Friday, January 3, 2014

Today's walk report: 010314

Looking out the wrong window.

If I think it might be an especially good walk day for shooting a sunset I either look out a small west facing window from where I'm sitting or better yet I get off my butt and walk outside to confirm the sky. The reasons for checking are, deciding what lenses I'm going to carry and also what time I want to leave. Well, I didn't look out that window nor did I go outside. I looked out the window directly in front of me. That window faces north, northeast. I did however leave at a time to catch the sunset around the 6.5 km mark from the top of the hill. The down side of leaving late to time my location to the setting sun is it means poor light for the rest of the walk. Plus it was partly cloudy, that's what made me think it might be a nice sunset for pics.

As soon as I got a clear view looking west I realized I wasn't going to catch a beautiful sunset, in fact it appeared as though I wasn't going to get much of one at all. There was a marine layer out to the west and it only got closer and denser as the walk proceeded.

I've said before, if I'm taking a picture of a squirrel it's a sorry picture taking day.

This is a terrible picture but I wasn't going to slow down so I could focus manually. I just wanted to point out that it was feeding time for the horses, this guy obviously knew that and was perhaps thinking somebody was a little late. He'd pick up that food bucket and swing it around a bit and then throw it down, seemingly frustrated, only to do it again moments later. When I got to the gate leading into the equestrian unit a girl was pulling up to unlock it and go in. I asked her if she was feeding the horses. It turns out she was going in to feed the horses up above in the barn. Anyway, I let her know about this guy's frustration and she said he'll be like that 5 minutes after he's fed too. I commented that I've known plenty of people who have done the same. I'm going to guess it takes a fair amount of time for a horse's brain to get the message its stomach is full and even then such a message probably doesn't matter much.

Top of the hill and yes, I was right... forget about the sunset. There was this guy again and I barely got this shot off. The shadows in this image were cranked way up (lightened) in Photoshop so I could confirm the bird and so you could see too. By this time it was no-go on the sunset and pretty poor lighting for much else photo-wise. I wrote about correcting the ID on this bird just the other day and I ended up correcting that again since. This is not a merlin (Falco columbarius), it's a prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus). Merlins are smaller, not much larger than a American kestral.

Same 8.79 km, still a bit of a struggle today but I pushed myself through the midway point and I felt great coming home.

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