Category Archives: L I F E

Daily ramblings about my life the the people who are associated with me by choice or circumstance

Macros & Botanics

I’m having a difficult time making it off the property lately.  Yet I still find things to point the ol’ camera at and push them on the few people who read this blog.  I’ll start this way… I went on a walk with Thelma yesterday out into the forbidden forest on the island.  This forest is chock full of the nastiest wild rose vines and creepy biting plants you’ll ever put yourself in the way of.  Luckily for us the beavers of the forest keep the trail well maintained once you find it.

First photo, macro shot of a woodpecker log.  This was once a mighty tree, now reduced to a home for non-interesting bugs and only a few feet high.  Shot with the D70 and the 28-80 Sigma Macro. (All shots below are super low resolution so my archaic internet can load them to the gallery)

Low Resolution Macro

An interesting perspective (to me) of a log with moss in the forest

This one was an interesting shot.  We live in the middle of nowhere but for some reason the street a few hundred meters away has some lights on it that come on occasionally.  This is our willow tree under darkness of a clear sky at night.  This was shot with my 18-135mm at 18mm for 36.7 seconds or something like that.

Back to the “favorite” Sigma lens for this one.  I was shooting at lizards on the wall and this one jumped on to the memory card.

Back to my recent love of creepy bugs…

And finally some pretty flowers to look at…

Enough for today.  It’s tuesday and we have guests coming in next week for two weeks and then I’ll be back in Denver.  I’ll post again.

Shootin fish in a barrel…

A few days ago the family went to the zoo/amusement park known as PAL.  PAL is about 30 minutes outside of Moulin France and for a zoo/amusement park it wasn’t too bad.  Being August and all, it meant that the entire nation of France would descend on the same place at the same time.  I knew the day would be full of walking and riding rides so I came equipped with the D70 with the 18-135mm lens, which is my best travel/snapshot set up.  I brought along the Quantary 2x converter, which does not work well with the lens but I wanted to attempt close up shots of the animals.  I have horrible eye sight and manual focus is not good for the nearly blind but I think some of the photos came out OK.  No art will be found here, just snapshots of the zoo and having fun with the family.

Momma elephant protecting her baby from the American paparazzi…

Elephants at the French Zoo

A seal having fun with the little bit of room it has.  Difficult shot, the lighting was awful, this is luck and playing with the camera.

Bored kitty cat, hanging out.  Shot with the 2x converter on the 18-135mm, good manual focus.

Portrait of an ostrich.  Also taken with the 2x converter and not as good manual focus.

Portrait of a cute goat.  The petting zoo was completly unattended by any staff, imagine that, an entire population of people who might be killed by a free roaming goat.  It could never happen in America.

Enough pictures and words for now.  Enjoy and leave long-winded comments about your love of goats.

An Ordinary Day…

Most days in our lives pass through as an ordinary day. We wake up do some stuff, eat something and then go back to sleep. Seemingly pointless…unless you have a blog to tell other people about your pointless day. Does that give it a point? Could someone else be even more bored to waste braincells reading about a strangers ordinary day? Who knows…

My ordinary day begins as any other day, wake up, drink coffee, check photos on JPG Magazine and begin the day.

Look in the mirror to see the broken blood vessel in my eye.

Broken blood vessel in my eye

No changes, so I decide to go for a bike ride in the forests surrounding our region. It’s amazing, we’ve lived here in central France for almost 3 years and I’m just now going out on these old forest/logging roads to see if I can get lost. Had a great ride, no photos though, the rain has been coming down and I had no idea how the trail conditions would be so better safe than sorry. Here are some after ride shots.

Glad I threw some big tires on the Orbea for these roads, most of them are butter smooth but the mud, oh the mud is like cement, and sticks to the bike and body worse.

The ride was only 10 miles today but I did get lost, bled and had to walk through 2ft deep mud for quite some time. Not epic, but certainly good times on an ordinary day.

Back at the ranch we’re cleaning up the borders that have been overrun by nasty vines and scraggly bushes, we worked on the front border outside the mill house today.

Where to begin??? Input from the whole family is necessary.

Michelle hard at work while play with the Nikon.

The border is still a work in progress, I may or may not post some finished pictures when it’s done. We worked until about 6:00 pm or so and had our obligitory soak in the hot tub. Michelle made an amazing Quatre Saison pizza for dinner and we all went to bed content that another day had come and gone.

Until the phone started ringing. Michelle had been in contact with the family in Denver all afternoon, Laura had gone into labor and baby Bianca would be born today.

Welcome to the world baby girl!

Congratulations to Laura and Aurturo for another perfect child on this planet! We send our love and wish we were there with you now!

