Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Bone.....

Just teasing.  I have a blog post coming soon, just haven't had the time to pull it together - too busy enjoying the amazing fall and taking a zillion photos a day.  Sadly, I think I have worn out my little point-and-swear camera as this week it started doing crazy things - like rotating photos, adding violet and pink stripes, turning whole beautiful scenes dark blue, or telling me I took five photos and then only producing one.

So today, in preparation for a trip to Butchart Gardens tomorrow, I pulled out my sister's old Canon - the one I bounced on the patio a year or so ago.  I removed the extremely versatile but now damaged 18-255 mm lens, replaced it with a non-zooming not-so-versatile basic 50 mm lens that likely came with the camera base, and then remembered I had some extender tubes amongst my sister's stuff.

Extender tubes are a way to distance the lens from the body of the camera in order to take macro shots - that is, shots of little things really, really close up.  I'd never tried them out, but thought that might be good for photographing flowers at the gardens.  So while my garden is nothing like Butchart Gardens, I took them out back to try them out. 

I haven't quite figured out how to use the two largest ones, nor how to do stuff manually, but with the smallest extender attached to the 50 mm lens and set on autofocus, this is what I got:

Asters, aka Michaelmas daisies

Dew drops on a leaf

Bee on aster

Some kind of seed pod on a plant whose name I forget

I'm quite pleased with them, though less happy with the basic 50 mm lens as I like having a zoom.  Now my dilemma is whether to take all the camera stuff (three extender tubes, two lenses, one camera base, maybe a monopod, as well as my point-and-swear just in case it decides to work) and leave the dog at home, or take the dog and chance having no photos.  Maggie is scared of people - and there will be people there.  Possibly lots of people.  Camera parts that have to be attached and unattached, and switched back and forth for different situations,  are prone to accidents when one hand is holding a leash.  But we'll be gone about 8 hours which is longer than I've ever left her before.

Dog?  Camera?  Dog?  Camera?

You tell me.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Autumn days at Swallowfield

I'm no longer going to apologize for lengthy gaps between posts.  I do post regularly on facebook, which is quicker and easier, and most of my blog readers are there.  But I do appreciate my small, but often silent, faithful following on the blog, so for the three or four of you reading this who are not on facebook, I promise to throw you a bone now and then.

Not one of MY bones, I hope!

Autumn is the best season for vacations and hikes - not too hot, not too wet, not to cold, just perfect.  In September I went to the Sunshine Coast with my sister-in-law  for a week, where we enjoyed amazing sunsets, gorgeous ocean views, great parks, and wonderful food.  I haven't finished editing those photos yet, but it does explain a small part of my absence.

Other than that, I really have no excuse.  Oh, well, I do hike Mondays and Fridays, swim 3-4 days a week, walk Maggie twice a day, take way too many photos, and find ways to fritter away the hours without blogging. But enough of the excuses.....Let's talk about those hikes.  Last Friday's hike in particularly.  My friend Pat (she's the one with the two black-and-white poms, you may recall) and I headed out to Swallowfield with the dogs.

The fall colours are not at their peak yet, though some trees are more dressed for the part than others:

The bullrushes have formed their brown furry heads, and the autumn crocuses poke up through the fallen leaves:

Along the way, the dogs stop to sniff and rest and pose for photos:

We reach the little hump on the trail, from which we can see out over the estuary to the ocean.  Lexi and Cosmo stop to admire the view:

Then down the hill to the Chemainus River, where the water colour is always gorgeous and the reflections plentiful:

After a brief rest to take photos and enjoy the tranquility, we find the overgrown path through tall grasses to wend our way across the estuary.  A slight detour to avoid wading through deep water, and we are out on the gravel beds where the river and the smaller streams all fan out on their way to the ocean.  The shallow waters allow water-baby Cosmo to go for a swim despite the chill - he gets the zoomies and races back and forth as far as his long leash will let him:

Maggie thinks water is evil, but Lexi shows a little spirit by wading right in - and right back out again:

Blech! No one warned me it was salty! 

I spot something in the tall grass - a snake in the grass?  No, a tail in the grass!  A dog tail, wagging happily!

Two friendly big dogs and their equally-friendly owner come join us on the estuary, and I have fun watching the big dogs race through the water to little islands then bounce their way back again:

Soon it was time to head back.  Ms. Maggie was very tired, but she is becoming a great hiking buddy.  While still scared of strangers (and particularly people who come to the house or yard, or children, or groups of more than four), she has come a looooong way from the terrified girl she used to be, and loves meeting other dogs.  On the walk back, we ran into a group with six large dogs, all of whom came up to meet Mags, and she didn't bat an eye.  She also took treats from Pat and went to her when Pat called, and approached the owner of the two dogs above in order to sniff his hand - huge steps forward for Ms. Maggie.  She was calm and relaxed on the hike, and this photo of her taken out on the estuary with the stranger sitting nearby and four dogs and her 'Auntie Pat' in the area, reflects her comfort level. Her head is turned because she's watching the other dogs in the water, no doubt thinking "Are they crazy?  Get wet voluntarily? Not Me!"   It was my very favourite photo of the day: