Rainy weather, memory foam cushions in my new La-Z-Boy and a general lack of get up & go have all conspired to keep my cameras idle for the most part but I have snapped a few frames.
These 3 wandered out of the tree line behind the house just as the light was fading yesterday evening. The one on the left is a doe and the other two are yearling bucks.
These guys changed from their winter gray coat to summer red awfully fast. It’s said that the redder the coat the hotter the summer ahead. Looks like we’re in for a scorcher!
The rain has knocked almost all the blossoms off the Granny’s Bonnets but there are plenty of buds ready to bloom at any moment.
Buddy, Lunatic Lab #1, “helping out” with the photography.
Doesn’t that look on Molly’s face just scream “I’m not doing anything….honest!” ?
Gotta have a burd in the mix. Now, to catch up on the backlog of blogs I’ve missed while
unconscious sawing logs testing my new recliner.
The weather was nice today so Daddy got his cameras and wandered out the door. Molly and I went with him, of course. Mama says it’s our job to keep an eye on him because he does stupid things when he’s not supervised.
I don’t know why Mama gets all bent out of shape when Daddy stands on the picnic table. You can see all sorts of stuff from up here!
Those cows have got to be at least a mile away!
All I see is that herd of cats on the neighbor’s porch. As soon as I figure out how to get off my lead they’re in for a surprise!!
Molly has cats on the brain. She just loves chasing them. I bet she even dreams about chasing cats.
This is the first time I noticed the face on our tree. That is spooky!
Maybe Daddy should give the pruning saw a rest.
I don’t think the tree likes getting his branches chopped off! I can understand that. Mama and Daddy took me to the vet last winter and you wouldn’t believe what she chopped off!
Part of my job is guarding Daddy’s bird watching chair when he’s not using it. I tried sitting in it once but it flipped over backwards and that was the last time I fooled with that thing! I also learned that using Daddy’s water bottle for a chew toy makes him say all kinds of bad words! He’ll give you a drink if you ask but whatever you do, DO NOT EAT THE BOTTLE WHEN HE’S NOT LOOKING!
This is another part of keeping an eye on Daddy. I don’t think it’s physically possible to do what Mama says she’ll do to Daddy if he spends her Bingo money on camera gear, ammo or another gun but I do know that I don’t want to watch her try!
Oh man, my tree marking gear just thawed out after the last batch of white stuff! Sometimes having short legs is a definite bummer.
You are going to share that cookie, aren’t you?
Individual images from the slide show can be found below the slide show.
Clicking the thumbnails will bring up the full size original.
Just a couple frames I shot while out with the dogs this morning.
I’m still adjusting to the change in medications so I stayed on the porch while Buddy and Molly were “on patrol”.
People often ask what equipment I use. Both of these shots are hand held at about 25 yards using a Sigma 150-500MM OS (optically stabilized) telephoto lens mounted on a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR. I also use a Canon EOS Rebel XS, which was my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex).
In addition to the Sigma I have 2 Canon 18-55MM IS (image stabilized) lenses (this lens came with each camera), a Canon EF-S 55-250MM IS Telephoto Zoom Lens and a Canon EF-S 60MM f/2.8 Macro USM for close ups. Both cameras will accept all of these lenses, a very good thing now that my wife, Frankie (aka THE BOSS), has been bitten by the shutter bug as well.
NOTE TO THE READER:
I’m publishing this same post on my Virginia Through My Lens Blogger page. When I left Windows Live Spaces a few months back I couldn’t decide whether I preferred Blogger or Word Press so I tried both. After nearly a year I still can’t decide so I’ve decided to continue posting on both pages with this one focusing on photography and my Blogger page leaning more towards writing.
I hope you have a chance to visit each page and, as always, I welcome comments, tips, suggestions and criticism. That’s how I learn. I still can’t believe how much I’ve learned since I first started blogging and shooting photos in the spring of 2009. Y’all have taught me so much and I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. Thank you for your input, encouragement and most of all for your friendship.
I’m grounded, again, but that doesn’t keep me from pointing my lens out the window. THE BOSS really keeps them clean because she knows that as long as I’m busy with the cameras I won’t be fooling around with anything else.
Buddy is always ready to pose for a photo. Molly, on he other hand, was investigating something under the picnic table and was out of camera range.
