It is Thanksgiving Day. I am grateful. I will take some time this afternoon to have a Thanksgiving meal (even if it is a frozen dinner) and reflect on God’s good gifts. Sera and I will get out and get in a nice hike, even if the weather is rather bleak.
I have a new computer working in the background. I started provisioning it yesterday evening. I bought an ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 to replace my aging Winder$ tower. I am confident it will blow the desktop away. It is sufficiently powerful to run my numerical models.
It will free me from the house when I have paying work to do. I have not traveled much this year because of work. Now I have the power to take my work with me.
This was one of my goals for the year. I also have reduced the number of computers to maintain, which is a lovely by-product of the change.
The image is The Girl sleeping under my worktable. She is snoozing right now, waiting for me to move like we are going to do something. So I think I will go feed her and take my morning medications. Then I can get ready to go out and get in a hike.
Happy Thanksgiving, all. I am grateful. Life is truly good.
The week was busy with work and recovery from being in the field so long. Yes, I am still recovering from that. My other work is so far behind that I am only beginning to catch up. But I should be caught up in a couple more weeks.
The Girl and I were walking Thursday about noon. We had a little rain and that softened the sand burrs that plague her on the trails at Silver Saddle Ranch. So she is enjoying the walks more.
Her toe is healing, although she still messes with it too much. I might decide to call her Sera of the three toes when I am feeling a bit ornery. She does not care1. We are also taking a little longer path that adds a quarter mile to our walk. Both of us need the exercise.
I also like to cross the ditch at one of the irrigation structures and walk along the ditch to Mexican Dam. If I time it right, or the weather is less appealing, there is little traffic on the Mexican Ditch Trail and we can get more than three miles in. Plus I get to shoot the Dam.
It was a good hike and a good day. Life is good.
1I often call her Sera Sue because I like the alliteration and rhythm.
I am working on the hydrology for one of my projects. The weather is cooler and more windy, so I do not want to get out as early.
Once I made some progress on project work and the markets, The Girl and I headed out to walk Silver Saddle Ranch. The weather today was cooler than yesterday, but also less rainy. Still, I could see rain to the north in Washoe Valley and behind Mt. Scott. A curl of rain clouds pulled south to the east of Mt. Scott, but did not seem threatening.
The Girl continues to worsen the condition of her toe with the missing nail. If I am distracted for just a moment, I will catch her licking. So, she slept in the cone-of-shame last night, wore it all morning, walked without it (but limping), and is now wearing the cone. She will get to sleep in it again tonight, although I might remove it when we sit on the sofa to relax and snuggle.
I carried the Fuji X100V with me again today. Last night I read a bit on Ritchie Roesch’s website, Fuji X Weekly about those film simulations he recommends. He has a list of seven because most of the recent Fujifilm cameras have seven custom slots. I am already using several of his recommendations, but I have some empty slots to fill and will add his recommendations. Then I will use them.
Today I used Reggie’s Portra 400 simulation, which is intended to produce results similar to the Kodak Portra 400 film stock. One of the things Reggie did was to set Auto White Balance instead of using the Daylight balance of the regular Portra simulation. This adds a little to the flexibility of the simulation. There are other details as well, but I consider them relatively minor.
I came home with a couple of decent images. That is, images that I like. I make images for me — that is, I am the only one who needs to like them. If others like them, that is good. I appreciate the acknowledgement.
Alex (The Photographic Eye) recently did a video on the subtle impact of social media on the photographs we produce. This resonated because I left Instagram a couple of months ago (again) because I was tired of doomscrolling through things I did not want to see to find those that I do. On my IG account, I sometimes posted photographs I knew would gather more “likes” partly as an experiment. It is a nice dopamine hit to see that my work is appreciated.
What Alex made me think about is the who and why of my photography. It is good for me to do something creative and that is why I do it. The photographs are for me, because there was something about the subject that attracted my eye (and my mind).
