Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Testing My New Lens

A brilliantly clear, blue-sky day today, of the kind of clarity that only comes in late fall through the winter. I guess it was that clear yesterday, too, but I spent the morning having cataract surgery and the afternoon sleeping it off. So today I was eager to get outside and see what my new lens could focus on. Not much, as yet, it appears. My eye is still swollen and may take several weeks to settle down, says the doctor. But he also said I was free to take a hike if I liked, so of course, that's what I did. Well, more of a walk than a hike, but at least I got outside and could see well enough through the prescribed dark glasses to see what a beautiful day it was, especially along the river.

I decided to walk along Spier Falls Road, from the dam to the boat launch site, with side jaunts through the woods to the banks of the river. The water was as radiantly blue as the sky, and I found little jolts of bright color here and there among the greys and browns and tans of the late-autumn forest.

A baby Red Oak nestles among Wood Fern.

Asiatic Bittersweet may be an alien aggressor, but it sure is pretty.

Not so colorful from a distance, but Turkey Tail fungus has
multi-colored stripes. Click on the photo to see them.

I found this bush that promises spring, even before the long winter begins. How do these Spicebush buds, arrayed on the branches like clusters of little green beads, manage to last through all the ravages winter will surely throw at them? They look so dainty, but boy, they must be tough!

I hope these photos are in focus. My new lens is supposed to correct my extreme nearsightedness, but the consequence is that I now cannot see close objects. Like the display screen on the back of my camera. So I'll have to start carrying magnifiers. Darn! I had hoped to be done with glasses. We shall see. We hope.


swamp4me said...

Clear as a bell and beautiful! Don't worry too much about the magnifiers, you get used to 'em after a while ;) Hope your eye is 100% soon.

Lindsey said...

Will you be able to see birds soon?! :D :D :D

I will have to do a Spier Falls walk myself sometime soon, I can't handle the insanity that occurs when parking at the park office and walking to the Nature Center haha.

Carolyn H said...

Wow! That blue sky is gorgeous. What a deep shade of blue! lovely photo, there!

Carolyn H.

Ellen Rathbone said...

Hey - I was going to send you a good luck note, but I obviously missed the date! I hope all went well and will be keeping my fingers crossed for you!

suep said...

These first few days will test your patience - but keep the end in sight!
Like the play on words of the title, it had me thinking of cameras at first.

Allan Stellar said...

One of the joys of your blog is the photography. And also your ability to see the beauty (and give all the names of the fauna). May you have years and years of seeing properly with your new lens!

But you raise a question. What is the difference between a walk and a hike? Distance? Attire? Intention? Socio-economic class? Setting?

Must a person wear Patagonia on hikes and blue jeans on walks?

This is a serious question I've been trying to figure out. :)


Allan Stellar said...

errr..flora, not fauna. But you do fine with the fauna too!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Dear friends, I am so grateful for your kind wishes. Thanks so much for thinking of me. So far the eye is still pretty blurry, but the doctor says to give it a month, and then new glasses should correct any problems. So yes, I must be patient.

What's the difference between a hike and a walk? Well, others may have their own definitions, but mine has to do with strenuousness and the kind of terrain. I take a walk around town or along the road or a woodland path, but I hike up a mountain trail or for extended distances through uneven terrain. I might wear sturdier footwear for an extended hike, but I often hike in sneakers, too. I'd never wear hiking boots just to go for a walk because they are so heavy and I wouldn't need their protection. I seldom wear jeans on a hike because they are too hot in summer and too cold in winter and grab at my knees when climbing. Shorts or nylon stretchable pants are preferred (and snow pants in winter) and I'd never buy them from Patagonia. Army/Navy Surplus (or Old Navy) ones are fine. I might use a hiking pole to support my old hips and knees and to help me keep my balance among rocks when I go for a hike. Never for just a walk. So I guess the key difference is terrain. Social class or clothing brands don't figure at all. Interesting question.

Allan Stellar said...

Thanks for the distinction that you provided between hiking and walking. In the UK they marry the two terms, calling it a ramble.

Ever heard the Rambler's song? A beautiful ode to a commie hiker (in the 30's) who opened up private lands to hikers in the UK. His "trespass" led to their excellent public access laws. Something we could use in the USA.

I just might borrow your description for my walking blog... if you don't mind.