If fishing’s out, morning photos are the next best thing

This is a fantastic time of year. There isn’t much hunting to be done, but the fishing and other outdoor opportunities more than make up for the lack of open hunting seasons.

I love to fish, but I’ll admit I’m not very good at it. In fact, I’m absolutely horrible. It doesn’t matter what I use for a lure – fish just don’t want whatever it is I’m throwing. You’ve probably seen the bumper sticker proclaiming Fish Tremble at the Mere Mention of My Name. Well, in my case, fish laugh themselves into a stupor.

Mallard in flightI still try to get out to the streams, rivers and lakes whenever I can for a good dose of humility and humiliation. But I’ve found an activity I’m a lot better at, and I don’t have to go very far to do it.

When I was working at the newspaper in Cheyenne, I found that I do OK with a camera. I’m not great, but if I do say so myself, I luck into a decent photo every now and then. Through trial and a whole lot of error, I’ve learned a few things about photography. The first thing I’ve learned is that it’s a great excuse to get outside for an hour, a day, or even a whole week. And when I get really lucky, I can even pay for a trip with the pictures I come home with. I’m not going to do that with fishing. Heck, I can’t even feed my family with the spoils of a fishing trip.

I haven’t been able to get out for extended stretches lately, but the best light for pictures is generally the first couple of hours of sunlight each day, anyway. So just about every day on my way to work, I stop at the little pond on the way and crack off a couple hundred frames on the ol’ Canon.

After several thousand shots, I’ve come out with two or three I wouldn’t be embarrassed to show other people. It’s a great way to start my day, and it’s a fantastic excuse to get outside, if only for a little while. Granted, I have to explain why my dress pants have grass and mud stains on the knees, but that’s a small price to pay for the satisfaction of getting outside first thing in the morning.