Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Messing around with filters from an old camera

Do you know that the old Nikon lens that you used on your Nikon film camera will fit your new digital camera???
I know! I get really excited about things like this. But, I love these kinds of discoveries.
This is our old Nikon EM film camera (above). It's a beauty. I haven't used it for a long time... NEEDS FILM. What a drag.
But, the other day I was looking at all the attachments and checking to see if any of  them worked on my Nikon D40 camera. Some do, it seems.
The close up lens do...
And so does this yellow Spectrum 7 optical filter.

I've only begun to explore what I can do with these lens and filters but look at this...

This is a photo of the oak trees outside the bedroom window taken with my Nikon d40 and the yellow optical filter.
They come out looking like impressionist paintings.
This is one that I lightened and sharpened on Picasa3.
This filter gives the trees a magical quality that is beyond anything I can get without the filter. I need to go outside on a sunny day and see what happens using this filter. It seems to darken the shot quite a bit, but if I'm in really bright light it will probably have a light softening affect on the picture.
I just love the ethereal look to the subject matter.

Then I tried the three close up lenses. They were a Pro 52 +1, +2 and +3 lens. I threaded them all on my Nikon and ...take a look.
Carl... up close and personal.

These are not cropped photos. This is how close I was able to get with these lenses. Cool ! The only thing that I noticed was the dark corners. I'm not sure if this was the result of using three lenses all at the same time or what this was. I'm not sure how to avoid this.
I need to keep reading up on what these lenses do and how to use them.
That means a day on the Internet.
And that isn't going to happen this weekend BECAUSE....
We got a phone call yesterday and my son, my daughter in law and THE BEANS are coming up tomorrow night and will be here for the weekend.
I took a few more photos outside yesterday, without any special lenses.
So I present them to you as a pre Easter gift.
Have a good weekend.

The garden toad says Happy Easter.
 The sky, the Tulip tree and the mountains say Happy Easter, too
 And the real, little toad says "Please don't step on me."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Going once, going twice...SOLD.

We have a new auction house in town. They auction just about anything you can imagine.
Saturday morning The Prospector and I decided to go and see what they do and how they do it. What a good time we had.
The Amador Auction House  is a well organized, interesting place. It's in the old Prospect Motors building coming into town across from the park and library. I didn't think they would ever use this old car lot for anything worthwhile again... but they have.

We Got our "number" and then, because we came a little early, we got to preview the items that were going to be auctioned off.
There were books and old boxes.
There were all kinds of old bottles and lanterns.
 And signs of every kind.
There was a lot of mining equipment...
Some of the artifacts were old and antique... some not so old and from the "gold" tourist industry... but all gorgeous items.
 I loved the mining carts. They even had the track underneath them. That's how they got these very heavy carts down into the mines. Track is very hard to find now.
There were hats, holsters, and pick axes... and some fake bars of gold. Ya gotta know the difference between the real stuff and the fake. I WISH that I had a BAR of Gold.
As of 4/3/12 at 9:00 p.m. PST, the price of gold is $1,643.18 an ounce, so those "bars of gold" would not be just sittin' on a table like that if they were real.
There were heaters, old milk cans and fire extinguishers.
You can decide what you are willing to pay for something you really want... ahead of time. The preview lets you take a look at all the items, write down the number of the item and drool all over yourself. Like the wonderful old school desk that was talking to me from the minute I walked across the room.
But the desk wasn't what we came for. We were looking for old mining artifacts or something that we could use as a planter.
The auction started and what excitement it was. A noisy, fast paced process of bidding, shouting and confirmation of sale.
I bid on a box of books but someone else wanted them more than I did. I started the bidding on some of the wonderful signs ,but that Fort Defiance sign (in the fifth photo) ended up being sold for $100. I loved the signs and wanted one but I was unwilling to pay the price.
Then we focused on an old water trough that had a couple of gold signs attached. The bidding started at $25.
We went back and forth with one other person and finally.... WE won the bid.
The old trough was ours.
Oh Joy!

