Trying Out the New Camera at the WPA Rock Garden

It was overcast and dark this morning, and we had rain by about noon…  Sergeant Margie and I were out the door by about 6:45 am and went over to the WPA Rock Garden for our walk.  There was a race taking place near there today, so we made sure we were out before that started.  With the cloud cover there was some good “half light” that makes it easier to take photos (no “washout” from sun glare or harsh shadows).  I just tested out the new camera, putting it through its paces to see what it could do.  The macro settings are slightly better than my old camera, but the telephoto range is exceedingly enhanced, so I’m able to do some better long-distance shots (which will help when I’m “birding” or trying to get photos of wildlife like deer and coyotes).  We saw a couple of different kinds of caterpillars today, including a baby Tobacco Hornworm, a tiny first instar Gulf Fritillary caterpillar, and a kind of Leafroller (Agathodes designalis¸ I think) that was just starting to weave its “nest” and pulling the leaf together over itself.  I can’t describe how small of these guys were; to the naked eye they were thin pencil-line specks… but the super-macro setting on my camera was able to pick them up with some pretty good detail, so I was very pleased with that.

            On the telephoto side, I got some long-distance shots of a hummingbird and a crow, and some of the ducks in the pond.  I need more practice with that to avoid camera “shake” over the long distance.  I also tried out the “continuous” mode that keeps the camera taking photo after photo until you release the button.  I got some photos of geese flying with that.  Again, I need practice, but I was pleased with my first-time attempts.

            We walked around for about 2 hours and then headed back home.

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