It’s going to be interesting to see how long this volunteer sunflower holds out. We think one of the burds planted it in an old flower box because we sure didn’t. Overnight lows approaching freezing are in the forecast for next weekend so it’s days may be numbered.
The maple in the yard is just beginning to change colors in earnest. It should be solid yellow by the end of the month and bare week or so after. As always, I intend to let the leaves blow across the street into the jerk’s yard. I’d rather watch him rake hem up that do it myself. Besides, I don’t know how to operate a rake……..and I can’t be taught, either!
The wind was really whipping the branches today so I had to use a fast shutter speed on these two frames.
The next door neighbor’s porch is also within camera range. After Halloween I’ll ask Cody, who lives there, if he wants to get in on the “Blow Your Pumpkin to Smithereens” festivities. Blowing up pumpkins with a shotgun at the county range is a lot of fun. My nephew turned me on to this sport when we were visiting a few years ago and it’s become an annual tradition in our family, especially since you can buy leftover pumpkins at Lowe’s and Walmart for $1 a piece the day after the holiday.
Each year I usually set aside $20 just for pumpkins and another $20 or 30 to replace the shotgun shells. I’ve heard that modern shotgun shells remain stable far longer than they used to but I was taught to replace stored ammo with fresh at least once a year and still do. One of these days we’re going to find the dirt berm on the 25 yard line at the range covered in pumpkin vines! Then we won’t have to buy pumpkins to blow up or haul ‘em up to the range. That’s redneck recycling at it’s best!
Reposted from my Blogger page. Still not 100% after my run in with the flu & pneumonia vaccines. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
First, I’d like to thank Buddy for filling in for me yesterday, even if he did change the focus settings on my viewfinder. All in all I have to say he’s a very good boy.
I’m back on my feet, no loner feeling like I’d have to die to feel better and out with the cameras again. That said, I didn’t get far from the house before discovering I’m not quite back to what passes for normal in my world. While Godzilla is a marvel of automotive engineering it lacks one important feature….indoor plumbing. Consequently, these were all shot within 5 miles of home.
Autumn is coming on fast and it won’t be long before we reach peak colors in the foliage. I often wonder if the number of traffic accidents increases this time of year as people pay more attention to the view than to the road.
If you look very closely at the image above you can just make out the roof of a very nice home on the side of that mountain.
Just in case you can’t find it, here’s a tighter shot with my long lens.
Okay, okay, I’ll zoom in as tight as I can. See it now? I guess it is a little tough to pick put in that first shot seeing as how it is about 3 or 4 miles away from where I was shooting.
Maybe that wasn’t fair of me. Tell you what I’ll do…How about a shot of the view from that house? This is shot from directly in front of the house, looking past the right side…….
….and this is from the left. I couldn’t get a decent shot of the house itself because there just wasn’t enough room between the house and the steep slope of the mountain for me to get it all in one frame, even with my shortest lens.
I shot this one along Ridge Rd. on my way home.
Okay, I have to get my tripod ready and set up both cameras for this evening. You see, the weather guesser done missed it again. The forecast called for solid overcast and rain from Tuesday evening through Friday morning. Well, here it is Wednesday afternoon, the sun is shining and the sky is only partly overcast. With any luck I just may capture decent images of the harvest moon!
We shall see…..
The weather was absolutely magnificent today; crystal clear skies, 75°F, humidity hovering around 40% and only the barest hint of a breeze! This afternoon THE BOSS and I grabbed our cameras and the livestock, piled into Godzilla and headed out to see what we could see. We ended up in and around Rural Retreat, a little town about 10 miles due west.
Of course gas is down to $3.00 a gallon today…..I filled up yesterday at $3.15! Big deal? Well, Godzilla gets around 12 miles per gallon in town, 16 MPG highway and has a 30 gallon tank. Do the math.
The fate of the old railroad depot in Rural Retreat was in doubt because of a dispute over who actually owned it. Thankfully, a non-profit foundation has been established, secured the deed and a drive for funds to restore it is under way. One more piece of history saved from the wrecking ball!
THE BOSS was putting “her new camera” through the paces, the DSLR she commandeered from me, capturing this handsome young man exercising his small horses. The shot above and the next three are Frankie’s hence the NRVGirl (New River Valley Girl) watermark.
You’ll note that the livestock tend to go in opposite directions until they A) decide where the best smelling stuff is or B) dislocate my arms.
