January 31st, 2023
So Excited! I have a new toy! Tim took pity on my pathetic attempts to take photos one handed/left handed and got me a monopod! That's me using it in the photo above. If you've never heard of one before, it's sort of like a camera tri-pod only instead of three legs, it has one.
It telescopes down into the smallest little, no big deal thing to carry around, screws right into the base of the camera and provides stability that even my sad little excuse for a very limited right arm can hold steady while my left goes ahead and hits whatever buttons are required. AND the monopod can even be used as a walking stick. It. Is. Awesome. !!!
Even when my arm is healed and I'm back to what passes for normal, I can foresee that I will continue to use this device. The one and only downside that I can see is that since I don't constantly telescope it up and down, I'm walking around with it fully extended. Which means that you probably should never walk behind me. You might get whacked with a stick.
It's not intentional, I assure you. But as you know, I do not hear very well. With my hearing aids on and paying close attention I do really well with what is going on in front of me. Behind me is an entirely different matter. Anything that happens behind me is a mystery and ultimately a surprise. At least for me it is.
But honestly, if I took the time to constantly extend and retract the monopod, I would miss at least half of the shots I wish to take. So selfishly, since I'm out and about with the intention of taking photos, the monopod will be extended to my eye level (which is not fully extended by the way - I am a shorty after all) and stay that way until I am done. I'm sure that is a very selfish attitude, for which I apologize. But I'm so excited to be able to take photos again without the constant fear of dropping the camera and while doing all sorts of upsidedown and sideways contortions. Pleas forgive my self-centeredness!
Tim was able to run interference for me on this past Saturday while we took it out for a test drive. And I made every effort to be cognizant of where the stick was as I was walking around. But since that was my maiden voyage with the monopod, I still needed to get the "hang" of working with it, that was best done under supervision and with a kindly person to keep me from injuring myself or others. Tim volunteered.
He found a place that was sparsely populated which was perfect. Tim walked me through the process of getting it set for my use and then we headed out. And the very first thing we saw was an Osprey on the ground. What? Aren't those things supposed to be in the air? We observed, from a distance as the bird called and hopped a little bit, extended his wings and called again. If you've never heard an Osprey, the sound is kind of bone chilling at first. It's almost a scream but mournful. And they are not small birds either. So imagine being a tiny unsuspected little mousie and hearing that sound. Yikes.
The above is the bird in question. Clearly on the ground. As we watched and wondered if he was okay, some fool walked his dog over to the Osprey. Luckily it was just a big old golden retriever who was a sweet natured, goober of a dog, but the Osprey wasn't at all happy about it. You'd think that the dog owner would have picked up on that fact, but nope, he allowed his dog to sniff and caper and be silly with the bird who was Not Happy about it. As Tim called for the guy to leave the bird alone, we made our way closer. Finally the fellow left. (What is wrong with people?)
Before such a thing could happen again, Tim led me over to the nearby wildlife rehab center and we notified one of the people there about it. In short order the guy came out with a net, safely and gently captured the bird and brought it back to the center. He told us that the Osprey would be fine and that it only had a minor leg injury. Right now is Osprey mating season and apparently during his fancy mating dance this particular Osprey got a little carried away and hurt himself. Poor Baby. The center will sort him out and then set him free when he is healed and he will have stories to tell.
It was an exciting start to the day.
We continued on our way as I got more and more comfortable with the monopod and this new way of taking pictures. They aren't the best photos I've ever taken, but they aren't the worst either. And I swear to you, I will get better as I spend more time using this new tool. I am delighted with this gift and had such a great day!
Here are some of the Photos I took
Lots of Pelicans:
Some other birds:
And a few other random things. Yes the rando files continue :)
Not too bad for my first time with a new toy and the first photo safari (of sorts) in awhile. More photo safari's to come! I am over the moon about my new toy! Yay Monopods!
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.