nice day for a ride…
An advantage to working longer days during the week on a 9/80 schedule is that I have every other Friday off, giving me a three-day weekend every other week. Today was one of my “off” Fridays. Since the weather was fairly nice (sunny, but a bit cool for most people) I decided to fit a bike ride into my day. According to the MapMyRide tracking software that I use, my ride today totaled 19.84 miles, took me an hour and 33 minutes to accomplish (for an average of 12.8 mph), had a vertical elevation change of 144.36 ft., and supposedly burned off 1817 calories. The app has a “pause” function that I used a few times today as well, for a bathroom break, and a few stops for photo opportunities. Fumbling around to get the phone out, open, and hitting the pause button may have eaten up a couple minutes of that 1:33, but who’s counting?
One of the reasons I enjoy riding along the American River Bike Trail is that it provides scenic views while I’m riding. Since one of my hobbies is photography, particularly things in nature, I usually see at least one or two things that make me want to stop and take a picture. I’ve been a bird watcher (birder?) since elementary school, so I frequently see some of my avian friends just begging for me to snap their picture. As an amateur photographer, I have a fairly nice camera and a good telephoto lens to bring subjects in a little closer. Unfortunately, riding 20 miles on the bike trail with over 2½ pounds of camera hanging around your neck can be a bit tedious, and it tends to slow you down a bit. That’s not to say that I haven’t done it before, but my primary goal for going out today was for the exercise. It seems like whenever I go out without the good camera, I always see many things that I would like to take pictures of. Today was no exception. It started with a Merlin perched in a tree, and continued on from there. I saw a couple of egrets, a few Great Blue Herons, a couple of Red-tailed Hawks, a multitude of squirrels (both gray and brown), several water fowl in the river, and a couple sets of deer.
During those photo-op stops that I mentioned previously, I decided to pull out my fancy new smart-phone and see how well it did with wildlife photography. Let’s just say that I wasn’t very impressed. I’ll post the photos that I took today at the bottom of this post. Most of them seem to be out of focus, but I swear that I tried several times to get a good picture and the camera just wouldn’t do it. It takes great pictures of things that are close-up, but is a major letdown for things in the distance. Maybe I just don’t know how to use it properly yet, I dunno. (Most of these pictures have been cropped in Photoshop, to make the subject of the photo seem a little larger within the frame)