May 31, 2014

it's like magic!

So, my birthday was Tuesday... not sure yet how I feel about being 45-  how does that happen?!? It seems like just yesterday that I was somewhere in my thirties... Anyway, this afternoon I was doing some magic after work in our front yard: 
(you should be able to click on any of them to make them larger)

Magic Trick #1

Magic Trick #2

Magic Trick #2b

Magic trick #3

Have you figured it out yet? Tom's birthday present to me was something totally unexpected, and quite thoughtful- I said a couple posts ago that I'd kind of like a macro lens for my camera, and now I have one! He didn't even read that on the blog, he just knew I was getting more interested in close-up photography of insects, flowers, and the like, and thought I might like it. And he was right! (Now I just have to figure out exactly how to use it... although the little bit of messing around with it that I've done so far is pretty cool, I think.)

The#2 photos are of a smallish saguaro cactus (about 2 1/2 feet tall) in our front yard. The first one is the very top of the cactus, where all the new growth happens, and the second one is an older established grouping of spines farther down the plant. These areas on a cactus, when looked at closely, make some really neat abstract patterns. (fyi, from my internet searches, the spines on a cactus help to shade the plant from the sun-- and protect it.)

This is #3: a flower off our spruce cone cactus.
The photo above is a close-up of the pollen grains
 (pollen grains!!! how cool is that!!) inside the flower. 
I called it 'like magic' because with this lens, I can see things that I can't (or don't really pay attention to, at the very least) with the naked eye. I've always been fascinated with stuff like that, even when I was little- I spent plenty of time outside in our yard: laying in the grass watching ants, examining maple tree helicopters, acorns, and the like, and carting home pockets full of rocks that didn't really look special at all, except, I guess, to me. I don't remember how old I was, but Mom and Dad even got me a microscope set one year (for Christmas, maybe?) and I remember spending lots of time looking at what was in a drop of water from a puddle, that sort of thing. This is kind of the 'grown up' version of that, I guess- I can take a photograph of something and look even closer at it than I'd be able to otherwise (especially with the limitations of my bad eyesight). 

This is the zoomed-out version of what's in pic #1;
it's a withered-up flower from the golden barrel cactus.
Not all that interesting, maybe, except for in the close-up
it takes on a more abstract sort of form. 

He also gave me two bottles of Vitamin D gel-caps, which was also quite thoughtful, since I needed it- and it made me laugh, besides! 

Hopefully you liked my 'magic tricks' and hopefully I'll have more of them to show over the coming months!


scrapperjen said...

Happy VERY belated birthday!!!! I hope it was wonderful.
You are a lucky girl. I love your photos - gorgeous!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Alison said...

Belated birthday wishes...have fun with that new lens..what fascinating pics!
Alison xx