Nature Photo Op

Baby bird in the backyard, 21 July 2005 || Fuji FinePix 2400Zoom

When I came home from work today, Aaron told me that he’d been startled by a THUMP on the air conditioner installed in the dining room window earlier that afternoon. Apparently, he’d looked out the window to see a not-quite-baby bird—say, an adolescent bird—sitting on top of the air conditioner, outside. It looked right at him, and wasn’t afraid. (Maybe not old enough to be afraid of people yet. It’ll learn.)

Anyway, his first instinct was to get the cat. 😀 Instead, he decided to get the camera and snap a digital pic of the birdie. Unfortunately, by the time he got back, the birdie was facing away from the window, and instead of turning back for its photo op, it flew away / jumped off.

Fast forward to this evening. Aaron was gone to work. I didn’t feel like doing anything on the computer (for once), and decided to go outside in the back yard and enjoy the brisk breeze from the impending rainstorm. And what did I see but—you guessed it—an adolescent bird sitting on the grass right by the back door, not five feet from the aforementioned air conditioner.

Time for me to run inside and get the camera.

When I came back out, the bird was still there, hungrily opening its beak and chirping at me. I snapped some not-so-good photos of it, getting mighty close—within a foot or so, if not closer, judging from the horrendous focus on some of the pics (even using the macro setting! I need a fancier digital camera).

With the photo op over, I sat back on my haunches and wondered what kind of food I could drop into a little birdie’s mouth. It looked mighty hungry, and although its mother was seeming to answer it from the nest several trees over, she certainly wasn’t coming to rescue him or anything. I don’t know if the little guy could even take off from the ground yet.

I, like every other good Girl Scout, know not to pick up baby birds. Still, though, I’m really expecting to find that little baby bird still sitting in the yard tomorrow, much worse off than it is today. *sigh*

Damn that Prime Directive, anyway.

The Lomo Is Fixed

The Lomo appears to be working at specifications once more. The post-op test roll came out A-OK, if a touch boring.

In other photo news, the Holga has arrived and is now loaded with film. I’ll burn through this first roll quickly and post the results when I get them processed.

Dead Pine Tree

Taken on Saturday, June 4, on our way to Cleveland for my step-brother Philip’s graduation.

Things to note:

  1. How is there one singular dead pine tree in the midst of a line of perfectly healthy ones? That was what drew me to this urban vista in the first place.
  2. Doesn’t MCO’s new logo look kind of like the Republic’s crest from Star Wars?
  3. How and why have I started taking great pictures of my freaking middle finger? God’s sake… out of the 21 exposures that came out before my Lomo had its little shutter crisis that day, my finger is prominently displayed in four. WTF?

Holga Me

I’ve been waiting impatiently for my Holga to arrive from Hong Kong. Since it’s not being tracked, and I have no idea how long airmail from Hong Kong will take, I decided to play with Photoshop and Holga-ize this image to bide my time.

From surfing around lots of Holga sites and photoblogs, I think I have a pretty good idea of how this photo might have turned out, had I taken it with a Holga. Of course, the Lomo with which I actually did take the photo is a decent low-light camera, and the Holga certainly wouldn’t have performed quite as well. So, I took some liberties.

I cropped the photo square to go with the 6×6 format I intend to use. Then I burned in the edges to simulate the vignetting of the lens, and I blurred the outer edges of the photo to add to the softness of the image, while leaving the center of the frame clear. As an afterthought, assuming I would have been using a super-fast film to capture this low-lit indoor image, I added some grain. And this is what I came up with:

I know I don’t have it quite right, but… *shrug* It was still fun to play.

I can’t wait to get my new Holga and try out a roll of test film to see how bad the light leaks really are. 😉

Memorial Day 2005

My Memorial Day in a nutshell: drive to Michigan, 2½ mile parade, lunch, 3½ hour rehearsal, dinner, performance for returned Marines, drive home. Total time away from home: approximately 14 hours. Total driving time: approximately four hours.

