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April 2018 Arts & Crafts

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  • April 2018 Arts & Crafts

    Another digital:
    Red-winged Blackbird

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    Really enjoying the spring antics, and melodically complex songs of this species.

    Looking forward to seeing what others have been up to. (And I hope my images stop mysteriously turning into a '?').


  • #2
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    This is my digital (photo that is). Always a little disappointed in how my images look, they always look darker on this machine, and a little muddy after posting.



    • #3
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      • #4
        Nice avian theme going for this time of year. Well done.

        - JR


        • #5
          I can see this thread has gone to the birds......

          (sorry, someone had to say it)

          We're fortunate to be a stop-over spot for the Sandhill cranes on their annual migration. We typically get 300-500 of the birds congregating at a large range a few miles outside of town, for about 2-3 months every spring. And nearly that many photographers, it seems like.


          • #6
            Nice stuff! I have a bird photo and a wild horse photo to post--but not today.
            aka Scott Richmond


            • #7
              And the rest of the story . . .

              (The first part of A-M-O-R was posted in last month's Arts and Crafts)

              Later that day, Hank O'Leary came in. Hank was a professional fly tyer and a major supplier to Dave. He was accompanied by a short woman; he introduced her as "Jackie." She browsed the women's clothing racks while Hank and Dave did their business.

              After he'd written Hank a check for fifty dozen flies, Dave said, "Hey, Hank, how well do you know Benny Moon and Tricia Snodgrass?"

              "I know them a little."

              "How come they've never had a relationship? They're so much alike; you'd think they'd get along like peas and carrots."

              "Maybe they did have a relationship," Hank said. "Last summer they both worked for that Adventure Bound group--the folks that run combined rafting and rock climbing trips for teens. They did several trips together early in the season. I saw them a couple of times when I was floating through from Trout Creek. They were always joking and seemed real friendly--enough that I said to myself, 'I wonder what those two are doing when the kids aren't looking?'"

              "So they were together all summer?"

              "They were teamed up at the beginning of summer. By the end of summer, though, they were running different groups of kids. And they'd started doing that bickering thing." He shrugged. "You have to wonder what happened."

              Jackie wandered over to Hank and hung on his arm. Hank said to her, "Dave was asking about two people who are ideally suited to each other and seemed to get along once, but now they're at each other's throats."

              Jackie shrugged and said, "Maybe they had a relationship that went wrong and that's why they're nasty to each other."

              "I hadn't thought of that!" Dave said. "How do you get people like that back together?"

              "I don't think you can!" Jackie said. She looked thoughtful, then added, "I shouldn't be so quick. Sometimes people who really care about each other can get their feelings hurt. Then they fall into a habit of taking pot shots at each other. What they're really saying is, 'You hurt my feelings, so I'm going to hurt yours!' It wouldn't bother them if they didn't care."

              That night Dave and Clarissa sat propped up in bed, him doing the crossword and her reading. "Started a fire again," he said. "Five letters."

              "Relit,'" his wife replied, not looking up.

              Dave wrote in R-E-L-I-T, then put down his pencil. "Do you think . . . . Do you think that two people . . . a man and a woman . . . can love each other secretly and not be able to. . . to admit it to each other? Or to themselves?"

              "Maybe," she said, still not looking up from her book.

              "Even if they're always calling each other names and . . . you know . . . saying nasty things about the other in front of other . . . you know . . . people."

              His wife put down her book but didn't look at him. "What the hell are you going on about?"

              "Benny Moon and Tricia Snodgrass."

              She picked up her book and resumed reading. "Oh. Them."

              "I wonder if there's a way to get them together. Romantically. It's possible they used to have a relationship."

              "I think," she said, still focused on her book, "that you should stay out of someone else's love life."

              Dave shifted position so he was facing his wife. "What if Benny thought Tricia was secretly in love with him. And vice versa. Would that change things? How, they . . . umm . . . viewed each other?"

