We have seen a fair number of wintry woes this year in Baltimore: record cold temperatures; so much snow city officials began discussing plans for the first-ever Iditarmore Great Sled Race; tire-killing potholes; school kids sick of staying home; grocery shelves clear of bread, milk and toilet paper; and, way too many folks who do not know how to drive in the snow.

Focus is the topic of today’s posting. Say, speaking of grocery shopping, inquiring minds want to know why folks stock up on bread, milk and toilet paper before a snow storm. Why not buy some peanut butter to go with all that bread or some Oreos to dunk in the milk? Do they already have jelly to go with the peanut butter; or, do they prefer jam? Does the frequency of bathroom visits rise exponentially during snow storms?

Before my mind-wandering gets up a head of steam and goes all stream of consciousness, let’s concentrate on today’s topic; spotlight the core; get to the nub; converge on the nucleus … Uh oh, I am slipping into the stream. Scotty, I need those engines now!

Phew, things have cleared up and are now in focus. It turns out my 200-400mm lens had developed a back-focus problem. After I came home with hundreds of soft focus waterfowl shots last month, I sent the lens off to the Nikon mothership. Two weeks later the lens beamed back home and seems to be in shape once again.

I took these test shots over the weekend. Before the repair, everything but the Eastern phoebe (above) would have been in sharp focus, and only the lake’s surface behind the ring-necked ducks would have been tack sharp. Now, I am armed to capture the bird spring migration. Assuming, of course, winter finally departs.

Ring-necked ducks

Stay sharp.