Tag Archives: Feeling Clearly

Happy Birthday to Me

Today I turn, am, have, or complete 65, depending on your language (and those are just the few that I know). But whatever the verb, it’s an odd moment: long expected and yet totally surprising.  I cannot yet comment on the state itself but as I sit here, between the idea and the reality, I have a few random thoughts, as the aged often do.  Continue reading

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Filed under Mortality, New Perspectives

National Treasure #120: Battle of Vimy Ridge

Dates: April 9 to 12, 1917

Canadians killed: 3,598

Canadians injured: 7,004

The battle became symbolic of Canada’s contributions and sacrifices in the war — more than 60,000 dead — and gave Prime Minister Robert Borden the postwar impetus to push for autonomous recognition for Canada from Britain. It led to Canada’s change of status from colony to dominion and Commonwealth member. – Canadian Encyclopedia
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Filed under Through Canada

A Glory

En route to his last golf game in Gilbert before we head home, the Big Guy pulls over on the bridge/overpass to let me out.  I grab my hat, water bottle, and camera, slam the car door, and head off on my own last: a walk along a desert wash.

My plan is to head for 2.6 miles (all distances courtesy of Google Maps) along a paved path beside the dry sandy bed of Queen Creek to its western terminus, watching for wildlife, then to pop out at street level and walk another 1.1 miles to get home.

My hope is to see a roadrunner along that route.

My fondest wish is to get a good photo or video of a roadrunner or, failing that, an interesting shot of a bee, my latest photo challenge.   Continue reading

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Filed under Musings

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia

It’s a joke, if such a casual name is appropriate for something that uses Ancient Greek roots:

  • Hexakosioi – six hundred
  • Hexekonta – sixty
  • Hexa – six
  • Phobia – irrational or persistent fear

Hence, hexakosioi-hexekonta-hexa-phobia: fear of 666.   Continue reading

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Filed under New Perspectives

Wanting It the Way I Want It

In the second week of February, the Big Guy and I drove 3 1/2 hours SE of Phoenix to Bisbee, to use it as a staging point for 3 visits to the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, wintering grounds for about 15,000 sandhill cranes.  My photos of those birds weren’t what I’d hoped for.  I was able to get no closer than about 100 feet and maybe not that close.  In any case, I was much too far away to get good, high-resolution shots with my camera equipment, which gives me a maximum 300mm zoom.   I’m sure my skill level had nothing to do with it.

Flock of thousands of sandhill cranes

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area – No zoom

 

Sandhill crane drinking.

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area – Max zoom, max crop

 

Lone sandhill crane standing in water

Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area – Max zoom, max crop

This past week, I visited the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary about 45 minutes SW of where I was staying in Vancouver.  The resident sandhill cranes are pretty habituated to humans, and I was able to get within 5 feet of them without causing them any distress.  The biggest challenge here was keeping the ducks and sanctuary infrastructure out of the backgrounds.

Close-up of sandhill crane

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary – Max zoom, negligible crop

 

Close-up of sandhill crane, drinking

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary – Max zoom, negligible crop

What I want, of course, is pictures with the quality of the close-ups possible in the bird sanctuary, but with the ambiance of the wildlife area – and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting a rare picture (even just rare-ish).  Like Sally in When Harry met Sally, I just want it the way I want it.  And, you know, without making it my full-time job.

I’m not sure what to take from these disparate experiences.  My first impulse is to devalue the wilderness shots on technical merit (lack of close-up clarity), and to devalue the sanctuary shots on artistic merit (lack of rarity).

On the other hand, I guess I could be happy with both sets, valuing what I managed to do in each case, while continuing to strive for better.  Which sounds like a good model for life, even if altogether too well-adjusted . . .

 

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Filed under New Perspectives, Photos of Fauna