My stay-sane-and-happy plans appear to be mostly working, though I'll slip up every once in a while (like yesterday) and stay inside on a glorious day just because getting out is too much damn work. But generally I've been hiking someplace most days when it's not too windy or precipitating. I take the baby and the binoculars and off we go. We've seen some great new trails, and I'm birding up a storm.
The problem is I don't generally take the camera. I recently picked up a new (used) lens for our DSLR on kijiji -- it's a great lens for the price, and aside from being a little heavier than the old lens and not doing macro at all, it's fabulous. The key use I saw for it was taking photos of birds in the backyard, particularly the feeders, but it's always very tempting to take it walking too. Only it's heavy, and a little awkward, and I generally have the maximum number of things strapped to me that I can comfortably handle.
As is the general law of cameras, though, every time I go out without it I see something that would make a great photo. The walk last week where my friend Lorax and I were surrounded by Cedar Waxwings at eye-level and five feet away? Would have been nice to have the camera for that. The walk before where Mom and I had great looks at some Brown Creepers less than ten feet away? Also would have been nice. I don't pretend to be excellent with the camera; I am at best a somewhat enthusiastic novice. But something like the waxwings would have been hard to miss.