Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lazing on a Labor Day Weekend

Overall I had a relatively lazy Labor Day weekend. I just took each day as it came and made no plans. It was bliss and actually felt like a holiday weekend, in fact, so nice and relaxed that I had a real problem getting back into work mode on Tuesday.
 We have a huge colony of black vultures living in Marshall, which l'm pleased about as these birds fascinate me, and on Saturday a group of them were lined up along a fence near a dead deer just outside of the town. I managed to stop the car without disturbing them. Unfortunately they wouldn't allow me to get too close and started flying off as I walked slowly closer. I felt a little guilty at disturbing their lunch so didn't hang about.
I drove out to Flint Hill to revisit some old barns I'd taken photos of previously. but wanted to capture again since I hadn't been too pleased with the quality of my earlier images. I'll come out and capture these at each season as I worry about their deterioration. As least with photography they can be immortalized.
 My favorite barn. It always looks like it belongs in a fairy tale. These still aren't quite right so I'll be back next Sunday.
On Sunday I attempted to hike England Mountain with my camera but was stopped halfway up the hill by two factors. One was a group of dogs who were on the trail, despite not being allowed, and then, after one photo, my camera battery died, and I didn't have a replacement. Thoroughly miffed by these events I sulkily turned around and returned home,  to immediately place one battery on charge and then find another that still had some power left. I tried out a macro lens that I'd purchased cheaply on Amazon. I currently can't afford to spend $1100 on a Sony lens so I'd bought a lens that was essentially a magnifying lens that snapped on to the front of my camera.
 The effects aren't as good as I'd hoped for, and I have to crop the outside of the image as there was a heavy vignetting effect on each image, but it was fun for a while. The photo above was a spider web moving and glinting in the sun.
Later that day I had a surprise invitation to join Tom and Laurie across the hill for cocktails on the patio and dinner with her brother and niece, whom I'd met last year. It was a wonderful evening; I have no photos as my phone stayed firmly in my pocket, it was lovely just to enjoy the company, finishing the evening on our backs by the pool exploring the Milky Way. I have great neighbors.
On Monday I went back to the mountain, this time with 2 spare charged batteries, and resumed my hike.
No, I wasn't quick enough to catch a falling leaf as this photo implies. It was hanging by a silken thread and fluttering above the path.
The old house was looking worse for wear, the weather hasn't been kind, and I suspect in a couple of years it will be cordoned off completely. The first signs of fall could be seen along the trail, small brightly colors leaves caught my eye from the edge of the path or the occasional stone walls that I walked past. Tiny flies buzzed loudly in front of my face and despite having covered myself with so much Deet that my eyes watered, the mosquitoes still had a feast, biting my arms and even my back, huge welts that I cursed later because I couldn't quite reach them to scratch. But I'm resourceful and an emery board does the trick quite nicely.
And so the weekend finished with me and the moggies jostling each other again for space on the sofa. I think that they enjoyed me being around more than usual since they never left my side. We spent the last few hours watching the hummingbirds and old black and white movies, or reading. A restful relaxing respite indeed.

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