The ordinary day had turned extraordinary, the family has gotten larger and happier!

As a new day starts, we have no idea what it will bring (though I have images of plumbing and painting) I’m sure that something will happen to make this day memorable. Enough of this post, I’ll be back with something else some other time.

Provence #2

Today we revisit our vacation to Provence with our second day in Orange. We were there for a Thursday market, let me tell you…The southern French markets are what the hype is all about. Super fresh food, amazing quantities and selection of everything. We went to the market in Orange for supplies for the night’s dinner of stuffed zuchini blossoms with grilled eggplant and sauted Girole mushrooms and fresh goat’s cheese.  No Recipe, I made it up as I went along…

The eggplant.

Auburgine Photo Provence 2008

The girolle mushrooms.

Girolle mushroom photo Provence 2008

The assembly line.

Fleur de Courgette photo Provence 2008

A really old door and entrance way.

Doorway Orange Theatre France Photograph

An old door and entrance way.

Doorway Orange Centre Ville France Photograph

Nothing more to write.


Sometimes the world seems to have a body down. No matter what life you lead or what you do, life will remind you of how insignificant you are. It will remind you that the world will exist without you and function as well as it did before you. Is this is a dark thought or a positive one? I’ll look at it from a positive, if I do not matter then every good that I bring to another is something that should not have happened. I’ve made someones day better than when they started, therefore I’ve affected someone and I’ve made a change in another insignificant life.  I suppose I’m trying to say, live your personal life the best you can and make as many positive impressions in others and you may or may not find a purpose.

I look for inspiration in my life to keep on rolling, I have a beautiful wife and daughter that keep the wheels on the truck but sometimes I need a non involved friend.

Gehard, Patinge France Bicycle

All of the time I need to look back to the beautiful wife and daughter though…

M & M Patinges France

Sorry for the arty, philosophical post, I’ll be back later with something else…

Provence #1

This is the start of a few short posts from Provence. We start back up next week with 4 and a half weeks of tours so the postings will be sparse.

Provence is absolutely beautiful! I’ve said it, it does not need to be said again. It is a photographers paradise, everywhere is amazing color, ancient architecture, blooming botanics and plenty of people. I brought as big a kit as I would on vacation, with the D70, the Nikon 18-135 3.5-4.6, Nikon 80-200 2.8 ED, Sigma 10-20 3.5-5.6, SB-600 for lighting and the Manfrotto for all of those tripod shots. A whole lot of gear and I didn’t see any of it! I left the 18-135 on the front and the rest of the stuff in the bag. I’ve come to the realization that when your not very good at the taking the pictures part of photography, you don’t need a bunch of gear, it’s neat but it’s too overwhelming. Composition, exposure, ISO, lighting, F-Stop are what I want to perfect, so down with you Nikon and all your toys, I’ll buy you later.

We drove down to a camping club outside of Remoulins which is right close to Uzes (ooz -es) and took our time on the drive. It’s about 500km from Patinges to Provence so we stopped to visit and take some photos along the way.

Roadside Ruins on the winding climby road down to Provence.

Roadside Ruins almost Provence

We stopped for lunch in the town of Florac and had a nice little wander around this beautiful town.

Waterfall Photo Florac France June 2008

Thelma thought a drink of this water would be a good idea on a 33 degree day!

Thelma drinking from the source Florac France June 2008

That’s it for day 1.  I took quite a few photos of this leg and they’re on my gallery page if you care to see more of my photos.  Check back for more soon!!!

Miscellaneous photos from my world

Everything is fairly status quo around the Old Mill this week. We had a super fun week again with our guests here, the weather was not at it’s photographic prime but great for cycling through the countryside of central France. We are on vacation for the next two weeks now, we’ll be heading to Provence in the next couple days to decompress and hangout in all that is good and right with the world. I should have a ton of photos to put up on the gallery when I get back. Here are a few for now…

Interesting wood work in the chateau of Ainay-Le-Vielle. The oak wood is from the Foret Troncais.

Architecture in Ainay-Le-Vielle tower

Just to have no rhyme or reason for this post, a shot of some strawberries from the market in Sancoins last week.

Fresh Strawberries at the Market

Purple flowers blooming in the new butterfly garden at Le Vieux Moulin

EDIT from Michelle:  Silly Dad, even the 4 year old knows this is a Buddlia Davidii !!

Purple flowers in the butterfly garden

Another picture of a lily pad flower in the L’Aubois river

Lilly pad flower Le Vieux Moulin

Interesting (to me at least) photo of a red pillow sitting on the chair.

Red Pillow Photo

I’m working on a ton of photos that are on the hard drive now and I’ll be shooting up a storm in the next few weeks. Have fun!!