Had time today to goof off a bit so I drove over to a popular state park with my new lens. I still have a lot to learn to get the most out of it but there is fun in the trying. There had been a controlled burn in the area so things looked, and smelled, a little different.
I knew my schedule was taking me back near the bridge from the last post. I wanted a crack at it with more filters and a tripod. The neutral density filter that I used before came with 2 friends that I layered on top before loading the camera in my bag. I did not have much time, because, well, I was still “working.” I parked, grabbed by bag and my tripod and hustled back to the bridge.
On the way out, it was apparent that a few storms had been by since my last visit. The water was higher. There was more debris. It was a little creepier.
The photos all came out with a red tint. Maybe it is because I did pretty much pick the filters by size and price only. Luckily, tint can be largely corrected with the magic of LIGHTROOM. I was able to take longer exposures before light blew out the image.
The first 2 views on the page were taken with a new toy I am playing with. It is basically a low cost neutral density filter. I got the idea from Richard Bernabe. He does some fantastic work and his blog has some great tips and information.
The insects were fussy today. I just could not get them in focus. The blue guy had 2 buddies but they were so fast I basically just popped it in sports mode and hoped automatic fire could catch them.
This is the song that kept coming to mind as I walked on the path surrounded by black water. Warning-Bluegrass sound.
Last Friday I had the chance to start down a trail that I have never been down before. Shortly before I turned around, I looked up to inspect the sky that had begun to grumble. This aerial acrobat was suspended about 30 feet overhead.
It reminded me of this little guy that I caught closer to eye level a few years back.
Hmmmm, at least cousins.
I revisited a trail that I previously posted some pictures of in 2012.
After so many years, burns, trail maintenance, and hurricanes, parts of it were completely new to me. This was my first long hike after being diagnosed with Lyme Disease. I totally overdid it but it was still nice. May is Lyme Disease awareness month and I just wanted to shout out to everyone near the trail head just taking a leisurely walk in the woods in their swimsuits and sandals. I am sure they thought I was headed out for some long primitive camping the way I was decked out and sprayed down. Oh, well.
Some of the animals seemed to stop and pose for me, it was really odd but I played along. The cardinal sat there like he wanted a full photo shoot so he got one.
It was certainly longer than I remembered. My legs are already sore :).
By Land and By Sea
A friend had told me about an environmental awareness event at a state park this weekend so I decided it would be a great chance to use one of the great parks. To make the most of attending the event, I decided to go stand up paddleboarding in the park’s spring. After a little SUPing, I went for a hike on one of the trails.
As I came off the trail, the speeches were beginning. A lovely day, a great workout, and I was asleep early last night.
Lil’ Red has a cold. Let’s leave him to take a nap and go for a hike.
We arrive at the park and head out on the trail. We were warned by park staff to be out by 6, so let’s get to moving. The first half mile has some traffic. Once we get past all of the ruckus, I am sure we will see some wild life.
We cross over an access road and things begin to quiet down. Oh, wait there is some activity over to our left. Just some campers, but after one shot turns out like a surveillance photo, we move on.
Exploring the great outdoors is a wonderful way to relax and workout. With extensive research and years of experience, I have learned how to differentiate between a deadly bear and a bear statue. I have also learned the difference between gators and gator tail stew. Snakes are a bit more challenging. Top photo credit: reptilechannel.com
This young man has some good info on the topic with a unique delivery style.
Yogi From: http://journalstar.com
Mad Momma from: http://modernsurvivalonline.com
Two days, two sore calves, and two great, new workouts…
1) Yesterday I had two firsts: using Groupon and paddleboarding. Both went really well. I never even fell in the water! We pushed off from shore in the swollen river. It had rained so much that the normally clear water was murky and over its banks. With the calm of the morning, it had turned to a black mirror. Our paddles broke ripples to shore and my instructor pondered aloud, “The alligators usually sit on the banks that the water has risen over. I wonder where they are now?” Um, okay, let’s hope not swimming. We paddled on with new motivation not to fall in. Another thought that came out, “Because the water is so murky, it is hard to see where the fallen trees are, so if you feel something under your board, that is probably it.” Better to be overturned by a tree than a gator. I followed his path. We make it to the turnaround point. Here is where a natural spring merges with the river. There is an area where we can see to the bottom. I kneel down to take a break and to dip my toes in the cool water. Most newbies, and I am no exception, tend to have foot and toe pain from awkward balancing technique. Mine had gone numb by this point so the rest and cool water was very soothing and relaxing. In one swift motion, my fearless instructor moves from sitting to kneeling and starts towards me. “Is that a snake or a turtle?”, he asks.