There used to be a time, years ago, when I lived aboard a vessel and called places like the one seen in the photograph above my home.

In those days, I would dress up in a funny rubber suit and jump into the water …..

… armed with this Nikonos underwater camera.  Hopefully, I would happen upon some interesting subject,

such as this Spanish Shawl nudibranch, to take a photograph that might end up worthy of display.

Other times I might stalk creatures while on the ocean’s surface, and be fortunate enough to get a picture like the one of this elephant seal at San Miguel Island.

On those occasions when I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to tropical destinations, I would, with a little luck, be able to find subject matter such as that seen above.

Those of you who know me understand just how much the ocean, SCUBA diving, and underwater photography have meant to me over the years.  Alas, those days are past, as I have finally come to recognize.  So it is with bittersweet ambivalence that I have created the following listing on eBay:


I live in the place pictured above, hundreds of miles from the closest ocean.

Today, my photographic tool of choice is this camera ….

… with which I try to find interesting inland photographic opportunities, such as this rainbow …

or this beautiful moth.

It’s still good – just not the same.

No Hay Today

The NWS forecast calls for thunderstorms in this area today, with strong chances for additional thunderstorm activity later in the week.  So it doesn’t look like we will see any activity on the hay production front for the next several days. 

Meanwhile, the timing of the abundant rain we have experienced this Spring seems to have suited the black walnut trees just fine.  The walnuts are nearing golf ball size, and unlike last year, our productive trees appear to be prolific this year.

Hmmm…. it just occurred to me that I neglected to post anything about last year’s black walnut harvest.  In fact, I had not even reported the results of the 2006 harvest.  Well, better late then never, so here goes.

You may recall that in 2006, our friend Jasper was Hoping to Top His Previous Record Harvest, which stood at about 400,000 walnuts.  He ended up having a great year, but fell just a little short of his previous record.

In 2007, outside of one or two consistently outstanding producers, most of our black walnut trees were barren.  Even with all the farms Jasper includes in his rounds, he could not even locate enough walnuts to make up one full truck load.  So 2007 was a bust, but from the looks of our trees, 2008 should be a very productive year.

When the time comes to bale the hay, I’ll post some photographs of this year’s harvest.

So What’s Hal Up To Now?

It’s June, so he’s up to his neck in fescue – that’s what!

Once again, the season for hay production is upon us.  As you can see from the photograph above, the fescue/clover fields are ready for baling.  The grass is tall and rich with nutrients, and weeds haven’t had much of a chance to develop within the fields. 

This part of the Ozarks has seen abundant rain this Spring (at least 10″ ABOVE average), and the temperature has remained relatively mild.  It has been ideal conditions for the tall fescue that dominates our region.

For the past several years I have taken pains to get several additional pastures groomed and readied for hay production, in addition to our regular hay fields.  They now appear to be ready for harvest.

We have a couple of reliable and ambitious neighbors who are motivated to do the cutting and baling.  The price of all cattle feed matter (hays, grains, protein supplements, etc.) has risen dramatically in recent months, so they would like to utilize as much of our grass as possible.

Thus, my hopes are high that all of these factors will combine to make this year a banner year for hay production on this property.


The skies that looked like this at 12:40 PM

And then look like this at 1:15 PM

Turn into a downpour like this!  Then all bets are off…