Tuesday, July 29, 2008

day +345

I feel considerably better right now, but several hours ago I wasn't all too well. I think I may have upset my GVHD by exposing myself to too much UV light this morning.

During the past several days, I've been thinking a bit. Thinking about what I'm going to do now that the trip has been canceled. I have some thoughts about this, but I'll save them for another post. For a few days, I was in a bit of funk not doing a whole lot but as has happened in the past, I returned to my camera. Moreover, I rededicated myself to the principles that I described in my recent post, "Rolling With It."

Late Friday afternoon I walked to the recently opened Lou Gehrig Plaza, which is just a hop and a skip from where I live. A few days prior, I had thought that it might be a great place from which to capture a panoramic shot of the area and so, I went to try it out on Friday. The fact that the humidity had been very low recently also encouraged me to experiment. I was not disappointed. This afternoon the clouds were amazingly animated.

All sorts of kinetic activity was playing out above. I just wish I had captured more foreground in the photograph. I'm planning to go back to do just that once the high temperatures, which have returned, cool down some.

My photographic adventures continued.

Before dawn, I made my first visit to Randall's Island on Sunday in the hope of capturing a spectacular panoramic sunrise over the Harlem River. For months, I had planned to make it over there but never did. As a result, I was pretty pumped up for this early morning visit. Standing on the northwestern end of the island (looking towards Harlem and the Bronx), one sees the Triborough Lift Bridge to the left, which is covered partially in an enormous sheet due to renovation work and to the right is the Willis Avenue Bridge.

View Larger Map

The weather was warm and breezy. While I waited for the first break of light, fierce lighting began to pierce the cloudy pre-dawn sky. The prospect of photographing lightening at sunrise filled me with great excitement. For starters, I had never photographed lightening before and secondly, such a unique shot from Randall's Island I thought would be the coolest thing. Soon after, however, the clouds began to thicken and then, blanketed the area. Rain began to fall intermittently. Sometimes there was a quick shower and at other moments, it came down in buckets. Thankfully, I had brought my umbrella along otherwise I would have been in serious trouble. Waiting patiently beside my tripod on the island's rocky shore, I was hoping that the rain and clouds would pass and give way to a brilliantly colorful sunrise, but it wasn't meant to be. It was way too cloudy and the moment for that spectacular show in the sky had passed. I did manage to photograph the river and the bridges after the rain had cleared, but the scene was gray and unappealing.

I left disappointed, but I'm encouraged by the fact that I am a bit more familiar with the island now and as a result, I should be better prepared for my next try. If done well, I think this shot will rock.

Early this morning I went to Inwood Hill Park, which contains the last natural forest and salt marsh, in Manhattan. I've been there several times since starting this project. I had hoped to see ergets, which I know populate the salt marsh during this time of the year, but none appeared. However, I was fortunate to capture some of the many geese and ducks that congregate in the morning.

From the park, I went to nearby Wave Hill Public Garden, which I have visited at least once a month ever since my first visit there in April. Until starting this project, I didn't have an interest in capturing flowers but that changed rather quickly. Not only have my visits to Wave Hill spurred a greater appreciation for the subtle beauty of flowers and plants, but I've also learned a great deal about how best to photograph them. After photographing a particular flower, for example, I look for its identifying tag and write its common and scientific names into a small black book in which I've recorded the details of all of my project's treks.

This photograph of a frog is my favorite from Wave Hill today.

Though my visits to Inwood Hill Park and Wave Hill were enjoyable, I made the stubborn mistake of spending too much time outside where I think I was exposed to too much sunlight. The temperature was in the low 70s while I was at Inwood Hill Park, but by the late morning it had climbed into the 80s. At Wave Hill, I spent most of my time outside wandering amidst its lovely gardens.

Before leaving home, I had covered my exposed areas with ample sunblock SPF 40 and wore a 3/4 length baseball jersey shirt to cover my arms and a baseball cap for my head. Though protected, I was outside probably for two hours more than I should have been. Feeling fatigued when I left Wave Hill, when I got home I was exhausted. Moreover, for the first time in many months I had diarrhea though it is very mild. Of course, I don't know if the diarrhea is the consequence of an aggravated GVHD caused by over sun exposure, but it might be. My stomach, which had begun to feel unsettled last night, also wasn't right.

This afternoon I called Dr. C-M's office and spoke to Alli about what had happened. The diarrhea may be related to the GVHD or it may not be. My Tacrolimus dosage may need to be increased, she stated. I'm scheduled to go to clinic on Thursday for a blood draw at which time some more tests may be done to address this new issue.


Comment Anonymous EFG said...

the photos are wonderful especially the frog from Wave Hill!!

hope your stomach feels better.


5:04 AM  
Comment Blogger Bekah said...

Thinking of you dearest --
if you're bored.

You always have a place to crash in Boston.

Sending tons of Love,


11:14 AM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Thanks, EFG and Bekah!

8:52 PM  
Comment Blogger laulausmamma said...

Hi Duane - hope by the time you read this (Thurs p.m.) that you are feeling better and the issues you experienced have cleared up.

Your photo of the frog is great...I love the colors and clarity of it. I'll have to check out more of your nature photos. There's so much out there to photograph...your choices are endless. Thank goodness for digital...now you can take all the pics your heart desires.


11:29 PM  

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