Back in February, I wrote about my birthday and mentioned that I had received a drone. I set the stage for you to expect drone photos, right? I am sure every single one of you has been sitting on the edge of your seat, just waiting for this moment. Well, you can relax now, because ta-da! Here are my inaugural drone photos!
You know my fascination with beavers, and I have been able to take the obsession to a whole new level, spying on them from above. I snapped these photos around 7 pm, usually the witching hour for the aquatic engineers to start their work for the evening. Not this day. But I did get some good views of a pair of Trumpeter Swans! In the first photo, one is very visible up and to the right of the lodge; the other one is hidden in the reeds beyond.
In case you're wondering, these do not appear to be the same swans I showed in my last post - the cygnets are not with them. (I don't want to believe that something happened to the young ones; I would prefer to cling to my theory that these are swans from our neighboring lake ....)
Starting the flight ... over the reed bed.
In my practice runs with the drone, I have learned so much. On the first outing, back in the spring, I used a lid from a large plastic storage tub as my launching and landing pad. Wouldn't you know it wasn't big enough? The drone could detect the grass around the lid and didn't want to land with these "obstacles" nearby. Eventually, it was forced to land because the battery had run out. (I have since bought two landing pads, which also help protect the drone from dust and other debris when landing.)
Past the reed bed and approaching open water. Can you see the beaver lodge in the upper left? (By the way, two days ago, this view would have been completely obscured by smoke from wildfires.)
During the first practice, I also discovered that a gray-bodied drone is almost impossible to see against a blue sky, especially when flying at 120 meters (393 feet) above the ground, the max allowed by FAA regulations. I was testing the return to home (RTH) feature; when you press this button, the drone will automatically ascend to the specified altitude, fly horizontally until it is above its home point, and then descend for a safe landing. Unless you change the setting, the default altitude is 120 meters. Well, when it passed out of our sight, I pressed the RTH button again, thinking it wasn't working. Well, the button is a toggle, so it stopped the function, which meant the drone was hovering, still out of sight. We could hear it (reassuring) so eventually we did solve the problem and it was returned safely to my grasp.
I knew then that I needed more instruction. The Web proved an excellent source of training videos, especially those designed to teach you the basics. One of the most critical skills to master is the orientation of the drone. Often, accidents happen because the pilot thinks the drone is moving forward, and it is actually going backwards!
Even the training videos don't tell you everything. During one of my practices (called the lilypad exercise because you fly the drone back and forth between two landing pads), I noticed the drone was not moving left to right. When I got home, I googled the problem and discovered that the drone may automatically re-set to disable this feature. It happened when taking these lake photos, and I knew enough to override it.
The "out of sight" but "I can hear it" experience also suggested that a droning partner could be helpful, especially if equipped with binoculars. He may not always be available for my outings, but Man with Binoculars was indispensable for these lake photos. Do you see him waving below, by my side? As I continue to hone my skills, the possibilities are endless. For example, my drone has an intelligent flight mode called Point of Interest. Advanced positioning systems put the drone on an automated flight path around a desired object, while rotating the drone to keep the subject centered in the frame. Can't wait to try this out!
For now, I took a few snaps of the house and sent them to the kids. # 1 Daughter responded: "I know how you are taking the Christmas card photo this year!" What a great idea!
Et al. comes from the Latin phrase meaning "and others". In the 1520s, the word "drone" meant 'idler, lazy worker', stemming from male bees who make no honey. So, I offer you a collage of insects/arachnids, recently seen in my garden, as my final pictures in this post. Drone, et al. (And no disrespect is meant to the hard-working critters who may appear here!)
My dear blogging friends, I have been searching my heart and soul about Mosaic Monday. I have been honored to be the host since November 3, 2018. And yet, I feel called in a different direction now. I would like to spend less time with my computer, and more time with friends, and crafts. I see a few options: 1) someone else takes on the mantle, continuing the legacy of Mary @ Little Red House through August 4, 2014, Judith @ Lavender Cottage from August 10, 2014 through July 24, 2016 and Maggie @ Normandy Life from July 31, 2016 through October 29, 2018, 2) I reduce the frequency of Mosaic Monday to twice a month or maybe once a month.
If you would like to become the host of Mosaic Monday, let me know. If you have never hosted a linky party, don't be concerned. I will walk you through it - if I can do it, you can!
Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme
where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and
enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an
easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join
in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.