Today is my last day at work before a few weeks off. Before possibly the longest time I've planned to spent 100% off work since first having enough freelance business that it could matter. Except for 2 quick, simple bug fixes, I've spent the whole work day writing up documentation and tidying up code repositories. That's not only very satisfying, but also leaves me thinking I might actually succeed in not touching work until I get back home.

Alright, work is as done as it's going to be, and my stuff including a rather silly number of camera accessories is all packed. All that's left is a pile of dishes and some leftovers to freeze and I'll be ready to go.

I'll be a lot less Online for the next few weeks; please contact other mods (listed at weirder.earth/about/more ) for any :weirder_earth: needs.

How did we manage to use so many pots and things that don’t fit in the dishwasher in just the last few days?

This trip starts with a night in Houston. Originally just because of awkward flight timing, but we’ve turned it into something nice because we’ll get to meet someone in meatspace who so far both of us only know from Online. I am wearing my pineapple socks in honor of the mastodon memes of oh so long ago when we first started chatting.

On our way out, not only Tahoma but also Loowit, Pahto, Wyeast and another peak further to the south all came out to bid us farewell from Cascadia. A 5-stratovolcano day always feels blessed.

+ some tiny + a view + a few moments of flying through the trees.
The flowers are called Santa Lucia, and there’s a local saying about how giving someone these in January will make them rich for the year, rhyming Enero with dinero.

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It may not look like it from the photos I’ve shared so far, but we are actually here for taiji. I’m just not usually holding a camera in those sessions. But here is some slow photography in that spirit. Details in image descriptions.

Things that have caused distractions in our taiji classes this week:
🐯The resident cat
🦋That moth that landed on one of us and wouldn’t leave
🐦Hummingbirds out the window
🌈A rainbow.

I like this crowd.

I took this short video much more for the sound than the visuals.

Hummingbirds are magical creatures, even if I can only ever capture their images at feeders.

I’m in an airport in Costa Rica and keep seeing wework ads. Not only is there no escape, but also how do they still have an advertising budget?

The flotilla of ships waiting to enter the Panama Canal is a ghostly vision at night.
I’d like to actually visit this country some time, but today we’re just changing planes and being grateful that PTY has the decency to let international transfer passengers stay airside and not make us clear passport control in order to leave like certain other places I won’t name.

For those who know the delightfully eccentric Horniman Museum in south London, here’s what seems to be the dominant tea brand in Quito.

Limited activity today because I’m unwell. But we are staying just off the 30km route that Quito closes to cars every Sunday so cyclists and flâneurs can take over. If I’d felt better I’d have preferred to rent a bike and join in, but spending a couple of hours at a sidewalk cafe taking in the scene was also good.

I seem to have abruptly recovered from illness overnight. Let’s just say that this is the only circumstance in which waking up hungry at 3am is an exciting thing to happen.

One thing I feel like I’m missing so far is the gloriously syncretic style of religious art we saw so much of in Bolivia. We’ve been into two churches so far and both had very European art collections, incongruously white jesi and all.

@eldang Nice! What setup did you use for the star trails?

@alx my new camera (an Olympus Tough, bought for underwater use) turns out to have some really fun composite photo modes. This one takes successive exposures and after the first one only adds newly bright pixels.

@eldang Ah yes, my Olympus has the same modes - posted some fun party pics using it on here a while back. I'm guessing it's a fixed lens if it's an underwater camera then? Was asking partly because I'm on the lookout for a M43 wide angle with decent low light performance.

@alx yeah, fixed lens with a small zoom range. So what I’m doing here is bringing both cameras on hikes, one with the telephoto lens on it, the other as the wide angle.

@compostablespork it was. And the tour description totally undersold the forest part, I guess because it’s not the headline attraction, but it added so much.

@eldang wow that’s a large tail for a hummingbird 😍 I wonder what kind it is

@Gizmo I think it’s a violet sabrewing, but because it’s so silhouetted I could be mixing it up with others we saw. Costa Rica has generally bigger hummingbirds than I’m used to seeing at temperate latitudes.

@eldang that blue sky is amazing!! I'm glad you're getting out some - are you feeling better at all?

@compostablespork oh, significantly better. I’d still have been stuck at the hotel otherwise. Without going too TMI, I think the infection is done but it takes my system a while to settle so I may not be 100% ok for another day or two.

@eldang oh not tmi at all, @savagegoose and I swap GI horror stories a fair amount. I think if you have any food intolerances (or are just a well traveled human) you've got some epic bathroom tales. Or rather "attempt to reach the bathroom" tales for the worst ones.

@eldang I’ve never seen one up close before
Wow!
Did you slow the video down?

@jc yeah, it's the iPhone slow motion mode. I kept totally failing to get decent still pictures, and one of the other people in the group pointed out that slo mo video works way better for this.

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