As the handful of you who frequent my little corner of the internet have likely figured out long ago, in addition to Dutch Dogs, and chasing birds, I really enjoy photography. Nik and I have had a Nikon D60 for the past nine years, and it has served us well. In fact about eighty-percent of the photos in my book where taken by that very camera, and much to the dismay of Craig, my publisher, none of the photos were shot "RAW" and many weren't even "fine JPG" either. I've lugged that camera around just about everywhere, even my buddy Dave had to use it to capture some photos for an article he was working on when he forgot his own rig. As my photography needs grew, it became apparent the D60's auto focus system wasn't fast or accurate enough, nor was it's frames per second adequate - 3fps, which we thought were blazing back in 2008. I've spent the past two years researching DSLR cameras and pounced on the new Nikon D7500 shortly after its release. This new body gives me much of what the D500 offers without the added expense: an amazing processor, a deep buffer, 8fps, yet still holds onto Point and Shoot capability for when that's all I want to do, and Snapbridge - which set up easily and has worked flawlessly for me. Pretty much all wins across the board for me - yay!
On the side, I've fooled around with various editors, most weren't that great either in their power or flexibility or cost. I've become a big fan of Google Photos over the years, and use it extensively - but still I wanted more, and I wanted it for free. Getting the new DSLR has put me to search, and I have gone with Tony Northrup's recommendation to use Photoscape X and Raw Therapee to meet my emergent needs. These programs don't adulterate the original file and are much, much more flexible and powerful than either MS Photos or Google Photos, and you don't have to fool around with adding an Andriod OS on your PC to use cool apps like Snapseed.
This photo was shot on the US-Mexico border, conditions were clear skies and bright sun light. Original un-edited from the camera on the left. a bit washed out, with deep shadows on Booker's face. MS Photos, was able to bring back back some more natural color, and manage a simple crop. Photoscape X helped bring up more natural color, and through masking I was able to ease (lighten) some of the deep shadows on the left side of his face and make his eye visible - pretty sweet.
Fully Updated: 20 August. At eight weeks of age, 24 July 2017, our pups begin to find their way in the world with some pretty amazing people. We combed through a large number of families to arrive at a list we thought we would be providing puppies to. In the end, we still had to call way too many to disappoint them that we would be short the number of pups we had anticipated... Those calls were some of the hardest. The past two moths have been quite the adventure, watching them explore their environment, and helping to provide some extra stimulus to help them to realize their potential. Godspeed my little buddies, may you have great lives, and bring much joy to the lives of your families. (the remaining "take home" photos will be posted as we go). Happy trails & Happy tails.
Our buddy Jenna Myers has her web page up and running finally and has finally announced the planned and approved mating of her Ember and our Paxson! For more details and waiting list inquires please visit her website soonest. HERE
Short and sweet, I collected a few quail from the "chukar challenge" specifically to make the pups first intro to birds super low threat. It only took a moment, and we had lots of wagging tails and as far as four week old puppies go, their "undivided attention". All in all they are all doing great, all had interest with signs of being timid. Here are a few images that turned out okay - enjoy!
Spokane weather can be fickle, and this year has that been true more than ever. Seems like we went from spring right into fall - but today is lovely and time for pups to get out and see a little piece of the world
Two blog posts in one day!? That's like cats sleeping with dogs - we know. It's been a busy couple of weeks, still I managed to take Booker out, play a bit of hooky and have some fun. In short, Booker performed very well at the fun trial we participated in this past Saturday. Scenting conditions were poor, so most of the dogs weren't able to get their birds. He got his first two birds in my hand within 9 minutes 11 seconds which put us in 5th place for the first round and earned us a spot in the final! For the final, we placed 6th overall out of 26 dogs run. A slight difference in pattern we ran it would have been possible for us to be done in about two-minutes versus the thirteen and change it took. The added challenge was, the Club didn't use chukar, but Bob White quail, which are much more difficult to locate as singles. Still it was a real nice day to be out playing with Brittany's, GSPs, pointing Labs, a Golden, Setters, Wirehairs, a Vizsla, and an English Springer. I'm very proud of Booker's work as an added bonus he handled perfectly!
Just a quick update for our current litter. Everyone is doing excellent: gaining weight and as of today all but two have both of their eyes open. All of these guys are really super cool pups, and mom is just doing a text book job. We are making a daily updates with photos on our Facebook page.
Birthing began in the evening of Memorial Day, and finished just after mid-night. Everything went about as smoothly as could be hoped for. Powder was a champ through the process, and is being a very attentive mother. As an added bonus she is really looking great, eating well, and producing plenty of milk. The pups are all doing very well, and all put at least a full ounce of weight on by dinner time last night. We managed to get in a vet check yesterday as well, and our vet was pleased with everyone's condition. We have 1 Girl and 5 Boys. and are now left with the hardest job yet: don't screw it up!
Sure our blog updates/announcements have always come in fits and spurts, but with everything we have going on time for getting in here has been at a premium. Enough whining. So the whelping area and box are all put together, necessary supplies hoarded. As you know, the ultrasound went very well and we got a pretty good puppy count with vital signs easily observed, but chose to keep numbers close hold because so much can happen between then and birth. We had the x-ray done this past Friday, and it has show the exact puppy count we got from the ultrasound: seven or eight with a slim possibility of a ninth. So much for helping us nail down delivery expectations. For those on our active client list, we will begin making calls shortly after birthing is complete, most likely around the 48 hour mark, maybe sooner, maybe later just depending on how things go and how tired we are. Of course there will be photos both here (blog and liter page) and on our Facebook page
We finally got an ultrasound nailed down the morning of 5 May, which happens to be the day the pups begin to become boys and girls. The pups were far enough along to be easily seen: arms and legs, feet, toes, faces, umbilical cords and even heartbeats where all easily observed. We really got a best case scenario with this ultrasound in all ways, which isn't really an expectation but a hope - we are ecstatic for the results! We expect delivery just after Memorial Day.
Mark your calendars:
April 27th we will plan for an ultra-sound, that being favorable puppies on or about 31 May!
9 March 2017 marks day one. We expect to make the trip to Georgia over the St. Patrick's day holiday. Providing everything goes as planned we predict pups to be born on or about 20 May. Still much to happen between now and then. Our client list for this litter was re-opened last week, due to life getting the better of an inordinate number of clients we had been very excited about placing puppies with. Aside from that, we hope you enjoy this little video clip of Munson, the sire to be. He really is such a lovely Drent:
UPDATE: 27 March 2017
Progesterone levels have finally indicated the time is right. Powder is on her way to Savannah!
I'm just a guy suffering with an infatuation with gundogs since childhood. Forty some odd years later this is what you get.