep and bravely marched on into the procedure holding her cough in for more than two hours, and they were able to complete a the biopsy. Her stress level and blood pressure at that point were pretty high as you might imagine. The folks at the Hulston Cancer Center were just wonderful to her. As we walked out of the cancer center she let it all out and coughed all the way home - but her blood pressure dropped and she was able to breathe normally once again - and I saw a little smile of relief.

But there would still be no news for at least four days, maybe longer.

Friday morning when we got out of bed I just had to break out laughing. So the one boob they worked on had four or five layers of bandages and TIGHT wraps, an x-large bra to hold it all in, plus an ice pack to top it off. From one side she looked just like Mae West! It was so good to have a little bit of laughter in the cabin for a change.

The odds are in her favor - we know so many folks who have had the same issues and procedure and was caught early enough so there was zero cancer. We also know very healthy and engeretic woman who have died. The odds mean nothing - the only answers are yes or no, so it is really 50/50. The world is so much more advanced now then ever when just a few years ago a "self exam" was good enough. They told Pam they are now able to detect a lump the size of a grain of sand - and get rid of it completely in time before it grows out of control and kills you. A self exam is unlikely to find such a tiny devil. And so while some may claim an annual mammogram is no longer necessary, if you skip a year that might just be your last. Cancer doesn't hurt. It kills.

Pam has been invested in the fight to cure breast cancer for a very long time - including devoting two years of her life to the 60-mile events for the Susan G. Komen foundation. I did one year with her, but was not strong enough to even keep up - my shoes melted and so did my feet! 10,000 women walked off and left me in their dust.

This morning my bride no longer looks like Mae West with inflated boobs, but is much more colorful now (blue and green bruises - on her boob, not her face!). She is a very strong and smart young lady (still in her 40's), and last night made me sit down and come up with a to-do list for today and tomorrow - she wrote everything down to make sure I could read it. She knows I need a little focus today. And these last few paragraphs I just wrote here are one of the items that I get to check off that list. Tick, tock. Thank you for listening...

*Please know we aren't looking for sympathy or pity - we are quite the oopposite in fact. Pam just wanted to get her story out - good or bad ending - in case it might make a difference to even one person who might decide to get a checkup.

01/14/19 GREAT NEWS THIS AFTERNOON - NO cancer found, but my bride will have to have surgery to remove lumps to keep them from developing into cancer…THANKS so much - you are like family to us!

01/16/19 Quick Pam update. She will meet with a surgeon next week to see what if any surgery is needed to remove the questionable masses. She is doing fine and is mostly over her nasty cold, or whatever it was, and has continued working all week. One thing we learned was that MANY more folks have had cancer than we knew, and even more keep silent. In this day and age it's something that can creep up on anyone no matter your health or family history. Guess I'm sounding like a commercial...

Yesterday we were to make a quick trip to see and photograph trumpeter and tundra swans that are making a rare stop in the river valley near Atkins. Then I remembered I needed to scramble around and photograph as many CCC sites in Arkansas as I could for an upcoming magazine article - I knew about this a week ago but have been too lazy). So I left my bride behind and headed south, spending most of the short day at Ozone campground and Petit Jean State Park (both sites of CCC camps in the 1930's). I've always LOVED the stone water tower at Petit Jean, but have never photographed it before. Yesterday I took a couple hundred images of it over several hours, including after dark.

I also had never photographed Mather Lodge there either (crown jewel of our state park system, and the first park to be built), and while I spent several hours on both sides of the Cedar Creek Canyon taking pictures of it, it was the very last photo about 45 minutes after sunset that was my favorite. The Civilian Conservation Corps worked in Arkansas for about eight years building roads, dams, campgrounds, fire towers, water towers, trails, cabins, and scores of other infrastructure and park projects. Much of their stone work survives and is still in use today, but not much of any of their camps do. Their sum total output and quality and quantity was impressive, as where the folks who did the work! Look for statues at both Petit Jean and Devil's Den state parks that honor them.

