Bunch o’ birds

Some miscellaneous bird pictures that have been piling up in the Nikon file.

Robins. Trust me.
See? Robins.
Except this one is a varied thrush.
And this one is an Oregon dark-eyed junco.
Robins again.
I’ve got my beady little eye on thee! (Robin of course.)
Guess what?
Slate-coloured junco and his Oregon cousin.
Northern flicker pretending to be a robin.
The Robin Tree. So-named because we have had a huge number of robins this year and they like to hang out in this tree. (Look for the blobs.)

Waiting for …

… many things. Better weather, consultation with a doctor, shopping trip, and shipments.

But not Godot.

While I’m waiting I tested the Nikon P610’s focus failure, which I noticed is most pronounced close-up and with the lens pointing down. The lens is actually loose in its barrel, and you can feel it (and sometimes hear it) shift around. So I pointed it down and took a close-up of a wild rose stalk, and then gently pushed the loose section back to the camera to ‘take up the slack’. What I found was that the autofocus said it was correct at either point, but the actual focal point was off by about 10mm (at a distance of roughly half a meter). This doesn’t explain why it sometimes fails to focus on more distant objects, except in as much as the internal wear may cause some random slack then as well. I’ll have to devise an experiment to check that. Although there isn’t anything that can be done about it.

Anyway, here’s the best picture from that test. It shows again why I like that camera!

Some alien creature, perhaps?

That’s a 640×480 crop out of the full size 4608×3456 image. At the focal point it’s very sharp indeed! Not bad for a $400 ‘bridge’ camera, eh? It will cost me over $700 to replace this ailing imager, so I’m not keen on it quitting altogether. True, the EVF is practically impossible to see at times and the exposure is no longer accurate across all conditions. Yes, the pictures always need a slight contrast improvement because the sensor has aged and doesn’t produce ‘snappy’ results. Okay, once in a while it jams completely and has to be shut down and restarted. But as long as I can coax the images I want out of it I will keep using it.

Some other recent examples:

Raven hiding in a tree, says “you can’t see me!”
The Lone Pine. Growing in a roadside ditch all by itself.
Weathered dog. (Duncan came in with snow and hail on his back.)
A robin wondering where Spring is.
And so it goes.

Happy New Year!

First robin of Spring.

Today is New Year’s Day!

You don’t think it started in January, did you? That’s the eleventh month of the year. As in: Sept (seven), Oct (eight), Nov (nine), Dec (ten) et cetera. In fact New Year’s was March 20th (+/-) until the middle of the 18th century. More or less. On the Gregorian calendar. Pretty much. Except Great Britain didn’t change up as early as the USA did, so you have some interesting birth dates in genealogy of that time and area. Never mind the ten days that went missing. The Y2K thing was never really an issue. Trust me.

Oh yes, “Gregorian”. Pope Gregory XIII ‘fixed’ the Julian calendar (named for Julius Caesar; ever heard of him, Brutus? When it’s too hot in July, blame him) with a little help from Omar Khayyam. It’s probably called something different these days, like “modern calendar” (HA!), because we can’t have religious influences in our secular dealings. That’s why B.C. (Before Christ) has become B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and A.D. (Anno Domini – year of the lord) is now C.E. (Common Era). Of course it’s only common if you ignore the Persian calendar, Mayan calendar, Chinese Calendar, Jewish Calendar … et cetera.

In fact it makes more sense to start the year on the Spring Equinox than arbitrarily on the first of January. Hey, the Winter Solstice would be a more sensible turning point. But our calendar is hopelessly misaligned with reality, which explains a lot about civilization.

It’s the Daylight Saving Time cock-up on steroids.

Look! Up in the sky!

It’s strange because our airports are basically shut down, yet I keep seeing jets overhead.

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Fed Ex
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Atlas Air

When I’m at the cabin the view overhead is a bit different:

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Bald Eagle

Of course we get water traffic as well:

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Common Loon

In the woods you can hear lots of birds, but you usually can’t see them. Here’s one I did see:

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American Robin

I got some work done while I was there, but didn’t quite finish the job. Oh well, at least the scenery is nice:

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3 from camera ‘A’, 3 from camera ‘B’

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Raven in flight

I like the way the feather motion is a blur at the edges.

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I’m on fire

This is about the light, not the composition. I couldn’t due much with the composition.

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Spring robin

The light is finally getting to where I can get colour on these birds and I’m not always shooting silhouettes.

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Reflect

The melt water makes for some temporary opportunities.

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Metal bird

Amazing how many jets pass over here given the extreme drop in air traffic.

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Marley the dog

For once not being a goofball. Usually if the camera is out she is hamming it up.

Cameras used: Nikon P610 and Lumix ZS60.