Saturday, August 1, 2015

Before and After My Camera Broke

 An amazing fungus at 7,500 feet and an adult ant lion on my desk.  The story connecting these two events will come first thing in the morning.

Sunday a.m., August 2:  Some would say my lack of a smile in the above photo is my typical expression.  However, I think it's because I was instructing my wife on how to use my camera.  I have a DSLR which operates quite differently than her point-and-shoot.  Anyway, after a 4-mile hike to get to this spot, during which I got some nice wildflower and scenic photos, we were startled by the beauty of this brightly-colored fungus growing on a dead and downed Red Fir.  After Bib took this photo, I wanted to get a couple of extreme close-ups of the fungus, but the camera ceased to function.  It flashed an error message and suggested some steps to correct it, but that didn't work.  The remainder of the hike was depressing.  My wife felt guilty that she had somehow broken my camera, and I was distraught because I figured the best photo ops of the trip were yet to come.  We got only to the edge of the first of five lakes when we decided to quit early, and head to Reno for some grocery shopping.  I don't think either of us ever shook off the trauma of a dead camera.
That is, until we got home, and my techno-whiz son got onto Google and found a website with step-by-step instructions on how to fix that very error.  Apparently it happens often enough to warrant a dedicated website.  It not only worked, but when Ryan returned my newly fixed camera he brought the above bug in a jar.  He had captured it in his bedroom, and neither of us knew what kind it was beyond the most general category.  Once again, Google to the rescue.  I figured out it was an adult Ant Lion, the first one I've ever seen, Myrmeleon exitalis.  The above photo is the first one I took with my newly-fixed camera.  I placed the bug on a sheet of white paper, and as it struggled to move around, it was apparent that it was near the end of its life.  I placed it back in the jar with the intention of releasing it outside.

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