I considered splitting this up into smaller posts, but wanted to see if I could break my own record for the longest, most diverse, and difficult-to-read post. This will surely tax the determination and fortitude of most readers.
Here goes nothing . . . oh, fair warning . . . updates will just stumble over each other. (Hint: some neat crap further down)
Public service announcement – time estimate:
Quick Look – act like you are interested, but skim with nary a pause – 0 min. 20 sec.
Interested But No Time – look at pictures, don’t hit links, don’t linger – 3 min. 37 sec.
Got a few minutes to spare – skim words, glance at pictures – 8 min. 13 sec.
What’s the fool saying? – read words, look at pictures and captions – 11 min. 30 sec.
Really interested – read text, click links, go to SmugMug – 20+ minutes
First, an update on my surgery and ongoing recovery. Unlike the first surgery, I hardly have any pain, and have full range of motion. Not because it’s been three weeks . . . I had near full range of motion less than a week after the surgery, with no associated pain.
Five years ago the physical therapy sessions for the same surgery were a mix of swearing at the guy torturing me, and me silently plotting vengeance. Range of motion was restricted, and it took nearly five weeks to get where I am now. This time nothing hurts, and the arm can swing way up, and way out, without “binding”. Makes me wonder if they did anything. I asked Mike, a very good physical therapist, if this was normal.
“Nothing about you is normal!” He quickly answered.
“I mean,” Mike continued, “this is unusual; freaky weird, even.”
I asked him if it meant I could do without the brace any earlier than the prescribed six weeks. “No!” He seemed to enjoy saying it.
So, good news is no pain or impeded motion. Bad news is I still have to constrain my arm.
The day after the Tax Day Snow, April 16th, the warm weather gave the melting snow a peculiar “look”. It was all granular-like. The depression above is a sprinkler head, and next to it what are likely the tracks of a fox (based on the prints in the depressions).
There is a small B&W Smugmug gallery associated with the above snow update. Click on the link or on either of the pictures.
I like Aspens. They have lots of texture. I plan to do a small series of shots exploring how the scars, from a distance, often look like eyes. The above was a single photo snapped one evening after work.
The very next evening, as I was leaving, I spotted a small herd of Mule Deer in the field opposite where I work. All these were shot from my car.
While nice to look at, it’s not worth “zooming in” to see details.
It was a nice moment of unwinding after a very long day at work (more the norm than I care for these days). Again, there is a small SmugMug Gallery with ten (10) photos of these deer. If interested in checking it out, click on any of the three photos above, or HERE.
April 22, and what I considered the first sign of spring. We heard a hummingbird. The feeders came out, and our spirits soar just a little.
April 23th saw me dealing with something new and different . . .
Based on a few sources, I concluded this was a Hobo Spider. If anyone knows different, please leave a comment and link to references.
For those so inclined, there is a small (nine photos) SmugMug gallery of the spider HERE, or click on any of the spider pictures.
By April 27th there is more evidence for Spring gaining a good foothold in our area. Again, the following picture is not in any album, but you can click it to get a larger version of it.
However, there is a SmugMug Gallery with the following, and more, flower photos. These were shot on April 29th.
I’m often asked what kind of camera/lens I use for my shots. Not that my pictures are spectacular, but they have their moments. Well, the above photo and this next photo were shot, hand-held, with my Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot camera.
I particularly like the first shot. The rest of the shots were captured with the Nikon D7000 and my 60mm f/2.8 macro, a lens I bought in the last century.
So, let’s begin the game. This game is best played in SmugMug, where you can really see details.
There are no bugs in these next two shots . . . they are the same flowers first documented in my PATH 001 post. They are finally dying out . . . they had an amazing run.
Again, click on any of the flower pictures to go to the gallery for this part of the Mega-Update.
This next update begins out of sequence . . . On April 20th we had a number of Tree Swallows come by and check out the boxes we have up in our yard.
They were there for a few days, and then were gone . . . meanwhile, I mailed my good lens to be repaired, and I had my surgery. But come May 17th . . .
I was shooting with my big lens, the sun was setting, and the light was reflecting harshly from the bird.
Interestingly, the pair have taken to perching on the hangers at each end of the deck.
The four shots are in THIS SmugMug Gallery . . . along with fifty (50) other shots I took over the course of the next few days. You see, they pay no mind to me and my camera, even when I’m just a few feet away. Read on, because I gots me some decent shots.
The next morning, May 18th, this guy was waiting for me out on the deck . . .
He started in on his morning stretching routine. The slideshow is below, but let me explain something first . . . at one point I had stopped shooting because it looked as if he was done, and was looking around for something. He wasn’t. He was doing neck stretches, and I missed half of them.
Don’t worry about pausing the slideshow to get a better look . . . I’ll have the best shots below it.
Here are the best shots from the series.
If you are going to look at one picture in SmugMug, this one should be it. Just click on it to go explore the details. Did you notice the ant at the end of the wire?
The slideshow has the shot of it flying away, but since it’s blurry and out of focus I did not include it in the gallery.
BUT WAIT!! . . . . The next day, May 19th, found the two perched on the respective positions, all puffed-up, and braving a light fog driven by a cold breeze.
I did not venture out . . . I shot through the barely-open sliding door, trying to keep from freezing. I used my big lens again, and because of the poor light, I used a high ISO again . . . hence the grainy images.
I will stress, once more, that I was close. Maybe three feet away. Neither of the birds seemed concerned in the least. There will be more posts about these two as we progress through the Summer. I’ll try to capture some flying shots once I get my good lens back.
Meanwhile, there are more shots in the SmugMug Gallery than I showed here.
And that’s it for this update . . . it takes me to this past Sunday, and should provide enough material to entertain, amaze, and stupefy all but the hardiest of souls.
Thanks for letting me steal a bit of your time, and I hope you, the wise and discerning reader, found it entertaining.
Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not personally hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.
. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.