Yesterday morning it did not rain. There were even some moments of sun. It got me all excited, so I got myself together and headed out to…Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. Shocking, yes? (Those that follow know this is a favorite haunt).
My enthusiasm caused me to overestimate how warm it was out. I wore a light long-sleeved t-shirt, a hooded pullover (also relatively lightweight) and a fleece jacket (which, I know, would be plenty for some…but not me). I was smart enough to grab a sock hat. When I arrived I unwrapped a package of hand warmers for my pockets, but decided to ditch the gloves because it felt pretty warm (despite the fact that the car’s thermometer reported it was 37).
I was a fool.
I wasn’t atrociously cold, or I would have turned around. But, I was definitely not as cozy as I would have liked and the hand warmers, without the cover of a mitten, just weren’t really doing it. It was a frozen hand, runny nose kind of morning. I found myself wishing that someone would create a full-sized hand warmer. You know how the boot warmers have a strip of adhesive on it so you can stick it to your sock? Imagine a full-body body warmer with a large adhesive strip. Peel and stick to your back or your front…or both. That would be amazing.
Despite the chill it was a beautiful morning. The tide was in, which is always a special treat. It seems that, more often than not, the tide is low when I visit. I don’t mind. Last time I went at low tide I was treated to eagles out on the mud flats. However, high tide is cool because you’re walking on this boardwalk, suspended over the delta, surrounded by water…and I swear it feels like the boardwalk is moving a bit. It’s completely my imagination, but I’m okay with that if you’re okay with that.
There were no mature eagles about, though there were a couple of young ones sitting in a couple of snags. They were too far away to get a good shot, though I kind of like the shadowy look. However, it was obvious that their feathers were still coming in. Even from a distance one of them looked…rough. Feathers poking up, all gawky looking. I imagine he cuts quite the picture close-up.
It is not uncommon to see impressive lenses out at Nisqually. Big, honkin’ lenses. I was following behind one such lens carrier and noticed that he had a monopod. You know, instead of a tripod it’s a single…pod. I don’t tend to carry my tripod when I go out there simply because I don’t want to bother. I mean, yes, I’m out there to see what there is to see and to photograph what there is to photograph, but I’m also there to get a bit of exercise. Wouldn’t a monopod be nice? Much easier to carry than a tripod. Right?
I found myself thinking that I wish I had a monopod. Because that’s the black hole that is photography, yes? There’s always something that new that you want.
Fast forward to yesterday evening, which we spent with friends. I got in a conversation with one of them about tripods as he is interested in purchasing one and was inquiring about mine. I told him about it, going so far as to show it to him as it was in the trunk (because that’s how I roll on the weekends).
If you’re interested, I have the MeFoto Roadtrip in titanium. It’s light-weight aluminium that is compact enough to take on a hike but sturdy enough to comfortably strap my camera-body and 70-200mm to. I’ve had it since November, used it numerous times and have yet to identify anything I don’t like about it.
When I got home I pulled it up on Amazon and sent he and his wife the link, as there are a whole lot of tripods out there, and noticed that it was described as a tripod/monopod kit. Huh-wuh? It’s a monopod and a tripod? Amazon didn’t tell me much more than that, so I Googled it and stumbled across a MeFoto blog that, in 11 easy to follow photographs, instructed me how to convert my tripod into a monopod. Can life get any better? It’s like I have a brand new toy without having spent any money! Ta-da and voila!
I may have to go back out to ‘squally today. Or maybe Woodard Bay. So very many options!