We are enjoying lovely weather in the Smokies, but not having WiFi has prevented me from working on my pictures and sharing them. It hasn’t prevented me from taking tons of pictures however, so I will have lots to keep me busy when we get home. The fall foliage we hoped for isn’t at it’s peak, but it smells like fall, and there are enough beautiful trees to make me happy. And we still have a few days.
We reached the canal on Wednesday, but too early to continue on to check in to our motel. So we found a bench in the shade, and sat and watched the world go by. Or the boats, one speeding faster than another. And people on bikes. We got out our bag of snacks and munched, and took pictures for quite a while. And then it happened, just as it was time to leave. Something different, a tug boat pulling a barge came into view as it passed under the Sagamore Bridge. It was a treat to see it after an hour of more ‘normal’ shots.
But when I looked at the pictures later I saw that they looked dull, and I blamed the snow-white sky. Yesterday I said I needed to learn how to replace the sky in photos, and today that’s what I did. While it’s easy to do, there is a learning curve and lots of additional adjustments you can do, so I chose only a couple of pictures with sky involved, tweaked them just a little, and called it a day. The wonders of technology.
As the tugboat and barge continued toward the Bourne Bridge I saw that the tugboat was called the Sapphire Coast, and was out of Chesapeake City, MD. And the barge was a cement hauler. I guess I never wondered how cement got from one place to another, but I don’t think I would ever have imagined it traveling on a barge through the Cape Cod Canal.
Do you see it in the mist? The Gurnett Light. One of the few places I knew of that my friend hadn’t been to when he was a kid growing up in my same hometown. So we drove the long, rough, dirt road out to the point where it sat, and had to get 90% there to see it at all in the mist. I dodged raindrops all day to get these pictures, but somehow it didn’t spoil what turned out to be a fun day for us.
I think that if I had had anyone else with me yesterday, and wanted to show them scenery that was close to my heart, they’d have thought I was nuts. But we both loved pointing out all the beautiful old houses along the roads we both traveled as kids…
Finally I was up early with heading to the eagle nest as my priority for the day. One lone photographer was there when I got there. I hadn’t met Dan before, but as we tend to do we started discussing places we knew of to go to take pictures. He said he’d been there about 15 minutes when I got there and nothing much had happened. He had a huge lens on his camera and no tripod, so I knew he was going to hand hold that thing. I had a problem with my big tripod so I switched to my usual 400mm lens and moved closer to the nest than he was standing. Suddenly two birds came up from behind the trees and flew away too fast for either of us to get a picture. A few minutes later I saw the eagle come back to the nest and managed to get a picture before it settled down, and again there appeared to be nothing happening at all. Dan said that it had been one of the eagles from the nest that had chased off a juvenile eagle, but he hadn’t seen it come back to the nest. He gave up shortly after that, after all we had been there at least 90 minutes by then. And then I left too, but I decided to head to the fishing pier nearby.
The parking lot was full, many more cars than usual even if it didn’t seem to be more people than usual. It was low tide, I mean really low tide. I wonder if this egret was wondering who stole the water, because that’s what I was thinking. Lots of fishermen were wading, but these boaters were on their own, almost. The joys of a zoom lens is that I found another boat way off in the distance. And a bird was circling overhead, but it wasn’t until I looked at the pictures in the computer that I wondered if this was that juvenile eagle Dan had seen, based on the size of the head and the shape of the beak.
This great blue heron was standing by the path as I walked back to the car. Seeing him made me decide to drive past the nest again, just in case, and guess what. There he was, or she, but where was the light that had been so nice?
After a few shots I switched to the big lens with the extender and used it hand held, so I’m surprised that I got any usable pictures at all. Now it was time to go home so I turned the car around but I had to pull over one more time to take this last picture with the sun on him, or her. It was a nice morning after all…
It seems the Saharan dust is still with us. Not much more than a blush in the sky at sunrise and sunset. Lately I’ve seen some really interesting pictures of the sun as it was rising in a dusty sky. Against the color of the sky the sun looked like a yellow ball, really more like a moon than the sun, with wispy clouds trailing across the view. I think I was hoping for either/or this morning, a lovely sunrise or a photo of that unusual looking sun. I got neither. To the naked eye I clearly saw the circle of the sun, and with wispy clouds, but that doesn’t seem to be what the camera saw. Birds were flying through my shots and I hoped that they would create a better shot than they did. Even the iPhone shots were disappointing. I had the phone in my new phone case with a tether, but I find that the tether isn’t long enough to put the phone in my pocket, and I didn’t want it to hang, so I did the next best thing, I tucked it in my bra. That worked well until I heard the phone, still in my bra, snapping pictures on its own while I snapped pictures with the camera. You can’t make this stuff up…
I took a photo class online yesterday and I should have tried working with the exposure compensation. I hope I get another chance at it.
“How long do you stay after the sunset?” asked my friend. She commonly posts spectacular pictures of a sky full of color, taken from Safety Harbor, an hour south of me. A mile from her house I might add. She assured me that the sky after a thunderstorm is prime timing for a great sky.
So I saw this and headed out, but not south since the storm was heading that way. I hedged my bets and headed to Hudson Beach where I could shoot from the covered pavilion if necessary. It was.
I made it under cover just in time for the skies to open, and I quickly discovered that the upper part of the covered pavilion was no cover at all, and descended to the bottom level and started shooting. Looking at my pictures I thought my lens was dirty, and then I realized that it was the drops cascading off the roof that I was seeing in my shots.
The fishing boats headed out despite the storm. There was thunder and lightning, but behind me. I couldn’t help but wish to see lightning out on the water. And I began to have no faith that the sky would light up because wooly looking dark clouds were descending, and I got drenched getting to the car. To leave you have to drive around a loop, and as I did I thought I saw the clouds breaking up so I continued around and parked again and took these shots with the iPhone, in the rain.
I tried to leave, I really did, I drove around that loop two more times, but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave. I stopped once more, for one more photo and then I headed home…