Though I didn’t know it at the time, I took advantage of an Olympus promotion at our local Looking Glass Photo and Camera just two days before before the Shelter In Place order came through for our seven counties here in the Bay Area of Northern California. I walked out of the store having upgraded my OM-D 5 Mark II for an OM-D 1 Mark III, as well as upgrading two of my lenses to the better built Pro category. I had gone into the store the day before the promotion so I could handle the newly released 0M-D 1 Mark III and test it out. That evening a close friend had encouraged me to take the plunge mainly because the OM-D 1 III was so much easier to hold and handle with my worsening inflammatory arthritic hands. But she also encouraged me because I spend a huge amount of my limited energy day doing photography in one way or another. It’s what I do. It’s what gets me up in the morning on a physically challenging day. Most of all, it’s because photography is one of the things that gives me immense joy.
I have thanked my friend, Anne, a million times. Even with the Shelter In Place order, I am able to take some photographs whilst taking the necessary walk with my dog each day (wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet away from other dog walkers). And I am absolutely amazed at the difference in the quality of the photos from the upgraded camera and lenses. AMAZED. It is giving me joy each and every day. And one of the great things about photography right now is that much of the work occurs in the editing afterwards. Which of course, needs to be done inside. It seems to be to be the perfect solution.
Most of the photos I have been posting have of course been older ones, taken with the older equipment before the Stay At Home order, or taken quickly on the fly with my phone. But here is one that I took today with the new camera and lenses. I was thrilled to have been able to capture the ethereal nature of the blossoms.
I was, of course, taking my daily one mile walk with my dog when I came upon these wildflowers. They had managed to grow under the fence, up against the sidewalk, and still thrive. I found them to be an inspiration. How can I continue to grow in spite of, or perhaps because of, this difficult quarantine during the Coronavirus? Sheltering inside, except for this one hour a day, (and even for that respite, wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet way from other people), how can I use this time? What new skills can I learn, uninterrupted like this? What books could I read? What items in my apartment might I realize, with renewed clarity, that I no longer need and I could donate? What clutter could I clear out and then organize what remains, creating a more peaceful haven? What opportunities does this quarantine present that I am normally too busy, or too distracted, to notice?
This is nothing glamorous, or colorful, or even particularly well photographed. But it’s a chore that I’ve been avoiding for months. After two weeks of #ShelterInPlace, I decided that enough procrastination was enough, and I’d better get to it! Now the balcony is tidy, with dead annuals gone, extra potting soil put back in the bag, and the various now-emptied pots neatly stacked on the out-of-the-way small kitchen balcony. Even the additional fallen branches that I had collected from downed tree branches during the winter have been added to the “branch display” at one end, rather than piled in a heap right in the middle. Everything is now ready for new spring plants, once I can venture out to get them. Or maybe I can look into whether the small plant nursery is delivering. Hooray for ticking a neglected chore off the list!