Thursday, March 23, 2017

Crying Over Missed Milk - And Broken Cameras

There was a lot of bawling going on. Believe me, I felt like crying, right along with the mama cows.
The mamas were bawling because they were momentarily separated from their babies. I was sad because my camera flew out of my hand and met a quick demise during the first of four days of working baby calves. I should know better than to try to drive a 4-wheeler and take photos with the same hand that works the gas.

I was chasing cattle who were enticed by the green wheat that flanked the dusty road. As I came up out of the ditch, the camera flew out of my hand. I didn't run over it, but its wounds left it in critical condition. I didn't have time to worry about it. I stuck it in my sweatshirt pocket and commenced with the job at hand - getting the mamas and baby calves up to the corral.

Sadly, resuscitation efforts on the camera were unsuccessful. 
Back when Jill was in 4-H, one of her projects was clothing buymanship. One of the factors to consider was "cost per wear." As I tried to resurrect my camera afterwards, I thought about getting my money's worth with my camera. I use it almost every day. So my "cost per use" is pretty low. I wanted that to make me feel better. Who am I kidding? It didn't.

After we got the cows and calves in the corral, I made a detour back to our house to get an old camera so I could continue taking photos of the process. After using it for the rest of the week and viewing the photos, I remembered why I'd replaced it. It doesn't focus well, especially at a distance. And the zoom doesn't work 75 percent of the time. (But it is better than nothing.)
Randy says, as the price of farm equipment goes, my camera is a mere drop in the bucket. However, I'm still mad at myself. We took a detour to Best Buy Tuesday night before going to the musical, "Once" at Wichita's Century II. That was a nice diversion.
They didn't have what I wanted in stock, so a new camera is supposed to arrive at my door, maybe as soon as tomorrow. One of the young salesmen didn't like my choice, but, as I told him, I needed a camera that will fit in my pocket. Now, if I would have just left it in my pocket while driving a 4-wheeler, I wouldn't have had an accident and I wouldn't have been irritated with the young upstart questioning my decision.

Reunited from Kim Fritzemeier on Vimeo.

The mamas and babies had a happy ending. After the babies were done with their "appointments," they were reunited.

I'm hoping for my own happy ending soon - even if my checkbook is a little lighter.


  1. First - thanks for the video of the cows and calves bawling. I was immediately back on the farm.
    Second - I know exactly how you feel re the camera. ine is taking perfect photographs but the wheel mechanism to review, delete, time delay etc just won't function as it should. I've been torn with getting a camera that will do a little more, but will be bulkier and more costly or staying with an update of what I've got. It will be the latter.

    1. For what I use a camera for, it makes sense to have a smaller camera. Maybe I'd be taking better photos with a fancier camera, but if I'm not carrying it with me all the time, then I won't have it when I need/want it. Good luck with your decision, too! I personally think that part of good photography is being at the right place at the right time and having an "eye" for it. And, of course, it doesn't hurt to take a bunch of photos to get "the one."

    2. The photos on your blog, certainly support your theory.
      What have you purchased?

    3. I got a Nikon CoolPix A900. It came by UPS just 30 minutes ago. I'm charging the battery now. It's very similar to what I had, so the learning curve should be easy!

  2. Kim,
    Glad you got the cattle worked and a big job behind you. I'm sorry to hear about the causality of your camera. There could be worse things. It is replaceable, but now you have to learn a new camera system.

    Down to 5 heifers to calf. We had two calves in the cows today. The first was a bad deal and the second baby is up and well. We had a cool rainy day. Not a lot of moisture, but better than wind and dust.

    1. Yes, things can always be worse. If I hadn't held on, it could have been me bouncing off the 4-wheeler. One reason I wanted to get a Nikon was so the learning curve was lower. Hopefully, it will be an easy transition.

      Hope you have better luck with the rest of the calves. We hope some of the rain in the forecast comes our way, but we'd like it without the severe weather that's also possible. Yesterday, we definitely had the wind and dust again.

  3. So how is the new camera going? I can imagine your devastation about dropping your old camera... I know how I would feel. I updated mine to a digital SLR 6 months into my photo-a-day challenge some 4 years ago, and I would be lost without it. Having said that - it is quite bulky but I have a very handy camera bag that goes everywhere with me. I have also just got my first smartphone (I was using just an old flip-phone) and have been experimenting with the camera on that.

    1. It's pretty similar to the old one. However, the record button is where the old "review" button was, so I've already had a few videos that I didn't intend on taking! I know I probably should upgrade to a SLR, but I am a creature of habit. Maybe the next time I'll take the plunge.