Saturday, May 28, 2016

McKee Gardens

One of the coolest things about being a Bok Tower member is that they have a reciprocal agreement with a bunch of other museums and gardens in Florida, including McKee Botanical Gardens right here in Vero Beach. Heather and I took a stroll through there this morning. Here's some pictures:

The big attraction at McKee right now is this series of sculptures made by a guy they call "The Stickman"
 The sculptures are made from willow branches, and they are intended to be left in place until they decay naturally.
Here is Heather inside one.
And me inside one.
Heather inside the sculpture, me outside.
As always, the grounds at McKee are amazing.
This looked like a creamcicle, but I was a little hungry.
Make sure you enlarge this picture - there are weird little blue bees flying around the pink thingy.
A dragonfly sitting on a pink thingy that hasn't blossomed yet.
Fishies in one of the ponds.
A pink flower with his arms outstretched.
A very perfect purple flower.
Another slightly different purple flower.
Part of a plant with curly thingies.
Heather asked me if the camera does macro. Here is a ant.
Another close up of an orange flower that had looked like it was singing and had a slight mustache on it's lower lip. Must be a baritone.
More ants and singing flowers with mustaches. Or maybe they are gold fishes.
A pointy red flower.
I just liked this leaf. I think I will paint or draw it later.
This flower looks like a line of flamings doing a conga dance.
These flowers looked like dancing ladies in swirling skirts.
This was an actual critter, a millipede of some kind. Well, I think it was a millipede, but I didn't actually count.
I took this picture for mom, it looks like a sunflower, but a totally different color.
This was a red pineapple. I don't think this kind is edible though. Well, I mean, I guess technically anything is edible if you are hungry enough, but that doesn't mean it won't kill you.
A widdle bitty bunny came out to say hi to us.
Did I mention it is a beautiful day here today?
I love the bumpy things on this plant. I wish I knew braille. But then again, maybe it says something like, "Stop touching me."
A flouncy red and yellow flower. I wish I had a dress that looked like this.
Lobster claws. I didn't taste one though, so can't vouch for the tastiness of them.
A softball made of little yellow flowers.
This looks like that opera house in Australia.
Heather theorized that maybe they tried painting the opera house green first and then changed their mind when they saw the white one.
Loved the color on this plant. I would like a fancy velour tuxedo in these colors.
More dancing ladies, but in different color dresses than the ones we saw earlier.
A different bumpy plant. 

If you want to know the actual names of the plants, go up to McKee gardens, most of them have name tags. And don't forget that if you are a Bok Tower member, you get in free.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

New Camera

I just had my 20th anniversary at work. I have been wanting a new point and shoot for hiking, and a Canon PowerShot was on the list of anniversary gifts, so I ordered it. It came yesterday. The good news:
  • Digital point and shoots have come a LONG way in the last few years.
  • Much faster response time than the last generation of point and shoots
  • The zoom is amazing
  • It weighs about 3 ounces
The bad news:
  • It still isn't quite as fast as my real Canon
  • I think it will require a tripod for really long shots (but in the camera's defense, I was really drunk when I was trying to read the user guide last night, so maybe I just don't understand what I'm supposed to do to make image stabilization work)
Overall though, I think it will be great for long hikes and anywhere that I don't want to lug the big lens. And I'm very happy with the close ups. Here is the first set of pictures I took around the house and at the stick marsh last night. 

Nummy was very interested in the camera until I gave him the box it came in. He really really likes the box.
Nummy on the porch.
This is the very top of the tallest pine tree in my yard. I was leaning back on my car to take it, it would not have come out this sharp if I wasn't leaning against something.
A cardinal at the stick marsh. I was pretty far away for this. It took me about 10 bad pictures to get the camera to focus.
Same as above, taken from pretty far away, and took me a long time to focus.
Turkey Vultures.
Anhinga. This was taken from really really far away at the highest zoom. It was pretty windy out there, and between the wind and being at the highest zoom, I took about 20 out of focus pictures.
More turkey vultures.
A dead caterpillar. I need to figure out how to focus up close.
You can take pictures with a fish-eye effect. This was not a good use of it.
This was a more appropriate use of the fish-eye effect.
This was one of the better shots of a great  egret.
These were some turns hanging out on the road out.
I took the tern pictures from my car at a fairly high zoom. Surprisingly little shake considering that my car was still running.
I took this picture for Heather, it made me laugh that they looked like they were singing.

I like that you can see his tongue in this one. 

Overall, I think I'm gonna like the new camera, and will like it even more once I RTFM.