Monday, January 24, 2011

experimenting with the new macro lens....

of course, first i took some dog pictures with the new lens. have never used a macro before but have wanted to view the details of life and capture it for several years. as i suspected the lens came after the snowfall. i've no doubt i will be blessed with frost's alaska. it was the impetus that got me to finally just order the dang lens though so a bit bummed that i wasn't able to get out before the snow to get cool frost photo's. may do some hunting tomorrow.
this afternoon in my zoned out state i played with the new lens with some stuff that just sits around collecting dust. that doesn't mean that i have no appreciation for the items, just that i so rarely dust. if i'd been more awake i may have dusted the items before i took the photos. the seal above is native crafted from ivory. i have several of these small carvings and love the details so now i can show them off a bit.
the animals get highlighted with every lens. i'm listening to pandora radio. finally set up my own account. have noticed several nurses in the adult icu setting them up for some music in the rooms for patients. (and themselves no doubt). if you aren't familiar, ( is anyone as behind the times as i?) you pick a song/artist and then the radio finds music in the same genre.
i think blossoms nose was first, then i moved on to rio. it was at night though and though she's blind she can see the strobe of the flash and moves a bit in her confusion.
jack lalanne passed away. not that i was a big fan, but the guy is an icon. he made fitness a household thing. lived to 96 with seemingly good health...a testment to his dedication to exercise and good living. we should all be so blessed to live so long and enjoy all that life has to offer. i'm pretty happy that i've been as healthy as i've been for these many years. being taken by pnuemonia doesn't sound too bad.
difficult to take bad pictures of blossom. she just has the sweetest face. she is tired today. we had the monday dog walk. 8 dogs, 5 humans. this weekend i was wiped out. took care of two patients that required total care. not that this is unusual in the intensive care. it's pretty usual actually. one patient was extremely large. not sure why that wears you out so much more, but i find it's just more of a work out working around the large bariatric beds and dealing with patients over 400 pounds. maybe just different muscles use. poor blossom didn't get her walks on sat or sun. i never go 2 days without walks, but i really was beat. felt good to sleep and restore. may see if there is an opening for a massage at some point tomorrow. had big knots yesterday which lead to the usual headache and all.
i so appreciate my health when i take care of patients such as this. as difficult and disgusting as it can has to wonder what lead them down this path. abuse is often a huge factor. can't imagine being so large, i mean it has to impact every aspect of your life and creat such road blocks to success in any aspect of life. when you are that large you can never hope for a long life such as what jack lalanne enjoyed. just so sad.
so the next 3 pictures of of small carvings that sit on my dresser. i tend to lean towards purchasing polar bears and walrus, but have the occasional seal or whale. several have been purchased at the native hospital in thier store. the natives bring in thier art and the shop sells them for them. they have some beautiful art in that little store and each year they have a christmas bazaar. another great time for native art shopping is during fur rondy. tables are set up at the dimond mall and the natives sell thier art themselves. that is always cool because you get a chance to talk to the natives and watch them do crafts at the tables.
i could go nuts with these crafts. am limited by available funds. this guy below definitly needs i already see that there is a downside to macro shows what a slob i am. :-)
the tusks on this walrus are actually real walrus whiskers.
my house also seems to hold shells from many years of collecting. always good for experiementing in photography. hopefully, over time i will improve. these are kinda cool though for my first time out.
life is just so amazingly beautiful. for me, these tiny details are proof that there must be a god. so often we forget to see all the miniscule glories that exist, but they are there, all around us.
apparently, over the years i have collected a fair amount of bones as well. mostly, the bones have been found on beach rambles in remote places. have no idea what creatures they all came from. probably made reasonable guesses at the time the bones were found. we saw some great whale bones on kayak island, but a few factors prevented us from collecting them. we have a weight/space limit on the small planes and also on the island we had backpacks and had to trek a good 2 miles. if you haven't seen the spine of a's not small.
have been hearing on the news that the democrats and republicans will be blended in the state of the union address tomorrow night. apparently, as usual, causing some controversy. remember reading about congress/house of past on npr one day. in the old days they all spent more time in washington and mixed in life and social events. now they rarely interact at all. civility isn't a bad thing. don't see the big deal of it all.
