A couple of nights ago, when I was photographing the lovely evening sky, I heard the call of geese and was able to capture them as they flew south.
A split second later, they changed their flight plan and were suddenly heading back the way they had come.
While I’ve seen modern jet fighters make incredible maneuvers, I had never before seen a wild bird accomplish such an amazing course change.
The total time frame: 15 seconds.
This struck me as pretty impressive.
The natural world endlessly impresses me although not much else does, at least not in a positive way.
Being chauffeured to Clifton Park the other day, I of course had my camera in hand.
While not a thing of great beauty, I am always struck by this house and its tree, or is it a tree and its house?
We are always speeding past, so I’ve yet to capture a good photograph. The tree and house seem melded .
We see so many trees butchered to accommodate housing. Someone must have loved this tree.
There are, of course plenty of negative impressions to be had in daily life. Not limited to current events.
Take this morning, for example.
Note to self: Do not place cellphone in left pocket.
A few months ago, Grant and I took an offer from our cellphone company to upgrade our devices.
There’s that word again.
Beware of upgrades!
We found ourselves in possession of phones that had no instruction manual, downloadable or otherwise.
We are the generation that has need of directions for this sort of thing.
The reason for this good offer was that our device was an experimental, one-off sort of phone.
When we called to have our phones activated, the agent was astonished. “How did you get it?” they wanted to know.
Which didn’t inspire a lot of confidence, but there we were. We got over the initial learning period.
One problem is that this device is an odd size, and there is no protective case or screen protector.
So of course, I immediately threw mine on the very hard garage floor.
Well, not deliberately. The screen acquired a creeping crack, but it hasn’t fallen to bits yet.
Although it may, should there be a re-occurrence of this morning’s mis-behaviour.
Which tempted me to pitch the miserable thing against the nearest wall.
Grant came back from the village just as I was winding up my pitching arm (bowling arm?)
There is no easy way to carry this phone around and it never fails, if I leave it for a nano-second, that’s exactly when the one phone call I want or need comes through.
So I stuff the damn thing in my pocket. The right one.
Except this morning, when my right hand was carrying birdseed. I grabbed the phone in my left hand and stuffed it in my left pocket, the right one being inconveniently on the other side.
What’s the difference?
It being a fine morning, I loitered outside briefly removing unauthorized plants from a flowerbed.
Apparently I bend quite differently, on my two sides and having the phone in my left pocket wasn’t all that comfortable. But that wasn’t the problem.
Back indoors, once more wiping up cat pee, I heard a very British voice muttering incoherently at me, from the vicinity of my left hip.
It’s a multi-cultural device, my phone. And quite bloody-minded.
The GPS will not speak British English. I am stuck with a particularly annoying female American voice.
When I look things up on the phone, often it will provide the information in French. My fault for experimenting.
This morning, though, for the first time the (also very annoying) British voice spoke, repeating, over and over what sounded like “Busted!”
Appropriate as that was, in fact, I believe the word was “buffered”, but I couldn’t catch it because the volume was turned all the way down.
Removing the evil contraption from my pocket, I gazed at the screen that had acquired a bright green box.
Each potential input became encased in the green box and the pert British voice informed me that I must “press twice”.
This I did, several times. Powering on and off and attempting in vain to increase the volume with the hope instructions might become coherent.
Somehow, in my left pocket, my phone had got itself locked. Up tight. No amount of entering my password was going to persuade it to open up.
At this juncture, Grant went out, leaving me with his phone “on hold” via text to the phone company.
After not many seconds, the phone screen fades to black. Then you have to pound on the blasted thing to wake it back up which requires re-entering the password. So I sat repeatedly poking it to keep it alive while staring balefully at my own locked-up device.
Maybe ten minutes later, a person came online: “How may I help?”
Texting has to be the most annoying form of communication, especially if you have old, arthritic fingers and not a lot of techy-skills.
“Our other phone is locked”
“Can you send me a screen shot?”
No. No chance I was even going to attempt that.
So, laboriously I managed to convey the difficulties and was given a sequence of actions to take, which I began to attempt. When it got to pressing the volume button up and down simultaneously, my brain went tilt.
Grant came through the door and I turned it all over to him. With quite a bit of huffing and puffing, he eventually got the phone un-locked.
It had wasted an entire morning and given me acid indigestion.
To end with a happy impression, though…
As we travelled toward Clifton Park the other day we came to a stop sign and Grant noticed this lovely chap in a sumac bush.
It’s not a great photograph, but I was lucky to get the camera pointed and click the shutter in the brief moment as we passed by.
This is the first time we have seen a pileated woodpecker here. In Washington they came often to my suet feeders.
A magnificent bird.