Dutchtown Straw Poll

Tuesday is Election Day. Mother’s phone here in Missouri has been ringing constantly with political robocalls. Because she is one of the few people left in the world who actually gets legitimate phone calls, she answers it. If she hears silence, she hangs up. This afternoon I even heard her mutter something when she hung up, but I was blessedly too far away to hear what she said. From the tone, I don’t think she wished them a nice day.

Went hunting nuts

Sunday afternoon, to keep from going nuts, we decided to go hunting nuts. Well, we didn’t actually start out that way, we just ended up there. We drove down a lane in Dutchtown next to our property and scooped up about a quart of pecans. They were a little on the small side, but they cracked easily and tasted pretty good.

Dad used to spend half the winter sitting in his recliner picking out pecans. We set up his old nutcracker in the basement workshop vise and even found the cigar box he used to put the cracked nuts in. It even had his old nutpick in it.

She’s got all the entertainment she needs to carry her through to warm weather.

The Dutchtown Straw Poll

On the way back down the lane to go home, I noticed the late afternoon sun lighting up the weeds. Like the polls driven by the robocalls, the Dutchtown Straw Poll was flicking left and right in the wind. The Undecideds were definitely driving.

The 2012 Election may not be decided by Tuesday night, but the phones will be a lot quieter. I share the hopes and prayers of all the election supervisors all over the county: please, please, please let it be a landslide for one side or the other.

Photo tips:

What makes the photo work is the backlighting. I exposed for the highlights, letting the backgrounds go dark to provide contrast. Most snapshooting guides will tell you to have the sun at your back. That makes for evenly-exposed, but deadly dull photos. Most of my scenics use strong sidelighting or backlighting that brings out the texture of the subject.

All of the weeds aren’t sharp because the depth of field is very shallow in a close-up. On top of that, there was a stiff breeze that kept whipping them around. Some of the blur is movement, other is because the subject kept moving into and out of focus. I like the horizontal shot because all of the out-of-focus stalks are bending to the left (that’s not a political assessment), taking your eye to the weeds that are in focus.

As always, you can click on the photos to make them larger. If you suffer from allergies, though, you might want to leave them small and keep your distance.

10 Replies to “Dutchtown Straw Poll”

  1. While on a motorcycle vacation in Colorado, we were well above the tree line and ran upon some small flowers in the rocky landscape. I set my camera for ‘Floral’ and got some neat shots of some delicate plants. The rest of the vacation shots were also in the ‘Floral’ mode. Never had that problem with my Brownie.

    1. Since this is True Confession time, I’ll tell you one on myself.

      A year or so ago, I bought a nifty new video camera so I could mount one camera facing forward and one camera facing to the rear on my bike.

      Four of us took off on a scenic ride along an abandoned roadway I call Ghost Road 27. When we got to a BBQ joint where we were going to have lunch, I took the new camera off so I could revel in the wonder video I had taken on the first leg of the trip.

      The whole think was blank, black, blotto. I had nothing. I could hear audio, but there was no video. I explored menu options 14 layers deep without finding a single reason why there was no picture. The camera must have been defective, I reasoned.

      One of riding partners pointed out that I had failed to remove the lens cap.

      My only defense was that my OTHER camera had a mechanical lens cover the moved out of the way automatically.

      I thought our group numbered four. I didn’t realize that Murphy was riding with us.

  2. I like things that lean left…
    My mother loved to sit in her recliner, cracking and picking out pecans. I’ll say it again…You are a good son!
    Thanks for the photography tip. I wish I understood it. I’m getting a new camera very soon, but my needs are so simple that you would laugh at it… Still, our company technical guru says it’s much superior to the one I have, which I dropped on its on/off button.
    I know Murphy well, but I don’t like him much.

  3. Love that picture – they ALL are leaning to the LEFT ! Hope that will be true of the vote today – would love a landslide !

  4. “One of riding partners pointed out that I had failed to remove the lens cap.” I actually laughed out loud. You next career, Ken, should include being a stand up comedian. Thanks for the pictures by the way – beautiful.

    1. I’m getting to the age where I’d better aspire to be a sit-down comedian.

      Actually, I think I hit that point a long time ago. I’d tell a joke and everybody would yell, “Sit Down!!!”

  5. Ken,

    Love your blog and photos…keep up the good work! However I gotta say that it’s too bad people have to leave political comments in this forum such as those above. Isn’t there enough of this on Facebook and other social media these days?!

    Although you may lean the opposite way as some of us Ken, we conservatives love your work as well! Thank you for keeping your writing politically neutral.

    1. I try to keep the train on the tracks. I don’t have a problem with political comments, although I don’t encourage them. I’ve only removed two comments in the whole time I’ve been running this blog, and that was when someone got personal with another commenter.

      Y’all are a pretty civilized group, on the whole.

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