On birthdays, bugs and being grateful

Close-up shot of orange lily stamen coated in pollen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Lily stamen. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Shot with Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens

Well the election gods haven’t (so far — hung parliament) come through with the new government I wanted for my birthday, AND I’ve managed to spend the last 36 hours feeling utterly miserable from a gastro-bug-thingy , BUT …

… the Big T floored me with a particularly thoughtful and wonderful birthday gift.

I’ve been dithering for ages about buying a macro lens, and now I am the ecstatic owner of a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IS USM macro lens. I’m a bit hopeless with technical terminology, but even from my first experiments, I can tell this lens is seriously cool.

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in ponga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I have no idea what these are, but I found them growing out of punga (silver tree fern) logs in the Waitakere Ranges. The tallest stem was about 5cm. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Unknown micro-plant with slender stem and large overhanging oval seed heads or flowers. Seen growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Otherworldly. Unknown micro-plant found growing in punga logs, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

As my interest in photography has grown, I’m turning my lens more and more on nature, and particularly on the tiny details. In a world that I find increasingly — well, scary — I am comforted and sustained by the beauty and resilience of the smallest life forms.

And by the love of the good people like the Big T. And not just for the awesome gift — I’m even more grateful for his thoughtful compassion and nursing skills — especially at 3am when I’m sick and grumpy and, frankly, stink.

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31 thoughts on “On birthdays, bugs and being grateful

  1. Oh, I am so looking forward to what you find with your macro lens. That was the reason I swapped from a bridge camera to one with interchangeable lenses as I wanted to get in closer. it is amazing what you see. You are very good with it already – took me a while to get used to the exceptionally small area of focus and they are pretty useless in the wind. Did you use a tripod or hand-held? I keep meaning to use a tripod, at least in my garden, to see if I can get clearer images.

    And I hope I didn’t pass my gastro bug thingy on to you – mine was confined to stomach cramps but oh, boy was it painful for a few days. All well now as I hope you will be soon. I’m dithering between a telephoto or another wide-angle fixed lens for my birthday. Or a warm winter coat. Or maybe all of the above… after all who knows what might happen in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ouch. I’m glad you are feeling better. I got over the cramping pretty quickly, but still have the muscle aches around my chest from vomiting — and a headache I can’t quite shift.
      I haven’t tried my new lens with a tripod yet, but I think I’ll have to. I but found I had to take multiple shots to get one that had anything properly in focus with such a shallow depth of field.
      It was pretty still out in the Waitakeres, but I can see that even the slightest breeze is going to make shots blurry.
      Tough choice on the birthday present: but I think a coat has to be in the mix whatever you choose. You gotta be warm while you’re out taking great photos πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so happy I didn’t miss this wonderful post,dear Su!You got the real love from the Big T & a gorgeous birthday gift!Perfect use of the brand-new lens,amazing nature pics and detailed macros!The crismon lily stamen stole my heart.Happy clicks & weekend,my friend πŸ™‚ xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

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