Monday, February 4, 2013

The Hammers

Summer Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) - Badlands NP, South Dakota
The life of a mid-continental inhabitant wears on the psyche. Cold nights and cold days are our way of life. Sure I live south of the border, but it’s no party in Minnesota on a typical winter day. 

This Sunday past Tamy and I visited the “Swan Lake.” It was 5 ℉ when we departed the warmth of our home, and the temperature edged upwards to a whopping 7 ℉ after hours of photography. During the shoot, we both experienced “the hammers.” For those not in the know, “the hammers” are the mind-jarring pain that accompanies an intense exposure to the arctic air flowing across exposed extremities. So intense is this stimulus that I liken it to a mallet striking bare fingers and toes against an iron anvil.
Summer Day in Black and White - Badlands NP, South Dakota
I exclaim, “it’s unfair!,” The arctic air is no impediment to the fowl who winter at the lake. They bathe and tussle in the frigid water as if it were a hot tub on a summer day. We, the featherless, lack the down and plumage that repels the cold. With toes and fingers adapted to touch and fine motor coordination, our asset is now the enemy. Densely packed sensory receptors become overloaded by the intense cold stimulus and, unlike our feathered friends in their Turkish bath, we suffer. 
American Bison and Flower (Bison bison) - Badlands NP, South Dakota
There it is,... the REAL Life and Times of a Wildlife Photographer. To be honest, I’d love to show you some work from the shoot, but my hands are too cold to process the images. Once they thaw, I’ll post the shots... until then, enjoy this summer day at Badlands National Park.

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