Molly on the scent of the small horses’ newly discovered delicacy, grasshoppers. Someone has apparently told Buddy and Molly that grasshoppers taste just like chicken because they sure love hunting and eating them!
In case you’re wondering, the T-shirt bears the US Air Force Pararescue logo. I served as a proud Pararescueman, or PJ, for most of my 9 years of active duty in the USAF Reserves following my tour in ICBMs.
“Come on, Molly; one good tug and we’ll see if the old guy can still swim like he used to!”
I’m really stoked about the frames above and below. Both were featured on the local CBS affiliate this evening! I’m grinning about it and Frankie’s doing the YEE-HAW! dance!
The moon, BOSS, the moon!
We still have a couple of weeks before the fall foliage reaches it’s peak but the varied altitudes here in the Blue Ridge Mountains actually causes prime leaf peeping season to last longer than it does back home on the coast.
At higher elevations the color change occurs earlier than in the lower, protected valleys.
The change is governed not just by temperature but by wind, as well. All around we see trees with red and yellow leaves near the top or on one side and bright green leaves closer to the ground and on the leeward side of the tree.
Hope, y’all don’t get tired of Autumn leaves before I get tired of shooting them. It won’t be long before I’m posting burds and snow!
After a cold, blustery, drizzly start yesterday the sun finally came out in the afternoon and Frankie (aka THE BOSS, Baby Duck, Duck Butt, my darling bride, my better half, Shotgun, she who SHALL be obeyed, Meanness, that wild little woman with the cast iron skillet, bringer of headaches) agreed that a ride in the country with the cameras was a great idea….much better, in fact, than emptying the kitchen cabinets and re-organizing the canned goods as she had planned! Yes, it was my idea and yes, I am a bad influence MWAHAHA! but I digress. We had fun, the livestock enjoyed the ride and the cabinets can always wait for a rainy day.
Old Glory was really whipping in the stiff breeze at Sheetz while I was doing my part to keep OPEC happy, putting $65.00 worth of regular into Godzilla’s
bottomless pit gas tank.
The leaves are changing colors as Autumn sets in. If you’re a follower of this blog be prepared for a lot of leaf peeping shots in the next couple of weeks. Frankie has laid claim to one of my DSLRs and is learning how to use it. Her little point and shoot is great for snapshots and small enough to carry in her purse but “her new” Canon EOS Rebel XS can do so much more, including accepting all of my lenses! Now all I have to do is get her hooked on blogging………..
Naturally, we took the livestock with us. Molly is more laid back when it comes to going for a ride. She usually curls up on the seat or in the cargo area of the truck and catches a few Z’s……when she’s not chewing the corner off the door trim or eating the protective plug for the auxiliary power port in the back seat.
Adult Labs are used by waterfowl hunters because they have a “soft mouth” and don’t damage the birds. Lab puppies can and will chew up everything in sight! At about a year old Molly is still a pup and we’ve got a good 6 months to a year before she stops chewing. That’s why there are rolled up newspapers stashed all over the house; a swat on the nose with one doesn’t really hurt but the noise gets the message across.
Buddy, on the other hand, loves riding with his head out the window, ears, lips and tongue flapping in the breeze. He’s about 3 years old and pretty much matured. After eating 2 power cords within a week of our adopting him, both of which were plugged into the wall outlets at the time, he got over his chewing spell. He still does his best to become invisible when Molly screws up and one of us reaches for a nose whacker.
We spotted a small herd of these funny looking deer (gazelles?) just down the road from Frankie’s alma mater, Fort Chiswell High School.
Actually, there’s an exotic animal zoo on the other side of the hill from where I shot these. Oh, and the camera is level in both of these shots. I told you there was a hill!
As I was trying to frame a shot of wildflowers along Frankie’s side of the road I realized there was something moving behind the flowers. (She was driving and I was on the passenger side using a 500MM zoom lens aiming through her open window.)
I handed her the camera and she found this spike whitetail deer (a yearling buck with very short antlers) hiding in the weeds. At first we thought he had been injured but when we turned around and came back to this spot a few minutes later he was gone.
The gravel road leading through the woods made for a smooth ride while the surrounding ridges blocked a good deal of that stiff breeze I mentioned. It was still chilly enough that we needed the heater, especially with my window down so that I could shoot pictures and the back windows partially down so the dawgs could give their sniffers a workout.
