Sunday, January 26, 2014

Losing Focus

Today - a very cold day at Valley Forge - I dropped my camera and lens!!  Here's the story.  When I got to Valley Forge this morning all the little roads leading inside the park were closed and so no parking anywhere.  I finally found some people walking and asked where they had parked their car and they said to drive out to Route 23 and park in the Chapel parking lot.  I did that and then hauled my big lens and camera out of the car with me wrapped up like a mummy with scarves around my head and a hat and many layers of clothes and boots and hand warmers in my gloves.  I then proceeded in the snow down the slope into the field in search of wild animals.  I found nothing but a beautiful harrier hawk swooping way too far away.  So I trudged on through the snowy fields until I came to a grove of trees and settled in and found two pretty little yellow bellied sapsucker woodpeckers playing in a tall tree.  There were little icicles on the branches and the woodpeckers were taking turns sipping from them.  My vantage point was not good, so I decided to take my camera, lens and tripod and place it directly under the icicle hoping to get a cool shot.  As I was setting things up, the camera and huge lens fell off the tripod bounced on a branch and landed in the snow.  I said a few bad words, picked up the camera and huge lens and put it back on the tripod, settled in and tried to take a picture.  But, lo and behold - the focus would not work.  It just kept zooming in and out trying to find the focus.  I said a few more bad words and realized that I just might have a huge bill waiting for me while I waited to get the big expensive Nikon D4 fixed.  Ugh…..  So I turned off the camera, placed it with big lens and tripod over my shoulder, and slogged back up the hill and over the fields way back to the parked car in the Chapel parking lot.  When I got back to the car, I took the camera off the tripod and looked down the barrel of the lens to make sure I had not cracked it - and what do I see - but a whole lot of snow clogged over the glass.  Oh, maybe, just maybe that might be why I couldn't focus.  I quickly dug out the snow, wiped the glass, turned on the camera, aimed it at a tree and VOILA - it focused!!  I am back in gear and all is well.  And here is a not so good picture of the woodpecker and the icicle. (Click icicle for a better view.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Birds, Birds, Birds!

Chickadee Stretch
Sorry for all these birds,  but it was a miraculous day at Valley Forge.  Even though it was terribly cold, the birds were out in full force.  
American Kestrel

Bluejay and Nut

Bluejay and Nut


Flicker in the Snow


Pileated Woodpecker
Two Carolina Wrens

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Herd of Deer at Valley Forge

It's rare to see so many deer at Valley Forge these days, but last night as I was heading home, I came across this herd in the meadow and on the ridge.  So good to see.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Noisy Little Thrush in Aoyama Cemetery

I found this wonderful little bird and many of his cousins in Aoyama Cemetery in late December.  Click for a better view.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Late Christmas at the Kono's

We made it back from Japan very early on the morning of December 30.  All in one piece - except I had a little vertigo and felt like I might be in three pieces - but all that said, it was a great trip and always good to be home.

We celebrated Christmas a little late.  Here are pictures of Yumiko and Ken and one of all three of us and a moving Tango.  Happy New Year 2014.  Only good things are in store.