Backyard Bird-Watching

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 135mm, f/1, 1/180 sec, ISO400
“Black-Crested Titmouse” Cedar Park, 2020

Today I made a bird feeder to attempt to attract some Orioles. It’s basically an 1-foot long piece of scrap wood, held vertically, with a dowel-sized rod stuck through it to make a perch. I drilled two long screws through the board so that orange pieces can be skewered onto it. I don’t know if we’ll see some Orioles, but I’m optimistic!

In the meantime, we have our Black-Crested Titmice and Carolina Chickadees to enjoy. I shot a bit of video today using an old 135 mm Minolta lens attached to the Fujifilm X-T10. I hope you like the video!

またね〜

Evening at Lakewood Park with Lani

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/5, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“Dog Park” Leander, 2020

Lakewood Park recently opened in the city of Leander and we decided to check it out in the evening. It’s really nice! There’s a lot to do there, including fishing, kayaking, a skate park, a splash pad, walking trails, and a dog park with three enclosed areas.

We took Lani there and she really enjoyed the walk and the dog park. She doesn’t see a lot of other dogs (our fault), but she did great! There was only one close encounter with two other dogs, who were sniffing her, but Lani just had a nervous growl and we led her away (she was still on-leash).

There weren’t a lot of people there, so when one of the dog enclosures was empty, we let Lani roam free off her leash. She was kind of tired at that point so she just explored slowly, and she was so good… every time I told her to come, she came straight to me. 😀

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/5, 1/500 sec, ISO200
“Sunset at the Park” Leander, 2020

Besides having fun with Lani, Koa and I threw the baseball for 20 minutes or so while Mariko and Lani strolled around the park. We chatted with a fisherman who was packing up, and he said it was rare to see people throwing a baseball at the park, but as a former high school baseball player, he was happy to see us playing.

All-in-all, it was a good, socially-distanced evening!

“I Don’t See Color”

I was reading a thread in a forum, and one of the commenters said “I don’t see color”, with the intention of conveying that race shouldn’t matter. Honestly, I thought this was an admirable sentiment, but soon learned how problematic this phrase is. I spent some time reading about the reasons why, and I now consider myself a bit more educated than I was a little while ago. I’m linking the articles below:

After 51-years of life, I’m still figuring out what it means to be mixed/multiple-ethnicity. It’s complicated, but fascinating, and surprisingly challenging to find information or groups that discuss mixed-Asian ethnicity (Asian-Asian, not Asian-Caucasian, Asian-Black, etc.).

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On a side note, the original commenter’s reaction to the links to the articles was defensive and hostile, instantly devolving into name-calling and personal attacks. Which reminds me of the saying, “when you resort to ad hominem attacks, you’ve already lost”, as in the entertaining feud between James Altucher and Jerry Seinfeld.

ISS Fly-By

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2, 10 sec, ISO800
“ISS Fly-By” Cedar Park, 2020

Tonight the International Space Station (ISS) was very bright as it passed over Texas, and I had my camera and tripod set up to capture it. I didn’t really know what kind of settings to use, so I just went with a typical exposure that I normally do. Unfortunately there were a lot of clouds obscuring the view, but I think the photo turned out okay.

I made a series of 10-second exposures, then stacked them in Photoshop to create the composite image above. You might notice that there appear to be double stars. This is because I hid a few layers in the Photoshop stack when the ISS was passing behind the clouds so the overall cloud coverage would be reduced, and this resulted in the star trails having a gap in them.

FYI, this website is a fantastic resource to see when satellites will be flying overhead. It uses Google Street View to show you exactly where to look from your viewpoint! Just make sure that your watch is synchronized to the atomic clock so you know when to look up.

Snapshot While Running

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/2700 sec, ISO101
“Cloud up the Hill” Cedar Park, 2020

This is one of the longer hills near our house but the school bus gave me an extra bit of motivation to power up it today.

When facing a big hill, I usually think of a saying: “Just keep your legs moving and let the top of the hill come to you.” It’s worked every time! 😊

Have a great day!