Summertime and the living is easy... or at least it should be. Most of you who've been reading my blog for awhile know that I like to take photographs. You've also noticed that, unless our niece Daisy is in town, those photos are usually of flowers and landscapes and critters-- not people. I've learned a trick or two when it comes to photographing critters. Patience and a talent for remaining still are probably the top two. If you make sure the critter's eye is in focus, many other flaws in the photo will be forgiven; that would be the third. But sometimes you find out that you've got to learn a new trick.
The other day I was sitting in the shady end of the pool, book in hand, when an Abert's Towhee flew down to perch on the vacuum hose to drink from the pool. Now, Abert's Towhees have huge personalities, and over the years they've given me so much entertainment. There I was, book in hand, desperately wanting to take a photo of this towhee that was only a few feet away. (Lots closer than it appears in the photo.)
Wearing dark sunglasses and holding a book in front of my face is part of my cover. Wildlife can't see where my eyes are focused, and the book also gives them a feeling of added security. So, without moving my book or my head, I slowly reached for my phone and very awkwardly turned on the camera. The towhee was keeping an eye on me but I wasn't making any threatening moves. As I quickly snapped a couple of photos, I realized that, without the zoom, a lot of detail was going to be lost. All righty then. How in the Sam Hill, can I zoom in on the towhee without (1) moving my head, (2) moving my book-- which you can see in the lower right corner, and (3) not dropping my phone in the pool?
See what I mean about needing to learn a new trick? Can I zoom in with the tip of my nose? My tongue? Since the towhee came back four times while I was out there, I know it's going to do it again on other days. I have got to figure this out! Maybe moseying out to the corral will clear my head so I can come up with a solution. Head 'em up! Mooooooooove 'em out!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Amazon Publishing will be launching a new Patricia Cornwell series.
- An audio addict's guide to audiobook mysteries.
- Owning print books feels different from owning eBooks.
- This handheld device could print new skin onto burn victims.
- Tony Hillerman's daughter Anne on keeping her father's mysteries alive.
- How a rare book appraiser passes judgment in thirty seconds or less.
- You cannot be "well read" without reading women authors. (Duh.)
- How ketchup revolutionized how food is grown, processed, and regulated.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- A 2,200-year-old gold coin has been discovered in Egypt.
- X-rays show that Van Gogh's Sunflowers will one day wilt.
- A $5 million nickel? An extremely rare 1913 coin is up for auction.
- An ancient Egyptian bird mummy turns out to be human.
- Picasso's Weeping Woman was auctioned for a Japanese national record price.
- New clues emerge in the search for a stolen Caravaggio.
- A treasure trove has been discovered at an ancient fort destroyed by Vikings.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Ten classic Sci-Fi thrillers that tore down genre borders.
- Seven literary attractions across America.
- Ten of the greatest road trips in crime fiction.
- Eighteen of the biggest mysteries to read this summer.
- Twenty-five of Signature's favorite closing lines in literature.
- The BookList Reader hates these ten crime writers because they're too good. (Seems like a very silly reason to hate someone...)
- Twenty great writers on their favorite story collections.
That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!