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Burning in the Plains

April 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

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I was able to attend an event called the Flames in the Flinthills this last weekend. The Flying W Ranch near the intersection called Clements, Kansas held the event. Dr. Jim Hoy was there talking about the history and conservation of the tallgrass prairie. I noted several popular Kansas Nature Photographers were in attendance. I have also noted that several people have posted about the poor horses, or the pollution of the air from the burns.

 

Let us delve into this. So far as the horse’s feet or hooves hurting, I can speak to this. I shot this image while on the ground. I shot others in this gallery while prone on the burnt ground. Ask my wife who has seen my pants from that day…. charcoal ground into the knees. The prairie grass burns hot. So hot that lens caps can melt, and people can get hurt when shooting these events. BUT it burns fast and the heat dissipates in a hurry. No, the horses did not mind. 

Now, about the air. The tallgrass prairie holds about 80% of the biomass of the ecosystem below the ground. Let that sink in a minute. Grass that can grow stands “as high as an elephants eye” holds 80% of the biomass below ground. With the rapid growth of the grass (not years like trees), the prairies of the Midwest are one of the best “carbon-scrubbing” mechanism out there.

 

Nature had burned prairie grasses since the creation of lightning. Humans have burned the prairies since the Native Americans discovered the regeneration of growth and control of invasive species.

 

No, the controlled prescribed burning of the plains help to maintain the remaining 4% of the ecosystem known as the Tall Grass Prairie.

 

For more information see: National Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

 


Kansas City Society for Contemporary Photography Sense of Place

March 30, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

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April 7th marks the opening of Sense of Place. Members of the Kansas City Society for Contemporary Photography will be showing images at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art located in St. Joseph, Missouri.

 

I am sure this will be a diverse and interesting show. I am pleased to have two of my images in the show that bring to mind “my” sense of place. Please take sometime to go see this wonderful show. 

 

I unfortunately can not make the opening show, as I have a scheduling conflict with another photographic outing. I will post on social media about making a day up to the show, and possibly a photo-walk around St. Joe if any are interested.


Carry a camera with you…

March 09, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

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It may be cliche, but you really should carry a camera with you. Last night we were walking into my older child’s school. I saw the way the light spilled out from the open door, and noticed my youngest marching toward the door. I grabbed the camera, grabbed a quick setting, lowered the camera to waist level and waited for her to get to the floor mat. 

Being ready and seeing the moment before it happens is something I try to develop. 


Pervis Nelson - Plaza 01-02-2017

January 03, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

$10 Portrait -
I was able to have a nice dinner tonight cooked by my wife. I was surrounded by my family and children, and we had a family sit-down dinner. I had the warmth of my home and more importantly a sense of being connected. The fog lead me out to shoot some of the lights of the plaza. That was where I met Pervis Nelson. He crossed the street as I walked along, and asked if the thing I was carrying wrapped in plastic was roses. 

I told him it wasn’t, and he asked if he could talk to me for a moment. He explained that he was recently out of prison, and was trying to get his life going. He asked if I could help him out.

I looked at him and explained I would not “GIVE” him anything. However, he could earn something. He looked at me with a cocked head. I explained he could earn some money by letting me shoot his portrait. He asked again, “You are going to pay me for you taking my portrait.” I explained that I never thought anyone should have a hand-out, but he could earn the money. This was going to be a hand-up, not a hand-out. I explained he was a grown man, and he had a way to earn money.

He explained that he had done time for felony Domestic Violence charges. He said he never had any criminal history before that charge. I explained with his knowledge and his ability to talk, he should look into counseling or probation services. This would give him standing with the people he would be talking to.

We shuffled across the street to a business window I saw lit up. He said he didn’t know how I was going to do this. I assumed as it was dark and the air filled with fog. I had him slide up to the side of the window, lit by a strip of white LED’s. 

Here was his $10.00 job… and my $10.00 portrait.


gravel sportsmanship

June 10, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

_MG_0642_MG_0642 I was at Camp Creek Road, about 30 miles into the Dirty Kanza 2016. Just off to the left, was the downhill into a trickle of water. A rider flatted just after the water. She rolled up next to me as she was talking about having problems with fixing the rear. I told her I could help, but that would mean she would be DQ’d. 

_MG_0649-Pano_MG_0649-Pano She looked at the rear wheel, and asked a couple of racers as they went by if they could help. About that time, a guy on a Single Speed pulled over and said he could help.

_MG_0662_MG_0662 It wasn’t long before Dave Wilson had her fixed up and back on the route. This is what I love about the DK. A guy on his ride, willing to stop to help out another rider. I knew that she could receive help from inside the race. I knew that I could not help her without her risking not finishing. 

I later saw her at the finish. She said she even had another rear flat… but this time she had one tire change under her belt and was able to finish the race.

Sportsmanship and the DK… 

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