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My beloved

First of all, meet my friend. My Kodak DC-120. She goes everywhere with me and actually helps me slow down, look around, and sometimes i get frustrated with her, but overall she's worth it - like any good friend.

All of the pictures that i've taken for this site are output from this camera, and I've never regretted the purchase. Kodak has even replaced it 2 times and on this unit i have over 8,000 pictures. The camera goes hand-in-hand with the 2 battery chargers and umpteen rechargeable AA batteries.

I'm not a great photographer by any means, probably just a mediocre one, but my camera, actually any camera, gives me a double benefit when i'm on a nature foray. I keep it in a pouch by my side and whip it out and snap pictures sometimes just on whimsy. It makes me pause more often, look more carefully, and when i come home, get to reexperience the whole thing again. Frequently what got me excited and curious on a walk isn't what's interesting in my pictures, so i look again and it gives me 'questions' to answer when i go back out.

One of the benefits of having a digital, instead of film camera is that i can take tons of pictures and don't have to use (if i don't want) the complexities of good film cameras. My photographic philosophy is more "take a lot of pictures, and one ought to be decent." Statistically, out of 500 times i look thru the camera i take only about 100 pictures. Of these there's about 10 i keep and 1 makes it to the webpage. That serves me well, and it makes me look thru the lens a lot more often. So, the camera becomes my '2nd eyes,' even though you see the pick of the crop.

Along with a baby tripod and extra memory cards and batteries, this is my 'other eyes.' The only things i lack at the moment are the accessories for close-up and zoom, to take insect and animal pictures. Someday soon, I hope.


Ahh.. While i consider my fingers necessary equipment, the object here is my Audubon Bird Call. It stays in my pocket, ever at the ready to make chirps, clicks, and nattering bird sounds. I grasp the red wood part in one hand and twist the keyed metal part and presto! A chirp. Waggling the stem of it while twisting madly makes the sounds of some nameless bird's fwee and whirt and chi-chi-chort. This baby will stop a Mockingbird cold and spur him on to new heights of Mockingbird jazz, and usually further up a tree, too.

The principle of how it works is that metal against wood when tight makes a squeaking sound. It doesn't so much imitate birds as makes them intensely curious about the sound. Like a stranger speaking a different tongue in a local country, everybody gathers around to see what this stranger looks like. Chickadees will natter at it, and most other birds come closer and give tentative chirpings. Even if other birds don't come closer, usually a few of the locals will try and answer it, thus telling me who's in the area.

The wood part is painted red to attract women. So far, i haven't had much luck with that aspect of it.

If you're a woman, can you feel the pull?  E-mail me.
You can pick up one of these little babies at The Compleat Naturalist shop here in Asheville, or of course, from their online store.