Sunday, June 8, 2008

George Money and the Lens

We finally got our George money (also known as Bush money, guv'mnt money, or economic stimulus money). We had decided to buy a new lens for the camera to boost the economy. Not having thought to ask our accountant how much we would get, we were stunned at how small the check was. "Are you sure there isn't another check in there?"

We decided to get the lens anyway. (So "Happy Father's Day" and "Happy Birthday." Oh, and "Thanks George") Having gotten the lens, I was ready to shoot birds. Unfortunately, we are having record-breaking high temperatures and the birds are pretty quiet. I decided to stay off the deck and let them eat and drink in peace.

Then I remembered the swallows. Hey, they are living in the cabana by the lake. Surely they would be active. I drove down to the swimming hole and found lots of parents (the human kind) at the cabana. I walked down anyhow to take a look. Yes, there was the swallow, getting ready to take off in search of food.

She came back with food and circled around several times over the heads of the people standing there. Finally, she took the food to the nest.

I didn't get a picture of her actually feeding the little ones. Some really cute smarty pants 8-year-old decided to cannonball into the water and splash right where I was standing. Since the lens is brand new, I certainly didn't want it to get wet. So I left.
When I got back to the car, I took a shot of the parents "watching" their kids. As far as I can see, only the man on the left is paying any attention to the swimming area. The man on the right, with his hand on the post is standing directly under the swallow's nest.
I'm hoping to become more skilled at using this marvelous little toy and to be a bit above novice for the fall migration.
Meanwhile, there's no relief in sight for our almost unprecedented heat wave. So please dance a rain dance and send us some rain.


Mary said...

Carolyn, you KNOW I'm dancing for you! I'm just crushed about this quick turn in weather and I imagine a heat wave in the mountains is worse... Too much to block cooler winds? Our air quality stinks so close to a city.

I love swallows. I saw two Barn Swallows perch on my gutters a few days ago, only a few feet from where they lived under my porch roof for a summer. I know they built a nest elsewhere...

Your photos are great! Keep practicing with that lens and show us more - when the heat wave passes. Fingers crossed.

We might have rain next week. Yeah, right :o)

mon@rch said...

Carolyn, great choice in spending Georges money and those swallows were good subjects to photograph! Nice to meet you and see you have many other great blogging friends visiting your site (hey Mary)!

The Birdlady said...

Hot everywhere! REALLY HOT! I guess the truth is the is a lot more seasonal that the temps in the 40's a couple of weeks ago. I like it hot, but this is too much even for me! The AC chugs away nonstop, and the thermometer says 74, but it doesn't really feel cool, even inside. Congratulations on the new lens.. I'm dancing ...

KGMom said...

George money? My first reaction--huh? And then I started laughing.
You will have fun, and so will we as we get to see the pics.

Kerri Farley said...

We haven't gotten our "George money" yet....but it should be coming by June 13 or so says the little note we got the in mail today. I have a Nikon D40X...and currently have the AF-S Nikkor 55-200 lens.....thinking of upgrading to the 300 but not sure how much more I would gain. I REALLY LOVE to take shots of birds...they are my favorite subject.

SOOOOO HOT here too, but they say possible rain/thunderstorms by Wed or Thursday....I hope you get some too!!!

Love the shots of the swallows!!

Ruth said...

Great swallow pictures. We have had a heat wave in Ontario since Friday, but it is going to end tomorrow.:-)
I cannot complain.

NCmountainwoman said...

Mary - I know you are dying too. A friend was in Charlotte yesterday and said it was just awful.

Mon@rch - Thanks for the comments. It will take me a long while (if ever) to get to your level of expertise.

Helen - Don't dance too hard in that weather! I think a mental dance might do just as well.

KGMom - I am having fun with the lens...sort of like a kid with a new toy.

Kerri - Thanks. We got the Nikkor 70/300 after looking a lot online and talking with friends. The person at the camera shop strongly agreed it was best for our use. Its automatic and VR features make is easy for a novice, but its manual adjustments are great for someone with more expertise.