Category Archives: Pufferbilly Days

Late Morning Lullaby

It is less than one month until the deadline to turn in your pictures for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. This is my second year running the contest, so I had time to make a few changes this year. But first, I actually had two flyers made for this year’s contest. One by Jay and one by Monica.


Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022
Jay’s Flyer

Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022
Monica’s Flyer

Here are a few of the things I’ve changed this year:
+ Eliminated the photo categories: Photoshop and Photojournalism.
+ Added the photo categories: People, Trains, Planes, & Automobiles. and Black & White.
+ Split up the age divisions, so now there is a separate age category for ages 13-17.
+ Added a Best in Show.
+ Added the People’s Choice Award. Where people will vote online for their favorite.

For the most part, the rules haven’t changed, but the form is drastically different:


Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022

Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022

Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022

Here is where to go to download the entry form:


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Entry Form

The rule to really note is the pictures should be mounted on foam board because, while I have a plan, and Andy and I should start working on the plan soon, to help keep the photo display window cool. It does get toasty in there. Might have to throw a thermometer in there to see how toasty it gets in there.

Entries are due on Friday, July 29 by 5 PM at the Chamber Office. Located at 903 Story Street.

The photos will be judged (tentatively) on Wednesday, August 3. Then we will put the photo display up on Thursday, August 4. In the morning. Before the sun starts beating down. The photo display will be displayed in the KWBG windows. Located at 824 Keeler.

At that time, the People’s Choice Award voting will open.

I hope some of you will enter. If you can’t enter, I still could probably use a few volunteers, here and there. Just in the last 7 days, the ball has really started moving on this whole thing. But I definitely could use a couple hands to get the display put up on Thursday morning and then taken down on the following Monday. I don’t pay cash, but I do buy breakfast. I might need some administrative help and I might need help running a scanner. If either of those appeal to you, you know how to get a hold of this guy.

In case you don’t know, you will probably get sick of hearing about this contest between now and then. You’ve been warned.

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As soon as my eyes shut the slide show begins
Yesterday is gone now and panic sets in
With a weight upon my chest
And a ghost upon my back
And the numbing sensation of everything I lack
that leaves me
Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming,
Your real world away

Flower Thursday baby!


Shy and Lowly - 2022

Shy and Lowly - 2022

Shy and Lowly - 2022

A Proud Assertion - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

I didn’t get to enjoy my lilacs much this year. They bloomed shortly before my Miami Beach trip, and were mostly gone by the time I got back. On the positive, the lilac that I planted into my front yard seems to have survived. Maybe in 3 years it will bloom. Maybe sooner, but I think 3 years is probably about right.

Selfie Project – August 2021

Yesterday I completed yet another successful month of THE SELFIE PROJECT. I was surprised how packed a month it was. When I looked back at some of the images, I thought, “that happened in August? It feels like such a long time ago!”

Here are my favorites from August:


Day 213 - August 1, 2021
August 1, 2021

Day 215 - August 3, 2021
August 3, 2021

Day 216 - August 4, 2021
August 4, 2021

Day 217 - August 5, 2021
August 5, 2021

Day 219 - August 7, 2021
August 7, 2021

Day 220 - August 8, 2021
August 8, 2021

Day 223 - August 11, 2021
August 11, 2021

Day 224 - August 12, 2021
August 12, 2021

Day 225 - August 13, 2021
August 13, 2021

Day 227 - August 15, 2021
August 15, 2021

Day 229 - August 17, 2021
August 17, 2021

Day 231 - August 19, 2021
August 19, 2021

Day 234  - August 22, 2021
August 22, 2021

Day 236 - August 24, 2021
August 24, 2021

Day 239 - August 27,  2021
August 27, 2021

Day 240 - August 28, 2021
August 28, 2021

Day 241 - August 29, 2021
August 29, 2021

Day 243 - August 31, 2021
August 31, 2021

There can only be one Selfie per day, but I’ve decided to start sharing some alternate selfies from the month, that just didn’t make the cut:


SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT  ALTERNATE

If you want to peruse all the THE SELFIE PROJECT images, click on the link below:

Selfie Project – 2021

Hopefully September is another successful month!

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show – 2021

We are having some kind of sale at my Mom’s garage tonight and tomorrow morning.

The address is 111 South Benton Street. The sale tonight will start at 4 and end when people stop showing up. Tomorrow it will start at 7 and end when people stop showing up. Probably around 1.

The alley is a dead end, so don’t drive down it looking to park.

