a different view of the West ….

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Fossil Rim is not your typical wild animal park. This facility is a research and preservation foundation that specializes in protecting and propagating endangered species such as the Atwater Prairie Chicken and the Cheetah. For example, the Cheetah in Africa is loosing its’ hunting grounds for a multitude of reasons resulting in shrinking the gene pool, Fossil Rim has an aggressive breeding program sending breeding animals all over the country helps dilute the gene pool. I live close to them and have recently done some drone for them cataloging the removal of cedars to support a grant they received. On this day, I was on a “back door tour” with one of the education specialist and was able to get up close and personal with some of the animals. The giraffe looks sort of goofy but actually was so close I hard a hard time getting an in focus shot. Photographing wildlife is always challenging but up close and personal makes it a no-brainer!

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While shooting a an impromptu concert at Sexton Mill in Glen Rose, Tx last Sunday, I was standing inside the old Mill and spotted this father and his two little boys having a conversation outside. I used the door as a frame for the photo and have several images of this scene.

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The Navy’s Blue Angels fly near downtown Dallas last week.

So here I was all set up on the balcony of our apartment in Dallas waiting for the big show. I had seen the Blue Angels a number of years ago at Carswell so I thought I knew what to expect. Our balcony faces south (downtown) so I was watching some construction workers on the new Marriott off of Maple expecting them to start pointing when they saw them. Not! All of a sudden the Blue Angels were zooming by to my left and my attempt to get a video on the Cannon M6 did not work so here are a couple of shots I got on the first pass. The first one is them going behind the Polsineli building near downtown and then flying by the big comm tower near the AA center. On the 2nd pass they were much further south and thus, no pics.

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Today, we stopped counting the days that we have self-isolated and are now waiting, along with everyone else, for this pandemic to show signs of waning and look forward to returning to some form of normalcy. We keep ourselves busy with cleaning, farm maintenance, planning our food buying, reading, binge watching TV, writing, photographing the local scenery and trying to give each other a bit of space. The recent sunsets on Chalk Mountain have been Kodak moments and I am happy to contribute some of my photos to anyone who can use them. My friend Jordan Johnson asked for some local scenery for his FB page and I am happy to oblige. We are aware that others have it much worse than we do and although sympathetic, we are not really sure what we can do to help except to stay away. Too much news and too much information can cause a lot of problems but we connect with friends old and new and try to reassure everyone that in the end, it will be OK.

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For the better part of 10 years, I was a member of the US Navy Submarine Service. (Note:The photo above was taken in the fall of ’68 as the USS Gurnard SSN662 was leaving San Francisco Bay for our way to our first sea trials prior to Commissioning that October). Talk about shelter in place! Being isolated at 400′, doing 20 knots, 1,000 fathoms beneath he keel and 500 miles from the nearest port of call with 100 other guys in a large metal tube having a nuclear reactor at one end and some serious firepower at the other and to top it off, it was built, it by the lowest bidder. Coming back to port after being submerged for a month or so and finding the news of the world that we missed was something to get used to. There was only the daily radio traffic from the Navy that was censored before the crew got to read it. For instance, coming back from the Western Pacific in May of 1970, we found out about the rising anti-war movement, the Kent State Massacre and Woodstock. I found that my girlfriend had moved and was no where to be found but about a month later, she literally pulled up beside me on the freeway! Being isolated today is another dynamic all together but think about those deployed in far flung parts of the world who may or may not know what is happening here and cannot be here to help their loved ones. You might think it is hard for you to manage but think about the rest of the population. There are those of us who are fortunate to have the resources to shelter in place and those who do not…..

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The Dallas Longhorn

Several years ago I stopped at Fuel City in Dallas which is on the banks of the Trinity River running along the edge of the city. While getting gas I noticed a small herd of longhorn cattle behind the building and (always having my camera with me) I started shooting. This one steer stood out amount the rest with his beautiful coloring and fine set of horns. The problem was that from where I standing, he was not moving. I did everything but throw a coke bottle at him but he stood still and here is the shot I got. Recently, the owner of Fuel City, John David Benda and I talked and he now has the file and most likely will place in the station below the mounted head of this steer (who died of old age). Where the steer stood then is now a car wash.

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