Last weekend I went out, again. The weekend is the only time for me to get out and do something else than work. I guess that’s the case for many people, so I won’t complain about that. The decision was to visit some friends on Matheson Island. The same that will bring you up to Black Bear Island not far from there.

Fishing station

Of course, in this time of the year, there is no way to go to Black Bear Island. So a friend and I took the car and rolled. And rolled. Matheson Island is roughly 250 km north of Winnipeg and doesn’t see many tourists or visitors.

Often I get the question “How far away were you when you shot this?”. Well, that depends. It’s no secret that I have a 600mm lens and that gets me quite close at times. Other times, not enough. Another question is “What were your settings?”. That question tends to irk me. Settings alone do not define a picture. Even more when the settings asked for don’t include the most important information.

Red Headed Woodpecker

Distance. Asking for Shutter speed, aperture and ISO values is useless if you have no clue as to the distance the picture was shot. Without the distance, any lens can give the results required. I can shoot a turkey with a 20mm lens and get great results.

When the first signs of owls are showing in Manitoba, I can always find a way to get out and shoot them. Photographically speaking of course. In general, owls don’t like to be seen, by humans or even less, by their potential food.

From afar

When driving though the countryside in search for new owls (last weekend we clocked 500km… again), the first thing we look at is the above type of picture. The tell-tale shape of the Great Grey Owl. The fact that you see this does not mean you will get a good shot, though.

Lately I have been prone to headaches. They are mostly related to work. Not so much the work itself, but more the way it has to be done. Sitting in a chair. There are not many ways to do programming while walking around or doing sit-ups. Forget about push-ups. None of that can be done if you need to work on a keyboard.

In the middle of nowhere

Last week was a week of horror for me. Four days and nights of a low and medium grade headache. None of the advertised pills/gels/powders had any effect. So it was time to do something else.

It seems that the last year has seen some “holes” in my posting on my blog. Sometimes, the daily chores become overwhelming and get in the way of leisure and healthy living. And unless I now get up at 4am, this doesn’t seem to look different for the new year.

Heavy takeoff after a successful hunt and meal...
Great Grey Owl, Strix Nebulosa, Manitoba, Canada

Should I be making New Year’s Resolutions? Nah, I don’t think so. Those resolutions tend to go to New Year’s Heaven as soon as the Christmas Tree has been put away. New Year’s Eve already breaks a few rules and by the end of January everything is back to what it was before. I think I will be doing it differently this year.