Photograph of an American Bison in the Snow
Bison in Morning Light on a Cold Winter Day

Happy New Year to all my readers.

Not that any of this is important in the grand scheme of life, but it’s always fun to numerically describe key events from the past year.

A quick look back at 2019 from my view of the road, by the numbers.

50.61 Percent Increase in Website Page Hits

29,550 Words Written on My Blog

0 Hours Spent Working For The Man

5 Months of Mountain Cabin Time

60 Soaks in the Hot Tub

0 Traffic Tickets

0 Traffic Accidents

4 New Tires

1 New Windshield

8 Trips to Denver International Airport

10 Lbs Weight Lost

1 Close Friend Passed Away

0 Visits to the Dentist

4 Snow Blower Activations

4 Photography Contests Judged

13 Days of Moose Photography

7,787 Moose Photographs

5 Days of Autumn Photography

518 Autumn Landscape Photographs

2 Days of Deer Photography

641 Deer Photographs

14 Days of Bird Photography

4,368 Bird Photographs

2 Days of Mountain Goat Photography

1,260 Mountain Goat Photographs

1,084 Stock Photographs Submitted

65 Stock Photographs Rejected

2,230 Photographs Sold

0 Cameras Purchased

1 Camera Sold

1 Lens Purchased

4 Lenses Sold

0 Equipment Failures

365 Morning Kisses For My Wife

365 Days of Retirement

0 Regrets

Stunt Plane Performing at an Airshow in Cheyenne, Wyoming

I’m cruising through December as though it were a calm bay at sunset. Euphemisms for life and living and loving. Trudy has been cleared by her surgeon and is officially recovered so we can resume our regularly scheduled programming.

What would be my regularly scheduled program right now anyway?

Most years, this is the season for heading over to Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR for deer and bison photographs, perhaps a landscape image or two. A coyote or hawk thrown in for good measure. Or, I might be in the mountains photographing bighorn sheep, but lets face it. I have 10,000 photos of all that, so my enthusiasm to rack up more of the same has waned to some degree. The fact is, I haven’t picked up a camera for serious photography since the first week of October. All in all, I’m enjoying the photography down time.

Not that I’m bored with photography, I’m just bored with the same old subjects and I need to find a new groove. Part of that new groove is going to involve shooting more video, and I’ve been writing somewhat about that in my recent blog posts.

But video of what? That’s the question I’m still contemplating.

I’d like to start selling video as stock, but I have a little more learning and understanding to do. I don’t want to just throw noodles at the wall and hope they stick. Winter is the time to learn it and I’m getting a fairly good grip on what type of equipment I’ll be needing. For the most part, I already have the gear. Just need to break on through the holidays and find the open water of the new year. No rush, no sense of urgency, just a sense that I’m tired of repetitive photographic pursuits.

Looking over my stock photo sales from 2019, I’ve had a good year. About equal to 2018, but there is the rub. I don’t want to stay equal, I want to sell more stock and what was hot last year isn’t hot this year.

I guess a good starting point would be to analyze the current sales and see what photos are selling better, so that’s what I’ll spend a few weeks doing. Going over the sales, taking stock of the stock so to speak. I already have a few clues, as certain photographs seem to be generating more interest than others, and they aren’t the same shots as this time last year. What’s hot this year won’t be hot next year.

I can’t afford to stay complacent with my subject matter.

Photograph of the Durango & Silverton NGRR on a snowy mountain
Steam Locomotive chugs up a snowy mountain

I’ve been steadily working on converting all the video I’ve accumulated over the years into master high definition edits for future use and storage.

Temperatures have risen to the upper 40’s and the 13 inches of ice we’ve had on the ground and just about everything else, is beginning to melt off.

Today is “Train Tuesday” so my photo selection for this day is a winter scene of the Durango & Silverton NGRR. I took the shot from the rear platform of the last car of the train as we wound up a mountain pass. I always try to sit in the last car, just for shots like this.

Today is also my 62nd birthday. Not much in the way of celebrating and such, we are content to enjoy the private time and acknowledge my well wishing friends. As a child and younger man, I never dreamed of reaching this age. Now that I’m here, I struggle to acknowledge the many years that have passed. Watching old videos from the 80’s and 90’s drives home the point.

No serious regrets though. Yeah, I made my share of mistakes, but I know who I am and what I am and I’m a pretty decent person. I wouldn’t change much of anything, as my previous actions in life have led me to this point.

In my aging, I have found all the things I hoped to have found as a younger man. I have a nice home, reliable transportation, many good friends, general health (no death sentences yet anyway) and most importantly, a wife and best friend in Trudy. The last 15 years have been happiest days of my life, and I am living in the now.

A very good point indeed.

Melting Ice On The North Fork Of The South Platte River

Yesterday’s endeavor was successful, I completed the updates to the hard drive configurations in my office computer. Whoopee!

I’m sure you’ve all been sitting on the edge of your chairs and holding your breath in anticipation of this earth shaking news. Myself, I’ve been sitting on the edge of my chair and holding my breath in anticipation of being done with it.

My 8 terabyte NAS hard drive arrived early yesterday morning. It was interesting to watch the Amazon delivery tracking status. This is the first time I’ve seen the Amazon tracking app in action, showing me exactly on the map where my shipment was on delivery day. When I first started tracking the delivery, the van was about 10 miles away to the south with me being the 4th stop on the route. The map symbol updated about every 10 seconds as the delivery made its way towards my house. It drove right by on the nearest main street, into my subdivision, around the streets to the west a few blocks over and finally made it to my culdesac, stopping first two houses around to my right and finally in front if my house. It’s pretty cool, and it’s quite timely with the updated tracking status. I was at the front door waiting for the driver to deliver the hard drive before she could get out of the delivery van.

Installing the new drive went painlessly. I’ve trimmed the internal hard drives down to a single 8 terabyte drive and a single 4 terabyte drive, plus a 1 terabyte SSD for the boot/system drive. That puts the internal storage at 13 terabytes. After some file copying and consolidation, which took up the bulk of the day, I have about 4 terabytes of free hard drive for future use and I’ve managed to remove 4 internal drives for use as file backup drives. The trick here is to have enough backup drive space that equals or exceeds the amount of free space on the internal computer disks. I’ve accomplished that as well. I have 10 terabytes of empty back-up hard drive sitting on my desk now with a 2 and 3 terabyte drive loaded in the docking station and the rest waiting for me to reformat them and get them ready for use. Plus, everything on my computer is completely backed up.

The ice is slowly melting.