Overall impression of the day: productive.
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My Memaw

Me and my Memaw

My Memaw knew a lot. She wasn’t particularly book-smart—I think she completed 8th grade—but she knew little, important things. How to keep my ballet recital costume from unravelling. How to french braid and how to do a french twist. How to make awesome fried chicken, and tuna croquettes, and dozens of other wonderful foods. How to grow an avocado plant from a pit. How to grow plants in general.

About plants: Memaw definitely had a green thumb. Not in that Jerry Baker sort of way, though; he knows all sorts of bizarre tips and tricks for keeping your plants and lawn green and healthy, like spraying it with a solution of dish soap and beer and ammonia and some other household chemicals. Memaw had the other kind of green thumb, the kind where she had only to stick a plant in soil (or in water first, to root it), then water it (from the bottom, always), and poof. Big, healthy plants. Or so I remember, anyway… I was still kind of young when Memaw’s plant collection was in its heyday.

(Funny, isn’t it, how we never seem to take pictures of everyday things, like our living room… but, years later, we find ourselves trying to remember details that we once thought we’d never forget. Like how many plants sat in our windowsill in Apartment A-13 when I was 7 years old.)

Anyway, I wish I’d been able to ask her about more of the little, important things. As I got older, and as she got older, I did write her letters and ask her about some of the little things. How to make tuna croquettes (which I still haven’t attempted). How many different jobs she held, and where she worked (which I wish I’d written down, but I was in the car on the way to BG). And my Mom gave me the recipe for meatballs that Memaw had gotten from the Italian girl that worked with her at Bix’s Restaurant.

How to grow plants, though… if she had a secret, I wish I could have learned it. I do well enough, and I certainly *have* enough, but sometimes I wonder. I think I managed to inherit some of that green thumb, but… you know.

Sometimes I miss her.

—–

Next Friday, I’ll be participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life in Bowling Green. If you’d care to sponsor me, you can donate online all next week, until the event. Donations are, of course, tax-deductible, and will forward the fight against cancer.

Someday, I hope someone else gets more time to ask their own Memaw the questions I didn’t.

Making a Statement

While I was hanging out with Donna in Bowling Green back in March, we came upon this truck. I believe my comment at the time was, “THIS is why I bring my Lomo everywhere.”

Happy Birthday, Gary!

I am destined to forever remember my step-Gary’s birthday. Damn his mnemonic device:

“May the Fourth be with you.”

*groan*

Another New Toy

I have decided to try some home recording.

To that end, I purchased the Behringer Eurorack UB802 Mixer. It’s certainly no comparison to the Mackie mixer I got to use back in my Recording Technology days, but the price was right, and it’s good enough for home recording. After all, I haven’t done this in a while…

If what I turn out from this little experiment doesn’t suck (very much), you can expect to get a sampling when it’s ready for prime-time. If it does suck, you can expect me never to mention this venture ever again.

Update: A couple hours of experimentation yielded a one-verse cover that doesn’t entirely suck. However, I have remembered something. Something very vital to the success of my little experiment.

I can’t *stand* the sound of my own voice. OMFG.

It’s just one verse of a Depeche Mode song, me plunking away on my Casio and singing my little pea-pickin’ heart out, but if you really want to hear it, e-mail me and I’ll send you a URL where you can download it.

Please be gentle.

Birthday Visit From Amy

Myself and Amy, before heading out to lunch and a movie with Aaron. Two days after my birthday, and it’s snowing like a motherfucker. o.O See, Aaron? I *told* you it could happen, and not just in the snowbelt.

Other highlights of the weekend: opening presents from Christmas and Amy’s birthday; dinner with Amy, Aaron, Mark, and myself at Dolly & Joe’s; Amy’s and my three-hour discussion at Grounds For Thought in BG; and, of course, watching Sin City at Levis Commons.