              She put her book down again and faced him. "I love you, honey, but you know a lot more about fly fishing than you know about women. And you know a lot less about Tricia and Benny than you think."

              A couple of days later, Benny Moon came into Dave's shop to buy some flies. "I was thinking of fishing along the access road today," Benny said. "Between Nena and town. Has that stretch been fishing well?"

              "Good enough."

              Twenty minutes after Benny left the shop, Tricia Snodgrass came in and bought some leader material. "I'm sticking close to town today," Tricia said. "I thought I'd fish some of the backeddies below Nena."

              Dave thought about directing her to another part of the river, since Benny Moon would be in that same area. Then he had an inspiration. "Great idea," he said enthusiastically. "If I was fishing today, that's exactly where I'd be! In fact, I might just float that stretch this afternoon--fishing the other side of course, so I won't be in your way!"

              As soon as Tricia left, Dave called Steve Schultz. "Steve! How'd you like to go fishing this afternoon?"

              On the way to the Nena boat ramp, Dave told Steve his plan.

              "Damn!" Steve said. "I thought you were taking me fishing out of the goodness of your heart. Now you're making me work."

              "It's not work. Just follow my lead and do as I say. And you'll get a nice half-day of guided fishing. Free!"

              They hadn't drifted far when Dave spotted Tricia's car parked along the access road. He saw her casting close to the trees in a backeddy. "Showtime!" he whispered to Steve. "Pretend you don't see her and follow my lead."

              As the boat neared Tricia, Dave turned it so their backs were to Tricia.

              Steve said in loud voice, "Poor Benny Moon. That guy is hopelessly in love."

              "A little quieter!" Dave whispered at Steve. "Act natural." Then in a normal voice, "In love? Who with?"

              "Tricia Snodgrass," Steve said. "He's head-over-heels for her, but she keeps abusing him."

              "But he's always nasty to her!"

              "It's his competitive nature. He feels obligated to dish out as much to her as she gives to him. But the other day he told me that he wanted that whole bickering thing to stop. He just doesn't know how. And you know how guys are--they don't want to appear weak."

              "I can understand that," Dave said. "But he's really hurting?"

              "Totally! He's all ripped up inside. Doesn't know how to express his true feelings."

              Dave heard someone pushing into the alders, like they were trying to get closer to the boat while remaining out of sight.

              "I guess one of them has to stop the cycle," Steve said.

              A mile downstream, he saw Benny Moon's car; Benny was a hundred yards downriver, working a nymph along a current seam. He was shaded by overhanging alder branches and hard to see. If Dave hadn't been looking for him, he might have missed him.

              When they were close, Dave whispered, "Go!"

              "I'm feeling really bad for Tricia Snodgrass" Steve said.

              "How come?" Dave replied.

              "She's totally in love with Benny Moon."

              Dave heard movement behind him--Benny getting deep into the trees so he couldn't be seen. "How do you know she loves him?" Dave said.

              "She told my wife! They ran into each other at the grocery store. Tricia started crying, then said she was in love with Benny and she felt bad about how she was treating him. But she was too proud to stop."

              "That must be hard--to keep your true feelings bottled up inside like that."

              "Yeah! She told my wife that she didn't know how much longer she could stand it. She's at the breaking point."

              "Sad," Dave said. "Unrequited love. Hardest thing there is."

              Dave hoped that his little ruse would work some magic on Benny and Tricia, and that he'd soon see them walking hand-in-hand down Main Street--if not down the aisle of a church to the tune of "Here comes the bride." Maybe there would be the patter of tiny feet. Twins, even! That would keep Benny busy and prevent him from opening a fly shop in Maupin.

              Or not. Three days later Benny was leaving Dave's store just as Tricia came in. They traded insults until Benny did one of his mock bows. Tricia held out her right hand with all fingers raised; she pulled the fingers down one by one until only the middle one was left. Benny bent over and stuck out his butt at her. She said, "Ah, the full Moon!" He pretended to blow a fart at her. She sniffed the air and said, "Kimchee?" Then they departed in opposite directions.

