Sunday, February 27, 2011

Going with the flow

With all the recent rains we kew we had to make at least one trip to the waterfalls this hiking season so today found us on the Trail at Uvas Canyon Park in Morgan Hill to take in the  sights of the waterfall trail.

It is not a very a long hike, the map says 3 miles but the some less than stellar trail markings led to a little confusion but nothing could take away from the spectacular waterfalls crashing along the trail.

Walking on the trail you can hear the roar of the water coursing through the various drop and swirling through pools as it winds its way down.  On today's hike I packed my Induro tripod with a a nice ballhead and a remote release to make time exposures a little easier and steadier.

I was playing around with the shutter speeds and ISO sensitivity settings a lot today.  I was trying for a different look in the pictures.  I think I came up with a surreal look in some as I singled out different falls and looked for details shots of the water's course.

This might be our only waterfall trip of the season but it is worth it.  Uvas Canyon never fails to provide lot's of photo opportunities for our hike.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Holy cow!

This assignment always makes me smile.  No matter how bad things are I can always look forward to the joys of farm animals on the loose at high school campus during the annual "Kiss a Critter' contest at West High.
Part of National Week the event is designed to bring recognition to the agriculture program at West high that sometimes goes by unnoticed.  It gives students a chance to showcase their agriculture skills and spread the word about the FFA program to fellow students.  And besides a faculty members has to plant a kiss on farm animal.  No lie.
The Kiss a Critter contest also includes a petting zoo.  Not one of those cuddly 'three-year-old kids petting a deer' petting zoo.  A real petting zoo, where the two-day old goat pees on the visitors and a cows graze in the campus planter boxes.  A real petting zoo-for adults.
First disturbing moment of the day is meeting a student with her pet chickens (not roosters as I was quickly smacked down for calling them).  Not that it was odd for having pet chickens it was their names.  "Fried" and "Grilled" that bothered me.  They flapped their wings contentedly as the students walked by.  "So you named you chickens after ways to kill them" I asked?  Nice.  "Lemon" chicken (get it?) and his pal "Nugget" didn't make the trip down.  I guess if there would have been a duck his name would have been "Peking".

So then it was on to the rabbits.  Fluffy, white, cute rabbits, should be harmless right?  Just don't get your fingers near the mouth they may bite I was cautioned.  Why is that I asked?  Maybe fingers smell like rabbit pellets I was told.  Ok moving on to the next station...
So there is the lamb with an attitude jumping on the fence trying to escape and the goat that just kept staring at me with those black beady little eyes.  It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for.  So after a few minutes of watching the kids who have never seen a farm animal up close it was time for the grand finale, The kiss.

Enter 'Suzie" a 6-year-old roan shorthorn who would take the kiss from a West High security guard.  After watching Suzie lick the dirt off her feet I thought it wise to not tell the security guard where the cows lips had been.  So after minutes to get to know each other and exchange phone numbers there was the long kiss goodbye and the 2011 Kiss a Critter was in the history books.

From school yard to barn yard it is always a great time to cover.