I photographed the dam at Shores Lake in moonlight, then ended the day near White Rock Mountain, a longtime favorite of mine. I spent an hour processing some of the images from the day and e-mailing the files to the magazine editor. Amazing that it's possible to do all of this over the internet these days - even while sitting in your van in the middle of the woods! Then crawled into the back of the van for a few winks. The plan was to drive up to White Rock and photograph the CCC cabins there at sunrise, then process those pictures and send off before the magazine's morning deadline - but the sunrise never happened, nor did my processing - my computer died! (I forgot to pack the power plug.)

So I sped off to Devil's Den State Park to photograph more CCC items before rushing home to get the files processed and sent to the magazine - I missed the deadline though, so many of the photos were for naught, but it was still great to be OUT taking pictures, even if it was mostly for free. (no one pays me to take pictures, only if one gets published, or I sell a print or a book) There are 30+ more CCC locations around Arkansas I want to visit and photograph. Patience grasshopper.

The Atkins swans are probably gone by now, but it was amazing to see others' photos of them anyway. Maybe we'll get to make a run over to the Heber Springs area before the swans all take flight back north.

The to-do list that my bride made up for me this week has been slowly getting checked off, including finally getting Larry's weather station on a pole and hoisted up above the cabin - YIPPIE! (thanks so much again - we used it all day, every day, and now it will be even more accurate)

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01/18/19 I have a quandary almost every day. One of the very best views in Newton County is from our back deck. Daybreak is often the most amazing light of the day, and sometimes begins before daybreak and continues for an hour or longer. At this time of year that happens when I normally would be hard at work up the hill in our office where we have no view of all the magic that is going on at the cabin. So often I simply sit and gaze out the windows - or in warmer days sit outside - and enjoy the light and color and movement show. However, being a nature photographer whose job it is to capture such things, it is difficult for me to sit and gaze and enjoy - it is my nature and in my blood to JUMP up and run to get the camera and get to work to capture the scene. Kinda tough to do that while I'm sipping my half-cup of java I allow myself each day, or the small bowl of cereal I savor. So often I will linger at the cabin and take a few snapshots of the glorious day as it unfolds, then dash up the hill to the office and help my bride get things done that have to get done to start the work day.

Yesterday the pups and I went on a ramble late in the afternoon after the delivery trucks arrived and had either delivered (I got a new lens to try out for STAR CIRCLES) or picked up packages (a book order headed to a new dealer for us - GREARHEAD OUTFITTERS in Jonesboro).

The forest was wet, the air filled with water - but not quite raining. It had been overcast all day without hint of any sunshine. There was a breeze. The landscape was soaked to the bone - which meant a lot of COLOR since wet things in nature generally are much more colorful than when dry.

We normally follow the trail around but decided to break away and ramble for a while and just float across the hillside, veering left or right when it seemed appropriate. I LOVE the woods in wintertime, when trees bear their souls, the forest floor is clear and open, and no bugs or snakes or poison ivy to worry about.

We came upon a pile of rocks - a simple stack of unrelated chunks of sandstone of all shapes and sizes that had been halfheartedly tossed into somewhat of a pile. No doubt these were stones cleared for making the forest into a field probably in the late 1800's. Unlike other parts of this area in the Ozarks, where such stones would have been stacked nearly to form walls, it seems most of that activity in this part of the county was done much more quickly - simply to pile the rocks to get them out of the way for plows instead of making something out of them. Or perhaps someone had already removed neatly stacked rocks many moons ago and these were rejects tossed into a pile.

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I found the stones to be quite beautiful, especially on this wet day of saturated colors - all were covered with bright green and other shades of mosses or lichens that had taken quite a while to grow. We stopped and looked closely at the stones (the pups only took a few sniffs, then moved on towards more favorable squirrel habitat). I counted all that I could see - 31. Many of them were too heavy for me to even roll over if I had wanted to, certainly not lift (I left all of them in place, not wanting to disturb). And I figured a rough estimate of how much this pile of stones would weigh and it turned out to be more than 2,000 pounds - literally a TON of rocks!

