Monday, September 9, 2013

Catching Up and Camera Angst

My plan for September, after our busy summer, was to catch up and keep up. My plan is not working well. On the plus side, I have caught up on horse hoof trimming. I'll post a few photos of horse hooves to illustrate. These are unposed, some covered with mud (it rained one day... a little), photos. I was desperate to use my fabulous new camera before I sent it back. That story later...

Oh, but first I can't resist showing how much I loved the zoom on this camera. There is a small hawk on top of the big snag in the photo below, with lots of swallows dive bombing it. I could not tell for sure with my binoculars what it was... but thought it was a Merlin.

Until I zoomed it up and looked at the resulting photo on my computer. An American Kestrel!

And high in a tree by Agency Creek was a dark blob I couldn't tell what was until I zoomed it up in my Nikon Coolpix L820...

Snoozing raccoon

But back to catching up... We managed to survey Dippers on Agency Creek for the first time in months and found this busy bird singing and foraging in his nesting territory.

On the way home from our weekly Black Oystercatcher (BLOY) check at Road's End (I do keep up on BLOY nest monitoring), we found an American Dipper at the Van Duzer Wayside, where we had not been able to find one for the last half a year. It used to be a simple matter of stopping at the wayside, walking to the creek, and seeing a Dipper. Here's hoping it appears for the North American Migration Count in two weeks. (Dippers are not migratory, but the count is for finding out who is here in the fall, migratory or not.)

Van Duzer Dipper

Ah yes, and here are some of those horses' hooves that I trimmed last week ...

I also managed to start and finish editing a friend's book that he sent me months ago. It was a fun read and much more fun than the monthly humor column for United Caprine News that I struggled over at the beginning of the week. I finally did get a first draft down on paper a couple days before the Sept. 5 deadline. Alas, my editor emailed that he was leaving for Europe early the next morning and could I please get my column to him that night? Everything else in the paper was done. So I scrambled to make my first draft presentable and shipped it off. Yesterday, I finally got around to catching up on mail and read in the previous month's United Caprine News about the early deadline of Aug. 31. Oops.

More oops followed. Anything that is not on the calendar is out of luck. And so a major happening this past Saturday that we fully planned to attend was completely forgotten. Saturday night an email asked if we were ill because we had not appeared. I am diligently writing everything on the calendar now. Hopefully, I'll remember to check the calendar each morning.

Ah, but about my camera angst, which has been distracting me more even than I'm usually distracted... When our families were visiting in August, I dropped my beloved Nikon Coolpix P90 in the creek and ruined it. So I bought a new camera with a longer zoom and that is what the photos above were taken with... and also the photos in last week's blog post about the wonderful Black Oystercatcher week. But the movie function on this new camera did not work well for me: the movies were jerky and strangely colored. I called Nikon but they insisted it was my fault... with no remedy for fixing it.

I just could not justify keeping a camera where the movie function didn't work... at least for me... plus I could not see through the monitor in bright light. I need a viewfinder on a camera. I wear trifocals and trying to get the LCD screen at a distance where I can focus on it and still see what's in there is difficult. My old P90 had a viewfinder. So this morning I shipped the L820 back to Amazon, where I bought it just a few weeks ago. Right after that, the Nikon person I've been dealing with emailed that my video on youtube (where I had put it to show her) looked fine. Amazed I went to youtube and, yes, she was right. Apparently, youtube fixes problems like that. I have since read one review of this camera that said the movies do need youtube's editing to fix them. So I'm glad I sent it back.

But I feel naked without a camera drooped around my neck. I spent hours the last couple days, when I should have been catching up, researching cameras.

Meanwhile, I took photos yesterday of everything I could find to take photos of in preparation for being without a camera. Sob.

This handsome spider was spinning a web in the middle of the path. I walked off the path to get around it. I sent this photo to and learned it is Araneus nordmanni.

Milbert's Tortoiseshell on Autumn Joy Sedum

Red Admiral (identified by

Last night, with a lovely sunset  plus a sliver of a moon and Venus, I took the last photos with this wonderful camera...  Maybe I'll catch up on other things if I'm not wandering around taking photos all the time. Maybe.




                                                               ... gone.

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