Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Friday, June 24, 2011

As Threatened: More Words & Pics (#239)

As most of you do not know, I recently bought a new camera and a couple of lenses. It is a VERY spiffy camera (and lenses) - the likes of which I have dreamed of owning since the 70s, when I first fell in love with photography. I'd invested in a couple of nice 35 mm SLRs (Single Lens Relex) over the years, but couldn't afford specialized lenses and still pay for the film and developing. By the mid-late 80s, with a growing family, I couldn't afford the hobby any more and reluctantly gave it up.

For the last three years, the photos I've posted have been taken with inexpensive, "grabshot" cameras costing under $200. My little Sony has served me well and today I'm going to feature the last batch of photos I shot with it. No doubt most of whatever I post in the future will be shot with my new Best Toy Ever. So, here's a few of those finned, furred and feathered critters I promised last time.

This little squirrel was a frequent visitor to my birdfeeder this Spring. I named her "Mom" for reasons you can probably ascertain. Proof of my perspicacity arrived within a few days of taking the above pic. For the last three weeks, we've been entertained by the antics of her three progeny, cleverly dubbed "The Triplets." Mom has been teaching them how to pilfer seeds - much - and I mean VERY much to Benny's consternation. As you can imagine.

Blue Jays are frequent visitors. They favour peanuts, either cracked or in the shell and this next fellow found his treat.

Although not at all sharp, the reason I'm happy with the next shot is that it features a very infrequent visitor to my feeder, a Rose Breasted Grosbeak. This is only the second one I've seen. (And the first with camera in hand, albeit some distance away.)

This time it's the clumsy photographer with his big fat thumb who ruins a perfectly nice pic of a perch. (No fish was harmed in the making of this photograph.)

This next pic will have a familiar beak to some of you. It's Lucy, who longtime readers will recall is the African Grey parrot who claimed me as her own some 10 years ago. I'm happy to report that she is alive and well and as strident and bossy as ever.

This next critter has taken up residence in my backyard. In case you had any doubt, a future post will prove chipmunks are the cutest animals on the planet. In the meantime, you'll have to settle for this pic as preliminary evidence.

In my albeit limited experience as a birdwatcher, I've seen no more striking a couple than Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal.

My magnolia tree sports no fins, feathers or fur but for a week or so every Spring, she struts her stuff in striking fashion. (Maybe one of these days I'll learn how to remove distractions like wires from a photo.)

Bringing up the rear is a photo I call the Mantis Flower. Can you see why?

I'm appreciative of my little Sony and the memories we've made together. Hope you like them too.

T'is the season to be gallivanting. Hilary and I are headed to the cottage tomorrow for a few days, so I trust you'll forgive me if my responses to comments and emails are delayed. I'm looking forward to testing out my new equipment up there for the first time. Some of the results will no doubt appear here eventually, Creator willing.

Thanks for your time.


Hilary said...

Some great photos here. Looking forward to the wonderful images of your SLR - particularly of that adorable chipper.

Grayquill said...

A new toy is the best...at least while it’s new. I remember a new car I bought once...it was the best but then came payment number three and somehow by then it had lost much of its stature. Congratulations on your new toy. Have fun!

Steve Gravano said...

It's exciting getting new toys. But, cameras are much like hammers. It's the creativity of the user that makes the image. Just look at the excellent photos posted here as a testament of talent over technology. I'm sure you'll be able to do things you weren't able to with the old camera, and that will be the exciting part. Can't wait to see. Have a blast!

Leah J. Utas said...

Frank, those are gorgeous. Your little Sony has served you well. I am looking forward to what you and your new toy have to offer.

June said...

I envy you your fancy camera. You've done a bang up job with the old one, so I expect Great Things from you with your "new equipment."

I love these pictures and I would love them if they were less well done. Love the sights of the animals. Agree that chipmunks are at the top of the cuteness list. I wish I hadn't flattened a couple of them while driving this spring.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

First, I love the new header. Something tells me that was shot with New Toy. Secondly, this is a wonderful set of images. Love the fat cheeks of Mr. Chippy. Your little Sony has set the bar high for your New Toy.

Reb said...