OK, back to the present (I stuck around at the cabin this morning). As I was typing the above I happened to glance up and saw a giant red ball sun on the distant horizon, so I grabbed my phone, jumped up and ran outside to take its picture. There was a GLORIOUS burst of brilliant light - and such an uplifting rush of joy that came with it! Then I ran back inside and tried to capture the view looking across my seat on the couch, through the multi-screen panavison prow. We're easily impressed here - first sun we've seen in a while.

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Then clouds quickly moved in and surrounded and covered up the sunshine, and so now I'm done with my morning spectacle and time to head out through the woods to the office up the hill a quarter mile away...HAPPY FRIDAY TO YOU!

I don't think the pups care too much about the sunrise...

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01/19/19 It wasn't quite light yet this morning, we were sitting in front of a dancing fire, soft music drifting across the room. And I saw movement outside. It was SNOWING! Snowing hard. Giant flakes. The back deck turned white almost instantly. "It will all melt shortly - the earth is too warm" I said smugly. Fifteen minutes later there was an inch on the deck. Then two inches. The snow wasn't melting. In fact, it's late evening now and the snow still hasn't melted - and we have about four inches of beautiful soft snow covering the landscape. The temp is 19 (thanks Larry) with a howling wind and wind chill about 8 or 9 (thanks again Larry - I always love to know the real wind chill, and now we can check it all the time!). Clouds are breaking up and moonlight is beginning to light up the world - supposed to be clear and in the 40's tomorrow - maybe the snow will melt then.

Here's what the radar looked like when we first got up - quite colorful!

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Moonlight on snow - gosh darn it, I should be out there taking pictures tonight! And I probably would be if not for my excuse of not knowing where my winter coveralls are - the ones that kept me toasty at -69 in Alaska a few years ago. I must have worn them last winter here when it got down to zero two or three times, but I have no idea where something that bulky could be hiding up in the back of the gallery building (where we lived last year). I'll find them tomorrow, and hopefully will be out taking pictures tomorrow night - let's see, it is the Full Wolf Blood Super Moon Eclipse, or something like that. I don't have a spot picked out yet, but that is what tomorrow is for.

We went on a hike this morning while it was still snowing and blowing hard, and I'm ashamed to say and show it here, but I stopped to take a selphie several times along the way (I don't do selphies, unless it is while standing in front of a waterfall in my green short-shorts for scale). But I wanted to show the front of my Canadian Moose sweater, and how it went from twin mooses to no mooses by the blowing snow. (I know the plural of moose is moose and not mooses, but I actually like saying the word mooses, sorry.)

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My lovely bride hiked with us and it was a special treat to be out in the woods on such a beautiful, snowy day. Mia and Wilson had a grand time too - Mia mostly just tore off and ran as fast and as far as she could, then a few moments later would reappear running back towards us - wanting to know what was keeping us! Wilson at first would run and dip his lower jaw into the snow and scoop up a mouth full as he ran. Then he would pick up a stick and run and jump and play with that stick like it was the only one in the forest - until he lost it in the snow. Then he would find another stick and, well - there were a lot of sticks in the forest and he was an especially happy camper in the snow today!

After our hike Pam made homemade chili for lunch and we put our feet up in front of the fireplace to warm and dry them. The pups slept. Light snow continued - although after a while the wind was blowing the snow around so much it was hard to tell if it was fresh snow or wind-blown snow.

I spent much of the afternoon conversing online with a couple of guys about a camera I was trying to sell - a guy from Australia really wanted it and was willing to pay more, a guy from Delaware couldn't speak in complete sentences but he wanted the camera too and sent me his Paypal info (we don't take paypal), and a guy in Florida was worried that I might have already made a deal with someone else and wasn't telling him (I had not). While those three snoozed I ended up making a deal with a gentleman from southern California and I'm shipping the camera to him on Monday. It's my beloved "big" camera that I've been using for five years as my main landscape camera - in fact it the longest I've ever owned a digital camera, and it has served me well (I owned its little brother for the previous five years - so ten years with the basically the same camera system). The guy got a great bargain on a terrific camera, and I hope it continues to capture wonderful scenes for five more years!

Not a single bite on the lens I also have for sale. I wonder if the guy from Australia would be interested?

I hope many of you got the chance to get out and play in the snow today- HAPPY WEEKEND! Thanks mom...

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