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I Got a Nikon Camera

Let's just say at the outset that Ron Rash's The Cove is a fantastic read, that, if you have the time,  I highly recommend. So good in fact, that this early to bed woman stayed up until midnight finishing it, as if she were a young girl again. The shocking ending was on my mind a good bit yesterday.

With that out of the way, let's recap the storm. It's finally out to sea, which is probably about all you need to know, however, I've still got a few more things to say about the ordeal. Mistletoe is not something that gets a lot of attention at this time of the year. I'm thinking mistletoe comes up in conversation for only about two weeks of the year, aren't you? Furthermore, you've probably only seen small branches, right? Cleaning up the yard debris, post Debby, I dragged this bunch out to the curb, placing it beside the bin to give you a bit of context regarding the size of said mistletoe!
Although I can see more up in the tree, I had no idea how large it was until this one broke off, tumbling onto the grass. By the time I completed the pick up, both cans were overflowing! A little later in the evening I noticed that the sky was finally another shade of color other than gray. Talking to Regina out front, I kept one eye on the sky, hoping that indeed it would turn red as I've found over time that the old "red sky at night" is pretty darn accurate.
Except when I awoke yesterday morning it was raining. Not a lot, and certainly not enough to keep me from my bike ride, but still, it was difficult to read my rain-covered odometer. Finally, finally, the wet blanket left us in the afternoon, leaving behind these lovely clouds.
And that was that. Today, the sky is a blank slate of blue, with brilliant, live giving sunshine. :)

I must admit that for some time now I've been thinking of getting a new camera. Did I need one? Maybe not, but ever since I broke the flash on my Nikon D60 a year ago, it's been on my mind. I don't use the flash very frequently, but when I have needed it, it's not been there for me. Totally my fault because I placed it on the high counter at the Polasek reception desk one day, and somehow it got knocked off, falling about 45'' onto the hard tile. So, there was that reason, along with the advancement in technology over the last four years. Finally, I needed to spend some of my earnings for tax purposes. So, off I went yesterday afternoon to Colonial Photo and Hobby where I've purchased both my Nikon D60, and Olympus EPL1. I asked for the entry level Nikon that could be purchased as a body only because I wanted to continue to use my two Nikon lenses. I came home with a Nikon D5100 and a new toy--a macro lens made my Tamron. While mulling over the purchase I noticed a sign advertising money for trade-ins, and because I had my D60 in the car, I went and got it for their inspection. Turns out the cost to fix the flash would be more than it is worth. Oh well, it didn't hurt to try.

Immediately upon taking my purchases to the car I put the new lens on the D60, got back out of the car looking for something to photograph in their parking lot. Here's the first shot with the new lens.
Crazy, right? It is a hole in a piece of wood by the trash can. Because there is a $100 mail in rebate that expires in a few days (great timing right?), I wanted to see if this purchase was right for me. The guy explained I had a few days to try it out. Once home, I asked Baxter if he wanted to accompany me to Regina's house and he said he was more than happy to do so. Although I now have many flowers in my own yard to photograph, she has some things in her back garden with loads of texture like this:
Meanwhile the new battery was charging up. First thing this morning I went to Ken Rockwell's website, a guy who explains all things Nikon including this astute comment:

"To get great photos you still need to get yourself to the right placeat the right time and point the camera in the right direction, which is a lot harder than mastering the D5100. Right out of the box at default settings, the D5100 does a great job all by itself. Making a great photo involves locationstimingpatience and a whole lot more. I cover this more important stuff here." 

Will the new stuff make me a better photographer? Probably not. New inspiration--for sure.

Something so random happened today while playing bridge. A woman stopped, saying how the eight of us looked like we were having so much fun. She was right, we were. Barbara told us a little about herself and before you know it she was handing out cards, saying she lived just down the street in one of the oldest homes in Maitland. Hmmm.....

Because I had my new stuff in the car I decided to take her up on the offer of a visit. Well now. Several years ago I wrote this post  about visiting a home that was filled with all sorts of wonder. Same thing today beginning with the sign out front declaring "Martha Stewart Doesn't Live Here." Barbara was an absolute delight from the moment I met her on her front sidewalk as she guided me to her home over the phone. Eclectic--you bet!
First we did a tour of their one acre which is filled with all sorts of stuff, including a back building which once was a chicken coop, now turned into a rental property. We roamed, we chatted. In all my years I've never once seen a swimming pool that is mostly a very, very large oval hole, with a fancy liner, and edged with rock. Very clever indeed. Eventually we made our way onto the porch where most of their living is done, as it probably once was back in the late 1800's when the house was built. Apparently when they bought the property 25 years ago it was headed for the wrecking ball. Sadly because I am not adept with the new lens just yet my photograph of Barbara did not turn out, but I did manage to take a few of some of her collections.
These days, instead of selling plants and flowers as she once did, she is spending time going to estate sales with starting a business in old collectibles as her goal. Of course I was crazy about this old case of Coca Cola.
Made of metal, the handle in the middle pulls up when you lift it. Life before plastic--hard to imagine. The inside walls of her high ceiling rooms are adorned with sleighs, bicycles and other stuff which I've already forgotten. I definitely should have gone to the car for a different lens! All in all, it was such a great random visit which I think will turn into something more. Don't know just how yet, but I've got a feeling.

While we're on the subject of plastics, how about this happy news that Google is manufacturing in the United States. Reading the article I kept thinking to myself, with the cost of shipping I've never fully understood the rush to China.

Once I was home this afternoon Matt called despite feeling a bit under the weather. It is way too complicated for me but the short version is that Apple is no longer hosting my website so an alternate had to be found before June 30. You are correct if you thought he was the man for the job.

Dinner is calling and after just getting off the phone with Michelle, a photo pick up is in store for tonight. I can't wait to see her reaction!
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