Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Waiting for Hurricane Ida

We're seeing the remnants of what was Hurricane Ida.  She formed in Central America as a late season storm, did a lot of damage, then turned north, heading straight towards us.  We had a few moments of concern but the forecasters kept predicting it to head north, weaken in  strength, hit land somewhere near Pensacola Florida, then zig east, right towards us.  That is exactly what it did.  It made landfall at Dauphin Island, Alabama.  It looks like we are in for a good bit of rain.
We've had a very mild hurricane season this year and this storm formed in November and kind of surprised everyone.  Hurricane season is supposed to end at the end of November, but I have seen a hurricane threat on News Years day in 2004 or 2005.  Those were the 2 years that Florida got slammed with storms all season long.

I have been considering buying a new SLR digital camera in the future.  They take wonderful pictures like the old SLR cameras, but are still in the digital format.  I like seeing my photo as soon as I take it so that I can re-take it if necessary.  The only problem is that you have to purchase and use several different lens's just like the old style 35mm cameras.  I sold mine years ago once I went digital and have not missed the lens changing or the weight of all that equipment.  I like to carry my camera while hiking or kayaking and my Olympus C50 Ultra Zoom is so light I barely know it’s there.  I also never have to change the lens for whatever shot I want.   I LOVE it.  The camera can take ultra close-ups (macro) as well as  long distance.  It is only a  4 megapixel camera, but has a 10X optical zoom lens with a 4x  (if I remember correctly) digital zoom.  It’s the equivalent of a 38-380mm camera.  Most people say the digital zoom is useless because it’s too grainy to get good photos, but I disagree.  There are a LOT of times without my digital zoom, I would not have been able to get the shot.  In fact the majority of my photos are taken with the full digital/optical zoom. I like take a lot of wildlife shots and need that zoom to get a good close photo.  I agree that maybe they don't look great if you want to blow up the photograph, but that is something I rarely do.


Flowering tree taken without zoom


same tree with zoom of a flower


I didn’t think they made the ultra zoom cameras anymore and was concerned that if something happened to this one, I  would have a problem.  I LOVE this camera.  Fortunately I found another camera that appears to be even better.  It has a 26-520 mm equivalent lens, which is a 20x optical lens and a 5x digital lens.  This is over twice as powerful and with a 10 megapixel camera. The suggested retail price is only $349.95.  Much cheaper than the SLR cameras.

SP 560 UZ


After looking a while I found that Olympus made another ultra zoom camera.  This one retails for $449.95.

SP 590 UZ

It has an even stronger zoom with the equivalent of 26-670 mm lens.  That’s quite a zoom for such a small, lightweight camera. It’s also a 12 megapixel camera with a 26x optical zoom with a 5x digital zoom.  You multiply the 26 times 5 to get the equivalent of 130 times the zoom. 

I think this will be on my list of must have’s. 

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Kolomoki Mounds State Park

Blakely, Georgia
This is in the southwest part of Georgia, very near the Alabama border.
It was a beautiful fall day with clear blue skies and temps in the mid 70’s. We made a day trip to this park which is 80 miles from our house.
The park contains some old Indian Burial Grounds.
This park is an archaeological site as well as a beautiful campground and day use park. There were 7 earthen mounds within the park that were built between 250-950 A.D. by the Swift Creek and Weeden Island Indians. The mounds include Georgia's oldest great temple mound, two burial mounds and four ceremonial mounds. The park's museum is partially situated inside an excavated mound, providing an unusual setting for viewing artifacts and a film. There is a small fee to visit the museum which is well worth it. We went to the museum the last time we were here, so skipped it this time. It was very interesting and worth the time and price.
This is a very pretty park with lots of pine trees and a pretty lake.
Boat Dock - no motor boats with more than 10hp motor


The fall foliage is just starting to come out here in south Georgia.
Beautiful grounds with lots of fragrant pine trees.
Beautiful trailsPB070128

Beautiful campsites, some on the lake
Site 18
It is not on the lake but backs up to the woods. Lots of privacy and a gray water dump place right on the site. Very convenient. We think this is our favorite site. Georgia doesn’t allow you to reserve any particular site. You reserve a spot, but it’s first come, first serve. We prefer the way Florida does so we know we can get the site we want, but Georgia doesn’t work this way.
site 15

site 19
site 75-campground host spot
This was the best site. Sewer connection, beautiful view of the lake, good chance to hook up satellite and away from the rest of the sites. I don’t know if you can get it if there is no CG host working there (like today), but it would be worth a shot.
site 4 – waterfront
lots of pretty waterfront sites but most are like double spots. Great if you are with a friend.
There were also several long pull through sites.
This is a pretty park and not real crowded considering it is perfect camping weather right now. There are 24 campsites with electric and water. There was the one camphost with with electric, water and sewer. There were plenty of sites that a larger rig could get into.

There were also 2 large group shelters which looked very nice.
View of campground from the lake.
Oh, and we saw a black bear…..
or at least we thought it looked like a bear around 1000 feet away. After I zoomed in it with my camera I discovered this.
Sure looked like a bear until I got a closer look!
The park has a nice day use are with pavillions and also a swimming pool. It's a little too cool now but I'm sure it's popular in the summer.

On the way home we discovered a house with these beautiful Zinna’s lining their driveway on both sides. They grow well here. I have been planting tons of them each spring and they flower like crazy until the frost gets them. I never have a shortage of cut flowers.