Monday, April 13, 2009

Lens Envy

I think I just picked up one of the most expensive start-up hobbies in the world. It's been less than a week and I already have lens envy. I really need a macro lens followed by a zoom lens. Oh, and a camera bag. Then I'll be done... right?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

New Toy

I've come to the conclusion that the price of "toys" increases proportionately to age.

For almost a year now, I've had serious camera envy. I took a lot of pictures on my trip with friends to the Dominican Republic. Since I have a history of being really bad about documenting my vacations, I made a huge effort to do so on this trip. At the end of each day, back in my hotel room, I took the time to keep a very detailed diary of everything I did that day. I also took many, many pictures. The pictures were okay, that is to say, I think I captured the images I wanted, but I really began to wish I had a better camera.

I take a lot of pictures of my three whippets. For those of you who haven't met them, or aren't familiar with the breed, they are fast. Whippets can run up to 35 miles per hour. That's way too fast for my little point & shoot camera. While I love my little Fuji, and it's done pretty well, I just can't get good pics of the dogs.

A few months back, I met another whippet owner who was at the park taking scenic shots. While we chatted, he took some random shots of my kids as they were running around the park. The quality of his pictures far outweighed every picture I have ever taken of them. I was very envious.

So, after talking with many friends who are photo hobbyists and professionals, I started narrowing down my selection. Unfortunately, I started knowing nothing, and now know just a little more than I did then, but enough to realize that this was going to be a bigger investment than I initially thought. But after agonizing over it for a while, today I took the plunge. I've made my purchase. Now I wait for it to arrive - and the hard (but fun) part begins. Hopefully, I'll be able to improve my collection of photos to share.

Stay tuned...

Surprise Gardening

One of the things I like the best about gardening is being surprised. We spend a lot of time in our yard, looking things over, making plans, moving and trimming and just enjoying everything.

Moving here from the Oregon, gardening took on a whole new meaning. Everything grows differently in Florida. It took a few years to really notice the seasons, as most people complain about, but once you’ve lived here, you definitely see them. Things do slow down in the winter months, and we have many things that pop up in the spring.

Our typical weekend usually starts with the coffee crawl. I call it this because we usually start out with a cup of coffee in one hand as we wander the yard, but usually end up on my hands and knees pulling weeds or digging something up… thus, “the coffee crawl.”

As I mentioned, I like the surprises the most. It can be amazing sometimes to see the changes that happen during the week while we are away at work. Yesterday I happened to notice a bloom that wasn’t there last weekend. I hadn’t even noticed the bloom spike. We have had this Vanda for maybe 4-5 years now, and it’s never bloomed. I know it hasn’t gotten the care that it would like, and it’s not a particularly attractive shape. But when it was given to us, I thought it was supposed to be one of the (fairly) common blue-ish purple blooms. Well, it’s not, but I still really like it. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s attractive in it’s own way. Not a real showy bloom, and the spike is a little contorted, but I love the petals and the way they look like they’re trying to take flight.

As spring moves to summer, I’m looking forward to many more surprises.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A distantly familiar pain...

Friday I did something daring. Something I haven't done in a very long time. I decided to play tennis for the first time in 10 years.


Hopefully, next time, with newly wrapped racquet handles and appropriate shoes, I'll feel much better afterward.