A Little Hawaiian Interlude

Perhaps you haven’t noticed but it’s been a while since last post. no excuses although I can think of a whole bunch. Used to post regularly while we were traveling around full time in the RV but since we moved into house, it has been busy.

Oh, you say, “thought you were retired?” Riiiigggghhhhtttt. “Retirement” means you have, or least you think you have, a little more say about how you spend your time. Could be true unless people think that, since you are retired, you have lotsa time to spend on their projects….

So we took a little time away to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Time flies.We flew to Maui. So here we are in “paradise” which translates to wonderful temperatures, tee shirts, shorts, island time, no worries. Everyone has their picture of what it’s like. It is pretty neat in some ways.

We have enjoyed our hikes and visit to Haleakala National park, the walks and morning swims on the beach, the temperatures, and exploring. But we prefer a more secluded quiet areas less touristy. Guess that is what we have gotten used to over the years. It’s always fun to people watch and there are all forms. At least everyone we have seen/met are pretty relaxed here.

We are ready for the comforts of home tho.

  • Take home lessons:
    • Research your accommodations more carefully if comfort is important.
      Move around more often if exploring is important.
      Pack less stuff
      Be open to what is next rather than fixed while traveling
  • Not sure this is clear but more meanderings.
  • Iao overlook back towards Kahaluhi
    Life’s a Beach
    Calling CQ on Haleakula Summit
    On the Halemau’u trail at Haleakula
    Looking into Haleakula Crater
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    World Market Day

     

    Some long time Ananda folks organized and World Market Day here at Ananda Village during this summer’s Spiritual Renewal week.

    Be The Change Theme for Ananda Worldwide this year
    Be The Change Theme for Ananda Worldwide this year

    The intention is to provide an opportunity for an interactive event for guests and gurubais to: Represent our various communities and tell folks about Ananda’s work and offerings in their area; Sell products, crafts, artistry and services; Build stronger communication and relationships among individuals in Ananda worldwide family

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
    Artists from many walks of life offered their work for sale

    I went out with quadcopter to show a friend how it works and got some fun footage.  We had to find a good spot to take off then flew around.  Didn’t have much time to do justice to this delightful experience but did manage to capture some footage

    2 minute aerial video below.

     

    Enjoy!

    There’s Joy in the Heavens

    Last spring when we first landed here at Ananda Village I had thoughts to fly the Mavic quadcopter over our village.  As it turned out the village manager asked me to shoot some footage which ended up in a presentation to the Nevada County planning commission and Board of Supervisors when we applied for the new village master plan permits.  Needless to say it was well received.

    We held off making this public but now I set it to Swami Kriyananda’s song called “Joy in the Heavens” which seems appropriate.

    I have shot more and will be posting more soon. Here is the link to the 3 minute video

    Aerial Railfanning in South Puget Sound

    Make sure you watch the video at the end of the blog.

    Late June I took a little drive up to Portland and Seattle with a stop over in my old home area of Walla Walla.  Got a chance on the return trip to stop in Olympia to see my longtime model railroad buddy Jim.  Instead of running model trains we decided to go out to Steilacoom on puget sound just south of Tacoma, Washington and watch trains.  Maybe even get some aerial footage with my DJI Mavic quadcopter.

    DCIM100MEDIADJI_0016.JPG
    Two old friends sitting in the shade watching trains

    We parked near the Anderson Island ferry dock in Steilacoom and walked along the tracks to find a spot in the shade.  It was warm outside.

    Anderson Island Ferry dock
    Anderson Island Ferry dock

    We saw a northbound Amtrak and a coal drag.  Listening to the scanner on the iphone we figured out which milepost detector was triggered when the train goes by and could mostly discern whether it was northbound or southbound.  I flew around about half mile out in the sound and shot some footage of the ferry’s and the trains.  Had to figure out which neutral density filter to use.  Think it was ND8 most of the time which allowed me to shoot at 1/50 shutter speed.

    Then we moved up to Titlow beach just south of Tacoma Narrows bridge.  As we were driving along the sound I stuck my iPhone out the window to catch some video footage of a train going by.  (Don’t tell my spouse I did this!)

    Railfan iPhone vid snapshot
    Northbound frieght out my car window

    At Titlow beach we did scout a potential takeoff point, however there was just too many people for my tastes.  We did catch a train go by with my iphone All this is in the video below.

    Railfan iPhone vid snapshot-2
    Big BNSF coal train northbound at Titlow Beach

    As the sun began to get lower in the sky we headed south to Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 US open golf tournament.  Being a public links course we drove down to the driving range and decided we could launch from there.

    Southbound container train
    Southbound container train

    We saw several trains and got one good long video as a northbound garbage train passed by just as i was running out of battery.  Was way out over sound about 3/4 mile away when it passed and was down to less than 20% battery by end.  Whew.

    Aerial UP engines
    Union Pacific Engines on northbound Garbage Train

    Below is a link to the 10 minute video I created from footage.  Some of it was speeded up to get within the 10 minute limit I set but it was still a 1.5 GB size.  wow.

    Oh yes,  I did also see the Southern Pacific tourist steam engine in Portland.  That’s in the beginning of the video below. Hope you can enjoy.

    Afterwards we retired to a local pub for a bit of nourishment.

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    The Last Travel Pod Post

    If you have never seen our old travelpod blog which is shutting down, here is the last post in it’s entirety:


    Star Date Sunday, June 11, 9:15 AM PDT

    This is the last post from Travelpod to you for three reasons.  I thought the last post might be it but this is definitely the last post.  We so much enjoyed this phase of travel and are now happily “home” at Ananda Village, fully engaged in community life, and many volunteer projects as well as cycling, railfanning and working in garden and yard (yes yard, heh heh).

