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Loons, Monkeys, Dipmunks, and Sapsuckers

So, did y'all miss me?
You did notice that I was gone all weekend, right? RIGHT?!?!?

Well, this last weekend was the annual "kids weekend" at my parents' cabin.

And by cabin I mean 3 bedroom, 2-story plus finished basement lake home. With no air-conditioning. Boy was that nice the year it was 150º with 300% humidity...

So, pretty good sized for a "cabin" but crowded anyway. The roll call:
HellMom (aka Kathy)
HellDad (aka Jim)
hellbob
hellziggy
genevra
akdar
technomonkey_m
gigglemonkey_b
Redneck Gun Toting Brother (aka Paul)
Redneck Gun Toting Brother's Wife (aka Jen)
Redneck Gun Toting Brother's Kid (aka X)
Redneck Cousin (aka John)
Redneck Cousin's Wife (aka Janet)
Redneck Cousin's Kid (aka S)
Redneck Cousin's Kid's Cousin (aka E)
Friend of Family levertwok (aka Mark)

Yes, you counted right. 16 people in a contained space for 2.5 days. But hey, no one killed anyone else. Yay.

The weather was absolutely perfect. We could not have asked for better weather. The kids were able to spend all day Saturday in their swimsuits and play in the lake a lot. It was sunny. There was a slight breeze. Definitely lovely weather.

I got a good solid tripod from rental at work on Friday so I was all set to stalk loons w/my über-lens. Took the camera on the boat twice on Saturday and got a few good loon pics. Wily little bugger was feeling very camera shy the first time. Second time there were two of them and they were staying up and not diving. Unfortunately that was just about at sunset so I was losing light fast. Still, got some good ones.

My little Monkeys are still the cutest kids ever. X is a cute kid too, but I don't see him enough for him to adore me as much as technomonkey_m & gigglemonkey_b do. All the kids were having a fabulous time catching frogs and playing in the lake. technomonkey_m was hooked on looking through his grandpas "bignoculars." I think he called them that because when you looked through them it made things look big. :)

gigglemonkey_b decided to build a house for the "dipmunk" that lived in the woodpile. HellDad had a spot where he put seed out for the chipmunks, and that is where B decided to make it a house. She took a bunch of loose stones and put them in a circle around the seed making sure to leave a gap for the door. She was so proud of the house that we didn't have the heart to tell her that the dipmunk probably wouldn't even use the door, he'd just go over the rocks.

As were were just starting to haul stuff to the car I heard a woodpecker knocking so I looked up. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker! Sweet! I'd never seen one in the wild before, just one at banding. Of course this meant I had to grab my camera with BIG lens and tripod to try for photos. I got some OK ones.

I also got everyone else's memory cards dumped onto my computer so I can compile photo discs for everyone.

But for now I am tired. I also have 2.5 days of the internets to catch up on. 'Night!

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
scubagrrl
Jul. 28th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)
I did notice! It was terribly quiet on the internets. Welcome home!

Hey, is your cell number still the one that ends in 6524? Do you have text-messaging on your phone?
hellziggy
Jul. 28th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's my number. And yes, I do have text-messaging.
Phone is currently dead though from not being charged all weekend.

Hey, did we want to get a rental car when we're in Vegas since we're not staying right on the strip?
scubagrrl
Jul. 28th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Ok, just wanted to check.

If we have a car it means no drinkies. How expensive would cabs back and forth be? We'll only be there a few days. We'd need one cab over in the morning, and one back at night. We can also check the bus schedule- they actually have a decent bus system.
ninja_tech
Jul. 28th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
What lens were you using? I am desperately trying to find a lens suitable for bird photography, but am suspicious of them all. Also - the birds never seem to stick around long enough for me to get my camera ready to go even when it is quickly accessible. *frownies* I look forward to pics of the birds!
hellziggy
Jul. 28th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
This is the lens I'm using:


http://www.amazon.com/Canon-400mm-Super-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/B00009R6X0/ref=sr_1_36?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1217251441&sr=1-36

It is AMAZING! And also VERY heavy. The only reason I even have this beauty is because I got an incredibly sweet deal on it used.

As far as lenses go, if you stick with Canon/Nikon (depending on what your camera is) you can't go wrong. Tamron & Tokina also make some nice lenses with a bit smaller of a price tag.
ninja_tech
Jul. 28th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
I have an old Minolta SRT 101. So I usually get pretty good deals on lenses because most dealers are eager to get rid of their manual focus lenses due to the digital wave. Only problem is actually FINDING them. Currently, I only have a 200mm telephoto lens, but there is no magnification to it, so I still have to be pretty close to the birds to get a good picture. Maybe will look for a 400mm telephoto lens...

Do you use an extra support for the lens when the camera is mounted on a tripod?
ninja_tech
Jul. 28th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
Also - that is one super lens!! *drools*
genevra
Jul. 28th, 2008 05:12 am (UTC)
I didn't miss you!!!!!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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