One of the last things one would expect to find way back in the woods along a gravel road is a stately old mansion. This is the Major Graham Mansion which is reputed to be haunted and is currently open to pre-Halloween tours.
Just down the road from the mansion is this abandoned house which causes a chill to run down our spines each time we pass it. No, we didn’t get out for a closer look. To coin a phrase, I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. However, they’re probably bullet proof so I’m not pushing my luck!
A Hedge Apple (Maclura pomifera) on the side of the road. I had no idea what they were but Frankie did. A small deciduous shrub also known as Osage-orange, Horse-apple, Bois D’Arc, or Bodark and native to parts of Texas the plant is commonly used as a windbreak in prairie states. The fruit is also used as an insect repellant and, now that we know, will be getting a test run in our house next year because they are said to be very effective at repelling fleas.
These were also tons of baseball size walnuts scattered everywhere long the side of the road. The abundance of walnuts, acorns and other natural signs we’ve observed recently have us convinced that we’re in for another hard winter. I guess it’s a good thing we stocked up on ice melter when it went on sale this past spring.
Cattails (Typha) in a creek bed just down the road from where that spike had been hiding. We used to whack each other with these things when I was a kid and catch hell when we came home and had puffs of white fuzz (the seeds inside the brown cover) all over our clothes and hair.
Yep, that’s why these are called the Blue Ridge Mountains but it will only be a week or two until they’re a riot of color. I can hardly wait! Of course, not too long after the color fades and those ridges will be white and I hardly wait for that, either! The kid next door knows my back and legs are all screwed up and he has already volunteered to shovel our walk and parking area when he does his!
Preparations are under way for our trip home to celebrate Mom’s 88th birthday.This means the sorting, packing, re-sorting, re-packing, re-re-sorting…..well you get the idea….. is underway and I’ll be out in the backyard cursing at the trees any minute now.
This is good practice for the trip home because it’s a proven fact that the idiot per mile population on Virginia’s highways increases exponentially as you travel east until you get to the gridlock that is Hampton Roads, road rage capitol of the known world. Add to that the stress from having to keep a sharp eye out for speed traps and it’s little wonder my blood pressure spikes every time I have to make the trip.
If there is one thing the USAF taught me that stuck it’s how to pack. I can usually get my bags packed (duffle, camera bags and computer bag) in 10 minutes but Frankie, Queen of the Pack Rats, always has a terrible time cramming everything into and on top of the truck. If we had a tractor trailer she would find a way to overload it! I’m always amazed that a fidget (Female mIDGET) always needs a suitcase that’s at least twice the size of everything I carry, combined.
Once Frankie finishes overloading Godzilla I have to wait until she falls asleep before going out and unloading enough
junk crap trash “good stuff” to allow room for me to drive the truck and use the rear view mirrors. When she wakes up she always tries to stuff the excess back into the truck until I get that look in my eye and start searching for matches. Then she squirrels it away until her next attempt at setting a Guinness Book world record for most junk hauled across Virginia in a passenger vehicle.
Internet access at Mom’s involves a trip to McDonald’s to use their free Wi-Fi access because Mom views computers as one of the greatest evils ever visited upon mankind. My Internet Service Provider does not offer dial up access and the cost of a wireless plan would put a dent in my camera gear budget and that ain’t happening! I do have a 3G cell phone but I’m an old geezer and only use my cell for phone. I dropped the data plan after realizing that I only used it for about an hour total during the 3 month mandatory prescription period when I first got the phone. I figured the extra $49 a month would be better spent on that huge lens I wanted……and I did!
Anyhoo, I’ll be off line for most of the next week. When I get back I should have loads of pictures to share. On the other hand I may make the papers if I succumb to temptation and open fire on the idiots in a Virginia Beach traffic jam. At least tourist season is over so I’ll only have to deal with local idiots wandering around lost and not the summer time imported variety (mostly from Ohio, New Jersey and Quebec), as well.
See you when we get back….. unless I’m incarcerated or involuntarily committed!
P.S. If you happen to find yourself on a Virginia highway anywhere between Mount Rogers and the Atlantic Ocean during the next week you may want to re-consider your trip. That large green object with a dog head hanging out each side rapidly growing larger in your rear view mirrors will be Godzilla moving at a high rate of speed in and easterly direction tomorrow and westerly a week from tomorrow. I’m not braking for anything! You have been warned.
