Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Name Them Yourself

Remembering the names of constellations and seeing what others see in the smattering of stars is often difficult.  Try, as example, Camelopardaus.   If that is too easy, try Serpens.
A friend recently suggested that inventing your own constellations (and reinventing them nightly) is a much more practical approach.   You simply gaze up to the firmament and find constellations you fancy as the mood strikes you.
I tried that last night.  Almost immediately I located Lopsided Box.  Just beside that I found Three-Legged Dog.  Before long, I had the spangled sky filled with constellations.  I found automobiles, kitchen utensils, Salma Hayek, Man Raking Leaves and even Blinking Cellphone up there.    
I figure that the next logical step is finding adult-rated constellations. 
As a final note, Salma Hayek may not count because I pretty much see her everywhere.    
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Long Road

A man sets out down a long and narrow road.  Either the road has no discernable end or at some point the road reaches a woman whose silken hair cannot be avoided.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Alternate Ending

Same as the one you already know, except everyone is happy.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Miley Cyrus Did a Bad, Bad Thing

At about noon yesterday, rummy from several hours of work on my computer, I went for a walk through the ranchlands that surround my house.  That’s where I saw the white cabbage butterflies.
They were having sex in mid-air.
Sometimes, I guess being an insect has its advantages.  Obviously, the ability to copulate in midair is one of them.  Naturally, I stopped to watch them tumble around just above the dry grass considering the possibilities.
That is interesting, I thought.
Way earlier in the morning, I happened to watch a bit of news for the first time in many days.  That’s where I saw Miley Cyrus half-naked and grinding out suggestive moves on the Video Music Awards.  Well, the grinding and wiggling part of the performance was fine, but did Miley Cyrus really need to drag teddy bears into all that sexual connotation?
I like teddy bears.
Miley also had a great deal of trouble keeping her tongue in her mouth—which may be some indication of a medical condition, though I don’t know what that medical condition may be.  Toward the end of the performance, Miley appeared to be pleasuring herself with an oversized foam finger.  Really, she did not look all that attractive just then.  When I glanced at her head to avoid watching the foam finger, I thought, Geez, she looks like an albino Chia Pet.  Not that interesting.
The whole Miley Cyrus performance reminded me of a rock concert I saw in Missoula, Montana, many years ago.  I think Jethro Tull headlined the concert.  The warm-up band featured a somewhat overweight lead singer who sweated profusely.  Throughout most of the warm-up set, the lead singer used a towel to wipe the sweat from his face and exposed chest.  During the last song of their performance, the lead singer attempted to throw the towel out into the audience.  Normally, people will grab things rock performers toss into the audience and keep them as treasures.  Nobody wanted that big guy’s sweaty towel.   People in the audience kept flinging it back onto the stage.   
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Hair-Shedding Mechanism

My cat, Carmel, sheds an inordinate amount of hair.  At least that is how I see it.  In addition to finding his hair in the usual places, such as on my clothing and clumped on the carpet, I also find his hair on my computer, inside magazines, stuck to my other cat, flying through the air, backstroking in my sink water, and I suspect several hairs have made their way to the moon by now.  Curious about how much hair is in the coat of a normal housecat and how much of that a cat sheds over a given time, I surfed the net for information.
Not much out there for answers.
Wiki.answers suggested that an average cat might have 30 to 50 million hairs.  Several places indicated that a cat might have up to 120,000 hairs per square inch.  The number varies by the breed and the size of the cat.  I also learned that most cats have three types of hair: down, awn, and guard hair.  Down hair is soft and short.  Awn is coarse and medium length.  Guard hair is long.
Still, no firm answer on Carmel—my personal hair-shedding mechanism—and how many of his 50 million hairs he flings around the place.
Here is my best guess as to how much hair my cat sheds: as much as he possibly can.
I have posted a picture of Carmel.  My apologies if he sheds on your computer screen as you read this.

