Monday, September 08, 2014

Just A Chatty Post

Not having a fully functional camera has limited the posting here on the blog. I did photograph with the iPhone an interesting optic that displayed itself on the stove while we were visiting the kids. Their kitchen was full of rainbows that bounced off the walls and ceiling through prisms hanging in their windows. But later in the early evening, they called my attention to this fabulous little what? I don't know, a beautiful stovetop corona cast by the low sun shining through the backdoor peephole straight on to the stove. Is that possible? I don't know but there it was. Interesting what sunlight and glass can do. It was our own private show, just the sun shining perfectly at just the right angle.

We've been walking three miles a day. It's great to get out there everyday and walk the neighborhood streets. We have become good friends with the cats and dogs all around town. Lots of them roll over when they see us coming. They know we're good for a few minutes of sweet talking, and petting their furry bellies. There should be a photo or two here of Chloe the ancient golden lab, or Bella the skinny little black and white kitty that jumps off the porch and runs to us every time.

We've gone to look at a few houses that are for sale here. We do laugh a lot about the housing inventory. It's some of the worst stuff we have ever seen. Houses built in the 1940s and 50s, single pane windows, no insulation, and never upgraded. Oh that kitchen formica, pink with gold triangles! It's like a walk back in time to a really bad era of crappy construction and bad ideas. We did see one house that was on the side of town we want to live, with a view of the bay, facing south. Oh wow, we were hopeful until we walked in. The best we could have done was just bull-doze the place and start over. Not sure we want to do that, at least not yet. We'll wait a little longer and see what else comes on the market.

We did go to the closest big-box store and actually get our hands on a few cameras. I was most interested in the Lumix FZ70 and the Canon SX50. They were both there and comparably priced. We played with the zoom; we got a sense of how they felt in our hands with the viewfinder close to our eyes. We liked them both. So, I googled around for comparisons of the cameras and read some interesting stuff that was way over my head with details. The bottom line was that they were both fine and good and equally capable of capturing what I hoped to be seeing. I started leaning toward buying the Canon just because I've had two Lumix cameras and thought it might be time for a change. Then my brother alerted me to where I could get the Lumix for almost half the price of the big box store price. Well, that tipped the scales for me. The camera is due to arrive on Wednesday and it comes with a 16gb memory card and carrying case. We're pretty excited about it. A 60X optical zoom seems crazy, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try. We'll probably look so closely at the herons and egrets, we'll see their feathery dreams!


  1. Congratulations on the new camera! I can't wait to see the photos!

    As for the housing inventory, oy!

  2. Hum, from the sounds of things you might ought to buy the land and build what you want.
    So glad you have found the camera you want. 60X zoom? Mercy,
    About that stove top corona, I am convinced that Nature is so delighted with you that she shows her best stuff for your eyes..

  3. This might be a double post; I had trouble posting. Anyway, the corona on the stove is almost certainly caused by edge refraction. A strong source like the sun shining through a very small aperture like the peephole is almost a perfect recipe for getting edge refraction.

  4. There is a Seattle blog called which has the most AMAZING photos and text about birds and other animals. The guy must live in the wetlands to get the shots! I think you would enjoy looking at it.

  5. CCorax-- The camera is supposed to arrive today. I can't wait to try it out. A walk at the marsh seems like the right thing on this sunny, sunny day!

    Arkansas Patti-- We looked at a house yesterday that had the most beautiful view of the bay. But, as is the norm here, the house was a quirky wild mess of rooms off of rooms, no real front door, and a redwood forest in the backyard! Even the real estate agent said, "You know how Arcata houses are, right?" We laughed and laughed.

    Mark-- I wondered what that effect might be. It does cast a beautiful display of color. I'm always so grateful when someone knows what these effects are called. Thank you!

    isabelita-- Thank you for the link. I'll head over and take a look.

  6. Robin Andrea and Roger: Can't wait to see more images--give the new camera a full workout!

    It hasn't been very long since you moved; I thought you were going to "hang loose" and rent for a while. Best wait for something good to come along, or take Arkansas Patti's advice! It sounds like you're getting "antsy."

  7. Scott-- We are renting a little house and absolutely enjoying the neighborhood and the walks. We would like to buy something, but very few homes come on the market here, so we have to be pretty attentive.

  8. Congrats on the new camera. I'm sure you will be putting it to good use. We had one of those little light shows caused by our peep hole. I don't think I would have noticed it, but one of the cats up on a table trying to bat it off the wall.

  9. Pat-- I'm learning how to use the new camera. It's a bit heavier than the old one and has some new features that I don't understand yet. I tried reading the manual and that went right over my head. I'm really not a photographer at all.

  10. Robin, I just realized that I said "edge refraction" and I really meant "edge diffraction." Refraction is what happens when light passes from one medium to another, like going from air to water. Diffraction is what happens when light passes an opaque edge, like a when it goes through a peephole.