Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just Me And The Cold

Well, I don't think that anyone has come to the park this week.  Our paperwork is full of zeros.  I really can't say that I am surprised though.  The spring is still brown and flooded and its cold and windy out.  I checked the weather forecast today and actually saw a little snowflake icon where I usually see a sun or a cloud.  We are expecting a low of 14 degrees tonight.  Again, I was hoping to be able to try out my new lenses today.  When I did venture outside, it was absolutely painful to stand in the the cold wind to switch lenses and try things out.  To add insult to injury, it was cloudy as well, which makes taking photos even more difficult.  I got through it though, I do have some things to show you today.
I had to post a shot of the usual cabin porch view.  You may be able to see that the water has receded a bit.  I am so glad to see that it is dropping at about the same rate that it came up.  Hopefully that means that it will be just under a month before the spring is clear again.  Let's aim for my birthday!  Everyone keep your fingers crossed and hope that the spring will clear by February 3rd.  That would be a great present!

On my way down to the river, I saw two Cardinals.  They are much better at dealing with the cold than I am.  In fact, I think they were the only animals that were stirring this morning.  You probably know that the bright red one on the left is male and his mate is to the right.

I tried to play with my new lenses a bit at the river, but everything was against me.  The wind was just biting every bit of exposed skin, it was also making the plants shake all over the place.  I have a bunch of blurred photos from the river area and that's about it.  I went down to the spring walkway next and found some relief.  The high walls of the walkway blocked the wind and it felt so much warmer.  You can really see a difference in the water here.  Look carefully at the sidewalk and you will see some dark lines of dirt.  That is the where the water was each day.  I also got a good view of how much silt is sitting on the dock.  I usually take my shoes off and scrub the deck while the water is still on it.  I don't know if I am brave enough to stand in the water in this weather.  I might have to get some cheap rubber boots to scrub the deck this time.

While I was sheltered from the wind, I was able to try out my lenses a bit.  I got three new lenses, a 2X telephoto, a wide-angle, and a 10X macro.  They also came with some extras that I really appreciate.  I got a tiny, table-top tri-pod with bendable legs that is already coming in very handy when I need a little extra stabilization, an adapter to fit the lenses to my camera, and a lens cleaning kit.  The lenses really only make small adjustments to what my camera already does.  I have a point and shoot camera, not a large SLR with real interchangeable lenses.  Someday, if I ever start selling my photos, I will graduate to a big SLR.  These lenses just enhance the lens that is already on my camera.  I am still undecided about the telephoto and the wide-angle.  I don't see a huge difference with them, but I really need a nice, sunny day to put them through their paces.  The macro lens is going to be a lot of fun.  I do have some examples to show you with that lens.  I already have a macro setting on my camera that allows me to get close to my subject.  Most of my bug and flower photos are macro shots.  The 10X macro lens is like using a magnifying glass.  Its great!
Take a look at the next image.  This is the head of a flower which has gone to seed with my regular macro setting.  The photo right after it is the same thing, but with the additional macro lens.  I can't wait to try this out on live flowers this spring!

I usually notice small things as I walk along because my brain is always thinking about photos.  Now I know that I will be noticing even smaller details as I think about my new macro lens.  I noticed that these tiny, dried out, brown shells of a flower had beautiful colors when you looked closely.  I should have also taken a photo without the lens to show their size.  They are no more than 1/2 inch across.

I took one last look at the spring before I headed back to the office.  A mullet was jumping and it caught my eye.  I knew that I wouldn't be able to get a photo of the mullet in mid air, but I did see this nice view.

Back in the office, I warmed up and checked my e-mail one more time.  My paperwork was done and no one was calling or coming in to the park.  I left a note for the evening closer and took the rest of the day off to attend a co-workers wedding at another park.  It was a cold day, but a beautiful wedding.


Linda BEJA said...

I love the cardinals. Gorgeous!!!

Heidi H said...

What a difference the lense makes, of course all of your pics are amazing.

MGH said...

I love the cardinals, too. And the difference between the two lenses. I do love your pic.

Ranger Amy said...

Thanks so much, everyone. I'm glad that you enjoy the blog as much as I do.