Reflections on Thankfulness

My husband is a previous non-football fan. Yes, you read that correctly. The recent change of heart occurred after experiencing the reality of a live game. From the sea of orange and blue cheering Bronco fans, to the rumble of the stadium as praises filled the sky, it isn’t hard to let yourself surrender and join the excitement. The sport of football is appreciated at a whole new level.

 

There is a beautiful mystery that takes place when praises flow from a thankful heart. It isn’t enough simply to be thankful. The mystery is in the expression, e.g, cheering on a football team, sharing a good hunt, or even delighting in a sunrise’s glory. The praise isn’t complete until verbalized, and the overflow of joy is allowed to be released.

 

I’m reminded of the times spent in the woods, the moment when the pursued animal is claimed and the words of thanks pour from the hunter’s lips. The joy seems to complete itself the instant when the excitement is shared with friends, family and even strangers. You want to tell everyone – right? How often have your heard, “I can’t wait to tell…” When someone joins the excitement, it is as if the glorious moment in time lasts a little longer and lingers with each retelling of the story.
C.S Lewis eloquently put it this way in his book, Reflections on the Psalms
“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with…”
Lewis is really dealing with the concept of praising God and his struggle with understanding why people should ‘praise’ God. It is an interesting question, and I think I understand a little more with each moment of praise expressed.
So, my challenge for you this week… Express this Thanksgiving what you are thankful for. Don’t just merely “be thankful” – verbalize it, express it and let your praise be complete. What are you thankful for?
Oh, and to catch a glimpse into the moment of my husband’s football conversion. Here is a short video I made of the game:
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Blessings, Contests, Sweepstakes, etc

In the spirit of thankfulness, I thought I would share some fun ways to bless others this holiday season. There are some great organizations out there that provide opportunities to easily spread some joy in a tangible way.

I’ve also been made aware of promotions, contests, sweepstakes, etc., so I’ll be sharing those as well. I want all my blogging friends to share my joy and join me in all this contest fun. It will just be one big festive ball of sharing and thankfulness around here for a bit. (Okay, that was a little cheesy, I’m going to blame it on the fertility drugs though. Ha!)

The first on my list: Operation Christmas Child 

One of my favorite things to do around this time of year is to participate in Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief organization founded by Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham. They send out shoe boxes filled with gifts each year to kids all around the world; kids are blessed by these boxes who normally wouldn’t receive a gift at all this time of year. The collection for boxes is this week (Nov 15-22), so get busy and fill a box full of joy for a kiddo in need.
  1. Pack your shoe box –
  2. Print a label –
  3. Find a location near you to drop it off –
  4. Follow your box –

Narnia Premiere – Win a Trip to London!

For my next post on my “share the joy” theme of all things related to blessings, contest, and sweepstakes, I’ve chosen to highlight an opportunity to win a trip to London for the premiere of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I know I have a few CS Lewis / Narnia fans out there that would love to win this!

This contest is wrapping up and will end this Saturday, so act fast! All you have to do is enter a short essay on who your favorite character is and why. If you are chosen as the Grand Prize winner on Monday (Nov 22nd), you could find yourself on a plane to London for the movie premier on November 30th. So, if you are up for a spontaneous trip across the pond – go and enter this contest!

Plus, it sounds like a fun time to be in London right now with the royal engagement just announced. I hope you have your passport ready!

Vixens of Versus Country

For the second post of my “share the love” of blessings, contests, and sweepstakes, I’m highlighting a sweepstake currently going on by Versus Country. (Check out their great Friday night shows!)

The “Vixens of Versus Country” Sweepstakes is the opportunity for you ladies out there who enjoy the sport of hunting to win a complete hunting outfit from She’s Safari. How cool is that!! Now, I have to admit that I’m partial to Prois hunting gear (more on that later), but who would turn down an opportunity to win a complete hunting setup? I always love trying out new hunting gear – how about you?
The details of the contest are found here.
Go – upload photos and talk it up on the Versus site. Have fun!

