Saturday, October 31, 2015

A 70/30 Halloween

It's migration season and the witches have been crashing into the yard, as usual. They never seem to watch where they're going.

This year, we had a new one show up... the Wicked Witch of the East. Just as in the Wizard of Oz, she had a building... our woodshed... fall on her. I didn't realize we had had a tornado lift our woodshed up and drop it down on the witch, but pictures don't lie. Those are ruby red slippers for sure.

In case anyone is wondering what makes this a 70/30 Halloween...  I am 70 years old today... by some accounts (like my birth certificate). However, since time is relative, I started backward at age 50, making me 30 today. I will now start aging again as I don't care to relive my 20s or teens.

I gave myself an expensive birthday present: a new camera with an incredible zoom lens. I want to be able to take photos of the distant sea stacks where "my" Black Oystercatchers nest and see if I can find those little black birds with red bills way out on the rocks.

Johnny and I drove to Baskett Slough after my camera arrived this past week so I could try it out on distant geese. Pretty impressive.

Here is my "old" Panasonic Lumix zoomed up as far as it will zoom on geese a long way away... 

And the new Nikon Coolpix P900... (I have to work on keeping it steady at full zoom...)

Then we drove down Farmer Rd. and spotted a Red-tailed Hawk alongside the road way up ahead. I stopped and took a series of photos, zooming in closer each time.

The camera was focused on the car in this first one. The bird is on the right side of the road but not visible in this photo (to my eyes).

Now you can see the bird and maybe how far away the first photo was by the railroad crossing sign.

It's a bit blurry at the closest but isn't it amazing how close the camera can get? This hawk was eating a snake. Here's a shot where you can see the prey a bit.

I need to learn how to center my subject and keep the camera still. I had it braced on the window.

I can hardly wait to take photos on the Oregon coast and find out if I can see birds way out on those rocky island sea stacks. But the new camera is a mite heavy so I'll keep on using my trusty Panasonic for most things.

Today, before the rains hit, I wandered around the yard with the Panasonic and took photos of fall colors. More flowers are blooming than I took pictures of because heavy rain set in... breaking our long drought and giving us the kind of weather Halloween should have..

It's a beautiful world to celebrate a 70/30 birthday in... rain or shine.

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