No. This is not a scene from Times Square in NYC, though I can see how you might confuse it as such! This is a scene from Marion, NC where Vanessa and I watched The Nugget descend from the heights, or maybe ‘mediums’, just above the tent as Marion, NC rang in the New Year. This photo was taken some 43 seconds after the new year was rang in. That important official under the tent was the mayor of Marion.
This photo was almost not possible. You see, I had had sufficient foresight to make sure that my batteries were fully charged, but I had forgotten something. When I took the camera out of the bag, turned it on, and looked at the display, it simply read: “No card”. WTF? It was not possible that I could have come all the way out to Marion and have forgotten my card. I scrambled around, looking through my bag, finally telling Vanessa of my dilemma. As she lives just around the corner, she said that we could go back and get a card from her house, but there wasn’t much time.
Fortunately, I remembered that there was another pocket in the bag that I had forgotten to explore and lo and behold, there it was, an 8 GB card. I slipped it into the camera and we were in business. Phew! That was close. When I got home, my other card was sitting comfortably in the card reader where I had left it.
It was a good night, no traffic, a little music, and it was fun watching the nugget make its slightly jerky descent from the crane. There were prizes handed out too, but we’d gotten there too late to join in the festivities. As quickly as the clock struck 12, it was all over. The people, including Vanessa and I, dispersed and headed to other locations. There were no parking hassles, no barriers, no police corralling drunkards who’d had a bit too much of the celebration juice, but there was Funnel Cake. It was a nice, quiet way to bring in the new year.
This weekend, Vanessa and I spent in Hilton Head Island, SC. We were at a Holiday Inn “Resort”. Included in the price was a breakfast buffet containing a decent array of food items: Eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, and oatmeal were the hot items.
I decided to try the buffet. The first thing that I noticed were that the eggs were very, very yellow, quite bright. I thought nothing much of it other than it being a curiosity. However, after putting them on my plate and ‘attempting’ to taste them, I decided differently.
I thought that perhaps my tastebuds were off a bit, so I had Vanessa give them go. She found them tasteless as well, labeling them as ‘plastic’-like. I had to agree. Oh well, the other stuff tasted decent enough.
The next morning, the same vivid eggs were available. I decided to skip, but Vanessa ordered an omelette. After placing her order, she thought that she might have made a mistake because the omelette could have been make with the same type of ‘eggs’. Her mistake was realized when she first ‘tasted’ the omelette.
Oh well, we both agreed that when consuming eggs, a chicken really should have been involved in the process. I have no idea what they were using, but I’m pretty sure that there was no chicken to be found anywhere in that process! As to which came first, the chicken or the egg? Certainly, in this case, the egg-like substance!
Dear Canon S90:
We had a good run. Thanks for the thousands of photos that you provided during your two years of active service. Now, I send you on a mission, a mission impossible, if you will. You’ll be going to stay with one Mr. Tony Lester. This, my friend, will be an arduous journey, the likes of which you have never experienced. Things will ‘happen’ to you. You’ll start to malfunction for ‘no apparent reason’. You’ll endure scrapes, bruises, dings, scratches in places that you could have never imagined. Your plastic parts will probably break off for ‘no reason at all’.
You’ve traveled with me from the north to the south. You even went as a backup when I went to Australia, all with no complaint. You were a true star!
No! This is not a punishment, though it sounds like one. I’m just passing you on to my son. However, it seems that this phrase is quite fitting for your voyage: No good deed goes unpunished.
To say that Tony is hard on electronics would be quite the understatement, to be sure. Of the items that I’ve passed along to him, none of them have survived. The last thing, a MacBook Pro, in perfect condition when I gave it to him, survived less than year. It overheated (for some reason). Well, it could be that he was watching it in bed and had the covers over it ‘for some reason’, then fell asleep and it turned off all by itself. The computer before that, a Dell, came apart at the hinge between the screen and the keyboard – could it be because he would carry it by the screen for some odd reason? A screen is not a handle, I kept telling him.
If you ask him, of course not. It was just ‘old’. Funny, I never had any problems with it. Around Christmas of last year, he got an iPhone 4S, as an upgrade. I bought him an Otterbox to protect it. He used that for a few weeks, then said that it was too bulky to fit in his suit, so he stopped using it. Long story short, last time that I saw the phone, there is a nice crack in the glass. What can I say?
This is the first/last donation of camera equipment. As I sent the S90 to its final destination, I looked at its condition. Perfect. I wonder how long it will be before ‘something goes wrong’ with it. I’m betting 6 months or less! LOL
It will be the camera’s fault, you know. It was weak from my use, or perhaps that I didn’t toughen it up enough. Regardless, I must adhere to the rule: Mr. Tony Lester is never wrong!
Bon voyage old friend! R.I.Pieces.
So, there I was standing on a floating dock, enjoying the slight movement of the dock as it moved, gently, up and down. I had my camera mounted, taking time exposures of the water within the marsh reeds. Suddenly, smile came across my face and a laugh escaped.
I thought: How silly of me to have my camera mounted on a tripod, doing time exposures, while standing on what is essentially, a moving platform. After that small ‘epiphany’, I moved to stable ground, concrete, to resume my time exposures. If you click on the top image, you’ll see that nothing is quite in sharp focus. Hmmmm. I wonder why …
Hiking. I had my own definition. For me, it meant a brief, or perhaps not so brief, walk in the woods with gently rolling hills, chipmunks dancing about on the ‘forest’ floor, birds chirping, no backpack, no special shoes required and, perhaps as a bonus, a burbling creek nearby to add a great soundtrack.
