Winter seems to be lingering longer than normal in Northern, VA but today was moderately warmer and I had a new lens mounted on my Olympus E-M5: m.zuiko 9-18mm. With the Sicily trip only 2 weeks away I decided to purchase a wide angle lens to facilitate landscapes and, of course, the ancient architecture of Rome. A wide angle lens provides a wonderful view on the world but it does take more practice than most other lenses. Thus I took the photo walk today around a local man-made lake. This picture illustrates why I love this perspective. The daffodils in this picture were no more than 6 inches in height and only a foot from the front of the camera. Not only do the daffodils get captured but also the larger scene. I chose to put the focus on the daffodils and an aperture (f6.3) that yielded everything else out of focus. The wonderful happenstance of going on photo walks is that other surprise images present themselves. Below are a couple of images taken with the same lens of a Great Blue Heron who was feeding along the lake. The images are cropped because normally one does not shoot birds with a wide angle lens. Maybe the heron has adapted to humans passing so close, because I was able to get within 10 feet of the bird before it took flight. In this case the images were shot at 18mm (36mm on a 35mm format). Bella, Bella - I think my new lens will do fine in Italy.