This is the surprise I was talking about in my last post.
We just got home from the Smyth County Animal Shelter where we pulled Buddy’s new companion, Molly. She’s estimated to be a year old, has been spayed and, as far as we can tell, is in excellent health. We don’t know if she’s up to date on all her shots but if her previous owner went to the trouble and expense of having her spayed it stands to reason she’s probably had all vaccinations. Just the same she’ll be paying a visit to our vet.
We decided to adopt for several reasons:
Buddy has severe separation anxiety, even to the point that he whines and howls if I leave him in the house while I mow the yard. We feel that a companion animal may help with this.
Molly was picked up as a stray on 16 August and her days were numbered.
We absolutely love Labs and wish we had room for dozens but we only have room for two.
She’s so beautiful we just had to bring her home!
First order of business when we got home was Frontline Flea Treatment (just in case), fitting Molly with a “halty harness” until Santa Claus arrives in his big brown truck with the new collars and double lead then a big ol’ bowl of kibble which she wolfed down.
Buddy and Molly are still getting acquainted but, after the 30 mile trip home in the back seat with Laura, the sniffing and growling has stopped and the “kissing” has commenced! At least we don’t have to worry about puppies because they’ve both been fixed.
Today we took a little road trip to Saltville, Virginia to see a re-enactment of the American Civil War battle fought there in 1864. On October 2, 1864 a raid by a Union Calvary column was repulsed by a patched together unit of Confederate reserves and citizens.
Frankie was a Civil War re-enactor when she was in college so this was the perfect way to spend her day off. We loaded the truck with camp chairs, cooler, cameras and the small red horse (our Fox Red lab, Buddy), picked up Frankie’s sister and her husband and we were off.
The battery in Frankie’s little point and shoot died just as the battle got under way but that was not a problem because I had both of my DSLRs with me. She slid her camera into a pocket, took over one of my cameras and continued snapping away.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking from here. Between the two of us we managed to shoot 1,659 frames in a little over 3 hours and I have a TON of sorting and editing to do.
The small red horse had fun, as well. It didn’t take him long to discover the pond between the Union and Confederate positions. For a Lab the only thing better than chasing tennis balls is frolicking in the water!
I shot the first and last photos on this page and Frankie shot the rest. The NRVGIRL copyright watermark refers to her heritage, having grown up here in the New River Valley of Southwest Virginia. I think she did am excellent job.
Now to post some of my shots on my Blogger page. If you’d like to take a look just click on this link.
THE BOSS has been plotting with her sister again. Tomorrow we’re loading up Godzilla, stopping to pick up said sister and her long suffering husband, Fish Hook, and we’re all going to Saltville for the re-enactment of the Battle of Saltville.
I have mixed emotions. Any road trip is a great opportunity for photos. Since the girls will undoubtedly banish me, Fish Hook and the small red horse to the back seat I’ll sit on the left side where I can shoot from the window more easily. My injuries left me with limited range of motion when it comes to turning to the right but I can do left real good!
The article in the local paper said that in addition to the civil war encampment and battle re-enactment they’re going to have a few other events including a skillet toss. Frankie should have little trouble winning that judging by the velocity she employees when whacking me on the headbone with one.
I should have some great photos to post tomorrow……unless I’m in the ER getting a new crop of headbone lumps looked at.
THE BOSS started hollerin’ at me to get the camera and come a runnin’. Not being in the mood for getting that cast iron skillet of hers upside my headbone (which I have dubbed BANGY! BANGY! ) I grabbed the closest camera at did my impression of a crippled old fart running. I think I may have sprained something in my haste but it was worth any damage done because I’ve been waiting for this.
THE BIG DAWGS ARE BACK!
While I mounted a lens, got everything turned on, found a perch to shoot this buck in our back yard and even remembered to remove the dust cap Frankie ever so slowly and gently opened the window to give me a clear shot.
Just as the shutter tripped for the 5th or 6th time I caught movement at the corner of the frame and there were these little guys just coming out of the trees. These are the first fawns we’ve seen this season and we’ve been wondering where they all were.
Then I panned left a little and there was Mama Deer!
Try as I might I just couldn’t manage any decent shots of the fawns romping around the yard. The light was poor and I was shooting off hand so they all came out badly blurred but now that I know they’re around I’ll keep one of the cameras set up on the tripod with my long lens so I’ll be ready when they show up again.
