Saturday, October 12, 2013

Family Time

Need help with technology like your new cell phone?
Conventional (modern) wisdom:
Ask a kid for  help.
"This new cell phone!  I can't figure it out!"  my visiting Mom said.

Mom: "Here comes a likely looking kid...wonder if he could help me out."

Luke: Let me take a look.

Luke: Oh yeah, I know this one.

Luke: You see, you just click this key and then scroll up...

Luke: Hit the right arrow key and then click end.

Luke: (I really don't understand why they have so much trouble with new phones and stuff. Just glad I am here to help Great Grandma out.)
Actually she was just having a hard time seeing the phone screen in the direct sunlight while she was attempting to take pictures with her new phone.
Luke didn't really help.

The out of town alternate sponsor grandparents were also in town for a visit this weekend.
We met up at Wheeler Farm, a historical farm property in town where there is a fantastic playground, farm animal to pet, and old time farm buildings and equipment to explore.
Group photo time!
Bernie got back in town too.
The menfolk.
After photo ops, it was off to see the farm animals.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend Canada.
He is glad he's a turkey in the USA right now...shhh...don't tell him about November here.

There were no Canada goose on the farm for some strange reason.
Oh wait.
Canada's Thanksgiving weekend.
They must have all gone home for the holiday.
The "regular" geese had the run of the place.

Geese and ducks had the run of the place, as well as a visiting (exactly) one and a half year old.

Dad can really make them water fowl move!

Dad can also help a boy reach a penned up farm animal too.


Farm animals faces...

These animals are so gentle.
Kids visit the farm all the time; they seem really good with small folk getting up close with them.

And then there was another awesome tractor!
Kids were lining up to sit on the tractor.

Three Chinese boys were having a blast pretending to steer the tractor.
The boy in the back was in tears; he wanted to drive!
Their mom spoke to them in Chinese: I would have enjoyed hearing how she was managing this sibling pecking order crisis.

Then it was Luke's turn.

Loving it!

Oh to be so young that such a simple thing as steering a parked tractor could produce such joy.

Or hugging a goat...

Wheeler Farm is photo op heaven.
Families were posing everywhere.
Rachel took advantage of a less popular setting. it brought back 30 year ago memories of potty training for her mom.
Everyone clap!

Having four generations together for an outing is such a blessing and was so much fun.

Luke said he could drive everyone home...

Mom listened to his offer.

Uh huh.
Learner's permit.

I think I will wait until you've have a bit more experience behind the wheel.
But thanks for offering!

She rode home with Bernie and me instead.
(Just kidding about Luke driving of course.  He is still a terrible driver so we make him ride strapped into the backseat in his regulation car seat.  For now anyway.)

Back at Jeff's house we sat outside in the  warm sunshine and watch the breeze blow leaves through the air.

The tiny pine cones were also shedding their pollen.

One touch and a cloud of yellow pollen released into the air.
Fall...falling pollen, falling leaves, whatever.
Quite a season here on the Planet isn't it?
Happy Autumn weekends everyone!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Test Drivin', pt. 2: Lamb's Canyon/ Neff's Canyon

From East Canyon and Emigration Canyon I headed about five miles further east to Lamb's Canyon.
This shot is with the wide angle, and shows the width capture.

The colors were bold and bright.
I was there just after noon.

Lamb's Canyon is accessed via narrow almost one lane road with few areas to pull over.
Lack of roadside parking usually keeps me away from this canyon; it is just too painful to see beauty and not have a way to jump out of the car to get a picture.
There is parking at the foot of the canyon and that is where I was shooting these pictures.

At the top of the road there is another parking area with several trailheads for hikers to enjoy.
The snow was still around and added a nice touch to the glowing aspens bounded by a rustic fence.
This was another wide angle shot.

Another wide angle.

Wide angle.

Wide angle...isn't that spiral of color radiating down the hill interesting?

Wide angle.

Wide angle.
I always marvel at how aspen groves can be half green and half yellow.
Even three aspen standing in a row will change at different rates, and the next row will sometimes be changing in the opposite order than the first row!

Wide angle.
I did find having the wide angle lens was useful for getting the entire tree into a portrait orientation shot.

