In my travels, I get told a lot of things, but one of more prevalent comments is that the spot I’m in is utterly, totally, completely, and beyond question, without interest of any kind. Sitting at dinner the other night in central Wisconsin, someone remarked to me provocatively, “There’s really nothing here to see, y’know ?” Welladay, I’d not met this person before, and they’d leaned over from their table to talk with me, seeing that I was quietly reading a book on my evening off whilst traveling for work this week. They’d correctly intuited that I must not be a local, being by myself, quietly eating without demur, and then they had decided that I desperately and urgently needed to engage in a debate about their home state. I’m not normally interested in jumping across tables for heated conversation with people I’ve not met before - it leads to knife fights, brawls, and genial mayhem in some places that I've visited - so I simply smiled, trying to get back to my book. Life is filled with encounters, and some are best left like a road sign long reversed and made small in the rearview mirror… And besides, I like Wisconsin. Toodling around this area a bit, I was lucky enough to see a sight or eight – day-lilies, water-lilies, dragonflies, butterflies, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, waterbirds, scavengers, porcupines, deer - but I’ll confine my shots to the forum area at hand. A kingfisher enjoys a break in the daylong clouds to bask in the sun at the McMillan Wildlife Refuge, looking for fish in the water beneath, seeing only me taking the shot after clumping through marsh grass on the bogs. An osprey savours a scrap of freshwater sashimi, glaring away from the sunset in Port Edwards (and the photographer who marvels at the great northern pike hoisted back to a nest to be shredded with elan and eclat). And a raptor clings to a treetop in the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, wondering where all of the day and the prey have gone. I'm not offering myself up for that role, oh my, no, that's a given... A bloody, ruddy sunset over the McMillan Wildlife Refuge catches the photographer without a tripod, so handheld's all that will do with fatigued arms. muddy legs, and a long shot in all senses of the words. The birds fly, the eagle observes, and the land is coloured like Mars by sanguinary clouds on the horizon. All shots with the D100, 200-400mm AFS/VR, TC17E, Processed in NC, Shots 2&3 minorly cropped, Shot 4 sort of cropped, Shot 1 quite "well-cropped" So, in the end, regardless of what the locals tell you, there’s one simple truth for the photographer – always shoot. John P.