Easy Digiscoping With The Vortex PS-100 Digital Camera Attachment

An Introduction To Digi-Scoping

What’s in common with all professional and enthusiast bird watchers may be the process of preparation, getting in the right position,and waiting for the exact moment when their viewing targets arrive. While a lot of people who are looking at this hobby from the outside may dismiss all this as unnecessary and boring, those who have devoted their entire lives to spotting and appreciating these winged animals up close can call it all a means to an end, all totally worth it.

In today’s world, there are even more ways to make the entire experience smooth and straightforward. Advances in technology have guaranteed how today’s scopes are more compact yet also more powerful. The integration of fine-tuning when it comes to focusing on a particular subject ensures a sharp image through the lens each and every time. Even tripods have evolved to be sturdier, tougher, and considerably lighter. Are you a bowhunter? Then you can check this drop away arrow rest review to get more closer to your target.

Of course, it isn’t enough for today’s manufacturers to improve on the essentials to scopes. For modern scopes to be truly categorized as modern, they would definitely have to be compatible with the technology offered today.

In the past, the temptation to photograph a subject through a proper spotting scope would mean a lot of investing – in the form of cash, and in skill and time. Adapters were not as mass-produced back then, and those who wanted to take a picture of what they saw through the lens would have to go through custom-building for what fits their camera to their scope. In most cases, these custom jobs would cost a little more money.

In addition to this, earlier bird watchers would have to find a way to deal with the sound generated by the shutter of the film camera. In some cases, this would be enough to make a bird or any other subject startled enough to spoil the entire session.

The Rise Of Digiscoping

Fortunately, all these issues are no longer significant due to great leaps and bounds, both in the field of scopes, and in the field of photography.

With the rise of digital photography, anyone and everyone has the opportunity to record whatever they see, in formats which are usable for legitimate print jobs, or just to be posted on the internet to be shared with the rest of the world. The phenomenon of digital photography has not only made photography available to everyone, it also enhanced the entire experience to the point that professional photography is within the reach of people who have the passion and a small yet significant amount of money to invest.

Digiscoping is just an extension, a demonstration of how far digital photography has evolved. The opportunity to record photos and even videos of what used to be only for observation through a spotting scope is readily available today. To understand it further, just take the root words of digiscoping – ‘Digi’, coming from digital, pertaining to digital photography, combined with scoping.

A Dilemma

Of course, this is not actually as easy as it sounds – considering the vast number of scopes and the vast number of digital cameras out there, that just results in an equally vast amount of adapters to make the camera fit into the eyepiece.

Fortunately, today’s manufacturers from both sides of the fence have developed ways to make the entire camera-to-scope connection compatible to a tee. This is performed mostly by the production of adapters which connect the camera to the scope. The adapter brings everything together through ends which conform to the filter thread, or even the lens thread of the camera.

The problem here is that not every camera has a lens thread, or even a filter thread. Cameras without these add-ons are mostly in a particular genre that photography enthusiasts call ‘point-and-shoot’ cameras. As the name implies, these are digital cameras that are designed for the consumer that does not need much customization, and can afford to literally just point the camera and shoot, without any regard for manual settings. Point-and-shoot cameras are usually smaller and cheaper, and are a go-to product for anyone who is looking into getting into photography.

Out of people who are into activities that require scopes, there is a significant number of them who are definitely wanting to record what they see, but unwilling to pay top dollar for a full Digital-Single-Lens-Reflex system. However, seeing as most digital camera adapters (DCAs) are for these systems, what is a point-and-shoot owner to do to take pictures through his or her scope?

Most of the time I am using the scope for turkey hunting. It’s help me to get more closer view and I am really happy. I am using compound bow and others bow accessories for turkey hunting. You can take a look at here Selfpatron.com to get more idea about the top and most perfect bow accessories.

The Solution

Fortunately, the same manufacturers that came up with adapters for lens threads and digital threads has now come up with a workable and marketable solution for point and shoot cameras.

The Vortex PS-100 Attachment enables you to take virtually any such camera, making it compatible to a DCA by adding filter threading, effectively making it available to connect to a scope. Technically, it’s an adapter for an adapter.

