Saturday, August 26, 2006

"Circle and the square," Montana, May 2006

Nevada City scene, originally uploaded by DC Products.

Even without a wheel, the mind's eye still draws a circle around the ends of the spokes.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

"Trenton's four-legged batboy," New Jersey, August 2006

"Trenton's four-legged batboy," New Jersey, August 2006

Whenever I go see the minor-league Trenton Thunder, I can't help myself -- no matter how many similar pictures I have of Chase, That Golden Thunder, retrieving one of the player's bats in the first inning, I have to take more.

The dog is owned by the team and lives with one of the front-office employees. A handler sits with him next to the Thunder dugout during the bottom of the first, sending him out to the plate to retreive the wood after an at-bat. Each time, Chase sniffs and rolls the bat, often needing two or three attempts before finding both a balance between the weight of the heavier barrel and lighter handle and a section with not too much pine tar. Overall, the process, in the end, probably takes longer for the four-legged batboy than it does the two-legged one who handles the rest of the game, but the fans get a kick out of it.

After the first inning, Chase disappears until the sixth, when he emerges with his handler to run down frisbees in right field. It's tied to a promotion, where a fan earns money for each catch -- either $5 per snag, or increasing $5 increments for each one.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Happiness is rounding third

"Happiness is rounding third" series, New Jersey, August 2006

The mascot race at a minor-league baseball game can be hit or miss. Sometimes you get the kid who develops a sudden onset of stage fright as soon as he or she is put at first base with 5,000 people watching and a big blue furball standing there. In those cases, one of the team employees usually leads the child around the bases by the hand or, in at least one instance I can recall, picks the child up and carries her around the bases.

But some kids are truly happy to score from first with Boomer -- in this case -- or some other mascot giving him a head start or scripting a diversion that allows the young sprinter to run away with the race. On this day, the boy outran Boomer's scooter; in a race earlier in the week, Boomer carried a bouquet of flowers and stopped to flirt with the third-base umpire ... who tossed the flowers aside and clocked Boomer with an inflatable boxing glove. With this kid so thoroughly enjoying himself, I couldn't bring myself to choose just one photo. Hence, a series. So what if it's the easy way out.

Friday, August 04, 2006

"Roy W. Cottrell, Private," Montana, May 2006

"Roy W. Cottrell, Private," Memorial Day 2006

Private Roy W. Cottrell was a member of the 364th Infantry, a unit of the 91st Division that saw action (search for "September 29") in France during World War I. Searching elsewhere, I found a listing of some men killed in action on Sept. 29, 1918, in Binarville and Le Catelet, France.

Photo taken at Custer National Cemetery in Little Bighorn National Park on Memorial Day, 2006.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Beneath the Big Sky

"On the road in Big Sky Country," Montana, May 2006

"Sky high, Colorado," May 2006

It's not just Montana that deserves the "Big Sky" moniker. Sure, the wide, open vistas allow for the huge blue sky to stretch across the horizon. But Colorado has some big sky of its own, even with the peaks of the Rocky Mountains around you. Only something as big as the sky could dwarf the peaks in your view.

The sky is great for photography. It changes colors, it brings in accessories, it strips itself bare and leaves you nothing but a monochromatic canvas. It casts shadows or opens everything up to the light. It's usually seen as the background, but it can sometimes be the subject on its own.