Hawk Mountain Adventures

October 22, 2011


Well, to be able to check out the new 12mm Pen lens AND the new E-P3 in action, I’m not above actually hiking up a mountainside.  Which is what I did today.  Now, of course, that was only one justification for doing this.  Mike purchased some whizbang binoculars before he got sick and this would give him a chance to check them out.  It would also get him outside in the fresh air communing with nature(well me too since others think I would benefit though I am less convinced that communing with nature is a necessary part of my life…).  We both love to birdwatch so what better place than Hawk Mountain in October when the birds of prey are migrating.  And it was overcast..so a good day to take photos.  Off we went bright and early.

First, let me say, if you don’t like to walk…or are not the most able to walk…there’s a lot of walking.  Now I know you are all sitting there reading this thinking well DUH…!  But I seriously underestimated how much.  But no matter.  I was motivated.  From parking lot to the visitor’s center to pay was a right turn and a short walk.  Only to find out we needed then to go back out from whence we came, across the street, then follow the path to where the sky is visible through the trees and when there, we would have arrived at the South Lookout.  The nice lady failed to tell me it was uphill.   

So now I am sure you are thinking I am truly a dip….taking my cardiac patient husband on this adventure.  Let me say.  Mike was fine.  He was just fine.  He went up the hill with no trouble.  I was the one looking for the benches every 5 feet.  He carried my camera bag.  I wondered if he wasn’t going to offer to carry me.   The nice lady had promised benches all along the way.  But where were they?  I looked and looked for benches, finally finding one…at the top of the hill. 

Did I mention I get height sick on my raised deck?  I do.  I guess the mountain part of Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was not descriptive enough for me.  Neither was the term lookout.  I was not prepared, when we reached the top, to be at the edge of the world…with a long drop down.  I positioned us well back and watched some dad there alone with his kid, sending him scampering on the rocks at the edge so he could get the perfect shot.  I am certain the guy was having his weekend and mama didn’t know the plans.  Mama would have been beside herself with this precarious scampering.  I know I was on her behalf!  Meanwhile, I adjusted Mike’s binoculars for his glasses.  I got him situated and scanning the distant landscape with the specs.    I snapped a shot of him from the ground where I sat on one of the rocks.   

Scanning for birds of prey

I looked out to the horizon to see what he was looking at.  Some movement near me caught my attention and as I swung my head to the left I saw Mike falling down to the ground in the rocky area we were situated.  It was immediately apparent he had not been injured…no broken bones, no head whacks, but the binoculars busted open his lip and his front teeth were bleeding.  Some young men, guides from the sanctuary, and a fellow about our age, helped me to get him up on his feet.  I walked him to a bench and another guide reassured me they had a first aid kit and some first aid assistance on the way.  No loose teeth.  Nothing broken.  But his lip looked like he had tangled with Sonny Liston.  I think he just lost his footing or the binocular vision was unfamiliar and disorienting…and he stumbled.  There were some kids, he could have moved to accommodate them and lost his footing.  Who knows.   We mopped up the blood from the split lip and the guides (who were fabulous by the way) brought up a golf cart to take us down to the car. 

Off we headed for home, our trip to short to even take pictures of the leaves.  On the way up I had checked out the P3 and the 12 mm lens.  Though I thought surely I did not need it, I do, certainly want it.  Which means I need it.  I covet it.  I really, really would love to own it.  SIGH.  The 12mm too.  I DID get some points on shooting with it and the 45 mm that I do have.  But let me tell you this now.  That E-P3 touch screen is a sweetie.  And the focus is fast, fast superfast.  It’s a sweet little trick that is for sure! 

Mike was hungry from the fresh air and walk so we grabbed a burger.  By the time we got him his lip was pretty big.  But photographing it gave me a chance to play around with the 45mm lens.  Let me say this.  If anybody were to photograph me casually with that lens I would be mighty upset.  It captures everything.  Nice lens.  So while the photo itself is unflattering, here’s a couple shots of the fat lip.   Though there’s a small wound inside his moustache, and it’s still swollen and sore, he’s no worse for the wear.  I, on the other hand, may never recover (from the fall OR the walk). 


By the way. We didn’t see a single bird at the sanctuary.  However, at home this afternoon, we had a huge red tail riding the currents above our  house all afternoon. 




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