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I once again did the photography for the Pufferbilly Days Pet Show. It wasn’t a very good environment for photography because all the tables were crushed in together and there wasn’t a stage, so you really couldn’t see the animals that were on the ground.

There were 4 entries. All dogs. Despite the flyer having 2 cats and one dog… Just reporting the facts.

Here are some pictures from the Pufferbilly Days Pet Show:


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I look forward to the 2022 Pufferbilly Days Pet Contest where there will be 6 dogs and no cats.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is FRIENDS:


WEEK 310 - FRIENDS
FRIENDS

FRIENDS! What a great theme! But what is a FRIENDS photo? It is simply a picture of a group of FRIENDS or even just a picture of one of your FRIEND(S). Maybe it could even be a picture of an object that represents a FRIENDShip to you. The theme reveal picture shows Jen, Layla, and Evie. They are a family, but they are also my FRIENDS. They are also in many ways, my family. However, the lines between FRIENDS and FAMILY can blur in multiple directions. So don’t get too hung up on is this person FAMILY or a FRIEND(S)? If you have to ask the question, the answer is that they are both.

Happy photo harvesting.

Pufferbilly Days Race

On the Saturday of Pufferbilly Days I went up to watch Willy and some of his friends run in the 5K and/or 10K. I also took some photos, since it has been a long time since I photographed Willy running. I also saw quite a few other people I knew up there running.

Here are some of the pictures:


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I also took some pictures of the Pufferbilly Days Pet Show (spoiler: no cats) that I will share at some point.

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest – 2021

It seems like a good time to review my first time as the Chair of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. I don’t know I can say it was an extreme success, but enough of a success to build on. Participation was way down this year, but I think that was to be expected as participation seems to be down across the board and there were lots of things working against the Photo Contest.

I was able to fix a few of the things that have bothered me about the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the past:

#1. The pictures were up for display on time, in fact, a day early.
#2. All the pictures were labelled with the name of the photographer, what class they were in, and the name of image.
#3. There was a display that named the winners that you could easily look at to see who placed in each class.
#4. Some small organizational things here and there, like putting stickers on the back of the entries, having a system for dividing and then combining the entries by photographer, and putting all the entries into bags with the judging forms, so they are easy to pick up.

There are plenty of changes I want to make next year, but I’ll get into that at the end.

I need to thank everybody that helped with the contest this year:

+ Michelle – Thanks for helping with adjusting the entry form and saved the life of at least one tree.
+ Kim – Thanks for the use of your Dymo for printing labels and the box.
+ Vest – Thanks for help with working with the OTHER Dymo.
+ Teresa – Thanks for all the help with the clerical/organizational side and creating the awards sign.
+ Carla – Thanks for all the help with the clerical/organization side, including labeling the ribbons.
+ Logan – Thanks for being a judge and smoking the meat for supper on the night of the judging.
+ Nathanial – Thanks for being a judge and bringing the sides for supper on the night of judging.
+ Lisa – Thanks for being a judge and bringing some experience and wisdom to this process.
+ Elainie – Thanks for being inside the window and setting up and taking down the display.
+ Kio – Thanks for getting me this gig and being the outside window helper when setting up the display.
+ Jesse – Thanks for putting up the banner and writing the thank you notes with your good penmanship. Also for distributing the flyers.
+ Megan – Thanks for your brilliant sidewalk chalk art.
+ Jorge – Thanks for the LaserJet printer that we used to print the labels.
+ The Staff of KWBG – For being supper supportive and always going the extra mile.
+ Boone First United Methodist Church – For providing a place to judge the images with an elevator.

I’m sure I’m forgetting somebody that helped during the process. This is not an intentional error. I thank whomever I forgot.

Here are some pictures from the judging process:


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We did the judging in Fellowship Hall at the Boone First United Methodist Church. I selected three judges because I didn’t want ties (although that was still a possibility) and I want a diversity of opinions and photographic skills.

The judges were:

Logan Kahler – Runs his own photography business. Former editor of the Boone News-Republican. Does wedding and event photography. Also does quite a bit of real estate photography.

Nathanial Brown – Proprietor of Nathanial Brown Productions. The leading force in Abandoned Iowa Photography and does a town of concert and event photography. Plus all sorts of photography for musicians in general.