So, what I share here and also on FB are images that somehow spoke to me and caused me to pause, find a composition, and make the capture (usually several). I do not always like the end result, but I usually learn something in the process.
OK, so I do indulge a little and share a lot of Doggo images. Those are for fun (and I do love the subject) and for my dog-loving friends.
So, I like this capture of Mt. Scott and the weather over Carson City. The fall colors are mostly gone, with just a few hangers-on. We’ll soon start to see snow and some gray days and certainly cooler temperatures. But I still love the high desert and I am good so long as the sun is shining.
Today was another busy day. I worked most of the morning on the FHWA project, with help from a friend. Sera waited patiently for our daily outing, which we got about 1100h this morning.
I did not mind the late start because it was about 20F when I rose this morning. As it was, the air was cool but the sun was warm. The trail out at Silver Saddle Ranch is still plagued with sand burrs, which she always gets into her feet.
We pause now and again for me to remove them. Then off she goes in search of critters.
This afternoon was busy as well finishing up the last bit on the FHWA submittal and then with a meeting with another colleague to line out the next round of analytical work.
While I worked, she sunned herself in the backyard. I just went out to retrieve her and she is not a very dusty dog. I patted off what I could and then brought her into the house.
I am not quite sure what she wants. But I would be willing to bet it is a treat. I need to go get her a cookie.
The little Fujifilm X-E2 has a built in flash. It works.
For the last number of weeks, my daily walks have mostly been on the job site in El Dorado National Forest. By the end of the day, I was pretty much done and getting in a half-hour walk for The Girl was about all I had left in me. I sometimes carried a camera, but the creative juice just was not there.
Now that I am recovering from that slog, I have time and energy to play a little radio, work a little in my house, and do something with a camera. I am also walking an hour or so for both The Girl and I. We love those times together.
Today was a treat for a couple of reasons. First was the image above. An irrigation structure on the Mexican Ditch often returns flow to the Carson River at this location. The flow crosses the road and I love the sound and sight that it makes. With the colder temperatures of the last few nights, the cottonwoods are dropping their leaves as the color leaves them. The sight this morning made me pause for a couple of captures. I like this one.
On the way back to the rig, I was keeping an eye out for other walkers/dogs and heard a whistle behind me. For a moment I thought of the Mockingjay whistle from The Hunger Games movies. That caused me to pause and I looked behind us.
Sera came to attention. When Timber and Lisa started calling her I said “Go! See you peeps!”
She blasted off, of course and I heard Lisa call “Watch your knees!” as she blew in to greet them. Sera was all wiggles and soft looks as she interacted with some of her favorite people.
I walked back to greet them and retrieve The Girl and we walked back to my rig. We paused to visit for a few minutes. I so enjoy them and it was good to spend a few minutes catching up.
The capture was made with my Fujifilm X100V and its lovely 23mm f/2 lens. The capture was made at f/8 using the Portra-400 film simulation. I am running a light diffusion filter on the camera, which provides a more filmic look.
It has been a minute or two. After six weeks in the field overseeing a construction project, I am no longer leaving the house at 0-dark-early and returning at 1700h. That was a string of long days and a lot of physical activity.
I am recovering and resting. The last couple of days were spent catching up with things left undone. I still have a lot to do. There is also a slug of analytical work to get done and that will take a few weeks.
It is good, though. The work is good. Then I might catch a break before the next batch of projects start up. Or it might be that work slows for awhile as the consulting business has an ebb and flow.
Anyway, The Girl and I are enjoying the cooler weather. With the cool weather the risk of snakes is much reduced. Soon they will all be in their winter dens and will be of no concern until the weather warms in the spring.
I am carrying a camera again. I have a few images that need review and processing. I have a couple of new lenses to try. I want to get out and do some radio as well.
Over the last month or so, with the exception of two outings, my images were captured with normalish lenses. The two exceptions were some captures with the Nikkor 85mm f/2 and the Zuiko 85mm f/2. On a full-frame camera, like the Sony A7Sii (which I carry a lot), 85mm is a short telephoto focal length. It is most commonly used for portraits.