It’s downright comical to watch the little ones romp. Once I get this posted I’m getting out the manual for my T3 and read up on shooting HD video with it.
“What do you mean them ain’t dogs? They look just like me, don’t they?”
The brutal heat continues but our humidity plunged this afternoon, enough so that I could breathe comfortably so Frankie loaded me and the dog into the truck and we set out to look for deer in Crockett’s Cove.
We were not disappointed!
It was a fine ride!
Wythe County Police, Fire & Rescue. What is the nature of your emergency?
WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF!
Buddy….is that you, boy? Did your daddy tell you to call for help again?
What’s the problem this time?
WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF!WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF!
I’m sorry boy; I didn’t catch all of that. Is your mama home?
Well, put her on the phone.
Who is this and what do you want? Did that dog dial 911 again?
Frankie, it’s me, cousin John!
Oh hey, John! I’m a little busy right now. Can I call you back?
I thought you were gonna call last week. When are you coming over to get some vegetables? I’ve picked so many from the garden that I’m out of storage space.
Well you know, I’ve been working and…….
**unintelligible screaming in the background**
SHUT UP YOU BIG SISSY OR I’LL GRAB YOU BY THE EARS, DRAG YOU OUT FROM UNDER THAT BED AND WHACK YOU A FEW MORE TIMES!
I’m sorry, John what were you saying?
Have you been hitting Chip with the cast iron skillet again, Frankie?
You know how he is, John. I told him it was too hot to mow the lawn but would he listen? I had to go out and turn off the mower, splash him with cold water until he came to and help him stumble back indoors where it’s cool. The lawn does look good though.
Does he need another ride in the ambulance?
Hang on a second, John….. WHANG! …..he does now! Do me a favor; this time have the crew take him him to a different emergency room. I need to get a few things done around here and you know how he is.
Sure thing, cousin, where do you want us to take him….Roanoke…Charlottesville…..Richmond
No, I’ve been thinking more along the lines of Oklahoma City. It’ll take him a month to walk home from there after they release him…….unless he has amnesia again in which case I’ll have a laptop and a whole bunch of camera gear for sale, cheap.
Okay, Frankie, the ambulance is on the way. Pat Buddy on the head for me. Don’t forget to come get some vegetables.
Okay, John, I’ll be there. Thanks!
Reposted from my Blogger page. Give me a break folks I’m rapidly losing what’s left of my mind…….and here’s why:
Copyright note: Feel free to ignore the copyright notice in the right sidebar. I stole all of these images from the Internet. The same holds true for the video. The insane rambling is mine, all mine!
The “heat dome” covering a huge section of the land of the formerly free and home of the useless, do nothing but shovel manure and tell lies about their opponents politicians has had me trapped indoors for days where the A/C allows me to breathe. It’s comfortable but I’m going stir crazy!
Let this be a lesson: Smoking will kill you! A pack a day for 40 years left me with 40% lung capacity which will never improve. It also gave me the “gift” of COPD in the form of chronic bronchial asthma which at this time of year is triggered by even a little exertion (read waving my cane and cussing like a sailor on shore leave every time I see that idjit across the street out tryin’ to herd her cats) in high heat and humidity.
If you are a smoker put that damned thing out! This is a smoke free blog!
While I sit here wishing for a foot of snow to magically appear I’ve found myself being drawn into the clutches of online retailers who carry stuff I just gots to have! One of those items is a larger camera bag. Just as some of you who are of the female persuasion amass a huge collection of shoes, purses, whips and chains, oh my!, etc. the past two+ years spent amassing enough photo equipment to shoot pictures of everything in the known universe has caused me to purchase an assortment of camera bags, each larger than the previous one. At current count I have 6 …… 7 if you count the tripod case and none of them are large enough.
I don’t necessarily need to carry EVERTHING when I go out shooting. I just like to keep all my gear together where I can find it. Splitting my gear between several bags is a cast iron guarantee that while out shooting 40 miles back in the hollers I’ll say “%#@*&@!! I need such and such and it’s in the other bag at home!”
Well, today I ordered a new bag and it should be large enough to hold everything and still have room for the gear I already have and any items I accumulate over the next few months……. I hope. For some strange reason I have the feeling that I’ll be buying a steamer trunk in the not too distant future.
