I was walking about the docks of Annapolis a while back taking shots of things that caught my eye. Sailing has always fascinated me–not to the point where I would actually buy a boat or go on an open water cruise–but from an intellectual perspective, I really like sailboats. Whenever I look at a sailboat, though, I can see all the work that would be required to keep the brass shiny, the teak polished, the barnacles away, etc. The older the boat, the more exotic the mood but the more work required. These two shots make me think of all that elbow grease.
The weather is definitely cooler and fall is arriving. We might be on the hook for another tropical storm or hurricane or whatever. So off to the Farmers’ Market again; Kelsey and I went to the Ashton Farms stand again (picture of Ada Ashton on July 25). Their peaches are awesome. They also have other fruit but I can’t seem to tear myself away from the peaches. Maybe I will try to eat healthier and expand my “fruit repertoire” but…not today. Always fun to stroll around to soak up all the “comfort.” It’s just a comfortable place to be and I enjoy the stroll with Kelsey. A fun way to spend an early Saturday morning, a tradition we’ll both probably remember for a long time. The Ashton peach shot was taken 62mm, f.7.1, 1/640, ISO1000.
I came home from checking the work facility after Irene and saw our butterfly bush being visited by a couple of these butterflies. I think this is the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. Not sure. But they loved our bush and were spending quite of bit of time feeding. The breeze is still sort of strong so they had to let go after a bit, fly away and then somehow come back. I wonder what a butterfly does to rest…this was taken with a 105mm Macro lens, at f/5.6, 1/400, ISO1600.
While cleaning the hurricane debris out of the backyard, the wind died down a bit and more butterflies arrived. I set my tripod up right in the middle of the bush and took the second one down. Notice the long pointy thing called a proboscis which is uncurled (sort of) because the little guy is feeding from the flower.
This Safari Park may have been the best “attraction” of all the places we visited in Southern California. We were told that usually it’s very, very hot at the park during the summer but, we were lucky, the temperature stayed reasonable and so we were able to spend a leisurely day. The park is very expensive but well worth it. We had the “basic” ticket so got to do and see the important things. I will probably put up many shots over the next few months but today…the birds. These are from a bird show they have several times a day. It’s out in the open but the birds are taught to do what their handlers direct–there is a reward, of course.
I should have taken notes during the show, the first is either a hawk or a falcon sitting on its handlers glove. I couldn’t remember the second but my son said, “That’s an East Africa Crane.” I googled. So it is!
The third is an Andean Condor and it is absolutely huge! The wingspan is over 10 feet. They studied this species to help them figure out how to help the California Condor. It seems to have worked since there are now many of that species–still endangered but recovering. The bird was awesome.
One of our nights in Dana Point we decided to leave the kids and have a quiet dinner out. We went to a restaurant in the wharf area right on the water. The restaurant was “Wind & Sea” and it was an other world dining experience, and not in a good way. We got there at sunset to eat outside, which we were not allowed to do, so we asked if we could sit next to a window overlooking the water…no, not allowed, all reserved. Hmmmmm….the place wasn’t half full. We ate, were there well over an hour. No one else came in. Hmmmmmm…. And the food? Hmmmmm… But the company and the sunset was nice. This shot was taken just outside of the restaurant’s door looking west over Dana Point. Would have liked to see more of the harbor but…we weren’t allowed. I am posting two post processes of the same shot: the first, I like because the sunset detail was just right but I hate the blue shade of the white boats. The second is pretty much out of the camera. If I knew a little more about PS, I could probably do a mask and take care of it all. Hmmm….maybe I’ll do that.
I took a short road trip back home to South Dakota. My sister and I drove through Mitchell and decided to stop at the world’s only Corn Palace. Of course, I snickered at that even growing up less than an hour away from the place. It is unusual. Both inside and outside the building, they have these giant murals built only from corn or parts of the corn plant. They do new designs and murals each year. For the birds of course, this is a giant buffet. There are many different colors of corn but I don’t know if they are all grown in South Dakota. We walked through the Palace and at the tourist places. I probably don’t need to go back but it was nice to take a step back in time.