Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


All of us self-assess.  Early on in life, as round-faced infants and toddlers, we arrest ourselves at mirrors.  Look there!
Discovering our me in a mirror, we quickly go nose to nose, poke, offer our hand to a hand that unfalteringly offers a hand back.
At some point—I suppose this varies greatly from person to person—each of us begins to study ourselves from a point of vanity.  Picture a young girl over-smearing lipstick on her lips and scribbling caterpillar eyebrows on her own face.  Picture a shirtless teenage boy flexing his biceps, grimacing—his mind fixed on the concept that brutal is beautiful.
Maybe we fall in love with the immeasurable depth of our own eyes.
Perhaps, contrarily, we clinch our fists and shudder at a crooked smile.
Then, over many years, we slowly age in front of ourselves.
I have now aged beyond most standards of vanity.  Any particular reason for pride has by now wrinkled or sagged.  Trying to flex a muscle might cause permanent injury.   A stone tumbling down a steep hill will more likely change course at this late date.
I could easily allow myself to become distressed at the aging of me, but I try, instead, to remain swimming at the clear end of the pool.
It is what it is.
Bright spots of pride do still exist.  For one thing, I still have the fingernails of a young man.  
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, September 17, 2017


I call them “drive-by shootings,” the camera shots I capture while driving.  Taking photographs while driving is a fairly unique form of distracted driving, but I am certainly not alone in the practice.  Ten years ago, I recall a friend of mine, Jeff, asking if I wanted to see some of the photographs of his trip from Seattle to Montana for a visit.  “Sure,” I said.
He grabbed his digital camera and we browsed through screen images he had taken though his windshield.  We clicked though shots of the hood of his car climbing a mountain pass, swooping down near a glittering river, dropping into a wide glacial basin, and approaching various road signs.  Driving, for sure.
I must say, I loved his work. 
On one occasion Jeff emailed me a particularly unique drive-by.  While overflying Montana between Seattle and the Midwest, his flight took him almost directly overtop my house.  He managed to capture an image of my house and the surrounding countryside from thirty-thousand feet as he flew past.
The spirt of drive-by shootings is the thing.
Today, I am posting some drive-by-shootings from a trip to my cabin yesterday.  We have experienced a dramatic change in weather patterns over the last few days.  A moisture laden cold front plunged down upon us.  Came with it, rain and snow.  Some of the drainages near my cabin pulled down two inches of moisture.
We abruptly switched from smoky skies and fires prowling though the forests like flaming lions to blue skies filled with cotton candy clouds and an unparalleled clarity of view.
After a long drought, the air is once again sweet.  Perfect for drive-by-shootings captured with my smarter-than-me-phone.

--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, September 16, 2017

My Technical Training Take-Away

Technically, I attended a technical training class presented by a technical-minded applications engineer.  The class explored the manufacture and function of solar photovoltaic inverters and various types of storage batteries in stand-alone and grid-tied systems.  As with all such training, at the end of the day, you walk away with one big take-away, something about the class that will always stick with you.  My take away was this: the instructor had a bum knee that popped whenever he rose from his chair—which, by the way, he sat in because he had a bum knee.

--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Good Man

Yesterday, I finally received a return phone call from a man I called a few days back.  The man apologized for not returning my call.  He said he and other members of his volunteer fire department had suddenly been deployed to defend some structures threatened by the Alice Creek fire.
I assured him he did not need to apologize for that.  Far from it.
Good work, that.
He went on to tell me that he had witnessed when the fire underwent a 5,000 acre, wind-driven blowup.  The fire positively raced across open grasslands and caused trees to explode like firecrackers when it reached them.
The Alice Creek fire is the wildfire nearest my cabin.  Too near.  From what I see on the latest incident maps, one arm of the fire has reached to within eight miles of my cabin.  As of yesterday, the fire has ripped through a bit over 29,000 acres of forest and grassland.  Structures have been lost.
After we talked about the fires a bit more and spoke about the business prompting my initial call, I thanked him for standing against the fire.  “I really appreciate what everyone up there is doing,” I told him.  “Means a great deal to me.  Do you get paid for your time?”
“We could get paid,” he answered.  “It’s not much.  The money comes from FEMA.  All the guys on my crew talked.  We figured, with what’s going on in with the hurricanes in Florida and Texas, they didn’t need to worry about us.  None of us asked to be paid.  We just want to help.”
I am something of a softie.  I almost teared-up when he told me his crew turned down money.  Okay, maybe I did tear-up a bit.
Makes me proud to know such a good man.
Makes me proud of Montana. 
We might be on fire, but we are not burning up.

Photos of Alice Creek Fire: InciWeb

--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Below a Billion

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has a problem with money.  She was the first author to reach billionaire status.  In 2012, however, she was dropped off Forbes’ billionaire list, because she had eroded $160 million from her fortune—enough to drop her below the billion-dollar mark.
Rowling has a particularly glaring spending habit.
Perhaps “spending” is an inappropriate term.
She fell off the billionaire list because she donated $160 million to charitable organizations.  She is particularly fond of giving to organizations whose mission is helping single parents and disadvantaged children. The famous author was once a single mother trying to raise children on her own.  She made it through that stage of her life with the help of welfare and charitable groups.

--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Given a choice between playing the part of Cinderella or playing the part of a hyperactive colon, I suspect most women would choose the part of Cinderella.   Not so Ilana Becker.  She fell in love with the idea of playing the part of Irritabelle from the start.   Her undaunted enthusiasm fills the screen when the ads for combatting diarrhea she stars in play on television.
If you are in my demographic, you have seen the ads or Viberzi featuring Ilana.
Surprisingly, I found myself immediately attracted to a stomachache—I mean the girl playing one—the first time I saw one of Ilana’s ads.
She glows.
And I am not the only person to think so.  When Ilana auditioned for the part (by Skype from her bathroom, nonetheless) she was the unanimous choice out of hundreds of people who auditioned.  Fluttering her eyes, flouncing about, she was perfect for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
In spite of a natural reluctance, I find myself attracted to Irritabelle every time I see the ads.  She's pretty hot for an upset stomach. 
Who knew?

--Mitchell Hegman

Source: Roger Schlueter,