Thursday, September 19, 2013

Life Without a Camera

How to write without photos to help tell the story? For years, I wrote magazine articles, humor columns, feature stories, and even books, most without any photos at all. Now I can't write a sentence without having a photo to illustrate it. But I sent back the camera I had bought to replace the one I drowned...  I have since learned that the movie function most likely did not work (the main reason I sent it back) because the memory card I was using was not fast enough to buffer the movie. However, the camera did not have a viewfinder and I can't see well through the monitor screen, so it's best I sent it back. Sob.

I have ordered another camera... with a viewfinder. But it has not yet arrived. Last weekend, I wanted so much to take photos of Jessica riding Rudi in the Debbie McDonald clinic at Traumhof. So I borrowed Johnny's camera. Alas, I seem to be a camera jinx. On the second day it gave me a memory card error and refused to perform. Kevin tried to resurrect the photos that were already taken but to no avail. All were lost to a crummy memory card (a different crummy memory card from the one that plagued the returned camera.) So I have no photos of Jessica and Rudi, Ian and his beautiful cats Jasmine and Bangle, the mini horses Penny and Daisy with manes braided for the weekend by Jessica's sister Sarah, or anything else.

My jinx runs to more than cameras. Before leaving for the weekend, my computer mouse died. This is the second mouse that has died this summer. They are serial mice, old, and no longer able to be purchased. Kevin came to the rescue with an unused USB mouse. My USB ports were full but one was full of something I never use so I unplugged it and plugged in the new old mouse. Voila! I have a computer again and can type this blog. Without photos. Sigh.

Life goes on, even without a camera to document it. The garden is producing wildly... wish I had a photo of the jungle... and I'm canning and freezing madly. For once watermelons and cantaloupes have done well here. I can quarts of tomatoes daily... hooray! Last year there were not enough to can. Lots of peas, beans and broccoli have made their way into the freezer. We are eating corn daily.

My newest project is drying flowers for wreaths. This insanity was brought about when friend Jim called to say he was not going to make holiday wreaths this year... after 25 years, he was tired of it. Plus his statice crop (for dried statice flowers) failed. We give Jim's wreaths to relatives and friends every year. It's a tradition. So... I researched wreath making and decided to do it myself, with material gathered exclusively here on our farm. However, I have no statice flowers so am experimenting with everything I can find. The "play room" is now full of flowers hanging upside down, hopefully drying, hopefully beautifully. Some experiments have already failed: dandelions and Queen Anne's Lace from our weedy lawn just shrivel up and look ugly. Purple asters from a flower bed are somewhat better. The jury is still out on Autumn Joy Sedum. It's so fleshy it may take a year to dry... and then may well turn brown, as it does when left on the stalk, as I do every winter because I like the looks of them. How brown flowers would look in a wreath, though, I don't know.

Greens we have aplenty here thanks mostly to my arboretum: sequoia, eucalyptus, doug fir and more. Plus lots of wild rose hips for a touch of color. (Maybe rose hips would look good on a background of brown sedum?) I have ordered wreath rings and florist wire. Johnny just rolls his eyes. He doesn't think I need another project. I don't, but wreaths are a tradition! By the time I actually make the wreaths, hopefully I'll  have a camera to show them off. And hopefully, they'll look good enough to show off.

But wait! I do have cameras on the place! Three of them in fact: trail cameras. And they don't seem to mind my cheap memory cards. I have them set to take videos, but then I take still captures off some. Here are two recent still captures, first of "Split Ear", the doe with twins. In this photo, you can see why we dubbed her Split Ear.

And here is a young buck, just beginning to grow his antlers... and very curious about the trail camera.

A bear has been decorating the driveway the last few days with his poop. I put a trail camera there to try to capture him but all I got was Johnny walking up to get the mail yesterday.

!!!News flash!!! It's here!! I just walked up to get the mail and check the trail camera again and my camera was in the mailbox! And so was the expensive memory card I bought for it!! Now to read all the instructions and try not to mess anything up. This is the last blog without photos!! Hooray!!

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