Vanessa, well, she has her own version of a day hike. I learned, in small measure what it was. But first, I’m a city slicker. When I walk, I walk on flat ground to the sounds of car horns, having to be careful how I cross the street. I meet other walkers/runners who are familiar to me. Vanessa, and her dog (who I am now pretty sure, after our hike, is mixed with mountain goat!), well their idea of a nice hike involves trails that are rated as strenuous, crossing of creeks, climbing up and walking/sliding down trails that are at angles that I never have seen in my usual walks, nor that I tend to seek out. If I see such a hill, I’m usually looking for away around it, not over it.
On Sunday morning we went to a place that she’s wanted to show me for quite a while, Lost Cove. It is somewhere out yonder, near Linville, NC. We drove for a bit on the Blue Ridge Parkway, then made a right turn, headed down a gravel road. Down, down, down we went, until we got to the bottom, a dead end – the trail head. I thought: How nice. It was quite beautiful. An arrow pointed to the trailhead. We started walking. Within a few hundred feet, if that far, the trail canted down to the left and we had to cross some wet rocks with a little bit of moss on them, just to make it tricky. Up next, an incline, with wet rocks and all manner of tree roots jutting here and there. Good for grabbing on to or tripping over, whichever you prefer. We met a group of backpackers on their way out and one of them asked: How far is the parking lot? We told them that it was just a little ways to go. They were happy … later, I understood why!
As we crossed streams here and there, I was quite impressed with the beauty, remoteness, and challenge of this particular hike. Vanessa, part billy goat, was loving every minute of it. I, though I was enjoying it, was starting to sweat and attract more than my fair share of insects. However, too bad for them, they were drowning in my sweat as they attempted a water landing on my forehead and neck. Eventually, we came to a stream, the trickiest part of the hike, she said. This was a fairly fast moving, but shallow stream. What made it tricky was that you could barely see where to place your feet in the stream because of the movement of the water. Also, there was moss all over the rocks, potentially slippery. She and Geordi, the mountain goat dog made it across. I contemplated my steps. I handed Vanessa my iPhone, just in case I ended up ‘sitting’ in the water. LOL – I made it across without incident. Onward we went. Up, up, up, and up a little more.
Waterfalls! Yes. Waterfalls – I mean the sweat was now pouring off of my head, neck, arms. I was no longer worried about bugs. They didn’t stand a chance! Eventually, we got to the ‘swimmin’ holes – a couple of places where the water has formed fairly deep pools of water. We decided to go for a swim. The water, my best guess was about 60 degrees, perhaps less – so it was brief swim! After our swim, we dried ourselves then found a nice place to lie on the rocks, have a bite to eat, and soak in the sun like reptiles! Ssssssssssssensational!
On the way back, Vanessa indicated that she wanted to ‘feel the burn’ a bit. I told her to go for it. I was already feelin’ the burn and had been for quite a while. I’m a flatlander! She waited for me down the trail, not to far ahead, as I came lumbering along. BTW, I did all of this is some Timberland walking sandals. I don’t recommend it. I have a blister on my big toe, left foot. It came from the constant rubbing of water, wet sand, etc, during the hike.
I will return, this time with a good camera, my Olympus OM-D (lightweight), and a lightweight tripod. It was a great outing, one that I would not have done by myself. I’m glad that she introduced me to it! I was pretty tired on Monday and needed a little extra sleep.
If you’ve ever given any thoughts to becoming an entomologist, but became frustrated because your trips to the great outdoors never seemed to yield neither the quantity nor variety of insects that you desire … Fear no more. I will teach you, in this blog post, how to attract all manner of insects right to your backdoor. It won’t cost much, perhaps a trip to your favorite garden center and the purchase of a few plants. It could be good for you macro photographers, too! Good, cheap models!
This summer, Farmer Paul (Oh, how I wish that I had a pair of overalls to take a picture in!) grew tomatoes, jalepeño peppers, cayenne peppers, habeñero peppers, basil, sage, and rosemary – all without the aid of pesticides AND, surprisingly, I was able to eat a bit of my harvest as well. I’ve attracted aphids, as you can see in this shot. Also, some really cool looking, voraciously hungry caterpillars with a voracious appetite for habeñero peppers – as a matter of fact, one of them took out about 6 or 8 of them in 1 night. It killed the whole plant – that caterpillar and his buddies met with death, quickly. I thought about the photographic possibilities AFTER their deaths. Ooops.
They were disguised, blending in perfectly with the plant and looking like so many pepper flower blossoms – yes, complete with petals on their backs. Nature is very, very clever. It took me a while to spot them. I’ve not tasted those peppers yet. I have sampled and enjoyed the jalepeños and cayenne peppers.
The only plant that seems to have survived attack is the rosemary, one of my favorites. The sage, not so bad either. The first crop of tomatoes, quite good. Nice, large, healthy. The second coming of the tomatoes yielded much smaller ones. The birds and the insects seemed to really like these, so I didn’t get many of those.
Just remember, if you want those bugs, I’ve got the answers! I’m about ready to prepare for winter crops, lettuce, spinach, etc, cool weather veggies. Hopefully there will be fewer insects, but if not, I guess there’s always photography!