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The night sky…

… somewhere in the backwoods of New York state…

Well, I mean…
I know where I took the shot…

But if I tell all you guys, then it’d just be a madhouse of cars with out-of-state plates…
Garbage from impromptu barbecues strewn all about…
… a whoopin’ and a hollerin’…

The next thing you know there’s a Gov. LePettime through-way being built, and all kind of shenanigans…
And then someone’s gotta go back for a boat-load of dimes…

 

The stated goal of beginning the journey of shooting deep sky objects is still the thing I wish to do… but you know that journey that begins with but a single step…?
Yeah, they never mention how tall that first step is gonna be…

It’s really been kicking my patootie all over the place, what with the technical demands of the equipment, the complexity of the subject matter, and my own native lack of patience…

But I’ll get there…

*AHEM*

As far as the above picture…

As you might be able to tell, I’m having some problem with dew at this time of the year.
I don’t remember it being anywhere near as prevalent in my efforts of last year.

So, along with the deep sky stuff being a (so far) non-starter, my tried and true, trusty old DSLR is doing strange things to me in the wide-field department…

I’m having something of a large crisis of confidence this summer… photographically typing…

The only thing that I can hope for is that the current problems are likely pointing to a breakthrough, of some sort…

 

… or maybe just a breakdown…!

 

 

 

 

 

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Not Boone…

… but one of a large number of elephants being used as tourist bait, in the city of Ayutthaya, the former capital of the kingdom of Siam… now known as Thailand.

This unknown elephant (we weren’t introduced) is a lot toothier than Boone was. According to the Book of the Google, about 50% of female Asian elephants and a small percentage of males have small tusk like teeth known as tushes.

Are those considered ‘small tusk like teeth’?
I really don’t know.
But it would seem to me to be rather silly, to import an African elephant, rather than going with the home-grown product.

As to which gender we’re looking at…
… like I said…
We weren’t introduced…

As with other areas of the country, I witnessed what I considered to be abusive treatment of the animals.

I realize that my impressions of things is not a guarantee of reality, nor even a close approximation of the situation under review… but when the animal in question is screaming in protest – and that’s a truly blood-curdling sound when heard in close proximity (you do know that when the movies went looking for a sound to represent Godzilla, they chose the elephant, don’t you…?) I think I’ll stick with my admittedly biased opinion, over that of those who are profiting off of said animals…

 

And to those of you who might think that they’re just animals, and without personalty’s, I present the following:

That’s Boone to the left, offspring number 1 laying down, and baby climbing on her big brother…

 

Just like human babies like to do…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her name is ‘Boone’…

… and she lives in Thailand, somewhere around Chiang Mai…

I had gone for the typical elephant ‘encounter’.
You know; the typical touristy thing.
A little elephant watching, a little elephant feeding, a little elephant riding…

But Boone, being the largest animal present, as well as the momma of the smallest animal, was only going to have it so far, and no further.

The handlers wanted us ‘saddle tramps’ to get a feel for the fine art of elephant riding, and as I was by far the largest of the gringoes, they decided I should ride Boone.

Which I was fine with.
And Boone was fine with…
Until we crossed that invisible line, that Boone considered the limits of how far she was willing to wander away from her baby… a baby that was tied up and unable to follow mom, as was it’s want…

Once that line was crossed, all bets were off.
Rather than stay on the trail through the jungle, Boone decided off-road was the track she now wanted to try… in spite of the handlers repeated ‘urgings’ to continue on the regular path.

It was like she had a circumference traced out in her head and she wasn’t going outside that circle, no matter what anyone else thought.

Which in this case was the trio of herders at this little shindig…

Have you ever been atop a horse who didn’t want to go anywhere…?
I have…

The horse didn’t want to leave the barnyard area.
The stable boss had other ideas.
A whip-crack at the heels 0f the horse and it was (literally) hi-oh-Silver… away…

Complete with the rearing up on two legs, and the absolutely mad dash, from where we were, to where the whip wasn’t…

It was a long time ago, when the treatment of animals wasn’t as much of a concern for the people who owned them…
Apparently, the welfare of cash-paying customers wasn’t of as much concern to the owners of said animals…
After all, this was a riding farm for people who hadn’t, or couldn’t, ride on anything like a regular basis.

You pay your money, you takes your chances…

Well, this was like that…

 

Except…

 

There was no saddle, or reins to hold on…
And the animal who had decided to go her own way was really big… much bigger than that Trigger wanna-be from yester-year…

And you know how they say you should grip the horses sides with your knees…

Yeah… well…
My knees were currently not occupying the same area code together…
I’m not sure they were even on speaking terms, at this point…

Nothing to hold on to…
An outraged mama, plunging through jungle growth…
And little ol’ me thinking about all those stories of rogue elephants, and trying not fall off this animal…

I finally got off her, and the handlers assured me things would be fine, once baby was allowed to follow along…

I didn’t care.
I refused to ride her any further.

On the trip to their swimming hole, I walked, rather than ride.
I didn’t know that I deserved to ride, given the emotional display I’d just witnessed.

As a result I got both pictures above.

But what I got more of was the sense that these elephants were not being treated well.
They were hungry.
They wanted to get away from the mosquitos the size of aircraft carriers.
They wanted to to go bathing…

Did I mention they were hungry…?

All in all,  the outing had a rather chilling effect on my desire to ever ride any animal again.
And I now feel that to ride any animal for ‘entertainment’ is no longer justified…

But that’s just my opinion…

 

Your mileage may vary…

 

 

 

 

Lot’s of color about…

Just not a whole lot of clear sky to go along with it…

So, here we are, smack-dab in the middle of the height of galaxy-spotting season… astronomically-wise speaking… and I have yet to get the first attempt in…
While the weather has been warmer – and by a long shot – the clouds haven’t co-operated at all!

Every time I get to one of my old standby shooting spots, the clouds have, by then, decided just what the weather forecasters can go and do with their “predictions”, and their “gonna be a great night’s”, and their “get outside and enjoy the evening’s”… ad infinitum…

It’s becoming quite frustrating, photographically-wise speaking…

And I know I should be grateful for the ability to stay outside without a propane heater the size of San Bernardino county (which is the largest county in the U.S., by area… (The largest USED to be in Georgia, if memory serves… (but memory just ain’t as interested in the service industry as she used to be… speaking-wise speaking…)))*

*[A prenthetical triplet… With apologies to Mel Allen… “How about that…?”]

And I know I should be grateful to have an activity I’m interested in that doesn’t involve abusing other forms of life… or Republicans… or thermo-nuclear anything…

And I know I should be thankful for the ability to shut out the rest of the world with something that is really hard only on little ol’ moi…

 

But… I mean…

 

C’mon, already…