How to use the Vortex PS-100

  1. Take the silver screw and use it to connect the entire attachment to the tripod port, which is common on most, if not all cameras.
  2. Switch your point and shoot camera on, and adjust the Tele-Wide (Zoom) function until the lens is fully extended.
  3. Slide the entire camera forward until the end of the lens is approximately in-line with the filter thread adapter on the attachment.
  4. Manually adjust the camera position so the lens is approximately at the center of the filter ring, and secure the entire thing with the associated screw.

Following these steps makes the entire camera ready to be attached to a DCA, and ultimately to a scope.

Conclusion

Though you may have just a point and shoot camera in your hand, Digi-scoping is still an option for you to take, with essential attachments such as the Vortex PS-100. You will find out that this is a pretty addictive hobby to get into; fortunately, all you would need is a point and shoot camera and an appropriate attachment system to get started.

Varmints: Perfect For Testing Firepower

Ground squirrels provide a superb proving ground for field testing rifles, optics and ammo under real-world conditions.

It wasn’t exactly a scene from CaddyShack—or even remotely close, actually—but I could relate to the grubby assistant groundskeeper’s quandary as I pondered the gopher-infested pasture. Carl would’ve had his work cut out for him. I hunkered down, rolled up my sleeves and got down to business.

Perfect For Testing Firepower

The immense Montana landscape—rolling pastures that mingled with shouldered foothills framed by the majestic mountain peaks of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area—provided a breathtaking backdrop. I inhaled deeply and soaked it all in. Then I sipped another breath, released half of it and tightened the trigger on the Remington Model 700. The unfortunate Columbian ground squirrel in the crosshairs died with gusto. I panned over to the next vertical sentry and repeated the process. Talk about a target-rich environment! I continued to pull the trigger until the ground beside me was littered with spent brass.

Ground squirrels provide a superb proving ground for field testing rifles, optics and ammo under real-world conditions. Available in ridiculous numbers, and loathed by ranchers for their destructive nature and the diseases they carry (including bubonic plague), they’re the perfect treatment for the withdrawals many riflemen suffer when big game seasons are closed.

And so here I was in west-central Montana, lying prone with a sweet-shooting rifle topped with sniper-quality optics, and a huge pile of ammo. I couldn’t imagine a more pleasant way to spend a mid-May afternoon.

Head West 
If there’s an ideal setting for field testing varmint rifles and ammunition, long-range optics, and for improving shooting skills, it’s the vast reaches of the American West. Whether you’re pursuing prairie dogs in South Dakota or Wyoming, striped gophers in North Dakota or, as we were, Columbian ground squirrels in Montana, you can put your equipment and marksmanship to the ultimate trial.

For varmint hunters, the West is quite literally the land of opportunity—vast open ranges populated by a wide variety of living, moving targets. Columbian ground squirrels are plentiful throughout much of the northwestern United States and western Canada, preferring open meadows, cropped pastures and dry grasslands. Typically, they live in large colonies where they raise their young. Females produce one litter a year, with as little as two or as many as 15 young. They only live a few years on average, but because they can reproduce at an early age populations left unchecked can quickly escalate.

And public land is plentiful. The Bureau of Land Management alone manages 262 million acres (most of it in the Western states), or about one-eighth of the land in the United States. Much of this property is dominated by extensive grasslands and pastures, perfect varmint habitat in other words. Other large tracts of public land include those controlled by the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Add state wildlife management areas and it’s obvious there’s no shortage of accessible places to hunt.

But don’t overlook private property, because access is often available for the asking. Ranchers tired of pastures that resemble Swiss cheese frequently greet varmint hunters with open arms, as long as they steer clear of their cattle and close gates behind themselves.

Whether on public or private land, shooters can set up overlooking vast grasslands or pastures and shoot for hours without moving. Lessons learned at the rifle range are reinforced by expending large volumes of ammo under real-world field conditions.

Shooting varmints provide a forum for practicing from various positions while calculating elevation, wind-drift, and angle. In other words, it’s an excellent primer for all the other rifle hunting you do. For me, it was a chance to get away from the shoulder-punishing magnums and shoot the light stuff: .204 Ruger, .17Mach2 and .22LR. And a chance to burn a lot of ammo in the process.

