Monday, January 28, 2008

How Much Water Can A Woodchuck Suck?

Again I took a videoclip of the waters, but tried it with the camera sideways to get the feeling of the height of the falls. It did not occur to me until now that it is not as easy to turn a video another direction as it is a photo. With all my little video-toys, I have nothing that will lighten, turn, crop, etc. a video while simultaneously retaining the sound and also being able to save it to a format Google will accept for loading. This program will do one thing but not the other, that program will do this but not that. Argh! Of course the one possibility I had that Would work told me I didn't have the component in question, but neglected to mention what that component would be, so, after far too much time spent on the topic, I'll just put it up as is. You can just squint and turn your head. Actually the camera records in .mov format, but even though Google takes Quicktime, for some reason the processing doesn't seem to work and the little processing logo just twirls around in circles for hours...days...(I am patient). But if I convert to mpeg, it just zips up onto the webpage. So much techno-learning for...loud water.

Anyway, after having enough of this view, I walked back down to the park and along the river edge. I was waylaid several times more for photographer-duty. Certainly a lot of different people about. After taking a couple of shots for a group of Japanese students, I sauntered upstream and watched the rapids and looked at some of the flora on the side. As I stood watching the river and looking at the bright flecks of flower color dabbling the greenery here and there, part of the greenery underneath me rustled. A head popped out, cautiously peering about.

What, another beaver?, I thought. Am I being followed by beavers? First the Lyndhurst one, now...I do have the teeth for becoming their leader, but still...and this fella didn't quite look like a beaver. What was it? A muskrat? A vole? I wasn't quite as up on my riverside mammals as I should have been.

It dawned on me, after a moment for my memory banks to run through my massive internal taxonomy lists, that it must be a woodchuck. I'd have to double-check next time I could find a picture of one (yeah, it's a woodchuck). I don't run into a lot of them in San Antonio. He was very funny. He was wary about all the people nearby, up and down the walkway, but apparently I was invisible to him (those ninja powers kicking in again). He came out further to double-check the path--there were some people some yards down the path. In the meantime he set his head on my foot. I was a tree. A tree with a spotlight in its branches, I guess. It was all I could do not to guffaw over this, or jump and startle him silly. Instead I just took some pictures of him, aiming straight down.

He seemed confused, like he knew I was nearby, but just couldn't see or hear me for some reason. Miss Invisibility again. He went on about his business, as I watched, delighted. Eventually he went back into the weeds and I mosied up the path.

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