Monday, September 25, 2017

My Big Mistake

We had just gotten back from a walk at the marsh on Saturday afternoon. It was a quiet and beautiful day out there, blue skies and warm autumn temperatures. There hadn't been much to photograph for most of our three mile walk until just around the end when we noticed this Long-billed Curlew with a damaged wing.
We felt so bad for it. It looked pretty miserable with that wing hanging down. I took a few more photos and decided to go to the Marsh Information Center to see if they call Wildlife Rescue for situations like this. So, we did that and learned that they don't actually call rescue themselves. The volunteer there gave me the number, and we decided to call when we got home, which we did. Humboldt Wildlife Rescue said that going to marsh to help birds like this is exactly what they do. The volunteer there said that she would have someone out there right away. We both thanked each other. It was great!

Then, I decided to download the photos I had taken on to my computer so I could see the photos of the Curlew (among the 35 other pics). I hooked the camera to the computer, saw the pics showed right up in iPhoto, as always. Then I got distracted, looked back at the computer screen and thought, "Cool, now I can disconnect the camera from the computer and delete these photos from the camera. I'm done." When I ejected the camera from the computer I deleted the photos from the memory card (yes, I took that one extra step as I always do), and then turned off the camera. I went back to the computer and saw that the photos were not there. What had I done? I had forgotten to actually click the "Import Photos" link in iPhoto. The photos were really GONE! I had never made such a goofy mistake before.

I told Roger and my twin brother about my big mistake. They both said that there was probably some way to salvage these photos even from a deleted memory card. My brother sent me a link to some informative stuff on CNET, and I started looking at Memory Card readers online to see where we could go buy one. It's not like these 35 photos were really special in any way, but the thought of losing them was a bummer. On Sunday, Roger remembered that our trusty old PC laptop has a chip reader built right in! We put in the card and voila! 144 photos were still on that thing even though I had clicked "delete from memory" every time I had downloaded photos. I was shocked! So, Roger figured out how to recover and download those photos.

Then came more than an hour of trying to figure out how to get those photos from the ancient PC to my very modern MacBook Pro. The USB thumb-drive wouldn't work in both formats. It was getting pretty frustrating for me, even though Roger was doing all the work! Then I had an idea. I remembered that we had a lot of never-used CDs. Roger slipped one of those discs into the PC, burned those photos on to it, and voila, we had a usable copy. I grabbed that CD and tried to put it in my new laptop and was reminded of the absurdity of the modern world... it doesn't have a CD drive. So, Roger downloaded the folder on to his old (reliable, wonderful) old Macbook Pro. I connected to it remotely and downloaded the folder.

Why did we do all of this? Because we can! Because we're computer nerds! Because we wanted to show you the Long-billed Curlew with its injured wing. We hope it was rescued liked these photos.

PS-- Roger wants you to know that he figured out how to get a thumb drive to work in both formats.

20 comments:

  1. Well, lucky you for solving this. I always, always enjoy your photos. So, lucky me, too.

    I have the opposite problem. No matter how I adjust my settings, my photos tend to multiply on my laptop. Even after I painstakingly searched (there is an app for it) and deleted all duplicates, switched from ipictures or whatever it's called to some other picture saving program that came with excellent references, I have duplicates and triplicates, I could plaster the walls with them.

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    1. Sabine-- Interesting about your photo duplications. What kind of computer do you use? What is the name of the application? I'd be glad to do some sleuthing around to see what can be done. Glad you like these photos. Thank you!

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  2. Congratulations on where your perseverance got you! I have thousands of images on iPhoto, so many that I generally can no longer find some old photo I want: a surfeit of photos.

    At the park where I walk my dogs I once saw a Canada Goose with a broken wing, hobbling across the grass to be with its kin. It wasn't going to ever be able to fly south come winter, and it didn't look like it could flee any local predator. I realize that's the natural course of things, but the thought of it really affected me and left me sad for days.

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    1. paullamb-- Once Roger and I identify a problem, we become obsessed with finding solutions. It's fun for nerds! When we told the volunteer at the Marsh Info office about the Curlew, he said they mostly "let nature take its course." Then he told us he once saw a river otter take down a duck. Ewwww. I think some animals can be rescued and rehabilitated. Not all can, but this Curlew looked like it might have a chance. I understand your sadness about the goose.

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  3. A very modern dilemma! I hope they rescued that poor bird.

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    1. 37paddington-- I hope they rescued that bird too. It's the only chance it's going to get at living another day.

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  4. Love the way your stories with accompanying photos touch on so many aspects of being human, two of which are compassion and searching for solutions! You and roger inspired me to search for that song about broken wings and learning to fly, and I found this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV7ioPYJUMA

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    1. am-- I love thinking about the aspects of being human. Thank you for seeing that way, my friend. I also love being reminded of Black Bird and "...take these broken wings and learn to fly..."

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  5. I think it is wonderful that you got help for that bird and it is great to know that there are folks that make it their job and know how to help.
    Nice save and you lost me at Memory card reader. Impressive that you kept at it till you solved it.

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    1. Patti-- It made me want to learn how to be a volunteer with them. It also reminded me of the wildlife rescue training Roger and I did back in the early days of Port Townsend, sitting at the side of a molting Elephant Seal. Solving computer issues is one of our favorite past-times!

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  6. Nature can be pretty ugly sometimes. I can't watch nature programs that feature predators killing their prey. I know it happens, and you can't have those wonderful, beautiful predators unless they kill and eat things.

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    1. Mark-- I can't watch nature programs like that either. It's too brutal and heartbreaking.

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  7. You guys rock! Go after those Rooshian hackers! ;)

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    1. isabelita-- You made us laugh out loud. I can't believe we didn't think of that. We're on it now!

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  8. Poor curlew! I hope he got some assistance.

    I can totally understand your dedication to trying to retrieve the photos. I would also be unable to let them go! It's so crazy how hard it can be to get different computers and formats to work together.

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    1. Steve-- We really hope the Wildlife Rescue found it and brought it somewhere to be rehabilitated. We took a walk just before sunset last evening and didn't see any signs of strewn-about curlew feathers. We were glad about that.

      We like a good computing challenge. It keeps our ancient brains clicking away!

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  9. We came across a duck and her young a while ago, the duck had a damaged bill but was surviving, we still felt bad for it though

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    1. Bill-- It is sad to see injured wildlife. We always hope for the best.

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  10. its all too much for my non-nerdy brain!!! I'm pretty hopeless, and when something doesn't work, I walk away. Probably not good if you actually want to fix the problem, but there you go.

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    1. Tara-- You put your energy and attention into beautiful photography. You understand cameras and all those setting and numbers. That's what I walk away from!

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