My Personal Pool Cage Miracle Times Two! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Personal Pool Cage Miracle Times Two!

Stuff

I finished this blog post at 1pm on Tuesday. Things are kind of quiet. The best news is that there has been a breeze that has kept the house cooler than expected. I did some more manual labor this morning dismantling the tree that fell with just a small but rugged hand saw and a sturdy pair of limb clippers. Jim spent most of the morning sweeping up leaves and storm debris in front of the house and inside the pool cage.

My Plan B seems to be working well. I am running a small stand-alone freezer off the 1500 amp inverter; the compressor runs just fine and it is making ice. All of my frozen food is in it in good shape. Later today I will use the ice that I made today to keep the food in the freezer that is not plugged in cool. Jim is gonna head into Lake Wales tomorrow in search of gas. We heard that one station was open today.

Best News?

I have signed up several folks for both the 2018 UK Puffins and Gannet IPT with the cost-sharing Bempton Cliffs Pre-trip that includes 100% free instruction and the July/August 2019 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime, the world’s best Galapagos photo trip. By far. Both before they have been formally announced, by word of mouth only. If you would like advance info on either trip please shoot me an e-mail.

The Streak

Today marks forty-nine days in a row with a new educational blog post.This one took about two hours hour to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of (I think) four hundred eighty something … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Everybody’s Doing It…

Everybody’s buying and selling used gear on the BAA Used Gear Page. Sales recently have been through the roof. Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They recently folded. And eBay fees are now in the 13% range. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar at the top of each blog post.


Booking.Com

I could not secure the lodging that I needed for last year’s UK Puffins and Gannets IPT in Dunbar, Scotland, so I went from Hotels.Com to Booking.Com and was pleasantly surprised. I found the rooms that I needed with ease at a hotel that was not even on Hotels.Com, and it was a nice hotel that I had seen in person. And the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward.

Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.

Revamped

I recently updated the IPT page. If you doubt that I am really slowing down, click here to see the meager IPT schedule. Right now there are only two US-based IPTs on the schedule. Best news is I now have two folks registered for the Fort DeSoto IPT so that will run. Do consider joining us if you would like to learn from the best.

Photographers Wanted

If you would like to learn to become a much better bird photographer, consider joining me on either the Fort DeSoto IPT in late September or the San Diego IPT in January, 2018. With four folks signed up, DeSoto will offer practically private instruction. And you can tack on the In-the-Field/Meet-up Workshop Session on the morning of Tuesday September 26, 2017 for free. Scroll down for details. Click here for complete IPT info and the current but abbreviated schedule.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and many folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use the BAA B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

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My beloved lap pool

My Beloved Lap Pool

Above is a glamour shot of my beloved lap pool right after construction was completed in December, 2011. Many might enjoy the 38-photo documentary in the My New Lap/Kiddie Pool is Named Digital Basics … blog post here. It shows all of the stages of construction from trimming of the single large oak tree to final clean-up. With me being home for a stretch, now I am swimming every day, usually 48 slow lengths (44 to the half mile), but sometimes more. The pool is an important part of my life. As I do not swim hard — my pulse rate is usually in the high 80s when I’m finished, my swims are much more of a relaxing meditation than an exercise session.

tree-down-wide-scene-_P3A0183--Indian-Lake-Estates,-FL

This image was created on the morning of Monday, September 12, 2017 after Irma had visited the long night before. I used the hand held 24-105mm f/4L IS lens (now replaced by the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II) at 24mm, and my favorite post-hurricane camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop as framed: 1/200 sec. at f/11 in Av mode. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: zero at W.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Rear button focus on the base of the trunk and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Image #1: The downed tree in the backyard was a lot closer to the pool cage than it looks in this image

Image #1: Fire in the Hole!

Though this relatively large tree went down during the height of the storm, probably around midnight, right outside of my open bedroom window, I never heard a thing as I slept like a baby until 1:45am.

just-missed-_P3A0180--Indian-Lake-Estates,-FL

This image was created on the morning of Monday, September 12, 2017 after Irma had visited the long night before. I used the hand held 24-105mm f/4L IS lens (now replaced by the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II) at 24mm, and my favorite post-hurricane camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/50 sec. at f/11 in Av mode. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: zero at W.

Four AF points to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected point just caught the edge of the vertical support on our left.

Image #2: Just missed!

Miracle #1: Just Missed!

In this image you can see that a fairly substantial branch from the downed tree — about 5 inches in diameter, just missed the corner of the pool cage, the sort of screen room that keeps bugs out and vastly reduces the number of leaves and pine needles and bugs not to mention frogs and centipedes and scorpions and skinks and snakes and spider that on occasion fall into the pool.

kiddie-corner-_P3A0192--Indian-Lake-Estates,-FL

This image was created on the morning of Monday, September 12, 2017 after Irma had visited the long night before. I used the hand held 24-105mm f/4L IS lens (now replaced by the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II) at 24mm, and my favorite post-hurricane camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/40 sec. at f/11 in Av mode. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: zero at W.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Rear button focus on one of the upper support struts on the left and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Image #3: The kiddie corner of my lap pool

Kiddie Corner

Here we see that a good portion of the crown of the fallen tree made it past the big Sweet Gum tree (see more on that below) and landed on the pool cage above the Kiddie Corner of my lap pool. Jim did eventually find one small tear in the screen where a branch poked through.

Jim’s Butterfly Garden

On the right side of this image you can see part of the split rail fence that protected Jim’s butterfly garden. One section of the fence was knocked over and most of his plantings — but for a few milkweeds that the Gulf Fritillaries love — were destroyed by the three that fell and pretty much obliterated the garden.

the-tall-tree-_P3A0198--Indian-Lake-Estates,-FL

This image was created on the morning of Monday, September 12, 2017 after Irma had visited the long night before. I used the hand held 24-105mm f/4L IS lens (now replaced by the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II) at 24mm, and my favorite post-hurricane camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering + 1 1/3 stops as framed: 1/125 sec. at f/11 in Av mode. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: zero at W.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Rear button focus on the upper somewhat horizontal support strut and re-compose slightly. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Image #4: The large, tall Sweet Gum tree above the pool

Miracle #2

Two days before the storm a tree guy came by and told me that it was likely that he could get a crew out to take down the big Sweet Gum tree before the storm. I just measured the circumference; six feet off the ground it is 4 feet around. Just above that it splits into three huge trunks that must in total be about eight feet around. I was worried that if the big tree fell onto the pool cage that the pool cage and possibly the pool itself would be toast. Alas, the crew never made it, and the big tree — less two large upper branches –survived Irma.

Here, however is the miracle: when the rotted at the bottom tree in Image #1 above fell, its fall was dampened by the big Sweet Gum tree. Had the big tree been felled the rotted at the bottom tree would have fallen freely onto the pool cage and would likely have severely damaged it. Funny how you need to be careful what you wish for.

You can see the bottom half of this tree and get an idea of its proximity to the pool in the “Pouring the deck” image about half way down in the blog post that details the construction of the pool blog post here.

If In Doubt …

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Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

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Typos

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