Got More Batteries?

170101_oldclothes

[ Old clothes to burn ]

January 1 – It may be a new year, but the duties that need to be done still need to be done! That includes burning up all of the papers, cardboard, milk jugs, etc. that we had dumped into a big cardboard container. Dragging it behind me out to the barrel, I soon had a fire burning, and I didn’t have to stay there for long. I tossed into that barrel my old blue jeans, really faded and partly covered with big spots of brown where I had landed on the ground in the garden, or where I had been crawling on the ground in the big bamboo patch, trying to thin out the stalks. My old blue jacket was added to the fire as well. Never wore those items of clothing except when working on really hard jobs outdoors.

170101_clematis

[ Dead clematis ]

Just across the lawn, I could see the fence that runs all the way from the road down to the creek. Today it was covered with very barren orange trumpet vines and dusty and purplish clematis vines on the other. Every year so far I have trimmed those vines down to the ground for a new growth in the spring, but Dale wanted to leave them this year to see if they would make new vines on their own and fill up the few empty spaces between one vine and the next.

170101_woodpeckerlog

[ Woodpecker branch ]

Near the big tree outside the garage, I found an interesting item, one I have never seen so perfect before. Fallen from the tree was part of a branch about a foot long, with several holes pecked out by woodpeckers, either to use as storage spots for their finds, or using them to find more to eat later.

Since I didn’t take my camera with me on the walk along the trail, I decided to go back to get it when I had finished the walk. When I finished, I thought of all of those osage remains lying around the big tree. Well, since I had walked quite a lot and had done some work besides, I decided I would just forget about them. Only I couldn’t do that! So, back I went, crossed the creek, and walked along the wall of the dam where I took a couple pics of trees, some bare, and others with colorful leaves still attached.

170101_squirrelchewed

[ Chewed-up osage oranges ]

Now and again I would have a quick reddish warning telling me that the batteries were losing their charge. I remember saying right out loud then, “You won’t have any battery left to take pics of those osages!” When I saw the purple/yellow ugly fruit on the path again, I decided not to take a picture right then. Back at the tree, I took a couple pics, but they weren’t bright enough.

Fortunately, I remembered how to let more light in through the lens. Two pics later, the camera closed its lens nice and smoothly, reminding me that there wasn’t any chance of taking more. Sadly, I stood in the path hoping that if I waited a bit, I could still get a picture. After a few minutes the lens went out again, but it didn’t stay for long.

Only one thing to do. I put the camera back in the case and started slowly off towards the house, disgusted that I had taken so many other pictures earlier when the ones I really wanted…useless. Then I said to myself, “Chris, you have two new batteries right in the camera bag, as you always do, just waiting until they are needed!” As I replaced the old batteries, I breathed out, “Thank you, Lord, for reminding me!” A little later, with several good pics of the osage chips piles, I was on my way back to the house. I did stop, though to take a photo of that ugly but colorful osage!

When I checked my watch, I found that I would be a bit late for Jeopardy, our favorite TV show. Oh, well, I missed just the first three questions, so all was well. Seems like a beautiful “spring” day in winter is worth missing something. And being able to get out without a jacket? Well, today was a really great day! – CHRIS

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