Yesterday there were massive rains on the mountain. I am told that it even dislodged borders that rolled into the streets causing massive damage to cars and the roadway. I took another two more hikes after the rain, last evening and again this morning. Here are few shots, particularly of flora and snails. At the end I came across an amazing rock formation, a kind of bunker, but my photos do not do it justice. I have included a few so that you can get the idea.
This morning as the sun came up the dew was thick upon the grass and near me was the camera with the 200-500mm lens on it. Nikon says it is good for macro photography so why not? Being a 6 pound lens it is a bit unwieldy for a lot of close work (close being relative, roughly 5 feet away) but it did yield nice, crisp shots with beautiful bokeh even at f5.6.
I have often been told by professional friends that giving yourself an assignment is the best way to keep yourself engaged and learning in your photography. I have done this in various ways, but especially in just taking pictures of what I see everyday. A recent post on Digital Photography School makes the same point. I even have an entire flickr set just for backyard photos. These few show some extremes in lens length.
I have loved orchids ever since I first read Nero Wolfe as a kid (Timothy Hutton did a great TV adaptation a few years ago). I already enjoyed horticulture and to have a detective-hero who had his own greenhouse where he nurtured and nursed his blooming children made it obvious that I had to have a few plants of my own. In those days orchids were very hard to find. Now they are in every grocery store, or so it seems. My wife has recently developed an appreciation of the delicate blooms as well and rather than giving her cut flowers that would fade and die in a few days, this anniversary I got her a small phalaenopsis. In the sunlight the blooms are translucent and gorgeous.
This is the building in which my office is housed. It was originally built in 1937 (see image below) and was a woman’s residence hall and was named after Frances Washburn Atherton, the wife of the 4th president of Penn State. In 1997 construction began on creating office space within Atherton, already an honors residence hall, for the newly founded Schreyer Honors College.
We had a beautiful evening last night, dining at the Mount Nittany Inn, overlooking Penns Valley.
I am back from my trip to Freiburg, Germany. It was a very productive time and on the last day, yesterday, the sun broke through just long enough to get some pictures at the flower market taking place in the Freiburg Münsterplatz. This statue, presumably of St. George, since he is slaying a dragon, and this older women were vigilant.