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Blush before We Fall

Though the days are hot and the long gravel roads that sway through the valleys still release rolling dust with each passing truck, some mornings are decidedly cool.  A sense of autumn is in the air.  Some mornings are decidedly cool and smell of damp hay.  Blackbirds have begun to gather into larger flocks.  Only a few days ago I saw a cloud of blackbirds shoaling back and forth above a cattail pond.  At the high elevations I frequent, the leaves of the Oregon grape have blushed decidedly yellow and the more ambitious huckleberry bushes have opted for showy reds.
I am posting pictures today from my latest high mountain adventure.  One photograph is purposefully abstract.  The other picture is telling and outspoken in the simple truth of color.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Distant Fires

Smoke from fires in the Bitterroot has altered our summer sunrise and sunset for the last few days.  Today, I am posting a photograph of the sun climbing over the Big Belt Mountains.  I captured the photograph yesterday morning.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pretty Songs

As I sit outside my house listening to various songbirds call from the tall grass, the sage, and the bull pine, I find it hard to accept that their sweet tweedilee and whistlewhoo is just their way of telling all the neighbors to piss-off and stay the hell away from their territory.
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, August 22, 2013

All That I Need

A root clutching dark soil.
A branch held against the sky.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Not Technically a Tragedy

Today, while having a moment with nothing more productive to consider, I got to thinking that there must be some plausible line where an accident that leaves people injured is not technically a tragedy.  After a bit of discerning I concluded that a couple getting injured by falling from a horse while attempting to make love atop the animal may be the line we are looking for.
That is not technically a tragedy.
Not that making love atop a horse is necessarily a bad idea…
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Something Unsettling

For some reason, I find it quite unsettling when I drive up to a red stop light right beside another car and look over only to see my long-dead uncle driving the other car.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thought X

Only in lying do most people use great care in the words they choose.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fact #1 leads to Fact #2

Fact #1: The best way to determine if an alligator is male or female is to stick your finger up its rectum and feel the parts.
Fact #2: People have learned not to give a damn if an alligator is male or female.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Banded Woolly Bear

Pyrrharctia Isabella, more commonly known as a banded woolly bear, is the caterpillar stage of the Tiger Moth.  The caterpillars emerge from eggs in late summer and early fall in temperate climates.  The caterpillars are active and feeding on broadleaf plants until the cold weather sets in.  When the weather begins to cool the woolly bears, sometimes in a migrating mass of caterpillars, will seek out protected places in the understory—under deadfall, under leaves, or in root tangles.  The wooly bears overwinter by curling into a coil and more or less freezing solid.  The heart of the caterpillar even stops beating.  In the spring, the caterpillar emerges and pupates before becoming a moth.
Interestingly, in the Arctic, due to the short growing season for vegetation, the woolly bear must feed for several summers and freeze again each winter, before becoming a moth.   
Folklore holds that the thickness of the dark middle color band is a predictor of winter.  If the dark band is thin, the winter will be severe.  If the band is thick the winter will be mild.  The middle band, as a fact certain, grows wider as the caterpillar ages.
I found two woolly bears yesterday on some thimbleberry plants.  I have not noticed them around me since I was a young boy.  I scooped one up into my palm and allowed it to inch up my arm a bit. 
Nice to be a kid again. 

--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pictured, Not Pictured

Another interesting experiment is to take lunch with you when you drive high into the mountains in late June to see the wildflowers and then forget the lunch in your truck for the next fifty or so days.  I have pictured the partial results of just such an experiment in the form of a “before” and “after” image.  Not pictured (for reasons of decorum): the sandwich.  Also not pictured: the interesting smell.

--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Animal Match Game

Here is a list of animals: 
In the narrative below, see if you can identify these animals by the nicknames I have given them:
One day, in a field of tall Timothy grass crossed by a meandering stream, a pair of pecker-dropping gallopers raced past a butt-licker lying sleeping in the grass.  Naturally, the butt-licker took offence at being awakened so abruptly and began to chase the pecker-dropping gallopers.  The startled gallopers veered directly across the stream, very nearly stomping to death several slippery-when-wets at midstream.  Nearby, a clawed nose-toucher watched while sprawled crosswise in a patch shade below a willow tree.  Relaxing after an entire morning of chasing air-flying ground-bouncers, the clawed nose-toucher simply yawned as the gallopers barreled right through a herd of lunch, dispersing them in all directions.  Stretched and sunning itself on a patch of bare ground surrounded by wavering grass in the field, a whipaway-whipaway merely felt the vibrations of activity and wondered how long the sunlight might last.
--Mitchell Hegman    

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If Only One Thing

If only one thing, allow me to always be standing where the blue sky arrives over mountains each morning.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

