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Cooper's Hawk

Friday, June 30, 2017

Goodbye June.


It's quite tough living the retired life when one still has to pay a bunch of bills every month or face drowning. Today is reckoning day. I don't do it by computer, I handwrite every check, at times a very painful proposition. Can't help but think that I will be hustling until I am dead.

Tough as things can be, for most of us anyway, I don't think I would have changed much. Never had all that much money but was able to live my life mostly on my own terms. I was thinking the other day of the poor bastard who finally buys the red Porsche at 75, when he is too damn old to enjoy it.

Never wanted to be that guy. Tore a big chunk out of life whenever I got the chance. You wait to retire to live your life you just might get a really boring life. Don't do it. First thing you know it's the last thing you know. Security is highly overrated. Rather face continual poverty than spend a life putting a nut on a bolt and waiting for the mythical golden pot at the end of the rainbow.

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I have this new lens and I had a little time yesterday to continue to put the nikkor 400mm 2.8e fl through its paces. Taking care of all the business I could see on the horizon in the morning, I drove up to the San Jacinto Wildlife Area in the afternoon. Lot of smog and haze across the southland. Still nice to be out in my element, in fact only me and a thousand birds and 20 thousand wild acres of peace. Didn't see another soul who wasn't on a tractor and I was down with that.

Decided to shoot the lens with my Nikon d810. No teleconverter, no tricks. Made some shots, missed some shots. Still need to dial in the focus better. Although since at times it worked perfectly the most likely culprit is probably operator error. As usual.


I have to keep reminding myself that there is little water in the ponds in the summer, hence few birds. But there were some avian friends out there. Love the white faced ibis, they were clowning around in the marsh yesterday.


Your caption here

Drove out to the Walker Ponds and saw a whole bunch of kestrels flying around. Seems like the place they like to hang. With this lens you can even occasionally get them flying and that ain't easy, it is a fast little falcon.

I'm shooting at ƒ3.5 1250th of a second, iso 64. 400mm here. Handheld mind you. Thank you, most exalted spaghetti monster, for vibration reduction. I love kestrels, so pretty. Here I managed to get one to stop and pose.


Won't bore you or draw this out. Saw a lot of egrets, some ducks. A beautiful meadowlark on a branch with a kingbird.

Flubbed quite a few meadowlark shots. Tough to shoot at 2.8 or even 3.5 when you have a pair of anything or a large object front to back. Note to self. Stopped this down to ƒ9 and it worked.

Photographers like to use rarefied terms like focus acquisition. This combo has it in spades. This lens works with the D810 like Lucy and Ricky, fastest autofocus I have yet encountered.

My friend Kerry likes to tell me that I will never be a real photographer until I start selling my work. Not that I haven't but it has never been a primary motivation.

I share a hell of a lot of work and that makes me happy too.

My fantasy would be to have enough money to spend a big chunk of a year in the Yellowstone and Tetons and get that great bison in the snowy river with the steam shot.

Publish my book and get ridiculously famous. Just give me a shot, lord.

I drove home and saw a kestrel sitting on a branch on my own road, sort of an oddity.

Not an earth shattering day, sorry, no money shot Kerry. Got a little better acquainted with my gear. Nothing gained without mileage.

Got home and the acorn woodpecker was pecking away at his power pole. Why not? It's a job.

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Buzz isn't doing so well. I will be traveling again soon.



2 comments:

Jon Harwood said...

Suggested caption: "Monica".

Anonymous said...

Are you getting better? ...or am I suddenly seeing better?