there was a blurb in the paper this morning about stieg larsson. he wrote the very popular series of books starting with "the girl with the dragon tatoo". i really loved the series and apparently there is another manuscript that his long time girlfriend has in her possession. she doesn't want to give it to members of his family. obviously, a battle going on. after someone dies there is always those battles, whether they have money or not. those battles become more heated when there is money involved.
another native craft that i love are these tiny baskets that are made in the villages. the materials used vary with where the villages are located and what is available. the above basket is made with grass/reed. since i'm not very crafty i'm always amazed at what people can creat.
the items above and below are scrimshawed. i've purchased several of these items as well. the dog team above is scrimshawed on a piece of baleen. can't remember what the story was about the colour. most of the baleen you see is black/grey. the light colour was cool. the puffin below was etched into an oosik. an oosik is the native term for an os penis. walrus have os penis. this one is probably 15-16 inches long at least, maybe longer. there are several puffins etched into it.
this guy is a sculpture using soapstone, which is also a common medium. his face is ivory. he's sitting on a wood kayak and has baleen tools on the kayak.
this basket below is probably the highest quality basket i own. it's tiny, mayb an inch in height. loved the colours and beauty of it.
my dream is to own a sweet baleen basket. it's more of a process to take the whale baleen and strip it so that it can be used for basket making. below is the only baleen basket i have. it's only a small basket of lesser quality. not that this fact diminishes my happiness of owning even this. baleen baskets usually have the ivory centered seen below and also have a baleen lid that is generally topped off with a cool ivory carving. the price ranges from $400-thousands. there are some large ones in a jade store in girdwood. they are huge and extremly impressive. collected decades ago by the owners of the store.
one day i will spoil myself with a basket of my own.
the rest of the pictures are from todays dog walk monday. we had two puppies there. amy brought her young malamute. here is young ekko with boddhi...checking out each other. i really do think like breeds show increased interest in thier similar looking canine companions.
here is kenai, the mastiff pup. tiffany brought him again. he had a great time i think out there. melissa also came with her two dogs, tanya with her two and me with my two. so we are quite the crew coming down the trail. i often see the same folks out there. ran into a biker we often see, he laughed that the group keeps getting bigger and bigger. it really just depends on the week. it's fun though, you just never know. i was talking to my neice, claire, the other day and brought up the monday walks. she liked the idea. not that she has a dog, but, the scheduled walk idea sounded good. it is a good way to encourage people to get out despite inclement weather. 3 years and it's working great for us. was thinking lena would come today, but didn't see her. i need to get her phone number on my cell.
the dogs always have fun. there were a few tiffs, but nothing too major. dogs tend to police themselves fairly well and as long as you keep moving, they do to. the picture above was just play though.
was in the back of the pack most of the trail today. partly because of rio, partly because i just finished 4 nights of work and was draggin in general. 3 hours isn't much sleep.
melissa, tiffany and amy are just younger too so perhaps i've slowed a bit. tanya assured me i haven't. rio is rarely in a hurry out there. her joy comes from sniffing all the new stuff. the mastiff pup, kenai, came back frequently to check in with the mama mastiff. she's good with pups.
here comes kenai running...loved the floppy ears and how dogs are just happy all the time.
rio stopped to use the doggy facilities so i got a bit behind. those girls don't stop for much.
i think ekko had fun on the first official dog walk. blossom really had a blast playing with him so hopefully we'll get the pups together again. ekko and his owners commute between alaska and chicago.
it was great to have sunshine today and have there be some warmth associated with it. don't really mind waiting for another cold snap to test out the macro on the frost. we were up into the 20's....heatwave!! most of us headed to the kaladi's for snacks and drinks. noticed that the subway opened. a subway within walking distance of the house. can't complain about that!!
plans progress for our summer kayak trek. will be nice to have it organized and just get to enjoy it. will just make payments over time and that way it will be paid off before i even go. will have to buy extra batteries, will be no place to charge em out there.
blossom's friends duke and emma seem to always find her out on the trails. thier owner gillian eventually found us as well. can always count on gillian to be out there and the guy with the ridgebacks..saw his car there to. one meets many lovely people out on the trails up here.
work wasn't too bad in peds the last night. had some down time so i started reading a book my friend natalie gave me. i think it's actually a kids book," bunnicula". written by the dog, much like "the art of racing in the rain". loved that one. this one seems cute as well. still have a book i'm reading on the kindle, but didn't have it on me last night. it was nice to not be so nuts after the heavy work i had the 3 nights previous.

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