Return of the birds

As planning and equipment provisioning are reaching a fevered pitch, I lulled myself to sleep last night wrapped in a cocoon of stress, with the vague sense of being not-yet properly prepared beginning to take on clearer features, the contours of the last-minute-breakdowns and clarifications of the still voluminous to-do list dancing like rancid little sugar plums in my tiny brain. Sigh. The last week before launch can be tough.

Imagine my delight, then, when upon awakening in the dimly dawning morning a few moments ago I heard the first pre-dawn bird serenade I’ve heard in months here in the frosty New England hinterlands. I guess yesterday’s sudden, brief and unseasonable day of balmy foggy breezes was all the invitation Nature needed. My ears perked up; I knew something was different but it took me a moment to realize what had changed in the surrounding sonic landscape. What a peaceful and sweet, timeless little moment. Made me glad I hadn’t drowned it all out with the sound of a running bathtub, like I’d almost reached to do in my early morning fog.

Spent much of yesterday ordering equipment for the journey, especially for the video-production aspect: a Canon HV20 hi-def camcorder with a frightening quantity of blank miniDV recording tapes, which I guess allow for a better and more stable back-up than recording straight to hard drive–but which will represent one BPA on the road. (Just imagine the Big Pain in the Ass (tm) of hauling around half a suitcase of heavy media in addition to everything else necessary for the road trip–my back hurts already!)

And I’ll spare you the grumbling about my effete Sony W100 camera which is so sensitive to little bruises that, now in the shop for the second time since November, Sony wants to charge me the cost of a new camera to repair it, even though it should be under warranty. A far cry from my hallowed old Canon ELPH which took epic abuse for years–including being left outside overnight off the beach during one of the most elemental rainstorms in memory–and is still working fine. (Though it did take a few days to dry out.) My cheap advice? Take a pass on the Sony cameras. I usually love Sony gear (like their little PCM-D1 and D50 field recorders, great little units), but I can’t take a glass-jawed camera with me to India and Kabul, no way. So say hello to my new Panasonic Lumix with Leica optics.

And now, with dawn fully broken, let the day begin…


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