The Yard – Part One

I resolved to mail in my Nikon 80-400mm for service. Previously, I’ve  had difficulty using it, including difficulty in tracking birds in flight and having it keep focus or, if it lost focus on the subject, reacquiring it. 

I went to the Nikon site and started to fill in the information . . . when it came to describing what was wrong with the lens I wanted to make sure I got everything right, so I grabbed the camera, mounted the lens on said camera and stepped outside.



Well, this seemed pretty good to me . . . that, by the way, is a Say’s Phoebe. It feeds exclusively on bugs . . . which must have made the bug at its feet nervous. Except, I don’t think the bird ever saw the bug, of if it did, it was not one of the bugs it eats. 

I then heard a commotion and turned to see a squirrel running along the back fence, a Magpie hot on its heels.




Those were not the best of shots, but that’s more my fault than the lens’s as I was not fast enough to focus on the squirrel. Still, the lens, and it’s a slow lens, responded admirably.

The squirrel took refuge behind the clematis . . . he (she?) looked tired.


It took only a half a minute for it to recoup and notice me (I’m about forty feet away).



By now I was almost frustrated. The lens was performing better than it had for a long time. I then tried the ultimate test. Focus on Bald Mountain . . .


. . . and then focus on something about twenty-five feet away . . .


Crap and double crap! Some might remember THIS POST about focusing and sharpness.

Well, the above shot of Bald Mountain, shot hand-held and without much care, is better than the shot on that post . . . and that post had the camera mounted on a tripod.

So, what’s going on here? I have no idea, but the lens is producing photos of the quality I have not seen for a few years. I don’t see much point to sending it in for a tune-up as long as it keeps working like this.

The above shots awakened my desire to shoot some macros . . . out came the Nikon 105mm Macro.



I do like this lens . . .


I even did me one of them “not everything is in focus” shots people love so much.

Heck; I was in a generous mood, so I did a few more . . .



I mentioned before that I was not sure about the peonies. They had been hurt by both the late snow/ice storm and the multiple hail attacks.


The early blooms had issues, and never really recovered, but there were many new blooms, and they poured their hearts into making up for the others.



This year I had to once again prop up the plant. The weight of the blooms and buds would have otherwise laid the plant flat if not actually snapped the stalks. It did make for a messy presentation. The blooms are mostly gone by now (see below), but I’m not unhappy with how they did.


Both our potted plants . . .



. . . and our flowerbeds have recovered nicely.


Earlier in the spring I debated if I should split all the Salvia and Stella D’Oro plants. I hesitated, and then we got all those weeks of rain . . .



. . . and now many of the plants are encroaching on each other and are overgrown. I will definitively have to split them in the fall (provided the weather cooperates.)

Except for a few, these photos and seventy-six more were shot in about an hour. However, I don’t have the time to do a one hundred photos post (I can hear people cheering – knock it off!)

I decided to split the presentation of the photos into four posts. This group of photos are, in my estimation, the less interesting of the bunch. I hope that over the next few days you will join me for the continuation of this photo shoot.

Oh, since these are flowers, there is a corresponding SmugMug Gallery HERE. Of course, you can just click on each photo to get a larger (but not full-size) version.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Animals, Birds, Flowers, Fox Squirrel, Photography, Photography Stuff, Say's Phoebe and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Yard – Part One

  1. Yes the lens is doing a great job Emilio. Great shots for sure :)


  2. oneowner says:

    If there is a problem with the 80-400 I can’t tell from these photos.


  3. sandra getgood says:

    Your yard looks wonderful, the flowers are beautiful, the magpie chasing the squirrel was amazing to see (you must have phenomenally good reaction times!) and that phoebe looks like a bird with attitude. (My favorite kind of bird :-)) Great post.


    • disperser says:

      Not sure I have phenomenally good reactions times, but I do get lucky on occasion and capture some neat stuff.

      That is the first time I saw a Phoebe (so I was lucky to have the camera with me). They are supposedly common, but I’ve managed to live here for 10 years without seeing one (and I look for and at birds all the time).


    • disperser says:

      Oh, and thanks; the grass is on its way out again, but yes, the flowers are doing well.


  4. Wow! Seems like the lens, and you, are doing well! GREAT animal action shots! :-) And love the bug avoiding being bird-dinner! :-) I love watching birds and squirrels! They make me smile and sometimes laugh. And your flower shots always make me smile!
    You have such wonderful “subjects” to shoot! And they don’t charge to be your models! ;-)
    HUGS!!! :-)


  5. Lovely photo of a cute little bird!


  6. Those are really good action shots and your yard is beautiful too. Amelia


  7. AnnMarie says:

    So, what’s going on here, you ask? Let me tell you. Your camera had a change of heart (more like technical guts)! It decided to get back to being your partner in capturing the lovely flora and fauna around your home. Now, doesn’t that make sense?

    Don’t bother answering that.

    P.S. I totally enjoyed the visual treats.


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