I had a very productive weekend this time. The house wasn’t so dirty after having been cleaned top-to-bottom last weekend, so I didn’t mess with any of that, except for laundry. That left more time for photography, sewing and yard work. I intended to give the quiltmobile its first bath yesterday, but the sky couldn’t decide if it wanted to just spit or actually rain and get it over with, so that task never happened.
Saturday morning I headed over to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for my first outing with the Richmond Photography Meetup group. Our goal was to shoot the butterflies in the Conservatory. There were about 30 people signed up, but I think a lot of people straggled in past the 9:30 meeting time, so I don’t know how many actually showed up. I don’t think anyone was taking attendance. Entrance into the Butterfly room is limited because it isn’t very big. There were posted guards at the door and I felt sorry for the older woman at the entrance side because she couldn’t seem to keep people from opening the 2nd exit door before the inner door was closed. Even though there was a younger woman posted inside for the purpose of making sure that the butterflies couldn’t escape, some people managed to get past her and went out the door without following the rules. I didn’t see any butterflies trying to beat the system too, thankfully.
The room was hot and sweaty. They have automatic misters that come on frequently so the humidity level in there is almost unbearable. Maybe that’s good, keeps people from lollygagging in there. Unless you’re a photographer with the express purpose of lollygagging. But when the misters came on, we had to point our lenses down so as not to get rained on. I heard someone say they were having trouble with their lens fogging up, but I didn’t have that problem. The butterflies were flying all around, not all of them were interested in posing for us. There was a beautiful blue one which was the prize because it was so elusive. You see, the blue is on the “inside” or top of its wings and you could see it when it was flying around. But when it landed (not often enough) it closed up its wings and it was a pretty boring gray/brown color on the outside/bottom. Nothing to write home about.
I got better shots than I expected. I was using my 55-250mm and shot in either manual or shutter priority because I wanted to keep a fast shutter speed to avoid shake (on my part) and also to freeze the butterflies in flight. It was a little cloudy overhead and I suppose there could have been better natural light than there was, but I had my ISO cranked up to 1600 in order to get a proper exposure on my meter. I didn’t want to use an ISO that high, my camera is not one of those high-end ones that are noiseless at high ISO settings. The butterflies were flitting around so much that shooting them in flight was pretty much not working for me, so I dialed down my settings and concentrated on getting them when they landed on something.
After I left the Conservatory, I wandered around the rest of the grounds for about an hour, stopping to talk to other like-minded photographers. It was a beautiful day, even with the humidity the sky was blue with fluffy clouds. I left around noon, having taken almost 100 shots.
John took the dog for his annual shots in the morning and then spent the rest of his afternoon at the office. Saturday night we went to Mimi’s with friends from church, had a wonderful time.
Sunday found me out in the yard, finishing some cleanup I had started the day before. We weeded the crabgrass out of the front bed on the corner as it was threatening to take over the drainage ditch. It’s always something, isn’t it?
I got a lot done on the unnamed quilt. All the blocks are trimmed and positioned on the design wall. Putting the top together is probably my favorite part of the process, probably because it means it’s almost done LOL. In this picture, the row on the floor has been stitched together. I put 2 more rows together this morning before work and at this rate, the top could be done by week’s end. I really do think it needs borders and I’m thinking seriously about one with scallops. I’ve never done one before, but I’ve seen it demonstrated on TV several times. I’ll have to play with it in EQ6 to make sure it’ll look good.
John bought the new Wii Resort game yesterday and we played best of 3 in table tennis. He won, 2-1. It was fun. He spent his afternoon going through our old audio CDs and loading them into iTunes on his media center computer. I spent my afternoon weeding through the bazillion photos on my computer and getting them organized. I am going to start uploading more of them to my flickr account, so stay tuned for that.