Vale of Cashmere, Prospect Park, 7 January 2022
This is a mock strawberry, but I thought it was a real one, so I tasted it. Only a little, because the bumps looked weird. It was . . . insipid. Happily, according to the internet, it’s nontoxic.
I heard this flycatcher, and spent most of my allotment of birding time this morning waiting for it to perch somewhere relatively visible. By the time it did, I was accompanied by Terry, Charles T., Jeremy N., and Enrico, who were able to identify it as an Acadian by its song.
Went home and put in the air conditioners.
This one is hard to identify! My first guess was pine warbler, then yellow-throated vireo, then briefly Lawrence’s warbler, but in the end I’m going with the first-winter incarnation of bay-breasted warbler.
When this tree was in flower, I thought it was a bottlebrush buckeye, but now that there’s a fruit, I’m wondering if it’s a California buckeye.
A side-effect of spilling a glass of water on my old laptop is that on the new one, I couldn’t keep going with my somewhat ancient copy of Photoshop Elements, which I think came for free with a scanner a decade ago, and had to pony up for Lightroom Classic. The difference may or may not be visible to you, but I’ve been learning how to use Lightroom Classic for the past week or so, and today finally graduated to taking pictures in my camera’s “raw” format, instead of just having it compress jpegs on the fly. What this means is I have a little more latitude, now, to correct exposure and white balance after the fact, which is awfully helpful because I can’t tell you how many theoretically great photos I’ve taken have proved unusable because a bright sky in the background turned the bird in the foreground into nothing but a silhouette. Also, now I can click a button to correct digitally for flaws in the particular lens that I’m using, which is a subtle improvement, but maybe it’s something? The danger, of course, is that now I’ll be tempted to doctor the photos too much, and that they’ll end up looking same-y through my new ability to indulge my predilections, so I’ve been trying to make myself go easy on the “vibrance” and “saturation” adjustment sliders.