THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley


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I have both a John Deere and the Natural kind

Mom and children appeared in my back yard this morning to graze. No problem, love seeing them again. Real uptick in wildlife recently. Or maybe I’m just getting outside more. Last week was kind of a milestone for me. With some health issues we had hired out cutting of the yard for a year. Well last week the John Deere was pulled from the shed, started and cutting was done. Felt good to do that task again. But I’m willing to take all the help I can get and they are welcome to the grass but not my flowers.

Young-in Photo by Mike Hartley

Young-in
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’m going to scout the best windows for Nature shots and get the tripod set up with one camera. Already thinking I need another body to complement the 7100.

Momma keeping an eye on me keeping an eye on her children. Photo by Mike Hartley

Momma keeping an eye on me keeping an eye on her children.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Will have to keep an eye on these beast on the road. Been lucky so far.

Posing Photo by Mike Hartley

Posing
Photo by Mike Hartley

I’ve got to get some shots of this beautiful red fox that cycles through my back yard at times. He is so quick and so aware of his surroundings it tough to capture him.

Must be something good down there. Photo by Mike Hartley

Must be something good down there.
Photo by Mike Hartley


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She’s not fat, she’s Fluffy

We didn’t name her Fluffy without reason. She had one of the most beautiful coats of any pet I’ve had. And soft, from head to tail. Must have been because she always seemed to be washing. Surprised she didn’t get hairball’s often at all. And it really didn’t shed like some animals. And even if it did she we wouldn’t have cared. A wonderful pet who gave lots of joy to our family for a very long time.

Fluffy, no really, that is her name. Photo by Mike Hartley

Fluffy, no really, that is her name.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Pets are a wonderful thing. They are a lot of responsibility also. Fluffy was the first pet we had that needed some very costly veterinary care early on in her life. And while I have always known that is part of being a responsible pet owner, taking care of their medical needs, it is something that many probably make different choices on.

And I’m not saying that they are less compassionate at all. Sometime even the best pet owners don’t have the means for some of the medical things Vets might have to do. Luckily for us there wasn’t an issue of means or desire. She lived a long and full life.

Which brings me to my next point. I’ve made decisions both ways with pets in terms of the end of their lives. Twice I’ve had to make decisions to end the suffering of the pet. A gut wrenching and one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. And I’ve also made the decision to wait and let them pass naturally.

And what I will say is that I feel it should be a compassionate option not just for pets but for PEOPLE.

I am looking to support the next right to die legislation that comes up in our great state of Maryland.


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Are you looking at ME, again?

I love wading through my old drafts. Every once in a while I’ll find one that I started with a group of photos with nothing written or the other way around, just all words, and I’ll scramble to come up with some words or images. Well I thought about changing the order so this menacing photo wouldn’t be first but this guys gaze mesmerized me.  It seems to be both warning and threat. It’s unflinching. It’s locked and loaded.

Those are not friendly eyes. Photo by Mike Hartley

Those are not friendly eyes.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Then there are the wanting eyes. Pet me, feed me, love me, drop that pizza crust stare. Eyes that look deep into you for that love and support. Eyes that you willingly respond to.

Dogs can look so deeply into you. Photo by Mike Hartley

Dogs can look so deeply into you.
Photo by Mike Hartley

And as I looked quickly at this group it reminded me of when my grand dog is allowed to spend the night and how they are always looking at you. Kind of like saying “will you go to sleep for an hour so I can open and shut my eyes checking on you a few hundred times between now and then.

My granddog Photo by Mike Hartley

My granddog
Photo by Mike Hartley

And then there are the eyes that don’t blink. The silent killers. The ones where you don’t see the eyes till it’s too late. The dead eyes that have no soul. Well that might be a little harsh. Have you ever seen a gator have its young in its mouth. The eye you’re looking for below is just to the right of dead center.

One small eye but very important. Photo by Mike Hartley

One small eye but very important.
Photo by Mike Hartley


Random Thoughts for Wednesday December 16th 2015

  • Everyone stay calm, its only Hump day. Oh, I took a day of vacation. Well what the hell, time to celebrate.
  • Wish I was in Mexico with my brother on a real vacation.
  • You know, you can be vacation happy no matter where you are. It’s a frame of mind.
  • Time to heal starts Friday.
  • Getting the right gift involves the right thought.
  • I am so lucky. I have a great support system.