Lisa Person – Half of Person Photography with her husband Bob. One of the best photographers I’ve ever known and it was particularly meaningful to me on a personal level to have her as part of the team for my first go as chair of this event. Their family and my family have always been intertwined in the world of photography. They did Senior Pictures for me and my sisters. They did the photography for all of our weddings. My Dad took a photography class (probably several) from Bob.

The story I’ve always heard about how Bob and my Dad met goes back to a 4-H display at the Boone County Fair. One of my sisters had entered a picture and Bob was a judge. Bob had given one of the pictures not a very good score. My Dad (who was over 6 foot and had a full manly beard) approached Bob who is more like 5 foot 6 (maybe) about why he gave this picture such a low score. (The picture used a technique called “soft focus”, but Bob considered that to just be out of focus.) Bob was terrified (or at least scared and intimidated) because he thought he had this big guy (that could surely squash him) pissed at him for giving his daughter’s picture low marks. But he soon found out that my Dad was only looking for information. Pointers. Advice. From that one conversation, they soon became great friends.

While Lisa was not a sentimental pick by any stretch of the imagination, it was very sentimental for me to have her in the room.

I got Megan Osborn to put down some sidewalk chalk art in front of the Photo Contest display to try to draw some more attention to it.

Here are some pictures of Megan:


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Unfortunately, it rained that very night and washed most of it away. But then Jennifer from KWBG and her daughter traced over it and brought it back to life. Then it rained again. So the sidewalk chalk art didn’t draw people in, but now I know how to get it to rain.

Here are picture of the photo display being put up and taken down:


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Here are some statistics from the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest:

+ 24 total entries
+ 20 Adult entries
+ 4 Youth entries
+ 5 Photoshop Enhanced (Adult) entries
+ 3 Hidden Treasures of Boone County (Adult) entries
+ 1 Photojournalism (Adult) entry
+ 11 Nature (Adult) entry
+ 5 Adult photographers
+ 2 Youth photographers

The Award Winners:

Adult – Hidden Treasures of Boone County
1. John Roberts – Last Train of the Season
2. John Roberts – Slowly Sinking
3. Tyler Alber – Boone County IA Sunset

Adult – Nature
1. Angie DeWaard – Golden Glow of Summer
2. Ava Stevens – Floral Summer Sun of My Heart
3. Angie DeWaard – Dragonfire

Adult – Photoshop Enhanced
1. Beatrice Upah – Are those donkeys?
2. Beatrice Upah – Rest Time
3. Beatrice Upah – Middle of Nowhere

Adult – Photojournalism
1. Angie DeWaard – Pandemic Chicken

Youth – Hidden Treasures of Boone County
1. Kayelee Burns – train turn about

Youth – Photojournalism
1. Daphne Harris – Fun in the Park

Youth – Photoshop Enhanced
1. Daphne Harris – Reflextion of Pinkie Pie
2. Kayelee Burns – My dog at ledges

My two main concerns for next year are that I need to figure out a way to get participation up. The other thing I need to come up with is a plan for getting the window display cooled. It gets extremely hot in that display and that causes many of the pictures to curl and I swear almost melt. I have a few ideas in mind for this problem. One of them includes replacing a window (or windows) with peg board. If anybody comes across some free or very cheap peg board that I can cut down… well I’m your huckleberry.

I’m also researching air conditioner options.

Here is a list of ideas I may bring to the 2022 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. Not all ideas are mine, but all of them are being considered.

+ Change the classes. In particular, I’m not a fan of the Photoshop Enhanced and Photojournalism category. I’m not sure what the new classes would be, but I’ve received more than one suggestion that there should be a railroad class for a festival that celebrates railroad heritage.
+ Move the deadline back to the Friday before Pufferbilly Days.
+ Add a Best in Show winner.
+ Customized Ribbons.
+ A People’s Choice Winner where people can vote online for their favorite. (This will take some work.)
+ Get the rules and entry form out as soon as possible. Get the flyer out as soon as possible. I plan on sending a reminder postcard out to all of this year’s entries when the Chamber is ready to start taking in entries.
+ Split the age divisions into Youth, Teen, and Adult. Get rid of classes for Youth. One of the Youth entries I got simply listed their class as “Photo”. I made the command decision on what category to enter it into. I don’t think kids should get wrapped up in categories. The important thing is just that they take pictures.
+ I also want to get somebody with actual graphic design skills to design the flyer next year. Also, somebody with artistic skills to design a logo for the contest. I already have an idea of what I want it to look like.
+ I also want to tweak the rules. I don’t know that I will require foam board, but it might be strongly encouraged. Also dry mounting. I’m not joking when I say that some of the photos practically melted in there. I think I will also include some tips for entering photo contests. That sounds arrogant, because I definitely don’t want to claim that I have anything figured out on that front, but little things like don’t enter more than one picture that looks similar or has the same subject. Those are just going to compete against each other in the judges’ eyes and a picture of a different subject will scoot right by it and earn a ribbon.