              Dave rolled his eyes and sighed. He felt like he'd lit a fuse, but it had sputtered and died before reaching the dynamite.

              Two days after that incident, a customer walked into Dave's shop. "I need some more of those Supa Dupa Pupa flies," he said. "They were the go-to pattern on my float down from Warm Springs yesterday."

              "Hank O'Leary ties those," Dave said. "It's killer when the caddis are active." They talked about fishing for a bit, then the customer said, "I stopped to fish just below Frog Springs. There were two people trying to camp there. Young guy, Asian-American. And a girl, wrist-to-shoulder tattoos on both arms, spiky hair. I think I've seen her around town."

              "Really?" Dave said, trying not to appear as keenly interested as he felt; it was Tricia and Benny beyond a doubt. "So, were they . . . together?"

              "I don't think so. One had a mountain bike, the other was backpacking." The customer shook his head. "They seemed to know each other, but it must be a weird relationship. They were yelling, mad as hell. I was hoping neither of them had packed a firearm. I figured I'd move on down the river, even though I was catching trout. I come to the Deschutes for peace and quiet, not warfare."

              "Well, yeah—"

              "But then they got quiet, and suddenly they started laughing! Long, loud! Over and over. So I hung around for a while. Just to see where it was going. And like I said, I was catching fish. When I left, those two were sitting on a log talking to each other like they were best buds."

              After the man left, Dave punched the air with his fist, exultant. There would be no third fly shop in Maupin! His plan had worked after all! He expected to see Benny and Tricia come into the shop that afternoon--tomorrow at the latest--making goo-goo-eyes at each other.

              But he didn't see them that afternoon, or the next day, or the next, or for the rest of the season. It was like they'd vanished from the earth.

              Two Years Later
              "Hey!" Dave said when Tricia Snodgrass and Benny Moon walked into his shop, both clearly in good spirits. "I haven't seen you guys in . . . how long?

              "Two years!" Benny said.

              "Two years? Wow! Time flies. What have you been up to?"

              Tricia held out her left hand, wiggling it so the diamond wedding ring flashed in the light. "What do you think of that!" she said.

              "Nice! I'm happy for you."

              Benny held out his left hand, which also had a wedding ring. "Me too!!" he said.

              "Of course," Dave said, elated; clearly his scheme had worked after all! He should have had more faith.

              "I'm living in Vermont," Tricia said, "but I came out here to see my mother and figured I'd fish for a couple of days."

              "I am so pleased. Are you finding some good fishing in New England?"

              "It's not like here, but . . . yeah, it's okay. Although I won't be getting much in for while." She smiled sweetly. "We're starting a family."

              "All right!" Dave wondered if they'd name the baby after him.

              "Yes! Due in four months."

              Dave took a good look at Tricia. She was as trim as ever. "A baby?" he said. "You don't look five months pregnant. Where are you hiding it?"

              "I'm not the one who's pregnant. My spouse is carrying the child."

              Dave couldn't help but glance at Benny's belly.

              Tricia laughed. "My spouse. Melonie."


              "Yes. Benny's sister."

              "Benny's . . . sister?"

              Tricia laughed again. "Yes! Benny and I ran into each other on the river two years ago--at Frog Springs--and got to talking—"

              "More like shouting!" Benny said. "At least at first. Apparently Steve Schultz had started a rumor that we had the hots for each other."

              "Well," said Dave, "you know how clueless Steve can be."

              "At first we were pretty mad. Then it seemed funny and we laughed and laughed. Once we'd gotten the tension out of the air, we relaxed and had a good chat for most of the night."

              Dave was aware that his mouth was opening and closing like a trout in midstream.