Great new header. The little Sony has done you proud and I can't wait to see what the new camera brings to the table...er...blog ;) Love the magnolia tree.

ellen abbott said...

wonderful photos even with a point and shoot. that's what i have and it serves me well enough but I would like one the did zooms a little clearer and sharper. love the black squirrel and I think chipmunks are the cutest though people who have them around tell me they are pests.

Charlie said...

Loverly photos, Frank.

Anvilcloud said...

Congratulations of the new toy. I had a Canon 7D in my hands yesterday (a relative's), but couldn't get it working for me. There were too many strange bells and whistles for me to adapt to it quickly. The AV compensation was way off, and then it was set in a flat mode. That being said, it's still on my mind.

Pauline said...

well now, I don't know - the wires in the magnolia photos look like staff lines on sheet music - those buds could be playing an ode to spring!

I once deported 17 of the cutest critters on the planet after they tunneled under the lawn, creating havoc!

Dianne said...

I love all the photos
Lucy may be my favorite since I think she's so cool and has a wonderful profile :)

love the new blog layout

congrats on super duper fancy schmancy camera - have fun :)

Stace said...

Your shots on the cheap camera have always been really nice; I look forward to even better ones from the new toy!

Frank Baron said...

Thanks, Hil. It may take a while, but I'll get 'em posted eventually. :)

Thanks, GQ. I've been having a ball test-driving the new equipment.

Thanks, Steve. Preliminary results (I've taken about 2,000 shots with the new camera now) look promising. I'll show a few of them soon.

Thanks, Leah. I hope you won't be disappointed.

Ouch, June. How unfortunate. A Monarch butterfly mets its doom on my windshield today and that hurt. Squishing a chipper would make me miserable.

Thank you, Linda. As always, you're very kind. :)

Thanks, Reb. I'm partial to the tree too. It's grown into a real beauty.

Ellen, I think pests are in the eye (and garbage and walls and garages) of the beholders. :)

Thanks, Charlie. I appreciate it.

Thanks, Anvil. The 7D is the camera I bought and there's no denying there's a steep learning curve when it comes to utilizing it to its fullest. I'm probably only at the 20% level and I wouldn't be that far along without my previous SLR experience. But it's a wonderful machine, especially when matched with a couple of terrific lenses. I'm looking forward to growing old with this camera and learning more about it every year.

Pauline, I won't ask for details of the deportation. Too bad the little varmints were being such a nuisance.

Thanks, Dianne. I'm having a ball with it. :)

I'll try to please, Stace. :)

Thanks all, for taking the time to visit and comment. I really appreciate it. :)

Kappa no He said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! My first nice camera was a Canon AE1 Programmable. I still have the thing. But so glad I don't have to pay for film and developing anymore. I wonder what your new toy is...*ponders*

Hilary said...

I have had a pair of grosbeaks at my feeder all year......lots of photo opportunities.....and now their babies have gotten big enough to come.
It's a family affair!!

Frank Baron said...

Hiya Kappa. My new toy is a Canon EOS 7D. It's a beauty and I'm having tons of fun with it.

Hilary, I envy you. The only babies I've seen so far are grackles, robins and sparrows. Thanks for the visit. :)

Grayquill said...

I like your new look. Nice color choices.

Skunkfeathers said...

I don't see much of that kind of nature in my neck of the woods, so glad of your new toy to show us all.

As for chipmunks, I still recall when a troupe of them descended on a wilderness campsite of mine, and held my trailmix hostage.

Anonymous said...

The quality of these photos is amazing! Can't wait to see what you do with your spiffy new camera!

Tony said...

Like the blue jay shot! I saw them among the grave stones, in Arlington cemetary, a few years ago. Our jays, here in the uk, are predominently pink and it would be nice to see the two different species together. Unfortunately, though, there's a fair stretch of water preventing that scenario.
Anyway, really like the blog!

Frank Baron said...

Thanks, GQ.

Ha, Skunky. Yep, those little bandits are bold.

Thanks, ladyfi. :)

Sorry for the delay here folks. I simply missed the notifications of your comments. I appreciate your kind words.

Frank Baron said...

Hi Tony and thanks for your comments. I'd love to see a pink jay.

Sorry for the delay. Your comment got stuck in a moderation queue.