What would YOU Do?

So, I want a little camera to take with me on hikes.

Then I went hiking with my friend Barb who has an iPhone with the Map My Hike app, and I thought that was kinda cool.

But I’m pretty cheap and those phone plans are more than I want to spend.  I have a tracfone for calls and texting and I spend about $40 every 3 months or so and that’s fine for me.  I have a landline at home which also provides access to the internet.  I don’t want to pay for more services than I plan to use.

So I started wondering… do you have to have a phone plan?  Or can you use a smartphone for everything BUT phone?  Would the GPS work without a phone plan?  Could I upload my pictures when I have wifi access and be satisfied with that?  Would Map My Hike work without a phone plan?

I’ve been looking around on the internet to see if anyone is doing this.  Sounds like it’s doable, though not necessarily a super easy seamless thing to do.  I found this article, for example:

http://readwrite.com/2012/11/07/from-smartphone-to-mindphone-cheaper-smarter-not-always-on

And of course, when you find the perfect phone for this solution, the price is high!  They sell you the phones cheap when you are also getting a phone/data plan.  But “phone” only is pricey!

So I started looking at gps-enabled point and shoots… turns out they are similarly priced to the “unlocked” smart phone.

What to do?

Do any of my readers have suggestions?

Solstice

Today marks the solstice.

Tree: looking up

It was a gray, heavily overcast day. Dark at night. Dark in the day. Well, at least not bright. There was a bit of snow on the ground, but not much. A perfect blend of autumn and winter to mark the solstice.

Leaves and snow

Much as I would love to see a lot more snow, the scant dusting let some pretty colors show through.

Pine needles, moss and snow

As the days get longer and we move into the frenzy of the holidays, be good to yourself. And get outside!

Dave’s Been at it Again

Check out Dave Bonta’s latest poems. Notice at the bottom of this one – Red Trillium, he has added navigation – so you can click back to Spring Beauties and forward to Painted Trillium.

http://www.vianegativa.us/2011/01/red-trillium/

I’m just so excited about this collaboration that I’m going back to my photos to see if I have more! (Poor Dave… I’ll work his poetry-writing brain cells to exhaustion!)

So Excited

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask.

I had this vision of a book – hand made by my friend Deb Eck –

Graduation Book 02

containing my photos of wildflowers

Spring Beauty

punctuated with poems by poet Dave Bonta.

Prim pink pinstripes
beckon from the wet soil
beside the creek. But like
most beauties, they’re choosy
about their suitors,
unmoved except by just
the right bee visiting
in just the right order:
one day they hokey-
poke their stamens out;
the next, it’s the anther’s turn.
Petals close even for a cloud.
And when flowering’s done,
they do their best
to pass for grass.
Who wouldn’t be wary
with such a large
& edible heart?

And so it begins!…


Deb’s blog: http://dryadart.wordpress.com/
Dave’s blog: http://www.vianegativa.us/2011/01/spring-beauties/

We See With Our Emotions

Twenty degrees.  The heavy snow has stopped, for now.  An occasional flake floats down now and again.  Thick gray clouds block the sun.  Perfect day for a hike, not so perfect for photography.  I snap photo after photo anyway.

Back on my computer, the screen shows me what the camera captured:  gray, monochromatic, dull.  I suppose that IS what it looked like.

Reality-1

I am not satisfied.  It is not a good representation of my memory of the day.  I load the picture into Lightroom and play with the settings until the image matches my memory.

Chautauqua Creek-9

I mess with the other photos similarly.

Chautauqua Creek-2

Chautauqua Creek-4

Chautauqua Creek-7

Chautauqua Creek-12

Ta da!

But photographs can never really capture the beauty of our memories! ~Emily Schlick

After the Rain…

It rained this morning. As the clouds thinned, the light became perfect for photography, so I headed down to Audubon to see if the adorable Yellow Warblers were out by the overlook again (and to practice using my 100-400mm lens). They were… taking inchworm after inchworm to a nest that was hidden from view.

Yellow Warbler

I watched for quite a long time and was also treated to a Swamp Sparrow singing his little heart out.

Swamp Sparrow

The Red-winged Blackbirds who are also nesting in the shrubs would not pose nicely for pictures. Other wildlife along my path did, however…

Twelve-spotted Skimmer
Twelve-spotted Skimmer

Eastern Garter Snake
Eastern Garter Snake in one of the Woodpecker Holes in the Dead Elm Tree

Tadpoles
Tadpoles in the pond along the maintenance road

And, back at the building:

Eastern Chipmunk
An adorable Eastern Chipmunk in the Bird Garden