Trigger Touch
Arguably the most important—and often overlooked aspect of accuracy—begins and ends at the tip of the index finger. Aside from the mechanical aspects of what constitutes a good trigger, the physical requirements of breaking that trigger clean like everything else requires good form and practice.

Gunwriter Ian McMurchy shoots more than anyone I know. He’s a North American guru of all things that go bang. He sees the trigger as the final link in a chain of events that affect shooting proficiency and accuracy. A hunter might spend hundreds of dollars on a new rifle and several hundred more on a new scope, but give little thought to the quality of the trigger.

“Very simply, you cannot expect to shoot to your accuracy potential or that of the rifle if the trigger has a heavy release weight, excessive creep or over-travel,” McMurchy said. “Unfortun­ately, today many triggers come from the factory ‘lawyer-proof’ because of fears of litigation, and the heavy release weight and movement impair accuracy. It’s imperative to know exactly when the trigger releases the sear, simple as that. When the sight-picture is correct and steady, you want the rifle to fire at an exact instant in time. You ‘will’ the trigger to break—it’s a subconscious act.”

But as important as a good trigger is, good technique is also required to make an accurate shot, and the physics of marksmanship begin and end with the trigger.

McMurchy cites several key elements that ensure a good trigger pull.

• Position the hand naturally with your palm slightly cupped, controlling your grip with the bottom three fingers. Use the forward pad of the trigger finger, with your thumb either over or along the tang.

• Break the trigger at the “natural respiratory pause” that occurs between evenly spaced breaths—don’t hold your breath at any time.

• Natural point-of-aim involves using the entire body for a shooting platform, supporting the rifle with bones, not muscles because of muscles quiver. Follow through with steady pressure on the trigger and constant cheek weld on the stock. Hard-kicking rifles must be controlled with force; use the left hand if necessary. Never let the sling stud contact the sandbag or whatever rest you might be using.

And what better place to practice the mechanics of good marksmanship, including trigger control, than the target-rich environment of the West? “Where else can you shoot so many rounds in a short time at such varied distances?” McMurchy said. “Con­sideration of wind, mirage, bullet drop, barrel heat and other factors all blend into a continuous stream of decisions you have to make each time you pull the trigger.”

How To Choose A Spotting Scope For Bird watching

Think about the best optic spotting scope when you want to go on birding activity. The magnification of the scope will depend on how far you need to be able to enjoy your activity. You need to invest a lot of money just to be able to have the best optic spotting scope that would be perfect for your activity. Just think of the reason why you enjoy bird watching. Usually it is because of the different colors of the birds that make you want to see more. So you want to have a tool that can be as realistic as possible. That is why you need to look for the scope that features the highest optic available in the market.

If you have all these information in mind it will be easy for you to find and buy the right spotting scope that you can use to whatever purpose you might need it. Take your time in looking for the best one that is now out on the market and use the information that you have gathered before you make a final decision. Just consider on looking for the best brand available. And if you are considering on buying a tripod it is important that you make sure that it can carry your spotting scope. It needs to be strong to avoid getting blurry vision.

The price range of the spotting scope can range from $75 to $2500 depending on the size and the features that you will need and use. This will provide you with the important information of just how much you need to prepare so that you will be able to own the perfect spotting scope for you to use. Make sure that you buy the right one and you also need to find out the right caring method once you own one. Most spotting scope are made up of high quality material to insure that it will last a long time and you will surely get your money’s worth. Just think of all the fun that you will be has by having this gadget around to help you get better vision of your specific activity. Invest the right way by buying the right spotting scope made specifically for your own use.

With all the different factors and guide on how you can find the right spotting scope for your need you can easily look keep a look out on what is the next big thing in the spotting scope that is out in the market today. Just think of these important factors:

  • Hunting needs compact and lightweight
  • Shooting needs high magnification
  • Outdoor camping requires portable and lightweight
  • Bird watching needs to be clear with high optic