The art of staying busy (and the interesting things that happen when you do)

Sep 22, 2012 | 0 comments

Post-college life is an interesting force to be reckoned with. I thought it would be hard to get used to not having any homework or big responsibilities to contend with at the end of each day, but in fact I’ve hardly thought anything of it. And the little thought I have given to the matter has been more along the lines of: Oh hey, I can do whatever the hell I want right now!

So far this summer, that mindset has translated itself into a number of various pursuits: salmon fishing; hiking; biking in the mountains; berry picking; cooking; baking; walking on the beach; drawing; watercolor painting; writing; learning harmonica; reading; photography; and working out and running.

With the realization that I’m only 1/3 of the way through my internship and pretty much the rest of my time here will be spent indoors in increasing darkness, I’ve taken it upon myself to try to remain as physically active as I am mentally active.

I started running about 2 weeks ago, with one of my housemates and our mutual friend from town. It’s worked out great because we’re all at about the same running ability (that is to say, terrible!), but we’re working off this Couch to 5K plan which builds up in intensity over 9 weeks. It’s been pretty easy so far, and  our running route takes us down a nice, deserted road where not too many people will see us huffing and puffing and stumbling along.

Migrating sandhill cranes

Well, last week when we were running, we started noticing these massive lines of birds appearing over the mountaintops. First one group, then another, then more and more and more, all coming towards us. As they drew closer, we couldn’t help but pause for a moment and listen — sure enough, as soon as I quieted down my breathing I realized the air was filled with the deep rattling calls of hundreds and hundreds of Sandhill Cranes.

The incredible site made our run go by much faster, as I spent the rest of the time looking up at the sky feeling as if I was running with them, some passing close by right over us. Apparently some will travel as far as 350 miles per day!

As soon as we got back, we jumped into our friend’s car and drove up to Anvil Mountain to see if we could see them from there. Of course, by the time we got there, no cranes were in sight. Nonetheless, the sun was out and getting ready to set, and the views were gorgeous all the way around.
Lens whacking

I took the opportunity up there to practice a new photography technique I learned, called “lens whacking” or “freelensing.” It’s the very simple concept of detaching the lens from the camera and allowing light to slip in from the side, giving the photo a vintage appearance, skewing the focus, or giving you these artsy streaks of light. I’m very bad at it, but it was fun to try.

Another failed lens whacking attempt

Gave up, and just went for a traditional shot with the 105mm

Well, long-roundabout-story short, the last week or so has kept me quite busy in spite of having a rather mundane work schedule, and seeing the massive sandhill crane migration was the icing on the cake.


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