There is a gate at the parking area; residents were unlocking the gate to drive down the hill.
I would love to be able to drive the rest of way up the canyon.
Maybe someday I will hike it.
This shot was taken with my 60mm lens.
As was this.

I still am not convinced that it would be worth dropping over $600 to get the whole tree in pictures like this one.

The way aspen flare up in the midst of conifer is such fun.

The air up there was scented in a wonderful blend of fresh snow, water, pine, tree mulch...a mix that no room deodorizer can ever match.
The sound of the running stream punctuated with the occasional rattle of aspen leaves over head...a symphony that can't be duplicated outside of nature.

One tree had turned pink.
Absolutely pink!
I stopped the car and shot out my car window, hoping that no one would be coming down the road behind me.

The white berries were quite thick in the area.

I love it when the fallen leaves create a colorful edge on the canyon roads.

This was done with my 60mm.
Not sure having more width could have improved the shot.

Same thought here.
I was attempting to make the middle ground patch work of colors the subject of the photo.
More width...would that have helped?
I don't think so.

Now maybe more in terms of width would have been "more" in this photo of trees with just seeds left on their branches.

It was here where I was joined by a moose.

More height probably would have made this photo ever more dramatic.
I am satisfied with it as it stands.
I stayed with my 60mm for the rest of the time in Lambs.

Will I ever get over the stripes on the hillsides?
I don't see any reason to.
Scenes like this brings back memories of doing fall poster paint pictures in Kindergarten and first grade, using bits of sponge dipped into the fall colors of paint to make pictures of autumn trees.
I was fascinated with the whole thing: the paint, the smell of the poster paint (I think it was mixed with liquid starch, which has a unique sweet scent) and vibrant colors.
I was also fascinated by the whole idea of autumn.
Southern California palm trees ignore autumn.
Fall color is basically a dull butterscotch tone on a few plants.
I always felt gypped knowing elsewhere there was an explosion of color going on.

More pink leaves!
Isn't that a fantastic assortment of colors?

The white berries on deep red stems surrounded with dappled leaves that slowly turn red from the tip up.
I left Lamb's Canyon and got on the 80 going west.
The 80 goes east to Park City and west to Salt Lake, and winds through some amazing scenery that drives me batty to have to speed past as everyone seems to think driving on the 80 means you drive at 80.
As in 80mph.
With a steady stream of full sized cargo trucks roaring by anyone going any slower.

This time I noticed there was a meadow area just off the freeway.
I had my all wheel drive; what the heck.
I veered right and went off the freeway.
Took a wide angle shot and thought I was glad I had the extra width in the lens.

This was the same shot taken with my 60mm.
Yes, there is a difference in how far away/up close one feels.
Which view grabs you?
I think I kind of like the truck and cars in the shot.
That ordinary life goes on even as the earth celebrates.

Next I swung off the 80 and headed south on the 215 belt way and up to Neff's Canyon, the canyon I had visited on Friday and lusted for the wide angle lens.
Yes....the wide angle shows the valley view better.

The entire floor of the Neff's Canyon and surrounding peaks is captured in one shot.

I was shooting in front of the cars parked at the edge of the canyon floor.
I walked behind the cars and discovered these two canine characters taking in the parking lot view.
Cars and people coming and going: So much more interesting to dogs.
A few minutes later their owner came and let them out to go for a run up the canyon.

The path that leads into the canyon rarely has people on it.
People hike on the trails that run up beside the canyon floor.
(An aside: Last night I read a psychological test that uses mental images.  First you were asked to imagine a forest.  Was it light or dark?  Next: Did the forest have a path you were following or not?
I was kind of surprised that in my imagination my forest didn't have a path.
I remember a similar test that was going around when I was in my 20s. This time, I discovered that I am actually in a pretty good place, that being forty years older has worked for me.
My pretend beach had no people on it!)

Back to Neff's.
I like the way the bare tree branches framed the scene.

The wide angle lens works well with this view.
I am sure my 60mm couldn't grab this shot.

Would I want to spend $600 in order to get these shots when ever I want?
But...if I DO want to get the shot, I can always rent the lens for $20.
I can rent it for a week for $80 if I am going on vacation.
My math skills are pretty flighty, but I think at this point the rental option is going to be my option of choice.
To be continued....