I couldn't be bothered with the big 50D so just charged up the G15 and grabbing tripod, shutter release, cigars and drinks, we set off on our 5 minute drive. I wasn't completely sure where I would park but after seeing a road closed off with some locals sitting on their vehicles behind the barrier, we decided to join them. We were soon set up and leisurely puffed on our cigars as we relished our situation of not having to deal with vast crowds of bustling people.
Eventually the skies dimmed and the fireflies started twinkling over the fields. and then the first fireworks erupted. I didn't believe they were ours at first, they seemed so far away, but after a few seconds we realized these were the ones and we set to getting our photos. I had to zoom in quite a bit and didn't have my glasses with me so I was a little disappointed at what I was seeing on my monitor, but I carried on clicking away, both Steve and I having to wait a few seconds in between shots for our cameras to process the information. Robert's big DSLR was clicking away like a ticker timer, he must have been getting loads of shots.
The next day I had arranged to meet Janice at the gun shop near Front Royal and Steve was bringing along his Browning rifle to get the scope sight zeroed in. We got to the store expecting an open day with free food and discounted deals but arrived to find the shop closed up and not a soul around. A couple of trucks pulled in and their drivers looked about as though also expecting to have seen some activity. We decided to go to the Apple House and have lunch since they were supposed to have been providing the free food.
After chatting a while with Janice, we left to go to the gun range. Janice hadn't brought any of her gun arsenal with her so she was shooting at Blandy Arboretum instead with her camera. We drove to Clark Brothers with Steve's humungous gun box just about fitting on my back seat. I felt like an arms dealer driving to a rendezvous. At the range we needed ear and eye protection, so purchased some ear plugs and were allowed to use our sunglasses as eye protection.
Steve needed to zero in his rifle so pinned up his target and started adjusting his scope. I stood nearby and soon found myself being pelted by other peoples' casings as they fired their guns. What with the bangs and then chunks of metal flying at me, I ws feeling like a target myself and soon realized the best thing was to sit down to minimize impact.
We'd had fun at the range and I'd love to go back again. It had been a sensory overload with the noise but I'd got used to it, not even flinching anymore with the louder bangs. But shooting guns is expensive so not something I want to jump into with both feet just yet.
On Sunday I had no plans to meet friends and so I pottered about weeding the front of the house and watering my plants. I've got something eating my vegetable leaves but can't see any bugs or slugs. I'd seen a few Japanese beetles but got rid of those with a vinegar and water spray which they hated. I don't want to use chemicals on my food plants so it looks like I won't be getting much of a crop of anything this year apart from hopefully my potatoes and a few tomatoes. Paul had told me my corn won't get fertilized since I've only a few plants but I don't mind. I'll have some autumn decorations at least with the leaves.