    First off:  Blog shutting down

    The Travelpod blogging system we were using got bought out by a bigger “borg” and they are shutting it down June 18 so I need to send this to you before they do.
    Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 9.17.41 AM
    HOWEVER – An enterprising young soul has undertaken the task of providing archive space for the history and I have migrated a copy over there.  If you want to see any of our travels you can find them at the following link: http://bit.ly/PhotoKent_TravelArk I hope to resurrect them elsewhere so we will see.

     Secondly:  We sold CharLi

    We sold CharLi,  our RV to a wonderful couple in Oakdale, Ca, about 3 hours south of here.  They have been looking for a long time for this model and were thrilled to be able to buy it.  The added bonus for us was his willingness to buy the tow package also.  And he was able to uninstall it so I hitched up Mr. Toad one last time to CharLi and drove both down to his home where we spent all day removing the system.  He will install on his jeep.  So we are done.  See photos below of CharLi with new owners, and a photo of Jim under the Jeep removing the tow bar.  Not an easy task!

    Lastly:  I have a new blog

    I have begun a new blog called “PhotoKent’s Musings” which I am just beginning to use.  It will feature some photos I take and also some photos I may have shot in previous years but I will talk about how I made the photo. So it will be less of a travel blog and more of a creative process blog.  You can click on this link to find the blog:  https://photokent.blog.  (oh wait, you are here already)

    If you wish to subscribe to updates when I do make a post go to the bottom of the home page and add your email address then you will get an email notification when I post which is usually weekly or so.  It will also appear on my Facebook page when I post too.

    It has been a wonderful journey and now a new phase opens up.  Please consider subscribing to my new blog.  And above all, be filled with joy in your life!

    Kent

    PS  here are some additional photos I posted all from iPhone

    Flying Over Needles

    Didn’t have a great experience here which is nothing against Needles.  We arrived after long day of driving, settled into campsite, and by the time I went to fly it was getting to be sundown.  The link to the youtube video is at the bottom.

    Walked out to the point near the Colorado River and set up to fly but the DJI Mavic wanted a firmware update. Ok, last time I did an update it went fast and smooth.  Looked like i had good internet cell service on iPhone so I hot-spotted the iPad to the iPhone and started the download.

    img_1365
    Waiting and Waiting and Waiting – golden light passing fast.

    And waited and waited and waited.  Meanwhile the sun crept out from behind the clouds to give me the golden light we crave whilst I waited and waited.

    Finally as the sun was setting I could take off.

    Drone Selfie as sun going down

    Was able to take a little video.

    click on link below for a quickly cobbled together video

    Flying over Needles

    Arivaca Cienega

    Anticipating high winds today, we ventured out early this morning to walk around one of the better birding places in area just west of beautiful downtown Arivaca.

    Looking through Arivaca to the Bobquivari Mountains from the Cienega
    Looking west through Arivaca to the Bobquivari Mountains from the Cienega
    Anticipating we would see some little birds, I decided to try out the big 200-400mm zoom lens and camera. S had returned from Oregon with it's strap and assembled on the lens which weighs 8 pounds (11 with camera). I was excited to head out in search of prey to shoot (with my camera of course). I shot most of these at 560mm fully zoomed in with 1.4 extender enabled. Most were 1/1000 or more, ISO 1000 or so. F5.6.
    Note: that these photos were all jpg's processed on my iPad so they aren't as rich as usual. Check my flickr page for some better ones.
    As we began our walk we spotted a couple Kestrals high up in the cottonwood tree, their backs to us. As we cautiously approached they looked around, the finally the male Kestral darted over to the female and before I could raise up the camera to shoot, the mating season was over. He flew off to have drink wiht his mates no doubt, while she put her herself back together and adjusted her makeup before flying off in search of a nest.
    {Photo of kestral to go here.}
    Further along the path we heard the melodious sounds of a Bewick's Wren. He darted all around us, eventually landing in a high snag where I finally shot him singing merrily away. S remarked with wonder as to how so much joy and beautiful song could be sustainably emanating from such a little tiny creature tinier than a housefinch.
    Bewick's Wren singing
    Bewick's Wren singing in a high branch

    My mistake was not taking the monopod because, upon viewing some of the photos, I immediately saw they were not as sharp as I could have liked. As we strolled, ever so slowly, around the trails of this refuge, we saw at least 15 different species.

    Song Sparrow
    Song Sparrow
    Photographing little birds is difficult. They hide in the thickets and behind trees. ID through binoculars easier but catching them in open to photograph takes patience. I was hunting a green tailed Towhee for 20 minutes and finally spotted him out in open (see shot below) where is flitted for a bout 4 seconds. Just enough time to raise up the camera and photograph into the darkened woods.
    Green Tailed Towhee
    Green Tailed Towhee in thicket

    We saw Red Tail hawks, Cooper's Hawk, Grey Hawk. We saw several little birds in thickets.

    Even a pair of Coyotes hunting the tall grass for breakfast. We happened onto this pair out in the tall grass. Heard them yipping and digging and scurrying around. They didn't see us at first but when I popped off 4 shots in quick succession, the noise made by the high speed camera clicking alerted them we were present and they bounded off. This shot below was the only decent one I got and then some tall grass blurred its face a little.

    Coyote Hunting
    Coyotes hunting in tall grass
    We saw these really cool butterflies, too. Can't you tell I don't know butterfly names? They fly fast and dart around in the Willow trees so it is hard to catch them. Finally one landed to feast all alone on the willows seeds and I was able to get a decent shot.
    Cool Butterfly
    Cool looking Butterfly

    A fun 2 hour walk. next time I bring my Monopod.