Wednesday, November 13, 2013


It was bound to happen.  I noticed the big 500 mm Sigma lens was having difficulty focusing a couple days ago and today the condition was exasperated by the cold weather which no doubt made the mechanical focus operation stiffer.  The auto focus motor causes the lens to focus and immediately move out of focus and back in and back out.  This is called hunting.  It can't seem to settle in on the absolute focus point and stabilize.    The mechanical, by hand, focus works fine but, it is cumbersome and very difficult to use on moving birds and it's impossible to work the telescopic function and focus at the same time.  It was bound to happen as that lens has taken thousands upon thousands of photos and the auto focus motor works numerous times for each picture.  I guess I can send it off for repair but that is a minimum of $300 and probably more.  The 400 mm lens will be attached to the camera tonight and I'll see how I like it tomorrow.  If it passes muster, I'll not worry about the 500 mm lens for the immediate future.  If not, then I guess I'll have to send the big lens to Sigma for repair.  I focused manually for the most part today.
The afternoon sun was on the opposite shoreline than the one I usually travel when I first get on the lake.  I thought I'd run the lake backward for a change.  I got a surprise when I passed by a deep cut in the mountain.  There on the banks of a dry creek bed stood a group of beautiful whitetails.
They appeared sleek, healthy and just a bit nervous but, not enough to cause them to bolt.

Look how alert this guy is.  He's beautiful!
What a precious face!  Makes ya wanna rub his wet nose.

They shuffled about and finally started to move away back into the forest.  They weren't frightened but appeared concerned.

They then moved off with urgency.

There are lots of shots here but, some are kind of unique.  It's interesting to see how they bunch together as they move up the ravine.
I really like this side of the river as the terrain contains diversity and there is a perfect blending of the various landscapes.  

And, in the fields of that beautiful view are the turkeys.  Look how many gobblers there are in this flock.  Unprecedented!

 These turkeys are safe from hunting as I met the farmer who owns this property and "she" is absolutely against hunting.  And, there is over a thousand acres of her property here for these guys to get lost in.  It seems that hunters trashed her property years ago, more than once and she just put it off limits to everyone.
Just look at these beautiful gobblers below.  Wow!
The rest of the flock moved along the edge of the field where it touched the treeline.

It was very cold on the water this afternoon and I only saw one other boat on the water and he didn't stay long.  I talked with him awhile and we had a nice discussion about wildlife.  He and his wife just moved to the area after retiring from a West Virginia coal mine.   He contracted black lung and his doctors didn't extend a good prognosis to him.  He was going to live out what time he has left fishing on these waters.
I passed the area that usually holds beaver and otters and they weren't there.  The beaver sign was heavy near their lodges.  Fresh cut saplings stacked upon their lodges indicate that they are repairing their homes for the Winter and they are working at night.
I tried to manual focus on a moving squirrel.  Tough..

I'm not seeing near the amount of wildlife I normally do.  The water mammals are staying to their dens during the day for the most part and the migratory birds are just starting to arrive.  Wood ducks are moving in and they are very spooky.  They fly far ahead of me and are impossible to approach in this noisy white boat.
That's about it for today.  We'll see how the 400 mm lens works tomorrow.  Oh, I'm off tomorrow.  Forgot.  By the way - Shade wanted to say hey----