Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Day at the Beach

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I try to take the boys to the beach at least one day each track out period (January, April, July, and October). Remember, my boys are in year round school so 9 weeks in and then 3 weeks out plus normal school closed holidays. Anyway, based on warm weather, low wind, and mostly sunny skies, I picked yesterday as our day to go. Donnie wanted to go too and handled the driving (and lots of other things!) so that I didn't have the pressure of staying alert to drive and could really enjoy the day not to mention his company. We started out our day with a picnic lunch at the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area and then headed over the the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher.  The two places are less than a mile apart.  After we left the aquarium, it was back to the recreation area for a walk down onto the beach which I knew was going to turn into two wet boys.  I just would not be deterred from taking in that ocean view!  The temperature of the ocean water at Fort Fisher right now is 54 degrees.  So, the air temp and water temp were about the same yesterday.  The boys lasted about 15 minutes, and then of course we got them dried off and warmed up right away.  As we left the area, we stopped at the parking area near a Civil War Monument and Donnie and I sat on the protective sea wall rocks and watched the sun set, the surfers trying to catch a wave, and a few pelicans and dolphins out in the water.  We topped off the day with Smithfield's Chicken 'n Bar-B-Q on the way home.  It doesn't get any better than that!

It was incredibly hard to pick what picture to post today since I took so many that I like either for comp or emotional attachment:-)  I finally settled on this gull shot because of the dof, light,and clarity of his eye.  I'll include a few other shots from the day below and probably follow up with another daily from our trip tomorrow.

The picnic:

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Here's a collage showing what I think are the best aquarium shots:

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I was really impressed with the shots that I was able to capture with the Canon SX40 HS.  It does handle low light shots much better than the S3 IS did.  I learned the difference between a skate and a ray yesterday.  We also were treated to the wood ducks being very active in their habitat.  Sometimes we don't even get to see them let alone get to watch them swim around for 10 minutes.  You should have heard how excited Joey was coming to find me and letting me know that the wood ducks were out.  I love those helpers in my picture taking!

They had the dive show at 2:30, and the kids waited (their idea) by the glass for 20 minutes to get front row seats.  They were motivated!  That allowed me to get quite a few good tank shots plus this very neat video of the divers interacting with the kids.

Both boys asked questions through the microphone, and I was so proud that they were so eager to do that.

In this collage, the boys just have to be boys!

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Johnny trying to squeeze in on this guy's girl.  She was quite smitten:-)  "He's smart. I really like this kid."

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On the beach, I think this shot sums up our time there the best.  "Mom, you know I am going to get more wet, right?"

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Beach collage:

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Here's me and Donnie as we sat on the rock wall:

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I love this picture even though I forgot and looked at the LCD instead of the lens (I should know better).

The dolphins:

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And, Donnie with the gulls (and grackles)...

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It started out as me throwing up the crackers and then Donnie offering to throw them up and then Donnie holding the crackers up as the birds grabbed them.  A thrill for me and a first for Donnie.  All fingers remained intact:-)  Please don't be too upset that I fed the birds.  It was really just a small number of crackers...

My hero!

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Donnie would like to point out the Alabama Crimson Tide logo for the 2011 BCS (National Football) Champions.

I'll leave you with this parting video of the day.  Something to make you smile...

1 comment:

WildeLifePhotography said...

Maryanne, what a great day. You do more in one day than I do in a month.