Those are just the ideas off the top of my head. I know that there are more percolating around my head and heads of others. But I have plenty of time to work on it.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is MOVEMENT:


WEEK 309 - MOVEMENT
MOVEMENT

MOVEMENT! What a great theme! But what is a MOVEMENT photo? Simply put, a MOVEMENT photo is a picture of something that is in motion. There are two different ways to capture movement. Use a quick shutter speed to freeze movement. Use a longer shutter speed to blur motion.

And if you can’t control shutter speed, don’t worry about it too much. Just get a picture of something in motion and the photography gods will take care of the rest.

Happy photo harvesting!

If You Look to the Sky and Pray

I need to start this post by encouraging you (if you have a pet) to enter the Pufferbilly Days Pet Show. It is this Sunday at 11 AM. Registration begins at 10:45. It is located at Veterans Park (9th and Story). Awards are given to the dog that is the Best Beggar, does the Best Trick, and had the Best Tail Wag. For Misc. pets, prizes are given to the Most Unique, the Most Colorful, and the pet with the Most Appropriate Name. There is a prize given for Most Look-Alike and Best in Show. Also some awards for cats, I assume.

Here is a flyer that has the ratio way off.



The Pet Show is open to all ages of humans and pets. As you can tell, this isn’t a super serious competition. So grab Fido and come on down for some fun with your four-legged (or two legs if it is a bird) friend! Also, no poultry.

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I haven’t taken Rodan139 out hardly at all this year. In fact, probably less than 5 times. I need to start stretching its wings more than I have. But here is a tiny collection of the last 2 extremely brief flights that it went on. One was just to look at all the fireworks going off around town. The others are alternates for my THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme of PATHS.


4th of July - 2021

4th of July - 2021

4th of July - 2021

Paths - Alternate

Paths - Alternate

Paths - Alternate

Paths - Alternate

I’m laying down my pick and taking about a week long sabbatical from the Computer Mine starting next week, so hopefully I’ll get Rodan139 out of the hangar at least once in that time frame.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is TOY:


WEEK 308 - TOY
TOY

TOY! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a TOY image? Simply put, a TOY image is a picture of something that you use for recreation. It isn’t used for work. It is used for play. However, what one person might consider a TOY, another person might consider a TOOL. What is considered a TOY might be more personal than one thinks at first glance.

Happy photo harvesting!

Tama County Auxiliary Images – 1

Here is Part 3 of the brief third marriage of my Grandma Bennett. This article is in particularly bad shape, so there is some guessing with what it says.

Handschin, Formerly of Boone, Dies After Being Shot, Sioux city.

A (man) shot by a jealous woman at Sioux City the night of January 11, Maurice (Mose) Handschin, 37, formerly of Boone, died at 11 o’clock Wednesday night in a hospital at the northwest Iowa city.

His remains are being accompanied to this city by his wife to whom he was married here shortly after the first of the year. Funeral services and interment will be in Boone, the body to arrive late Thursday.

Handschin was born and grew up here, leaving about 10 years ago for Sioux City where he had been employed by the Swift packing. (Handschin) at one time was a North Western employee here.

A number of his three surviving brothers and five surviving sisters reside here. The survivors are Warren Handschin of Boone, Art Handschin of Minneapolis and Harry Handschin of Oregon, Mesdames Ralph Spratt and Carl Westberg of Boone. Clarence Ades of Des Moines, Art Howd of Webster City and Ollie Mabee of Parker, S.D.

Sioux City, Jan. 25 – First degree murder charges were filed in Sioux City today against Mrs. Martelle McPeek, as the result of the death last night of Maurice W. Handschin of a bullet wound.

Chief of Detectives Tom Farley said Mrs. McPeek signed a statement that she shot Handschin on January 11 when (learned he had married another woman).

Mrs. McPeek (was jailed on an open charge since the shooting, which occurred inside the home of Handschin and his bride of a few days. fired two shots, one entering Handschin’s abdomen. A physician said death was caused by infection in the blood stream. The bullet tore seven holes in his intestines and stomach. (Coroner said an autopsy would be held later today.)