They had a lunch break and some entertainment.
Calamity Jane was causing all kind of trouble as she kicked a chair over and accused one of the men at the poker table of cheating.
 Our local thespians were giving us a good show and everyone had a great time.
I drove home in a raging wind and rain storm, around lunchtime, worried about the dogs. The Prospector stayed to see the rest of the auction... and the entertainment.
Yesterday, the Prospector drove the truck downtown and picked up our "water trough" planter..
We are delighted with it.
Here it is next to the garage.
It came in two pieces. The legs and frame are separate from the box. There is a sign on the front that says
"REAL GOLD" and one on the end that I forgot to take a "before" picture of.  The Prospector unscrewed them from the front and side of the trough so I could paint them. I have redone them with acrylics and today I gave them a coat of Urethane.
We lined the box with a metal liner and filled it with dirt. Now I can filled it with all kind of beautiful flowers for summer.
The signs turned out nice. It was fun to work on them. The old outlines of the words were there so I just redid what had already been there before.
The sign above ended up looking like this...
And the smaller sign that will be put on the end facing the driveway looks like this...
I think that this trough was used for a panning tough in a state park like Columbia, CA. to teach tourist how to pan for gold... but, for the rest of its life it will be holding flowers.
The auction was really a lot of fun, even though I didn't stay for the whole day. I wanted to bid on so many things but you have to stay focused and you really have to stay within your budget.
Some items went for a lot more than I thought they were worth. But, what is the worth of something when you really want it? I guess only the person who bids on that wonderful thing that "has their name on it" knows what it's REAL worth is.
But we are so happy with our new planter and the experience was really great.
The storm brought us a wild auction day and a rainbow at the end.
This seemed like a happy day to us.

Guess who called me last night? THE BEAN.
My grandson called to thank us for the birthday present and we talked for quite a while.
 He says that I need an IPad so I can learn to play games better and practice more.
 He says that the IPad would be a better choice than an IPhone. It's bigger and "Is more fun."
So, I have it on the best authority, that I need to invest in another form of electronics to improve my life and "play games better." He proceeded to tell me how to play a specific game which I didn't understand at all, but he was being very patience with me. After all, I'm his Noni. and he knows how easily I can "drop my transmission" over these games.
He's seven. He knows everything about computer generated games and programs and "apps".
I just love listening to him tell me how to do things.
He is such a smart little boy and he is so full of knowledge about the things that are important to him.
I'm still not sure how to play these games but I sure like the idea of carrying the Internet around in my purse.
IPhone? IPad? IPhone? IPad? Kindle? Laptop? Oh my gosh!  I know they all have different uses but I'm so confused . I will have to have another discussion about this with the Bean, before I buy something. He'll probably be eight by the time I buy anything. He'll be even smarter by then.
His brother talked to me too. Little Bean is fine. He was watching TV at the same time so I only got bits and pieces of a conversation.... but, he's fine.
Then I got to talk to my son.
I love it when they call.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky.” ~ William Wordsworth~

It rained all day yesterday. Heavy rain, dark skies... and wind.
Late in the afternoon the sky lightened and small openings of sunlight came through the clouds. Knowing  this  combination of storm and sun would produce a rainbow, I took the camera outside and waited.
There it was...from one canyon to another.
From one neighbor's house...
To the other neighbor's creek.
And then... a pale image of another rainbow appeared beside the first.

No pot of gold... simply a refraction of light split into a spectrum of color.
 But, the beauty of this rainbow has lasted, in my mind's eye, and made this Palm Sunday more than it could ever have been.
 Because of this rainbow I stood in the rain and saw my own humanity reflected from the earth that I love, into the sky and back again. As if this magical light was created not only for my eyes, but for everyone.
I wish this rainbow on the world... that its beauty brings a moment of happiness... of joy... to everyone on this Sunday before Easter.
I'm not sure about the reasons... the stories of this man... this savior... this son of god.
 But, I know that I saw a rainbow and watched my life take a step closer to heaven.

This is for my family. This is also for my friend Carol, my cousin Jeanne and my sister. With hope that they will always see the rainbows in their lives.