This is what I ordered. It even has detachable wheels! If I post a photo of a motorized version in the near future it will mean that A) It’s too heavy for me to carry, B) Ditto for Buddy, C) my riding mower is no longer operational D) My bag is now motorized and E) I’m living out in the storage shed because THE BOSS done found out how much I’ve spent on camera gear!
…… that I’m actually reading the user’s manual for the new camera that arrived on the Big Brown Truck today!
Note to the reader: This was originally posted on my Virginia Through My Lens Page on 20 July. Reposted and updated here for my Word Press audience.
That’s right, I Roket Man, king of computer crashes, undisputed master of falling down in a most spectacular fashion, poster child for crutches and bandages, am READING A MANUAL! And I don’t mean I’m just looking at the pictures, either.
You may want to mark your calendars because the odds of my doing this again in my lifetime are very slim.
The new camera, a Canon T3, is no leap forward in technology over the Canon XS/1000D DSLR I’ve been using. In fact it’s a little simpler but what it does do is shoot HD video. Since our old early 90s vintage Panasonic VHS behemoth camcorder bit the big one a few years ago I’ve been thinking about switching to digital video. Those thoughts always fell to the wayside when some new toy for my DSLR caught my eye……like a lens, tripod, camera bag, etc. I have at least 5 or 6 bags because my collection of goodies keeps growing and the bags don’t. At least the T3 accepts all of the lenses I already own which is a good thing because I have so much gear now that I find myself shopping for a pack frame and saddle bags for Buddy so he can help tote my gear.
Come to think of it, I don’t even know if we have a functioning VHS deck but we do have 2 DVD players and there’s a DVD-RW in this laptop which I know for a fact works.You see, most computers with Windows 7 pre-installed DO NOT come with recovery disks and one of the first things I did when I took delivery of this machine was to create one because there hasn’t been a computer built that I can’t crash!
If the weather forecast for the rest of the week holds true I’ll know this camera inside and out before I soot the first frame…….or you may see some extremely boring video of the moon because chances are the heat and humidity may drop enough after sunset that I’ll be able to breathe outdoors. COPD is a b***h!
Well, this isn’t getting that manual read so I had better get back to it. Once I finish the book I think I’ll also go through the tutorials on the DVD included with the camera. I may even run some of the free tutorials on the Canon web site.
No, I’m not being conscientious. I can’t use the new camera yet because the battery pack is taking FOREVER to charge!
Naturally this camera doesn’t use the same battery that my XS uses. That figures because I have 2 fully charged spare battery packs for it.
NOTE TO SELF: Order spare battery packs for the T3!
The man in the Big Brown Truck came to see me again today! I already call him Santa Claus and greet him with a hearty HO! HO! HO! when he pulls up in front of the house but if he keeps this up I just might forgive him for not bringing that pony I wanted when I was 6.
Today he brought my new remote shutter switch and a high capacity 32Gb, high speed read/write SDHC card!
Now if the weather would only return to the normal hot, hazy and humid but the weather guessers are saying we’ll be in hotter than blue blazes mode for weeks to come. If they’re right don’t be surprised to find nothing but videos of Buddy chasing his tennis ball collection for the rest of the summer.
What a terrible thought!
Let’s all pray for a freak blizzard or two or three. Right about now two feet of snow sounds like heaven!
No blog/photos for a few days. Dislocated right shoulder playing Buddy Ball. Buddy knows he hurt me but didn’t mean to. He’s “nursing me back to health” with sloppy dog kisses…….especially if I start to nod off!
Can barely type w/ both hands. Left handed is nearly impossible! Camera w/one hand IS impossible! Can’t use track ball either but I do have a touchpad.
If I don’t leave comments on your blogs you’ll know why.
Y’all play nice now. Don’t make me stop this clown car!
THE BOSS had the day off and we both needed a breather so we loaded the Big Red Puppy in the truck and went out wanderin’.
Our route over the mountain, unpaved and one lane with rocky outcroppings on one side and a steep drop on the other for most of the 6 mile distance. Frankie got a lesson in white knuckle driving but she also swore that if we met any oncoming traffic we wouldn’t be the ones pulling over!
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia) (above and below).
Big Red Puppy (Buddy)
Even though I didn’t shoot many frames the weather was cooler than it has been and it felt great to just get out and go where ever the road took us!
