A friend told me once about his young son’s reaction to autumn. The boy was maybe two years old, and my friend took him out into the yard to watch the leaves fall from the trees. After a couple moments spent looking around with consternation on his face, the son picked up a double handful of leaves, held them up to his father, and said, “Fix it, Daddy!”
I feel the same, kid. I’m not ready for summer to be done, but there were yellow leaves on the deck this weekend and I had to use the space heater at the office today.
I know a lot of people who love fall, with its sweaters and the riot of colours in the trees, but to me it’s just the gateway to yet another winter. I’m definitely a spring-and-summer kind of guy.
I went out last night, since it was clear, and visited my friend Tim, who’s camping this weekend at Wasagaming. I snapped some star trails at his campsite (my battery, almost dead, managed 80 shots at 10 seconds each).
On the way home, I pulled off the highway about ½ a mile down a gravel road, and tried out a panoramic photo of the Milky Way. I set my camera up in portrait mode and shot 5 photos, 45 seconds each, tilting the camera up after each shot. The camera started out aimed at the horizon and the last shot was pointed straight up at the zenith.
I stitched the photos together using Hugin, which did a very good job of automatically orienting the photos and finding the matches. I didn’t have to massage anything manually.
So I went for a bike ride. I headed out to the countryside south and west of town, and on one of the mile roads I paused to take some photos in the “country roads” style.
Where I stopped, though, there was a dead bird on the road, a big one. I think it may have been a hawk. While I was snapping photos, two other hawks landed on a couple of nearby telephone poles and started squawking. One flew a couple passes over me. I put my camera away and rode off about another ¼ mile down the road, where I stopped for a few more photos. As I was snapping away, I heard/felt something whoosh over my head, maybe three feet above me. I looked up and one of the hawks had followed me. I snapped a couple quick pictures of him (one’s at the top of this post) and then took off again.
After that they left me alone, and I took some other photos.
debated changing the title from Translations to Reflection, Translation, Invasion (which is a not-completely-inaccurate summary of the story, at a very high level);
turned on the air conditioning, because it was getting pretty hot;
borrowed the neighbours’ kayak and paddled on the lake for a half-hour or so right at sunset;
went and got some more photos of the Milky Way and (serendipitously) the Aurora Borealis.
“Can I help you with something?” Headless mannequins wore flimsy cotton dresses in earth tones. Countertop racks displayed neacklaces and bracelets made of beads, pearls, or smooth and polished stones. A sign at the back said RESTROOMSFORPAYINGCUSTOMERSONLY.
“I need a washroom,” I said.
She motioned at the sign.
“No, I need a washroom.”
She sighed, though I couldn’t tell whether she was exasperated with me or with the situation I was evidently trying to put her in. “Policy,” she said. Then, giving me a good looking-over, she said, much more quietly, “You okay?”