Summer Solstice 2022

Well, here we are.  The longest day of the year.  And every minute of daylight is already spoken for.  We’ve got a party coming up on Saturday to celebrate my grandson’s high school graduation.  And Camera Girl has a list of chores as long as my arm!

Cut the lawn, install air conditioners, clean the barbecue grill, buy some gasoline, weed the garden, and on and on and on.  Normally I like to set aside the solstice to quiet contemplation of our small place in the limitless grandeur of the cosmos.  But I guess instead I’ll be scraping grease off of a barbecue rack.  I don’t suppose Aristotle had to put up with this kind of stuff.

But that’s alright.  The party isn’t the only thing on the list.  I have to get some supplies for the Yellowstone trip and this is the week when I have to figure out what lenses to pack.  And that means I have to do some testing of lens quality.  I have to decide whether I can just bring the manual 10mm Voigtlander lens or do I have to take the 12-24mm Sigma too.  Autofocus is not very important for landscape lenses but having the long side of the 12-24 might be useful under some circumstances.  I’ll have the 35mm 1.4 along but there’s a big difference between 24mm and 35mm.  I’ve decided to leave the 200mm macro and the 135mm 1.8 at home.  The 90mm macro is much faster and brighter than the 200mm and the 200-600 lens will cover all the telephoto requirements.  If I’m being honest there’s a good case for taking the 10mm, 35mm, 90mm macro and the 200-600mm lenses and nothing else.  But something tells me I’ll drag the 12-24mm along just for the sake of completeness.

Camera Girl has been kind of upset over a hawk that’s been killing the birds that come to her feeders.  So far, it’s done in two mourning doves and a chipmunk.  And insult to injury, it plucks the feathers off its victims before taking them away.  I’m sympathetic to her feelings for the birds.  She really enjoys watching the various species that are attracted to the feeders.  But my sympathy doesn’t extend to chipmunks.  They’re just striped rats in my book.  They’ve dug a couple of tunnels on this hill on one side of the house and have had a population explosion.  I’ll gladly pay that hawk a buck apiece for every chipmunk head it delivers.

I saw that DeSantis had a press conference where he countered the White House’s complaints about his administration not ordering vaccine for the 6 month – 5-year-old Floridians.  DeSantis very reasonably stated that the evidence that the regulators were pointing to for approving the vaccines for such young children was extremely unconvincing and so just as with the 6 to 11-year-olds, Florida wasn’t recommending people vaccinate their children.  He also wasn’t preventing it.  It would be a private decision between parents and their physicians.  Once again DeSantis comes away looking like the only grown-up in the room.

I guess we’ll have to wait a while longer for the Supreme Court to spill the beans on their decisions.  It will be interesting to see if Roberts manages to frighten any of the conservative justices away from overturning Roe v. Wade.  I’m also interested in how the Second Amendment case turns out.  These are very important cases.  A lot depends on their outcome especially with the mid-terms coming up.

Well off to the salt mines.