No, that is not my Sister

I thought I saw my sister walking between two cars in a parking lot near where she works as I drove past there yesterday.  Smiling, I took a second look and realized I was actually seeing the front of a rearview mirror.
A tiny mirror attached to one of the cars.
Again, might be about time I started watching more television—at least then I know where the nonsensical inputs come from.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, August 12, 2013

More Recently

A long time ago, I learned that I can somewhat control when and where I go to the bathroom but I cannot be king of the world.  More recently I have learned the following:
—I cannot fix much of anything with a bigger hammer.  
—My carpets will not vacuum themselves, but my cats’ fur will collect everything from bat     guano to lost earrings.  
—I am not getting more attractive with age (and I did not have great start to begin with).
—Some of my friends are spurring the economy by purchasing penis-enlargement products, beer, and firearms. 
—The economy is improving.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Along the Way

Along the way to a pretty huckleberry place yesterday morning.

--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Two Clouds Meet

Yesterday afternoon, for almost four hours, I sat outside on my back deck and worked on my computer.  As I sat there, my 40 pounds of cat came and went.  Motor boats droned up and down the lake.  Songbirds chipped and whirred from the nearby trees.  All this as I tappity-tappity-tapped away on my machine. 
Late in the day, fly flew inside my ear.  Well, it tried at any rate. 
That’s when I noticed the clouds meeting above the mountains—two lovely cumulous swells merging as they billowed ever higher. 
I stopped working and watched the clouds.   Soon, I started to see the profiles of faces blossoming and then kissing in those places where the clouds came together.
Maybe I need start watching television again.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, August 9, 2013

Mule Deer at Dusk

Driving home yesterday evening, I rounded a corner in the ranchlands and found five mule deer standing in the road.  As I brought my car to a stop, the deer dispersed.  The lone buck in the group trotted up a small hill and stood there as a shadow in the last glow of daylight.
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A More Pleasant Ghost Story

At first, the Smith family felt ill-at-ease moving into a known haunted house.  Their fears rapidly subsided, however, once they realized that the spirit haunting the home was a poltergeist, a so-called noisy ghost, that woke them late each night by loudly washing the evening’s dinnerware.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Sat There in my Car

I don’t even recall what triggered the initial thoughts about my wife, but by the time I pulled up to my house and sat waiting for the automatic door opener to pull the door high enough that I might enter the garage, I had been thinking for a while.  Back beyond the disease.  Past the walkers and the wheelchairs.  Beyond what she called the “big numb.”
I thought about how together we hiked the high mountains all around me.  I could hear her footsteps behind me.  She could jump then.  She could run.
When the door finally pulled fully open, I remained sitting there in my car.
I just sat there for a very long time with my foot firmly on the brake and chill air from the vents blowing across my arms and face.
Sometimes, I don’t want to finish going home.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

If that’s What She Wanted

If the object of the really pretty woman at the grocery store wearing tight-fitting, lime green pants was to get me and two gawky high school boys to ponder the shape of her ass as she selected gala apples: mission accomplished!
One of us also watched her walk away down the canned foods aisle.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, August 5, 2013

I Have Seen

I have seen the future, and it just messed its pants.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Forest Floor

Photographs I captured yesterday while picking huckleberries.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, August 3, 2013

And One More Thing

Probably nothing is more irksome than someone getting a messy project started and then quitting and leaving things only ha   way do           
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gathering Berries

Yesterday, someplace between my monthly business expense reports and purplish thunderstorms, I managed a drive up into huckleberry country for a few hours of gathering berries.  Three hours of picking huckleberries wipes clean any ten hours of remorse over my last misspent deed, five hours of vexing thoughts about the meaning of life, and all zillion hours of work I should be doing.
Gathering berries is the most primal and satisfying of all things that I do in this life.  I think of nothing else for the whole time I am in the mountains at a huckleberry place.
Huckleberry places are, without exception, beautiful places.  Somehow, genetically, the berries have been engineered to grow only where the view is stunning, the wind-struck trees laugh instead of creak, and green leaves flow around your knees and across the forest floors like creek water.
I have posted a photo of a “loaded” huckleberry plant and a photo of red baneberries.  Though pretty, baneberries are highly toxic.

--Mitchell Hegman   

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Abstract #13

Another from my series of photographs featuring the taillight of a PT Cruiser.

--Mitchell Hegman