Handschin had been living with Mr. and Mrs. Mcpeek six years and for most of that time, according to investigating authorities, he and Mrs. McPeek had carried on a love affair with the knowledge of her husband.

At Christmas time, Handschin left Sioux City, saying he was going to remarry his former wife. He returned shortly after New Years with a Mrs. Handschin who was not his former wife but a Boone divorcee, Mrs. Bernice Kessler, with a 7 year-old daughter.

On the night of the shooting, Mrs. McPeek was driven to the couple’s home by a friend, Bud Ackerly, and forced open the door when Mrs. Handschin answered her knock. When Ackerly heard the shots he ran in and seized Mrs. McPeek’s pistol and called the police.

Born in Boone

Mrs. McPeek said she planned to obtain a divorce and marry Handschin.

Several days after the shooting, McPeek filed a petition for a landlord’s attachment against Handschin seeking a judgment for $150 unpaid room rent.

Handschin was born at Boone on May 6, 1903 and had lived in Sioux City for six years. Survivors include a son, Norman.

Here is the newspaper article:



Part 4 of the story tomorrow.

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This is a reminder that today is the deadline to enter the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Flyer - 2021

If the Boone County Fair Photo Contest that I just judged on Saturday is any indication, we might be desperate for entries. Therefore the deadline is somewhat of a “soft deadline”. However, I wouldn’t push it more than a week.

To download the rules and entry form, click on the link below:

Entry Form

Good luck!

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Today seems like a good day to share some of the auxiliary images I took while harvesting the town signs of Tama County:


Tama County - Tama
Tama

Tama County - Toledo
Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Toledo

Tama County - Chelsea
Chelsea

Tama County - Chelsea

Tama County - Chelsea

Tama County - Chelsea

Tama County - Chelsea

Tama County

Tama County

Tama County - Vining
Vining

Tama County - Vining
So many all-you-can-eat testicles eaten in this building!

Tama County - Vining

Tama County - Elberon
Elberon

Tama County - Elberon

Tama County - Elberon

Tama County - Clutier
Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

Tama County - Clutier

There is still one more collection of images from Tama County left to share!

Marion County Auxiliary Images

This is a reminder that if you are interested in entering the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, the deadline is next Wednesday:


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Flyer - 2021

To download the entry form and the rules, click on the link below:

Entry Form

A special thanks to Michelle for modifying the form so you don’t have to print it 6 times.

Also, while I am running the contest, I am not judging it. So don’t worry about me recognizing your images. Doesn’t matter if I do, cause I’m not a judge!

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Back in May I cruised around Marion County to harvest their town signs. This was a solo trip and I didn’t take a ton of auxiliary images as I was on somewhat of a time crunch. I had to get to a birthday party at a carousel. Also, I have been to the two biggest towns in Marion County (Pella and Knoxville) a few times, so I didn’t really do much exploring in those towns. Still, I managed to take a few auxiliary images:


Marion County - Pella
Pella

Marion County

Marion County - Harvey
Harvey

Marion County - Harvey

Marion County - Harvey

Marion County - Harvey

Marion County - Harvey

Marion County - Harvey

Marion County - Bussey
Bussey

Marion County - Bussey

Marion County - Bussey

Marion County - Hamilton
Hamilton

Marion County - Hamilton

Marion County
Attica

Marion County

Marion County - Melcher-Dallas
Melcher-Dallas

Marion County - Melcher-Dallas

Marion County - Melcher-Dallas

Marion County - Melcher-Dallas

Marion County - Knoxville
Knoxville

Marion County - Knoxville

Marion County - Knoxville

It was a good trip and an even better birthday party.

Truth Locks

I need to start by making a few photo contest announcements. First of all, the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon is the only photo contest I will be doing this year. Before the pandemic shut them down last year, I have been doing the Boone County Fair and the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. I am not doing either of those for good reasons.

I’m not doing the Boone County Fair because I am going to be one of the judges for the Boone County Fair. That takes me out of the running there. I also recently achieved a several year long goal of becoming the Chair of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. Which also means I can’t enter that contest either.

However, I am very excited about taking over the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. It is too late in the game to make a few of the changes that I want to make and Pufferbilly Days is now only a month away, but I can still make a few of the changes.

Graphic design is not my forte, but I did slap together a flyer I hope to see on social media and hanging up around town in the next few days. Have a look:


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Flyer - 2021

The entry deadline is only 2 weeks from today, so if you are interested in entering, better get on the ball!

