July 7th, 2009

Creative Joyous Cat

The Invisible Dragonfly: of gardening and imperfect (but still wonderful) technology

I am enjoying my cell phone's camera function, really I am. I'm amazed at how much it can pick up inside, with just your standard ceiling lights. In contrast, it works poorly for bright things like flowers in the sun. They glow!

It's not altogether a bad effect, but you lose color and detail.

The mulberry is still producing berries (yum), and the peas are producing enough that I'm getting tired of them, and the spinach bottoms, faced with the knowledge that their seeds didn't have a chance to develop, are sending up new leaves to try again. I have more tiny green tomatoes, and some tiny green peppers (some bell, some hot), and lots of herbs. I was telling Foodie Friend about my cooking plan the other day (start the butter melting on the stove and take the scissors outside to cut some herbs, return to add the cut onions and herbs to the pan), and he drawled, "how French of you!" and I had to laugh. I wasn't trying for any particular style of cooking, just using what was in the garden and fridge -- and fresh-picked stuff tastes really good!

So, one of our visitors today was a dragonfly. We get a few every year, and every year I wonder why they're flying so far from Lake Michigan. I know it's a city, but there have to be other inviting gardens in the blocks between here and there! This guy sat still for two pictures where I can't see him at all; in this one at least he is visible.

This reminds me of one of my frustrations; this computer doesn't seem to have a program loaded onto it for cropping pictures. Don't get me wrong, I'm very glad to have this computer, as it is a LOT faster than anything else in the house. My kid's dad gifted it to us when he got a better one, and I'm trying to make every penny last as long as possible until I'm employed again, so a new one isn't in the cards for quite a while. But can anyone recommend a free program that does a good job at cropping pictures? I don't mind showing off my tomato plants, but the dragonfly would be much more visible if I was showing only him! And there are other pictures I'd like to reshape too, for one reason or another.

Another visitor, one of several, a small (half-inch-long or so) very white caterpillar. The head was a tiny black spot, and the underbody yellower than the top, in the slightly-green yellow range. Not sure what it will grow into, so I left it alone.

Another limitation of this camera is that if I get too close, it all blurs. Still, this thing wasn't designed primarily as a camera after all, and does much better close-ups than the cameras I used in my teen years, one of which was much better than it out to have been (enough so that people told me, to my face, that I was lying when I said the photos were not taken on an expensive 35mm with a filter).  I remain both amazed and frustrated by what I can (and can't quite) do with my camera!

I was going to post a picture of another purple flower that I'd love to know exactly what it is (besides a "weed"), but either my cell phone isn't sending it or aol is being its usual tardy self in processing the e-mail, and it's late, so maybe next time. Instead, the first daisies, so you can see how my camera handles the contrast between direct sunshine and shade.