On the days when I can’t get out and about I still get my exercise.
Nothing will keep you on your toes like a Lab with 8 tennis balls!
I made a tactical error last month. Using the sink or swim training method I pulled Godzilla over on a peaceful little country road, climbed out of the driver’s seat, walked around to the other side and told Frankie to slide over because it was time for her to learn to drive the truck. She soon discovered that the big green beast is not only huge, it’s a lot of fun to drive!
I’ve been a walking man ever since.
This means that Buddy and I don’t get to go out and wander the countryside shooting pictures every day. While I miss doing that, only having to fill the bottomless pit of a gas tank a couple times a month instead of four or five is nice. Godzilla is very comfortable and rides beautifully even on unpaved roads but it takes a lot of gas to make 3.5 tons of Detroit iron climb mountain roads!
Today we splurged a little and Frankie learned how much fun it is to go out with no firm destination in mind, get totally lost and find all sorts of interesting things to see while trying to figure out how to get back home again.
We had to leave the house for two hours anyway …….. Buddy had fleas.
After saturating his double coat with flea spray, closing up the house and setting off twice the number of bombs called for on the package we loaded up in the truck and set off for wherever we ended up.
This is a view of the New River near the Byllesby and Buck Dams, two of five on the river operated by the Appalachian Power Hydroelectric. Now that we know camp sites and cabins are available in the area, which is part of New River Trail State Park, we will be back when the weather is a little cooler!
For a while Frankie and I thought we had missed seeing the mountain laurel in bloom but we found ourselves surrounded by blossoms as we followed the road between the two dams. There is also an online magazine called The Mountain Laurel which celebrates the Appalachian culture and heritage.
Wild Sweet Pea also lines the roadside as well as the hiking and horseback riding trails.
Laura wasn’t with us today but you can bet she’ll be visiting the park with her boyfriend John in tow in the very near future. He lives nearby and the way her face lit up when she heard that raspberries are growing wild along the trails was priceless!
I must be settling in to the country way of life. Back home I would be laying on the horn and cussing a blue streak at slow moving traffic hogging the road. Today I just grinned and leaned out the passenger side window to snap a few frames. I even waved at them….using all the fingers…..when they finally reached a place where they could move over and wave us past.
Frankie must be picking up my bad habits. She’s already talking about another photo excursion on her next day off!
P.S. The fleas is D – E – A – D!
P.P.S. That #@%$&!! house fly that was driving me out of what’s left of my mind survived the flea bombs. I’m gonna kill that damned thing if it’s the last thing I do!
Random shots to bring June to a close.
This guy startled me last night when it flew within inches of my head as I was taking Buddy out for his midnight constitutional. I thought I was being dive bombed by a bat!
To give you an idea of his size, the slats in the lattice measures are 2 inches wide. I’m pleased with the way these two shots, made at night in “full auto” mode using nothing but the built in flash, turned out.
“AHHHHHHH! Rolling in the grass feels SO GOOD!”
The Mimosa down the road finally bloomed while we were gone. Frankie has a couple of seedlings growing in her “pot farm”. Mom had one in our yard when I was growing up and I learned, the hard way, that those pretty blossoms are murder on a car’s paint job.
Frankie’s Knockout Rose is blooming nicely and loaded with buds.
Her Daylilies are finally blooming, as well. It was odd to arrive at Mom’s and see hers in bloom while Frankie’s were just beginning to bud.
Even though Mom only lives 325 miles east of us our higher altitude (approximately 2500 feet above sea level vs. 9 at Mom’s) makes for a fairly drastic difference in the growing season.
There’s that goofy dawg again….always ready to pose for a picture.
Petunias waiting to be transplanted. Mom always loads Frankie up with plants and seeds from her flower beds. Judging by the number of bags and pots I helped unload from the truck when we got home Frankie now has enough to turn the entire ridge into one huge flower bed……twice!
This farmer is slow putting up hay this season. The field at the top of our road was mowed, bailed and hauled off in about a month ago and the second crop is growing nicely thanks to the abundant rain last month.
Okay, time to break out the portable hard drive, transfer the June photos and make room for July. I do this the 1st of each month and also do a full back up of the laptop hard drive while I’m at it. After 17 years of computing and some disastrous crashes I’ve become a back up fanatic……..and it’s saved my butt several times in the last few years.