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Woodland friends

Well, not friends, but they are in my back yard so I got a right to say hello. Deer don’t trust anyone. Especially someone with a camera clicking away. And by my highly unofficial survey of Deer, I think we are experiencing an overpopulation again. Then again, its only overpopulation if we keep building homes and businesses in every corner of woods left available. Sort of like the American Indians. Killed them, moved the rest of them around and then relegated them to small spaces.

We see you standing there with that camera.  Photo by Mike Hartley

We see you standing there with that camera.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Each zone of view covered. Photo by Mike Hartley

Each zone of view covered.
Photo by Mike Hartley

You don't see me behind this leaf. Photo by Mike Hartley

You don’t see me behind this leaf.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Are you talking to ME?  Photo by Mike Hartley

Are you talking to ME?
Photo by Mike Hartley

Back to the woods. Photo by Mike Hartley

Back to the woods.
Photo by Mike Hartley


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Tuesdays gone

One of my favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd songs “Tuesdays Gone”. Then again all Lynyrd Skynyrd songs are my favorites. Tuesdays seem to just blow by. Or as Skynyrd says, “Tuesdays gone with the wind.”  And today was no different, with the lack of sleep on Monday it was impossible to pull off good production on two jobs in the same day and get some rest.

I was thinking about looking for shots today to describe the heat. As I was organizing some files I ran across this old frame. I remember the day that I shot that being hot and humid just like today.

You want to talk HOT. Photo by Mike Hartley

You want to talk HOT.
Photo by Mike Hartley

So it looks like my shooting will be limited to later this evening and early Wednesday. But I did find some old work that I’ll have to scan in and share also. I’m so glad I’ve grown up in a family that loves to take pictures. I hope it leaves my children with something they can enjoy also after my days are done. Because images can take you back in time. They can recall warm feelings or remembrances of events shared.

Which has got me thinking. Would I want an off site backup of all my work. I have several internal backups of my images and writings but when I see these homes burning out in California it makes me think that everything could be lost with an event like that. So what to do. Lots of things available with Cloud storage and technically that might be the easiest to keep updated. I guess physical offsite storage is also an option but one that needs some automation and physical transfer depending on how often you want to update. Something I’ll have to work on and cure in the next month or two.

Random Thoughts for Tuesday July 21st 2015

  • The more time I spend on the road the more I lose faith in people.
  • Technology tools can lead to a rush of judgement.
  • Wealth comes in lots of forms, and most of it isn’t money or precious metals or real estate.
  • I’m getting very selective when it comes to watching TV. And I like the time it’s freed up.
  • You got to admit, Trump is entertaining. In a way that people slow down to look at an accident. Hell, Regan was an actor and he got elected President. Not that I’m voting for Trump. But it does seem he has excited a lot of people on both sides of his opinions. Maybe when things settle down we will hear some more frank talk from other candidates and find out true positions and goals. And that is true for the Democrats also. For everyone is tired of the standard Washington doublespeak.


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Foxy Lady and some color to brighten a grey day

Had an unexpected visitor to my back yard the other day. Hadn’t seen her since this winter when she would make a daily trek through the neighborhood with her young ones. It’s easy to spot them with snow on the ground and bare trees. You can watch them hunt over large areas. But in the summer when cover is great I don’t see her as much. But out from under a blue spruce she wandered into the clear.

Look what strolled into my back yard.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Look what strolled into my back yard.
Photo by Mike Hartley

I was wondering if she was sick, being it was the middle of the day and she walked slowly, not that normal trot. Then she lowered her hind quarters and while she looked healthy, I was wondering if something was up. She was casually looking around like just keeping up with the surroundings not focused on anything.

The hunt is on. Photo by Mike Hartley

The hunt is on.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Then she lowered her front like she was going to go to sleep out in the middle of the yard. That is when I noticed her gaze was direct ahead and she was going into stealth mode. For about 30 feet to the left was a momma woodchuck. I’ll have to get a shot of her, but trust me, she is a beast and would have given this guy everything he could handle. Just then another noise sent them both off in opposite directions so this fight will take place another day.

Invoking stealth mode. Photo by Mike Hartley

Invoking stealth mode.
Photo by Mike Hartley

Some color to brighten a grey and wet day outside. Cheer up, its Hump Day. 

Hump day is blooming Photo by Mike Hartley

Hump day is blooming
Photo by Mike Hartley

yellow fellow Photo by Mike Hartley

yellow fellow
Photo by Mike Hartley

Looks as if they could play a tune.  Photo by Mike Hartley

Looks as if they could play a tune.
Photo by Mike Hartley