Schmoozing with Schwartzenegger, and
a Gallery of Other Governators

Humorous Photo Shoots (2011 - Vermont)

WhiIe working in communications and media relations for state agencies I became someone the Governor's Office staff or other department officials would call upon to memorialize special in-house events, or to make sure someone photographed the kinds of ceremonies the media might find too trifling to attend. Here I give you some of those 'til-now undisclosed shots, with their amusing backstories....  (SEE FULL POST)

Above: A meeting arranged for a star-struck fan with his hero Arnold Schwartzenegger in Governor Richard Snelling's inner chambers.   

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Against Many Odds, Ring-necked Pheasants Strive to Thrive in Vermont
One Lonely Boy Looks for Love Among the Locals

Above: The male subject of this story, horns raised, manly chest puffed. 

Gwawk!  Gwawk!  Check me out. I'm a study in avian studly-ness. If you're a female pheasant with a pulse, I would like to give you a batch of chicks. If you look anything like a pheasant, let's talk."  Those, I would imagine, are the approximate thoughts of a strutting, puffing, wild male ring-necked pheasant I've come to know well this spring. For over a month he's come out of the puckerbrush and has been been wantonly advertising for a mate on the front lawn near a birdfeeder at our hillside home in rural Vermont.  This pheasant's customary habit of extreme wariness has given way to a case of blinding, bird-brained desire.... (SEE FULL POST)     

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The Mother of All Maples: An impressive Find in an Old Family Grove
(​Oct. 2011 - Vermont)
Dave Strong of Plainfield, Vermont, asked me to photo-document some of the year-round work that goes on at his family's sugarmaking operation in Orange. The 1800's homestead has an extensive old maple grove and modern sap collection equipment. As we left the sugarwoods, the "mother tree of the grove" came into view on an nearby ridge (photo left.) That's Dave underneath it, for a sense of scale. About a third of the tree's height shows here. Dave was habituated to its massiveness, but I was not. My amazement amused him. Eventually, though, he called in a State forester to try to settle the matter of where this still-living maple stood in Vermont's giant tree records books. A big surprise! 


                           Above: Dave Strong and his Monster Maple.
                          (Only a third of the tree's height shows here.) 

     You can watch this 5-minute photo-documentary that I made to find out
                 what the State Forester determined about this tree.      

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Rock, Gravity, Friction:  ​Statements in Stonework
(June 2014 - Vermont)

One day I plan to have a bumper sticker made that says: I BRAKE FOR STONE WALLS. Let the person behind me think about that one. When out wandering, if I happen to spot something artfully built of fieldstone - a wall or a landscape feature -- I do like to pull over and have closer look. Surprises lurk in the details. One Vermont village boasted a wall with rusted farm implements and parts embedded in the structure.  Was it just a metal-and-rust-lover's design whim?  Or an agricultural allegory?  (Would that be an agrigory?)  If so, here would be that backstory:  (MORE)


Ricka McNaughton Writing, Photography

​And other intriguing miscellany.