Monday, January 9, 2012

Baby gets her first SLR

Faithful readers, I have not abandoned you. I have (temporarily) abandoned Vermont, however. Best Beloved and I are in lovely southern California, visiting my brother and his wife. Tomorrow we are Hawaii-bound. Yep. Hawaii. As we used to say growing up…and, I confess, still do, when the occasion merits:

“Nanny nanny boo boo!”

So last week was devoted to getting ready for this trip, which entailed a) cleaning the house, b) finalizing a grant application at work,  and c) visiting my dad’s house for probably the last time ever. It’s  under contract and scheduled to close in a few days.  Hey – it’s only been on the market four years.

In other words: I was crazy-busy.

We arrived in LA on Friday late morning, having woken up at – brace yourselves – 1:49 am to make our 5:45 am flight. There comes a time when you wonder if it’s even worth going to bed first. Would you be able to fall asleep, knowing how early that alarm is? Yeah, me either.  By the time we got to LA we were both so exhausted that we pretty much wasted our first afternoon here trying to nap.

On Saturday morning, my awesome sister-in-law Lynn and a friend of hers headed out for a 20 mile run, and I joined them for the last bit, as I had a seven miler scheduled. This was on a bike path by the BEACH. BEACH. BEACH.

On Saturday afternoon, Kevin and I realized that the great thing about this crazy southern California culture of seven-lane highways is a feature not commonly available to us in rural Vermont: shopping.  

One thing led to another, and I am now the proud owner of a Nikon D3100, an entry-level SLR. Translation into English? “Real” camera.  I also got an 85mm lens to go with it, which cost almost as much as the camera itself. 

Shall we see some results? 

Stamens make me happy, there’s no doubt about it.

Oh yeah, baby. This is a mallow in Lynn and Dana’s back yard. 

Rosemary. Let’s focus on the tip of a leaf.

OK, now let’s focus on the stamen just behind it.  I don't have this level of control with the point-and-shoot Lumix. They need to make an optional accessory when they sell you your first macro lens: a drool bib.

This is a leaf on a century plant – a viciously huge aloe on steroids with deadly thorns. Ain’t it cool that the edge of the leaf is mirrored by a watermark? Lynn tells me this is from the leaf unfolding. You can bet if I lived here I'd document the s*** out of this while it was happening.

The tip of a century plant's leaf.

OK, enough fun in the garden. Let's go to the beach. 

In the tidal pools, there were these shell-encrusted donuts.

I gradually realized they were related somehow to these lovely little buggers. 


Colony of mussel shells on a rock, exposed for the moment by the tide… 

 I had no idea barnacles looked like this up close and personal.


Self portrait.


  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the self portait!!! Totally coolio! :)

  2. You're gonna have a blast with your new toy/tool. And Hawai'i. Which island or islands? Kauai and Waimea Canyon, I hope.