FRIDAY PART I
The past week has been an amalgamation of appointments, house duties, dad duties, holiday prep, dog care, and goofing off from the seat of my comfy chair while shoving handfuls of vitamin D down my throat and watching the last hints of summer tan drain away from my skin to leave it looking like the surface of a thrice-used teabag.
While I did manage to squeeze in a couple of high intensity 30-minute Zwift™ sessions, I failed to get out with my camera, and that’s pretty sad. So my plan for Friday Me Time is to force myself outside for a hike in the brown, winterless woods. I don’t anticipate too many bangers on my SD card when I return, but I fully expect to find some meditative peace as I stomp around whatever preserve or natural area I end up at. But first, I need to finish my mug-o-coffee, release the brown(s), and pry myself away from the space heater that I am currently sitting way too close to in my office.
FRIDAY PART II
After finally breaking free from the lure of my space heater, I gathered up my camera gear and headed to Meridian Park for a walkabout. Just before I left, I grabbed my 600mm lens with an ill-advised 2x teleconverter attached, just in case, I got a glimpse of the eagles that call the park home.
I pulled in the lower lot by the river and could see that there were indeed a couple of eagles hanging out in the tree containing their huge nest. As I was switching out my 120mm for the 600/TC, I saw them take off from their tree. I cursed my bad luck but continued mounting the cumbersome lens to the Zed any way.
A second or two later, I looked up and was surprised to see them quickly heading right towards me! I did what I could to focus on the giant birds as they flew over, but the combination of my excitement, the large slow focusing (with the TC) lens, and the awe of seeing and hearing them right above me was amazing! The sound of two sets of eagle wings flapping directly above me was something that I won’t soon forget—just awesome creatures, especially in flight.
I left the big ass lens and monopod on and continued down the trail along the river. I took some shitty shots here and there, got a decent photo of a black-capped chickadee doing chickadee stuff in the bushes, rounded the bend in the river, and was stoked to see that the two eagles that buzzed by me earlier had returned to their nest.
Not wanting to miss another opportunity, I stopped every 30 yards or so along the trail, get a shot and move on.
I knew going in that I was never going to get a quality photo with this lens and TC combo—especially when being forced to shoot at f/13 under dark gray skies—and I accept that1, but it did allow me to get closer and get a few unobscured—althoughbeit noisy HIGH ISO—shots of the noble birds.
I took my shots, then, standing opposite a nearby beaver lodge on the banks of the Chip, I relaxed and enjoyed watching the giant birds keep look out over the woods below as the sounds of the river meandering by filled my ear holes.
After a few minutes of visual bird lust and awe, I was brought back to reality by the sound of a fish jumping in the river. With that, I headed back to my car, peed out some coffee, swamped out the BIG lens for the 120 f/4, and then did a full lap taking pics of the usual goofy shit that I am continuously drawn to.
As I finish up the text for this, it is once again dark as night (at 10:30 AM Saturday) and pissing down a mix of rain, snow, and ice. So as you might imagine, I plan to go outside with my camera, and yes, I hope to be home before the Manchester derby comes on! Creativity has its limits!
After finishing my coffee and making brown, I head to Meridian Park to walk in the steady rain and snow that was coming down.
I walked, I took some macros, got numb fingers, and enjoyed the cold rain, snow, and wind smack my face like a newborn’s ass.
Thank Footy Gods above that I didn’t cut my hike short to come home and watch the Manc derby. It was horrible! And what little I did see made me wish I was back out in the cold taking photos of water drops and dead things.
Screw Sunday. It was boring as shit. I watched footy, shoveled the driveway, and starting drinking beer at 3:00:0001 PM before going to bed at 8:30 out of total boredom. C’est la vie.
Monday is Monday, and I finally published this dross after three days of pissing around.