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?”
wrote 2,000 more words in two shifts, morning and evening;
read about ⅓ of Dreyer’s English, chortling all the while;
went for a 3.5km kayak ride on the lake;
did a quick 5km bike ride to the coffee shop and to Co-op for groceries;
and went back out for some more astrophotography, this time in the river valley to the north.
Here’s a quick sample of the writing so far (still 1st draft):
Your nose is broken, she’d said. I reached up and touched it, gingerly, expecting pain. Instead it felt cold and numb. Touching it felt like I was touching someone else’s nose. Like it was made of wax.
I felt a thin strip of metal or metal-like plastic that ran from between my eyebrows down the bridge of my nose to its tip. I tried to lift it off, to pry a nail under it, but couldn’t. It was like it was a part of me. Maybe it was a part of me now.
You’ve been concussed.That part I didn’t need to check to believe. I remembered the headache, the nausea that never quite went away and never quite resolved into actual vomiting. When I lay down on the bed, the room seemed to shiver and spin, slowly, an orbit that I didn’t like.