Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘iPhone camera

Trickster Fox

with 2 comments

We are now in our 11th year living on this rural property and yesterday was the first time I finally saw the local fox with my own two eyes. The first year, contractors were showing up regularly to work on fencing and building the hay shed. One of the guys would tell me he saw a fox on our driveway every morning as he arrived.

Two years ago, the guy we hired to seal the logs of our house caught the fox trying to take one of our chickens and chased it off, screaming and hollering like a wild man.

I captured the fox on our trail cam back in 2018.

Delilah and I tried to track that fox through the snow into our neighbor’s woods that time but the trail led to a junction that looked like Grand Central Station and the multitude of alternative routes was more than we could follow.

Until yesterday morning, I had never set eyes upon the cunning critter. There I was, standing in our sunroom, stepping into my treasured Carhartt insulated bib overalls when I noticed something moving in the neighbor’s field, coming our way. As soon as I recognized it to be the fox, I pulled out my phone to take a picture.

The camera wouldn’t focus. It kept oscillating in and out of focus. The fox was coming right into the yard. I switched to video in an attempt to at least record some blurry movement as the fox walked past the windows of the sunroom. When I looked at the screen while the phone was supposed to be recording, the fox wasn’t showing up at all in the oscillating focus. I wondered if it was because I was trying to shoot through the window.

There is no recording for proof of what I saw. This fox must have magical powers that messed up the camera app on my phone. Now with no fox around, the camera works just fine.

I’m under the impression that the absence of our dog, Delilah, has given the fox confidence to walk right in front of me as if I wasn’t there. That’s okay. I don’t mind seeing him or her now that I know there will be no chickens harmed on our property.

I’ll even celebrate the visits if the little trickster will do something to reduce the number of gopher and mole tunnels that are taking over our turf.

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Written by johnwhays

January 13, 2023 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with , ,

Split Seconds

with 2 comments

Who knows what’s going to happen in any given second? In this case, my phone decided to capture an image of falling from my hands.

I like it.

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Written by johnwhays

October 11, 2020 at 8:20 am

Partly Smoky

with 6 comments

Cyndie and I drove up to the lake last night. It was a long day in a car for her, because she started the day yesterday up at the lake. She had gone up on Wednesday with Melissa and daughters, in an original plan to have me drive up to join them Thursday night, but that changed when a memorial for Charlie Weller was announced for Friday.

Charlie was the husband of Cyndie’s close high school friend, LuAnn (Miller). The revised plan had Cyndie riding home with Melissa and the girls yesterday afternoon, taking a moment to freshen up from beachwear to something more appropriate, driving us through afternoon traffic to Eden Prairie from our house, and then heading back to the lake from there, after paying our respects.

LuAnn and Charlie were dating in high school, not long after Cyndie and I had begun our relationship, so my memories of Charlie are wrapped in fragments of events that I haven’t thought about in decades. Even driving on roads in Eden Prairie, now approaching only six years distant from when I drove them almost every day, was feeling a little fractured.

I had to ask if we turned right or left at the intersection by the House of Kai restaurant to get to the funeral home.

In our haste to pull off this plan, we left out one pertinent aspect of determining the optimal route back to northwestern Wisconsin. I was tempted to try the old way we always drove when our kids were little and we regularly made the trip on back roads, but construction and traffic made the city portion an unwanted annoyance.

We paused for dinner at Jake’s to give traffic more time to thin out.

In the end, we chose to skirt the metro area on 494 and head up toward Stillwater to cross into Wisconsin on the new bridge. The resulting country roads we picked provided a rich reward of light traffic, gorgeous rolling hills and spectacular scenery.

We chuckled over the MPR radio weather forecast of “partly smoky” from the many fires burning out west, but when changing stations to our old favorite WOJB as we got far enough north, we heard the same phrase used again. Maybe it is an actual authorized weather service term.

It sure made an impact on the setting sun. It was looking dusky a lot earlier than the actual time of sunset. I held up my phone through the open top of Cyndie’s convertible at 7:52 p.m. and experimented with capturing it at 60 miles an hour.

Then I tried zooming in. It looked like a cartoon drawing of the sun.

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The optics of my iPhone seem to have added special effects without my input. Yes, that’s the sun glowing through the smoky sky.

Between the funky looking sun, my grasping at recollections of interactions with LuAnn and Charlie back in the 1970s, and finally, unexpectedly stumbling upon a portion of our old back roads route, but from a different point, my mind was feeling partly smoky.

“We’ve been here before…”

Yes, we have.

And now we are up at the lake again this weekend.

Ahhhhh. I remember this.

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Written by johnwhays

August 11, 2018 at 8:44 am