NGLVC: What’s On My Phone?

We’re sort of in between bigger types of adventures, so for this week’s post, I decided to highlight all the extra and “leftover” photos on my phone. This will be an eclectic assortment, and even though many phones have phenomenal cameras, I never really like the ones I take with mine. That’s my excuse for several of the following being less-than-stellar. If this was a photo blog, I’d be in trouble, but since it’s not, all is well. Something I do adore about my phone/camera, and something I had no idea existed until someone at Magee Marsh in Ohio clued me into it, is Google Lens. It’s an identification app that’s built into Android phones, and it allows me to call up any photo, tap the Lens button, and it will tell me what I have a photo of be it critter, plant, object — anything! I always double-check by re-searching whatever it tells me, but 99.9999999% of the time, it’s been eerily spot-on. I can even take a picture of a picture, and Lens still works. It is the coolest, most disturbing feature ever.

Last month, the NGLVC’s pond was restocked with coaster brook trout, and the annual Kids Fishing Day was held. Of course, it fell on the only day of that week that was chilly and drizzly, but there was still a nice turnout, and the above photo shows just one round of fishin’ kids. The trout weren’t biting, but the bluegills were, and it was fun to peek out the windows at work to see a fishie or two being reeled in.

One evening, TBG called out, “Hey! There’s a kitty outside!” and there was, indeed, a feral orange cat exploring the farmstead. It bolted at the merest hint of the window being opened when I tried to call to it. The very next night, TBG again yelled out, “Hey! There’s another kitty outside!” and this one was a smoky gray cat that was quite interested in the baby squirrels that were hanging around the bird feeder. We’ve not seen either again, but I’m sure they’re out busily decimating the bird population or being coyote food.

I continue to go on birding walks once a week, and I see lots of birds, the above collection all new to me. Clockwise: Swamp Sparrow, Marsh Wren, Common Yellowthroat, and a Wilson’s Snipe.

The 4th of July weekend was very hot, and we thought we’d go over to the nearby beach area and finally take a dip in Lake Superior. We got our feet wet, and though plenty of people were fully in the lake, we thought the water looked icky, and we dried off our feet and went home. A few days later, TBG spotted the above announcement. We were sure glad we nixed our swim! That night, we had toyed with the idea of going over to the VC to watch the town fireworks display from the tower. We were kind of tired, though, and also nixed that plan, but I was delighted that the show was clearly visible above the treeline from our rig. I plopped myself crosswise on the bed, enjoyed the show, and happily took the crappy pictures above.

The next morning, we got to meet up with fellow full-time RVers and hikers, Kelly, Jerry, and their pup, Jack. (you can find Kelly’s IG page @knjmcdonald — sorry, Kelly, it won’t let me make a hyperlink!) We had only communicated online up until then, and it is always great to meet such folks face-to-face, especially when hiking is involved. We arranged to meet at Copper Falls State Park, but what we failed to find out ahead of time was that dogs are only allowed on one of the trails in the park. No matter! Jerry handed us biscuits so that Jack would think we were the bee’s knees, and we set off on a nice little hike to see Red Granite Falls. Afterwards, we motored up to the namesake falls area, and we took turns pup-sitting Jack in the pet picnic area in order to make the short walk out to at least see Copper and Brownstone Falls. The time went way too fast, we were too busy visiting to take as many photos as usual, and they were heading out the following day, so needed some time to prepare for that. We waved goodbye to our new friends and headed home where TBG and I promptly kicked ourselves in the butts for not realizing that we didn’t have to leave and could’ve not only taken in more trail but possibly cooled off with a swim at the park’s beach. We will be going back, and we will have better waterfall pictures then.

The day after that, the heatwave was gone as quickly as it had arrived, and we had a whole day of cool rain. And tea.

