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Monthly Archives: May 2010

28 May

Since we are moving into a traditional holiday, this weekend, with Memorial Day, it has me thinking of some binocular traditions and how some of them came to be. Not that I expect to change anything, but I do wonder why we have such traditions.

Why, for instance, does Hollywood still, to this very day, show a screen with two partial circles to depict the view when someone is looking through a binocular, when anyone who has ever used a binocular knows that is not correct? Of course, it is unrealistic to expect Hollywood to portray real life, but you…

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27 May

How many people own binoculars? I don’t think there has ever been a “binocular poll” as such, but I would have to guess that, in this country, there are probably as many households with binoculars than households without binoculars. Why else would the binocular manufacturers make so many binocular models and so many different types of binoculars? Indeed, the binocular market is a very active and competitive place.

This, of course, is good for business, but it can also make it a bit tough when you want to buy a binocular. How do you choose from the literally hundreds of…

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26 May

One of the features of the home we just bought in northern Wisconsin, as our permanent retirement home, is its large screened porch. To folks who have never been to the north woods, this may not seem like a big deal, but it would only take one summer night, up north, to change their mind. When you hear that ominous hum just about the time the sun goes down, you only have a few minutes to seek sanctuary from hordes of invading and very aggressive mosquitoes. Without that porch, you have to spend those otherwise beautiful northern summer nights indoors…

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25 May

I have a grandson with a birthday coming up and my step daughter was thinking about a kids binocular, rather than a standard, more expensive binocular. You see, Luke is a typical eight year old in that he sometimes gets so excited and adventurous that he might just leave his binocular, behind, on one of his local expeditions to the back yard or neighborhood park. If you have kids or grand kids, you know the type.

Kids binoculars do need to be a bit smaller in size, too, for a youngster to properly handle and I also like a low…

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24 May

My spring warbler migration is over, but I still carry my binoculars every time I step out of doors. Call it habit or maybe I am hoping to pick up a straggler, but I just can’t bear to leave the house without a binocular. Since I usually carry compact binoculars, such as my Leica Ultravid 10x25BL, this is hardly any real inconvenience, though I suppose I get my share of looks when I walk into a store with binoculars around my neck. Actually, birding and binoculars are such a part of my daily routine that I wonder why all those…

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21 May

Summertime is a great time to do astronomy with a binocular, though, in truth, any time of the year is a great time to some binocular astronomy. Maybe I am just a little sentimental about summertime astronomy, though, since summer is when I first started astronomy and that was with a binocular or maybe it’s just that user-friendly binoculars are a better fit for those warm, lazy summer nights than a more difficult to use telescopes. Whatever the reason, summer, to me, means using an astronomy binocular and every time I pick up the astronomy binocular, forty years of memories …

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20 May

How often do you clean your binoculars? That is a question I get, now and then, from folks who just purchased a new and expensive binocular and want to make it last or, in some cases, they are a little nervous about getting their binocular dirty and not sure what to do about cleaning. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if a binocular stayed as clean as the day you first take it from the box? Unfortunately, binoculars will get dirty, no matter how careful you are. Anytime a lens is exposed to open air, it’s going to collect dust, at…

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19 May

Most backyards have a fairly predictable assortment of birds that come to the feeder, depending on the region, of course, and our yard gets its share of “regulars”, too. On the other hand, our yard is a bit different in that it also gets visits from birds not so typical of a back yard and that makes it a birdwatching delight. The only explanation I can offer for this is that we are located across the street from a large tract of urban forest (we are very fortunate). For sure, I always have a birding binocular within reach, whether working…

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18 May

When you look at a boutique binocular, such the Swarovski Crystal Pocket binocular, you tend to see something that would be right at home at the opera, and, in fact, that is one of the reasons I bought my Nabucco version of the Swarovski Crystal series, several years, ago. It is truly an elegant compact binocular and, guys, if you are looking for that gift for the gal in your life, this would be a great gift and great statement. Like all Swarovski binoculars, this Swarovski compact just oozes quality and elegance; it has a heft and feel in the …

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17 May

Haven’t picked up any new warbler species, lately, to add to my 2010 birding list, but I really don’t mind. It’s just such a great time to be out on the trails with my binoculars and digital cameras. How could I possibly want more in terms of beauty than the woods and fields in May?
Nevertheless, May is also an important month for a birder or bird watcher. The first half of May is a very serious time for birding, since the warbler and song bird migration is in full swing. The second half of May sees a decline in…

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