Thursday, February 08, 2007

Back to school

I'm enrolled in two classes. One is called "Taking Great Pictures" and it's at the community college. It was my idea, but it's officially for work. It's only five sessions, and I tell you, it was worth my employer's money for the first class alone. Oh the importance of shutter speed.

The other is an obedience class for Isis. And here's the ugly truth about me. I don't like having to work at stuff. If I'm not a natural at something, I'm not the sort who enjoys working at it until I get good.

In this case, I'm doing fine at executing the choreography of holding the lead in my right hand, with my thumb through the loop and my fingers wrapped around it, my left hand loosely around the lead as I walk. To teach Isis to sit when I stop walking, I'm supposed to slide my right hand down the lead to the collar, put my left hand on her "loins," apply gentle pressure as I stop walking and say "Sit." No problem, and actually, she gets the sit thing.

It's walking alongside me on my left that she's having trouble with. And all the jerking of the chain just confuses her. She wants to walk ahead and sniff the ground, which is perfectly OK with me, except I can't do this sit command unless she's right next to me (or "left" next to me, I guess).

Who cares, right? I have my advanced degree; it doesn't matter if my dog fails obedience school, does it? Except our manual tells us that this is the time to correct any mistakes. "Your performance should be perfect," it tells me. For real? After a few weeks, my 5-month-old puppy is expected to be perfect?

To fit in some more practice before Saturday's class, I took her along with me today as I drove around my coverage area, looking for stuff to take pictures of. Unfortunately, the best thing I saw all day happened while I had her on the leash and my camera was in its bag in the locked car.

Two adult bald eagles, with white heads clearly visible, flew right overhead. In flight, one bumped into the other. Then they landed in some trees. I got my camera and shot one of them as it flew away, but I don't know how to expose to make the head look white and the sky look blue.














Yeah, that's right, the sky was blue. I guess I should take a PhotoShop class next.

Isis is still my favorite subject though.


















Here's one I took by mistake, when I had the camera bouncing on my left hip as I walked the dog.

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