Tag Archives: Camera

Father, daughter place bets on who will see the first hummingbird

At first, it seemed like a fairly passive competition. Two of four family members declared a bet on who would see the first hummingbird of the season. Things were pretty quiet until a week later and neither one had yet had a visit from said hummingbird. The tension began to build.

While these two hummingbird-crazed competitors shared daily phone calls and e-mails to see whether the other had yet won the bet, the other two of four  watched from the sidelines, sharing eye rolls and refusing to play the game.

You have to understand these two. Both are accomplished photographers and will spend hours outside sitting completely still, eyes glued to the hummingbird feeders. Yep. You read that right. Feeders. And not just two….multiples strategically placed around the respective back yards.

Until this afternoon, not a single tiny Trochilida had bared its fluttering wing to either watcher. Sadly, the camera was not at the ready when it should have been.

Backtrack a moment…apparently, the camera had been around earlier in the week, because the Bluffton photographer captured the family pet, a tiny chipmunk who lives under the A-frame. Dubbed Mr. Monk, the little guy had ventured out to inspect one of the hummingbird feeders.

chip 1 chip 2 chip 3

Isn’t he adorable? Ah, but apparently that only fueled the fire. Until today. The e-mail from hummingbirdwatcher number 1 came as follows:

Here are my past records of first sightings:
June 7, 2003, female (I probably saw one earlier but didn’t write it down)
June 7, 2004, male (I probably saw one earlier but didn’t write it down)
May 29, 2008, female
May 13, 2009, female
May 15, 2010, female
May 17, 2013, female – at 12:30 p.m. in the backyard
*I never started watching seriously until 2008.

Response from hummingbirdwatcher number 2?

RUB IT IN. I have yet to see any, but be assured, will report when I do.
I did see baby chipmunks (many of them) running and hiding in tunnels on campus today. They were cute.

Personally, from a spectator’s perspective, it seems to be a bit of a draw. After all, chipmunks are awfully cute. Still, I told them both: Pics or it didn’t happen.

Both claimed that the bird/animals were too fast and that the other photographer was too slow.

Eye roll.

Sewing and photography collide

On the surface, cameras and sewing machines don’t have much in common but in our house, both are important tools. Once in awhile, though, the two are essential to each other.

I know very little about my husband’s cameras — especially the newest digital — and he knows even less about my sewing machines — one digital, the other built before the era of digital. But having lived with me for 32 years, he recognizes my need for a sewing challenge.

So…he recently asked if I could create some fabric pouches for two of his filters. He has several filters for his camera lenses. Some aren’t used very often. For example, the purple one is used when shooting indoors in a room with florescent lights. It eliminates the “yellow” look of the photo. The other one is an outdoor cloud filter. It enhances clouds on summer days.

Although he doesn’t use these often he wants to carry them in his camera bag for those times when he does need them. Just throwing them into the bag wasn’t an option — he doesn’t want to scratch them…thus the request for the small pouches.

No hurry, he said. Naturally, the filters sat untouched on my sewing desk for about a week. Every time I sat down at my machine, there they sat, staring up at me as if they were two different colored eyes — one purple, the other gray.

Eventually, those eyes got to me and I realized it was time to tackle the project. Like most seamstresses, I have a lot of fabric sitting around just waiting to be used.  This required something soft, like fleece. Fortunately, I had saved an odd remnant of black fleece. It was perfect.

When I do this kind of sewing, I have to play around with the fabric until I come up with something that makes sense. I set one filter on the fabric and measured a rectangle so that I could create a sort of pocket with a flap. I measured about 1 1/2 inches from the top and made a horizontal line, then folded the rectangle, bringing the bottom edge up to the line. I sewed double seams on each side of the rectangle — close to the edge, then folded the top 1 1/2 inches over the opening.

The nice thing about fleece is that it doesn’t ravel so you can leave the edges unfinished. I used small squares of Velcro as closures — sewing the soft side to the pocket flap and the coarse side to the upper side of the pocket.

In the end, the pouches turned out perfectly, and the hubs was happy with the product. Now I just need to find a market for these things — I have LOTS of fleece remnants just waiting for the next set of lenses.