I start to see the telephoto effect (compression of distance, shallow depth of field) at a focal length of about 105mm. Yesterday I carried a Hanimex 135mm f/2.8 in the bag. The Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/2.8 Tessar was on the camera (Sony A7Sii) during most of our walk. Near the end of walkies, I decided to mount the Hanimex and see what that gave me.
The Hanimex was reviewed and recommended by Nigel (Zenography channel). It is not an expensive lens. They are quite common (East German Cold War era). But, they are also quite sharp, good quality, and have good contrast. I picked one up off fleaBay a few weeks ago for not much money.
Nigel is right — the lens is quite sharp, even wide open. It has good image quality. And I quite like the telephoto look of this shot of River Road from the Silver Saddle Ranch gate staging area.
The Girl and I had a good walk. The weather is cool, very much fall-like. We have had some rain and I am hopeful that keeps the wildfires away. My thought for today is that maybe we will drive up to our current favorite portable operation site this morning. We can walk some and I might set up a station and see if the bands are better (yesterday they were poor). I think I will take makings for coffee or tea.
Whatever we do, it will be good. I am grateful The Girl is strong and healthy. I do not mind that she is a bossy-bitch. Life is good.
The Girl has had a tough run of luck lately. Last week she was bitten by a rattlesnake. That caused a trip to the clinic and an overnight stay. The treatment mitigated the worst of the bite. After a couple of days of recovery, she was pretty much her usual self.
Still, I limited her crazy activity for a few days. Tuesday and Wednesday we were out in the field where I directed collection of some additional topographic data for one of our projects. She seemed her normal self, and had a blast chasing the multitude of chipmunks that inhabit the area.
Thursday evening I noticed some swelling of her muzzle. I called the vet and we traveled back to Gardnerville for another check. Her blood work was good, but the vet identified a urinary tract infection. I asked that she give an injection of antibiotic to jumpstart the process and then I would administer the remainder of the round orally.
She was not a bit good yesterday. I was able to coax her to eat a couple of scrambled eggs I made for her. That got the antibiotic in. Last night I had some leftover hamburger steak and mashed potatoes, so I was able to get the next does of antibiotic in her.
She did drink some water and ask to go out to eliminate a couple of times. So we are making progress.
This morning as I readied myself to go out, she looked at me but did not leave her spot on the sofa. I drove down to Red Hut and had some food. I brought her French toast (my leftovers) and that got another dose of antibiotic in her. She also drank some water, which is good.
Then she laid her head back down to rest. She is showing little interest when I start moving around. Normally she would be a pesty-bitch and follow me everywhere in the house, underfoot, asking to go with.
Not today… she is firmly established on the sofa.
I will leave her there and pray she is better this evening. I always hated it when my kids were sick, especially when they were small and did not understand. I feel the same for my fur-children. They know they are sick and do what comes natural to them to recover. They do not understand medical treatment, but permit us to treat them. They know we love them and are caring for them.
So, I will hope for better this evening. In the meantime, I have other things to keep me busy.
1Yes, I know that my term of endearment, fur-child, is completely inaccurate. She is not human. However, we share a bond and relationship that is as strong as I have with most humans. Do not try to tell me she does not love me — I know that she does. So, leave me alone!
Sera has a urinary tract infection. I know this because I took her to the vet yesterday evening. I noticed a bit of swelling on her muzzle and thought that there might be some residual impact from the rattlesnake bite.
I called and decided to take her down to Gardnerville to see a vet. The swelling on her muzzle was not the issue. She tested positive for a UTI. She got an injection of antibiotic and was sent home with a round of oral antibiotic.
On the way home it started raining. The light was looking good with the sun just over the Sierra Nevada. I stopped along U.S. 395 to make a few images.
I hope Sera heals quickly. She is not good at the moment.