Saturday, October 23, 2010

I took the plunge...

For years I have had to wear some type of corrective lenses. Since I've been 12 or 13 years old I've been wearing glasses or contact lenses. Gosh, that's been 50 years! Okay, so now you know how old I am. :o) This past spring (April or May) I had my eyes examined and was given a new prescription. Mind you, I have had progressive lenses for almost twenty years. But this prescription was the first set of glasses I just couldn't get used to. I even went back to the optician and complained and instead he told me the glasses were fine and what I could do for "medium" distances, such as computer work, I could get a pair of "computer" glasses to use when I'm on the computer. Well, the computer glasses worked fine, but it was such a nuisance switching back and forth. Even the close reading part of the progressives did not really feel right. So in my disgust and dissatisfaction I finally got up the courage to check to see if I could still qualify for lasik surgery. I said "still qualify" because I was considered a good candidate for it up to 5 years ago. Well, I took the plunge and had my eyes examined at the Laser Eye Center of Silicon Valley on Tuesday and was told I would still be an excellent candidate for Lasik. As a matter of fact I qualified for the latest, most advanced type of surgery called Wavefront Intralase. I had it done yesterday (Friday, Oct 22) afternoon. It didn't take very long at all. I opted for something that is called monovision where you have your dominant eye adjusted for distance and your secondary eye adjusted for close work. I will admit it will take some getting used to, but I am presently writing this only about 24 hours later and I'm extremely pleased with the results. My distance seems quite sharp, but I'm still trying to adjust, or my brain is still trying to adjust to the difference. I went back this morning for a check-up and everything seems to be progressing very nicely. If you are thinking about Lasik surgery, by all means look into it. See if you qualify. Already I don't regret spending the money for it, or should I say making the investment.

Below is a photo of my surgeon, Dr Craig Bindi. He and his staff are excellent. I would recommend them to anyone. By the way, Dr Bindi is now the owner/operator of the Laser Eye Center of Silicon Valley. He bought Dr Gary Kawesh's practice, and Dr Kawesh is world renowned, but has since in the last year or two retired from the practice.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monterey Bay Birding Festival - part 2

My husband and I visited the Ventana Wildlife Society on Friday the 24th. This place is located at Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur. The event was an all-day session where we were to see bird banding demonstrations in the morning and searching for California Condors in the afternoon. I was so fascinated with the bird banding that I failed to get photos of the birds that were caught and banded. It's amazing how small the birds look when they are held in one's hand. Some of the species caught and banded were lesser goldfinches, white crowned sparrows, Lincoln's sparrows, Wilson's warblers, and wrentits. We even hiked to the areas where the mist nets were to see how the birds are carefully taken out of the nets and placed in cloth bags, then taken back to the banding area where the birds would be checked over for molt or worn feathers, weighed and banded, then released. Afterwards, lunch was provided. And then it was time to caravan to several locations south of Big Sur to try to locate the condors. Sad to say, we only saw a brief glimpse of one lone female condor who flew to one of her favorite trees to perch, according to the condor expert. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos taken on Friday, but it still was lots of fun.
Saturday's activity was a half-day field trip to Natural Bridges State Beach. Our leader was Jennifer Rycenga, who has been a birder for quite some time and has been a leader in the past for the festival. We had the opportunity of hiking on a trail which took us from a wooded area to the beach. But the best location for taking photos was at the beach.

A whimbrel on the rock.

More whimbrels -- they are so photogenic.
Here's a black phoebe perched on the rock. The background seems so out of place for a black phoebe. Well, at least to me it seems out of place.
These dark colored gulls are Heermann's gulls, with a few more whimbrels thrown in.
And on this rock there were mostly cormorants, one brown pelican, and another gull.
And I couldn't resist to get this photo of a cormorant sunning himself.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Monterey Bay Birding Festival 2010

Last weekend was the 6th annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival. Here are some photos I took while on one of the events, Elkhorn Slough Safari. This was done on a 27-foot pontoon boat, and the Captain was Yohn Gideon, owner and operator. The weather was great and my husband and I wish we could have gone for at least another 2 hours.
Sea lions hanging around the pier.
Cormorants - double-crested, pelagic, and Brandt's, hanging around the pier.
Notice the upper center cormorant with his beautiful blue throat-patch - a Brandt's cormorant.
Heermann's gull perched near the pier. He was hanging around with other gulls and cormorants.
A group of sea otters in the slough.
Close-up of some of the sea otters. The otter in the foreground with the whitish face is apparently the "grandfather" of the group. Actually, we were told that the older the otter gets the "whiter" or grayer their faces get.
Close-up of an otter eating a clam.
Harbor seals. Notice they are smaller than the sea lions, and they lack the "ears" that sea lions have.
Close-up view of a few harbor seals.
Brown pelicans along the edge of the shore.
Close-up view of a few brown pelicans.
A white pelican taking a snooze, and a couple of gulls standing guard.
Landscape of the Elkhorn Slough area. Notice the farming area in the background. This is a well-known agricultural area, especially known for artichokes, lettuce, cabbage, etc.
Brown pelicans watching the humans on the boat.
A brown pelican hanging around all those cormorants.
Captain Yohn took everyone's picture, or at least those folks who were sporting a camera. This Safari is highly recommended, and is available for various events/outings. There's also a special Photo Safari scheduled for Oct 23rd on a Saturday afternoon. I sure wouldn't mind going again.


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