Our USFS intern, Destiny, has been hard at work maintaining the VC’s monarch hatching project. The display sits adjacent to our front desk, and we all spend a lot of time staring into the glass boxes hoping to catch sight of a caterpillar becoming a chrysalis and/or a butterfly emerging from one. I have studied more about the whole process than ever and enjoy sharing that knowledge with visitors if they have questions. Usually Destiny releases the butterflies when they’re ready, but I had the honors yesterday when I stopped in to bring TBG a treat.*

The Treat

Scotch Eggs are not a new recipe for me (I don’t even use a recipe for them) but this was the first time I’d made them with duck and quail eggs. Speaking of new recipes, my plan to make one per week hit a stumbling block last week when the oven part of the micro-convection oven went kaput in the middle of my (new) Lemon Blueberry Loaf. I also had a batch of (new) Honey Ginger & Garlic Pork Meatballs ready to bake that ended up in a frying pan, where they promptly fell apart and became a sort of loose meat dinner. Because I had worked damn hard on that loaf — zesting a lemon without a zester, thankyouverymuch — it became fry-bread a few days later. TBG is working on the oven fix. It involves the warranty and phone calls and certified installers, and not that I couldn’t manage all that, but he likes to do it. Or needs to do it. Or he really just likes good food and the more ways I have to make it for him, the better. In the meantime, I have plenty of other cooking methods at my disposal, and I even hatched a scheme whereby if I prepare something to bake, I can take it to work with me, pop it in the VC oven, and have it ready to tote home at dinnertime.

On his solo days off, TBG gets in some mountain biking. These were the texts I got at work about this week’s ride.

My solo forays are closer to home and more sedate. I’m pining for a bit more action.

Now I can clear the cache on my phone!

6 thoughts on “NGLVC: What’s On My Phone?

  1. How in the world did you manage to get really good bird photos with your phone?? Your photo of the snipe is wonderful, and Marsh Wrens are notoriously difficult to photograph!

    Loved seeing your butterfly photos, too, especially the one of the monarch perched on your finger. I think monarch chrysalises are the most beautiful of all…they look like little jade jewels. We’ve really enjoyed watching our Eastern swallowtails go through their metamorphosis, and even managed to video one turning itself into a chrysalis. It’s awe inspiring to witness, as you know. Glad you cleaned off your phone and shared your treasures with us!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha, I didn’t get really great bird photos with my phone (although I have.) The bird pics in this post are the only ones that weren’t taken directly with the phone, but were languishing in my phone’s cache and weren’t fitting into any other post. I probably could’ve gotten a very good snipe pic with my phone, since I did take it out the car window while it sat very patiently by the side of the road. The Marsh Wren was also very cooperative in that it didn’t seem to mind me being there — it was on the reeds right at the side of the paved trail singing its little heart out as wrens are wont to do — the biggest obstacle was that there was always a reed between it and me! The bee balm butterfly header pic is a phone one, and it is very clear even though the breeze was blowing that flower all over the place. Usually, I *forget* that my phone is also a camera, and when I do, I can’t see the darn little screen to know what I’m getting!

      The monarch chrysalides are my favorites, too, for the very same reason. And those scritchy little feet were a tickly treat 😀


  2. You just sent me straight down the rabbit hole looking into Google Lens because it sounds incredible. It looks like Apple thinks so too and is, therefore, straight up copying Android and introducing its own version of the technology on their next software update. The problem is, Google is the king of internet searching and so its databases are going to be a lot better than anything Apple will have. Still, it should be decent and what a problem solver that will be! I was just reading another blog recently where the writer’s dog ate a bunch of wild mushrooms. They couldn’t figure out if the mushrooms were poisonous or not, so off to the vet they went. With technology like you’re describing, they could take a couple pics and have the answer in about 10 seconds. Amazing stuff. Yay, technology!

    Liked by 2 people

    • When the nice stranger clued me into Google Lens, I couldn’t believe I’d had access to it for a couple years and never paid attention it! Since “discovering” it, I sometimes go around purposely taking pictures of stuff I know what it is just to test it. There are other I.D. apps, and I think Seek is one some of my non-Android coworkers have mentioned being decent. Technology is uh-mazing!!


  3. I used to be a total snob about phone pics, but I have to acknowledge that the phone cameras (plus fancy software) actually take pretty good photos. And of course the old adage about the best kind of camera being the one you have with you means the phone camera often wins on that metric.

    What’s the water temperature in the lake now? I never considered that it might actually be warm enough to swim in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I really want to see something fabulous, I know better than to have any sort of camera with me! 😀 I also resent the awkward size and weight of everything — heaviness in a pocket, bulk on a waist strap — of cameras, etc. But, if we want the photos, we gotta lug along the equipment. *sigh*

      This morning’s info says the water temp in Superior is 60*. It is surprising the number of people we regularly see up to their necks in it, but I guess when your winters are so cold, 60* feels pretty darn good. I remember in NoDak when it would get “up” to 32* in the winter, we’d have roll call outside because it felt so warm!


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