Also, I got the results back (partially) from the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon:


Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Results Card - 2021

I don’t know what picture or how many pictures (but I’ll assume it is one for now) were accepted, but I’ll let you know after the conclusion of the Iowa State Fair.

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Enough of that photo contest noise, here are some pictures I took around my yard:


Whispering Beauty - 2021

Truth Locks

Truth Locks

Truth Locks

Truth Locks

Truth Locks

Truth Locks

I’m hoping to rip out some of the bushes in my front yard out and replace one of them with a lilac bush. I do love lilacs so.

My (Sad) Photo Contest History – 2

When we left off, I had just won 1st Place in Black and White and 3rd Place in Color at the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but had been completely rejected by the Iowa State Fair for the 4th year in a row.

Whatever I was selling, the judges were not buying. I was despondent, but not discouraged because I knew I had entered some great photos, but they were not what the judges were looking for that year.

2011 comes around. I decided to retire from the Boone County Fair Photo Contest and to start a new way of picking pictures for the Pufferbilly Days. I also had what was probably the peak of my photo contest career at the Iowa State Fair. I got all 4 pictures exhibited. This is extremely hard to do. Thousands of people enter the contest every year. Only 5 of us got all 4 pictures exhibited. You can do the math. It is a big deal.

These are the pictures that were exhibited:


2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - I Recommend Pleasant

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon
2nd Place Class 25

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Must Be Truth

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Drenched in Loneliness
Honorable Mention Class 13

For the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest it was the second year of letting other people select my entrants. Dawn, Derrick, Jen, Scott, Russell, and Rebecca chose my entries. Dawn’s choice got 2nd Place in Black and White:


2011 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Radiant Beams
2nd Place – Black and White

I was pretty excited for 2012. I thought I had cracked the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Code, but there is no code. Some years the judge like you. Some years they don’t. In 2012, they like one of my pictures:


2012 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Truth Perception

That year, I decided to retire from the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

Then shortly after that, I decided to retire from Photo Contests altogether.

But in 2017, the itch came back. I decided to put on a Washington Wizards Jersey and come out of retirement. Hard. I decided to enter all 3 contests again. I got all Blue Ribbons at the Boone County Fair:


2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

I got one picture selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:


2017 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Little Apple

I had the following people select my entries for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest: Jim Robbins (yeah that is a long story), Micky, Michelle, Amber, Laura, and Dawn. However, none of the pictures earned a ribbon.

In 2018, my Boone County Fair entries were determined by popular vote:


2018 Boone County Fair
Red

2018 Boone County Fair
Purple

2018 Boone County Fair
Blue

2018 Boone County Fair
Blue

2018 Boone County Fair
Blue

I had two pictures selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:


2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Peep

2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Christmas Eve Morn

My Pufferbilly Days entries were also selected by popular vote that year:


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - INRI
1st Place Photoshop

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Freedom Flight
1st Place Photojournalism

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Abandoned (Mill Creek)
3rd Place Hidden Treasures of Boone County

2019 would also be a successful year. I moved to having individuals select my Boone County Fair entrants. Shannon, Michelle, and Logan selected my entries.


2019 Boone County Fair
Purple

2019 Boone County Fair
Blue

2019 Boone County Fair
Red

2019 Boone County Fair
Blue

2019 Boone County Fair
Purple

I had one picture selected for exhibition at the Iowa State Fair and it earned a ribbon:


2019 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entry - Green Little Vaulter
Honorable Mention Class 18

My Pufferbilly Day entries were once again selected by popular vote:


2019 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Hocks
1st Place Nature

2019 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Drops
1st Place Photoshop

In 2020 the pandemic hit and all photo contests were cancelled. Which was sad and I think it was avoidable because in a digital age, I think they could have found a way. For example the Iowa State Fair still held its Fine Arts competition.

Which brings us to 2021. I’m currently working on my next embarrassing failure at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. However, I am not going to enter the Boone County Fair this year. There is a reason for this decision. A very good reason. However, I’m not going to share the reason until it becomes official or it falls through. Things seem to fall through quite often these days. No decision has been made on Pufferbilly Days yet, but Pufferbilly Days has been moved to early August this year. I’m not crazy about the decision, but I’ll give it a chance.

If you want to peruse all 153 Photo Contest entrants in this long weird journey, click on the link below:

Photo Contests

You can see them all from the out of focus to the award winners. The good, the bad, and the moldy jam equivalent.