Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The New Camera's First Day

My work gave me a new phone.  It's a Samsung galaxy 6, and I was almost excited when I found out I was getting it, because it's reported to have a good camera.  I'm technologically challenged most of the time, so getting a new phone is not usually something I look forward too.  I received the phone at the end of the work day, and figured out how to check my email, make a call, and then took a picture of the fish I have in my office.  Whew, that was enough for the rest of the day!

That night, I was sufficiently recovered from my new technology brain strain, to figure out how to take a selfie, and then explore the photo editing program.  I realized that I can combine pictures into a collage, and change their shape, and add crazy backgrounds!  How fun!  

I was told that this phone is supposed to take better pictures in low light conditions.  I tested by taking Puck's picture while he was in bed.  I think it works!

When I got home from work the next day, I was ready to test out the camera for real, and despite the drizzle and cold, Puck and I took a photography expedition.  The giant truck that empties our dumpster makes a big rut in the driveway when the ground is soft from the rain.  I've never had my own road rut before.    

The new camera takes a pretty good road rut photo!

This small white aster, which I think is called old field aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum) is blooming beautifully in all the weedy places of the farm.  It even makes the rusty gate leaning against the barn look pretty.  

The blue tractor implements go nicely with the small blue flowers that grow at their base.  I believe this flower is the exotic invasive Asiatic dayflower (Commelina communis).  

The corn crib is decorated with dangling purple American pokeweed berries (Phytolacca americana).   This is the plant that country people use to make poke salad, using the young leaves in the early spring.  I've never tried to make it myself, since the plant is toxic when it's mature, and it makes me nervous that I wouldn't pick it at the right time.  I know a guy who found a pokeweed tuber during a construction project, when the earth was turned up, and thought it was a turnip.  He ate some, and ended up at the hospital.   Now I know to never eat turnips found at construction sites!  

It would have been nice if the sun was shining on my new camera day, but I'm not complaining.  

The pretty purple ironweed (Vernonia sp.) has popped up in most of our fields.  For some reason, when I see ironweed, I hear that part from the Iron Man song, by Black Sabbath -  you know, the part where a deep robotic voice says I AM IRON WEED... er, I mean it says I AM IRON MAN.  

Now I've got that song in my head! 

Has he lost his mind?
Can he see or is he blind? 
Can he walk at all, or if he moves will he fall? 
Is he alive or is he dead? 
Has he thoughts within his head? 
We'll just pass him there, why should we even care? 

Woh, woh, woh....

I know this isn't a plant that real farmers like, since cows don't eat it, and it thrives in overgrazed pastures, but I think it's lovely.  

The flowers are clusters of tiny purple tubes, and bees and butterflies love it. 

I've already shown you pictures of the vibrant goldenrod bloom in mid September.  Most of them are past their peak now, but there are a few stragglers with new buds just barely open.  We've been seeing beautiful orange butterflies on the goldenrod, but I haven't been able to tell if they are monarchs or viceroys.  Jamie told me how to tell them apart, so I'm waiting to get a close look at one of them.  

There are a few big patches of foxtail (Seteria sp.) on the farm too.  This is another exotic species from Asia.  I'm biased against non-native species, but these fuzzy foxtails made a nice texture against the cloudy sky.  

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