              Tricia continued. "I told Benny, 'thanks for the interest,' but I had finally admitted to myself that I was gay; I'd been having trouble accepting the fact. I apologized for the way I'd treated him, and told him that I actually respected him and liked him a lot, but not in a romantic way. He was very kind and concerned. His sister, Melonie, is same-sex-oriented, so he understood some of what I was going through, especially with family--his parents had a real problem accepting Melonie's sexuality. Anyway, he introduced us, and we hit it off. Now we're married and Melonie's pregnant.

              Dave was puzzled by the mechanics of the pregnancy thing. His face must have betrayed him because Benny smiled and said, "You go to a fertility clinic, select a donor, and have a simple 'procedure.'"

              Dave thought a little more. "Oh. Uh . . . oh! Right. Got it." He collected himself and tried to put on a normal face. "So what about you, Benny?"

              "That's the interesting part," Benny said. "Tricia has a sister who's like her, but she prefers guys. Tricia introduced us and it was love at first sight. Katrina and I live in Whitefish, Montana. I bought a fly shop and outfitter business there. We both teach skiing in the winter."

              That night, Dave and his wife sat propped up in bed, him doing the crossword and her reading a novel. "I saw Tricia Snodgrass and Benny Moon today," he said. "They're both married."

              "To each other? You're kidding!"

              "No. Tricia's married to someone named Molina. No, Melonie.Another woman. They live in Vermont."

              "I'm happy for them. Everyone deserves to find love."

              Dave picked up his crossword, then put it down again. "She married Benny Moon's sister. And Benny married Tricia sister, then bought a fly shop in Whitefish. He guides in the Flathead basin and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He's doing quite well, and he's very happy." He told her the story, including his original motivation: to keep Benny from opening a fly shop in Maupin. "Look at all these happy people," he said. "Benny, Katrina, Tricia, Molina—


              "Right. And Melonie. None of it would have happened without me!"

              "It wasn't exactly the result you intended."

              Dave spread his hands. "So? I was only trying to get twopeople together. Instead, four people fell in love and got married. And a baby on the way! And how many fly shops did Maupin have when I started this project? Two! How many today? Two! Mission accomplished, and with extra credit. The rest is just . . . " he waved his right hand dismissively. ". . . details."

              Clarissa shook her head. "Yup. Just details." She resumed her novel.

              Dave picked up his pencil and crossword, feeling very pleased and proud. The next clue was God of love, four letters. He smiled. That's obvious, he thought, and wrote in D-A-V-E.
              Last edited by Fuzzy; 04-19-2018, 12:36 PM.
              aka Scott Richmond


              • #8
                Well done. Wonderful story!
                You don't need no gypsy to tell you why,
                You can't let one precious day slip by.


                • #9
                  Love overcomes all huh, who'd have thunk it? Thanks for the chuckle Fuzzy, very well written.



                  • #10
                    Whoo hoo! I finally RTFM -- anyway, we had a mild burst of northern lights up here at 46 degrees N two nights ago.......taken just outside of Richland looking across the Columbia River towards Ringold

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                    • JimG
                      JimG commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Great photo, Scott!

                    • Fuzzy
                      Fuzzy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Green AND Pink! Wow! Totally awesome!

                  • #11
                    Spectacular Scott! Glad you finally figured it out. You really should include in your "signature" a hyperlink to your Flickr webpage. Very happy to see you back to sharing your photos here. Thank you!
                    And also thank you to all the other WFr's that share their art here
                    I like Phamily, Phriends, Phly-Phishing, and Phood......wouldn't you know it, I live in Philomath, Oregon!


                    • #12
                      So wonderful, Scott!

                      Thank you.



                      • #13
                        Just spectacular colours, Scott - glad you figured it out.



                        • #14
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                          • #15
                            Some photos from Cumberland Island, Georgia. Cumberland has had a small self-sustaining and stable population of wild horses for over 200 years. The photos are a mare and her foal, which is a week old at most. Life is rough for these horses, but they get along. The birds are self-explanatory. These photos are by my daughter Holly, not by me (but I was near by . . . ).

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                            aka Scott Richmond