Here's a peek into the objective lens end:
I call this photo "Clean your optics!"
The scope's mount is still an ongoing situation--it's not stable on the tripod. Here's a photo of the bottom, where it attaches to the quick-release shoe. I started with a nut in a precisely carved hole, but the hole has deteriorated quickly.
My fault for using pine--too soft. Plus I had to screw in that crossbeam, then cut of the screw end when it poked into the nut hole. There isn't enough Gorilla Glue in the world to hold that tiny nut in there when the weight of the scope is on it. I'm thinking I'll cut out some of the wood there, put in a piece of oak, then make the precisely cut hole again for the nut. OR--if there were some sort of metal plate that had a screw hole precisely the size of the tripod's mounting screw.... it's times like these that I wish I were a welder.
Still--this isn't going to be too bad to fix. I'll think of something.
Meanwhile, the babies were running around while I was taking these photos. Kisses settled into the canvas military-issue bag I bought to carry the scope:
Clawsie thought dinner was just delicious:
It was so funny to get his photo of Clawsie. She really doesn't like the flash in her face, and she's normally just so crabby and mean, yet when you look at this photo of her, she almost looks like a playful little lap cat. She's anything but! She's the house bully, beating up Kisses and jumping on Niblet all the time, just to keep them aware of who's the top cat.
Niblet then began demanding some attention:
So I broke down and fed him some bunny pellets--which he LOVES but which I know are probably just like bunny junk food. He gets a tiny little bowlful in the morning along with a big pile of timothy, and that's his breakfast. But sometimes--well, he wears me down.
Here he's eating out of my hand. I worried that he would nip me, but he never does--and his little whiskers feel so tickly and funny. Of course, one little tiny handful was just enough to whet his appetite, and he soon got indignant:
So I figured I'd better get out of there, before he went Monty Python on me. Run away, run away!
Now--I've been keeping a little secret for the last three days, and my shame has grown unbearable. I had a moment of weakness in my scope-building saga. I was tempted by the fruit of another. I . . . gulp . . . I (this is actually hard to admit! I find my fingers not wanting to type the words, and my throat is kinda tight!) Okay--let me just rip the bandaid off really quick:
I bought a real scope for myself.
There--I said it. I know you all gasped--WHAT? How could you? What were you thinking? But here's the deal: it's just been such a long wait while I worked on the homemade scope! I couldn't stand it anymore! I was looking at that Slik 504QFII tripod, and I was fully intending to get one for myself with my 3rd quarter bonus check. Then I committed the ultimate sin--I googled "spotting scopes" just one time too many. I looked at some scopes between $100 and $200 -- to a professional, these are trash, I'm sure! But . . . well, I just started to think: "I could spend $125 on a tripod, or I could spend $125 on a scope. Hmmm. . . ."
Once that evil little seed was planted in my brain, I just couldn't stop thinking about it. I agonized for about two weeks. Finally, I just pulled the trigger and bought the Meade Condor 20-60x60 spotting scope, with table-top tripod and hard carrying case:
I know what you're thinking: "how could you!?" But I couldn't help myself. I mean, it's not an expensive scope, but then I wasn't going to be getting a Swarovsky ATHD80 or a Leica Televid for the foreseeable future! That's a dream--like "one day I'll go to law school!" It may or may not ever happen! It's not in the planner! It's likely going to stay a dream. But here was this scope, with the Meade name, which I kinda trust, and the power and the specs sounded good. How in the world am I going to nitrogen-purge my scope? It's not gonna happen. When will I have a 20-60X zoom lens? Again--not gonna happen.
So I bought it, after two weeks of agonizing and feeling like I was somehow cheating on my little homemade scope.
I still have that crappy tripod I bought a while back, and I'm kinda warming to it. . . kinda.
I'm still working on my scope; it will always be my neat dream, and I do love it. But I just want to see what the view is through a real scope. I want to put it on the tripod, get a real adapter, put the camera on there, and start snapping some photos!
Please don't judge too harshly. Besides--I could always return it if I don't like it!