Work goes on

Cleaning up around the tree.

A week went by with no word about the medical test. Must get on with doing things anyway.

Even some of the trunk cut up now.

On top of that I’m getting ready for a cabin trip to see what’s gone on out there over the Winter. That will include massive expenditure to put the truck back on the road.

The future looks like this.

Have not even begun to explore repairing the buildings here, much less all the other little chores that have cropped up. It takes me a long time to do anything, but at least it doesn’t cost the fortune of hiring someone – and having to do it over when they’ve done it wrong.

My life is not fun.

So after spending Friday night to Saturday morning in the Emergency Room for the usual attack of unbearable and unexplained pain, I decided to take a little nap and try and catch up on my sleep. Then the alarm clock went off. This ‘alarm clock’:

They said there’d be high winds this weekend – but on Sunday, not Saturday!
This was not the direction I expected it to fall, but thankfully it did; any other way would have been much worse.
Clipped the corner of the shop, broke the extension cord that was powering the battery charger, and closed the hood on the truck.
Not the direction I expected it would fall. The van had been parked right where the bottom of this landed: it would have been destroyed.
At least I don’t have to hire someone to take the rest down; it’s now short enough that I can drop it myself.
Not a valuable building, but the contents are. Luckily it wasn’t a direct hit.
Damage to the house was minimal, considering what it could have been.
Artistic it may be, but I’m not leaving it.
The miracle is that some branches only closed the hood and added a minor scratch to the paint; it could have destroyed the whole thing. It’s not yet insured for the year, and anyway road insurance doesn’t cover a tree falling on it.
Rotted out in the middle at the split. I counted the rings; it’s almost as old as me. I know just how the tree felt before it fell.

So now we get to see how well that homeowners’ insurance we pay for really is. My guess is they’ll say it’s not covered and/or below the deductible – then they’ll illegally raise our rates anyway.

What could possibly happen next? I shudder to think.

(Pictures taken with the G11. Text neatly edited to remove all the swearing.)

The weather laughs at us.

“You thought it was Spring, he? AHAHAHAHA!”

Tuesday: the ground around the house is almost completely clear of snow. I take advantage of this to move the van and trailers (after recharging the pick-up again – it clearly needs a new battery) away from the broken tree just in case anything more falls out of it. They’re threatening us with more high winds this weekend.


About an inch of new snow.
All over the fallen tree.
The truck on charge yet again (doing a long charge to see if that helps – it probably won’t).
Tell me it looks pretty.
I’ll tell you it doesn’t.
One unhappy robin.

Forecast says we may get more of this tomorrow. Oh goody.

By the end of the day – it had melted away.


Or; How to kill yourself in two painful hours.

The chainsaw started easily and cut well.
The truck would not start and may need a new battery – the parasitic electric loads are wicked and unnecessary. These branches are from clearing the neighbour’s driveway.
Branches everywhere, and quite a few bits of trunk as well. Some on the ‘wrong’ side of the fence. I’ll have to chuck them over. Some day.
Some of what landed on the neighbour’s side. His driveway was blocked so of course I cleared it. My tree, my problem.

I should probably move the van and trailers (and now the pick-up as well) just in case we get more wind and the remaining half of that tree decides to join its twin. Maybe later.

Now I’d like to go see a cardiologist again because that wasn’t much work except where I was gasping for breath as my heart vibrated instead of beating and my throat got dry while my stomach tried to heave. I fell down twice too, simply because the muscles got too tired to hold me up. I used to do this kind of work all day, day after day, with no trouble.


Day off and rest today? Nope; have to go in to town. No rest for the wicked, it is said, so I must be the wickedest!

Bad things happen

We had a bit of a wind storm here over the weekend. I sat about, worrying over how many trees might get blown down at the cabin and along the way to it. Ha, ha; silly me! Went out to dump the fire ash this morning and …

One of the booms in the night.

Which tree is it? One far away from everything? Of course not! It’s the big fir right beside the driveway. It was ‘twinned’ at the top, but not anymore.

Where the twinned trunk was attached.

So how much damage did it do? The fence took the worst of it:

Fence almost down.

Fortunately there were plenty of large branches to lessen the impact and keep it up off the ground quite a bit. It could have been worse; if it had fallen perpendicular to this in either way it would have taken out either the trailers or the van.

Just a few branch bits landed on the vehicles.

I’ve taken many pictures of bird (mostly ravens) in the top of that tree:

Taken during the Olympus E410 testing.

It looks a little different now:

Half the tree top gone, you can really see the bend.

So now I have a lot of work ahead of me. Work I really did not need added on to my plate. I will trim it off the fence today, providing the chainsaw is still working after the Winter. As for cutting up the rest … green wood, and most of it is on the neighbour’s property now. What is worse, since the tree is damaged now the whole thing will have to come down and that means hiring a danger tree feller as I don’t have the equipment (or stamina) to do it myself.

This still does not negate the possibility of trees down on the cabin road.

Anybody got $500,000 I can have so I can really retire? I promise I won’t pay it back, ever.

(Except for the bird, pictures were taken with the Canon G11 which is nice for just getting some documentary shots like this.)

Two from three

So much going on I didn’t know which way to turn. It has taken me days to decide just what the “weekend post” would be of/about. Thus it’s a sampling because I couldn’t make up my mind.

Canon T100 55-250mm lens
Canon T100 55-250mm lens

I’ve been ‘trying out’ the Canon lately to evaluate it as the next ‘main camera’ to use. I like using it but it simply can not do the things the Nikon P610 ‘bridge’ camera can, so I find myself repeatedly grabbing that instead when going out.

Nikon P610
Nikon P610

I have stopped using the Olympus for now. Not just because the battery is failing and I’m loathe to put money into it, but also because I need to force myself to evaluate the future of photography for me and it is unlikely the E410 is the answer no matter how much I like using it.

Olympus E410 40-150mm lens
Olympus E410 40-150mm lens

What with everything everywhere being as bad as it is (yes, my wife is still in England with no return date even guessed at) switching to “artistic” photography only is about all I can do. I loathe the idea of it as I do very much like taking wildlife photos. You know: pictures of birds I can’t actually see because they are small, far away, and hidden in tree branches. Do I need to mention the failing camera + failing eyesight thing again? No. Not going to say anything about the triple digit inflation rate around here either.

Just trying to keep my sanity together. Remind me again exactly why I should do that.

More analysis coming up. Er, camera analysis that is. I could probably do with the other kind as well, to be honest.

The photographer as a kind of musician

It doesn’t matter how good your instrument is if you don’t know how to play it.

It doesn’t matter how good your camera is if you don’t know how to use it.

High-priced, complex equipment with lots of ‘features’ will not overcome a lack of photographic knowledge just the same as a tin-eared rock star wannabe can’t get a song out of a Gibson Les Paul. If the player has the talent though, a Silvertone will sing for him.

Here’s me playing my ol’ Sears Silvertone, as it were. I make no apologies about the boast.

Eyes in the dark.




Black-capped chickadee-dee-dee.


Last drops.


Another galaxy.


The reason I love this camera.

Pictures taken with the Nikon P610; the camera I keep coming back to despite its ailments. I think manufacturers should be really embarrassed that their much-more-expensive ‘professional’ DSLRs can’t do any better than this low-dollar, ten-year-old ‘bridge’ camera.