Ducks on Ice

@UncleJoe (8069)
Virginia Beach, Virginia
April 21, 2017 11:09am CST
About a year after my first book, “Gently Down the Stream” hit the market I retired. Not completely but it was time for me to change vocations. I had been a heavy equipment operator long enough. Although a long way from being a millionaire, I certainly felt like one. I was investing all of my proceeds with Morgan-Stanley and the return was far greater than I could have ever imagined. This isn’t about the money I profited but the freedom it gave me to pursue life-long ambitions. I chose one that I not only figured to be profitable but quite enjoyable as well. This was the opportunity to invest in all the equipment I needed to go out and shoot video of wildlife. The kind we see on National Geographic programs. I had found a production company online that would buy “quality” footage. They required at least 4 whole minutes of sharp, clear shots that could be used for broadcasting in a documentary or even television commercials. That seemed easy enough until I discovered that getting those 4 minutes could take 10 to 20 hours of hiding in the bushes. Wild creatures don’t ever come out and perform on cue. Beginning with a couple of high-tech RCA video cameras, a tripod, and camouflaged clothing I hiked out, fashioned blinds and set up my cameras. It didn’t take long to realize that I needed a better way to haul my gear. That’s when I bought a big camouflaged ATV. Because I was registered with the production company I was invited to a photographer’s convention in St. Louis, Missouri. Compared to the professionals that attended my “outfit” was quite penny-anti. Yet, they treated me as one of them. The main topic of any conversation usually turned out to be the “Money Shot”. This is footage that had already been filmed or more than likely, video of unusual and exciting action. One that would bring in the big bucks. Listening to the pros, it didn’t take long to realize that some must be crazy. They described scenarios that would probably put them at great risk. It appeared that I was the only one there who didn’t share these dreams. The most popular money shot that everybody seemed to think was the best idea was wildlife in combat. Either a predator attacking prey or two creature of the same species fighting over territory. The last place I want to be is anywhere near 2 Grizzleys are fighting. That is a little to rough for me. I have had one in mind that would cause a lot of discomfort to shoot, but much safer. Ever since I saw this as a kids, I have always wanted to document one of the funniest scenes I ever witnessed. As kids, my two brothers and I used to hide on the brush on our bellies just to watch duck landing on a frozen pond. Unfortunately, I never got that footage. Although I made several attempts the timing was never right. Here is a “mild” clip of what it looks like. Too bad it doesn’t show the flip-overs and spin-outs.
Watch some landing on ice
10 people like this
9 responses
@Kandae11 (25563)
21 Apr
Very nice, you can hear the distinct sound when they land. Is this one of yours?
2 people like this
@UncleJoe (8069)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
21 Apr
No @Kandae11 I never got the shot. I found this one on YouTube.
2 people like this
@pgntwo (21436)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
21 Apr
Loved the video, and the associated sound effects - very funny, thanks for sharing! Is this your "magnum opus" to which you referred in your opening para?
Beau, a pianist expat living in London, meets Rufus, an eccentric young lawyer, at the dawn of the internet dating revolution.
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (8069)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
21 Apr
No @pgntwo If you do a search you will find several books with that same title. My version was published in 1995 so it might be a little hard to find. I know it's available as an E-book now too.
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (21436)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
21 Apr
@UncleJoe Ah - the canoe trip down the Mayo river, avoiding the day-yum...... ?
1 person likes this
@UncleJoe (8069)
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
21 Apr
@pgntwo That's the one.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (50114)
• United Kingdom
24 Apr
That was fun seeing those ducks, sorry you never got the money shot yourself.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12573)
• New Zealand
22 Apr
How exciting for you to be able to follow your dreams.
1 person likes this
@Morleyhunt (15943)
• Canada
22 Apr
The sound effects just add to the hilarity. We find just watching the "pecking order" at our bird feeders provide a lot of entertainment,
1 person likes this
@Platespinner (18067)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
21 Apr
That looks like fun!
1 person likes this
@CRK109 (14365)
• United States
21 Apr
I could watch footage like this for hours! Seems that they love sliding on the ice as much as kids do! Thanks for this!
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (10731)
• United States
21 Apr
I'm happy you got to pursue some goals :-)
1 person likes this
@amadeo (46050)
• United States
21 Apr
interesting there Uncle Joe
1 person likes this