Sunday, September 18, 2022

Mosaic Monday #190: Drone, et al.

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 time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
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 stopped by.
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. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. ...I would love to have a drone, but perhaps I should learn to use my camera better first.

  2. Yes, Angie, I would like to host here. I think MosaicMonday is a wonderful linkparty.

    I enjoyed reading here, every time.
    Happy MosaicMonday ... I wish you a good week

  3. Angie! It's been wonderful you hosting as long as you have and sharing your many interests, including this most recent learning curve with the drone. You are a treasure. Whatever you decide, thank you!

  4. PS: You might already know that Alan who hosts SKYWATCH FRIDAY also has a drone, which he writes about from time to time. He's learned quite a bit about this form of photography and might be an informative visit when you get the chance. :))

  5. I'll bet the drone is fun, cool photos of your wonderland. We'll sure miss seeing the beauty you share with us.

  6. Your drone photos are also amazing, Angie! I especially loved your house views and I can see why real estate agents use drones these days to show the full beauty of a home. I can understand your dilemma regarding hosting Mosaic Monday every week. I took last week off blogging as we were so busy I knew I would not be able to visit other blogs. I'd miss blogging if I gave it up but sometimes it can become very time consuming, and a break is needed. I hope someone takes up your offer to host!

  7. You got some wonderful photos. Your idea of twice per month sounds actually wonderful. You did such a wonderful job with the linky party too.


  8. Great job practicing droning. Is that a term? It's fun to get a view from above. Cheers from Oxford!

  9. Drone photography enters a whole new realm doesn't it. I have been thinking of buying one, but not quite there yet. Have fun! enjoy your week and thank you again for the link up.

  10. Dear Angie,
    you took interesting photos with the drone! I think the technology would be too complicated for me: a few years ago, my husband and I observed a young camera team on a Croatian island practicing with a drone in order to film a marathon the next day. The drone flew several times against house walls - and was finally scrapped when it got under a roof with its rotor blades. Also, an Austrian skier once almost got killed by a falling drone, so I don't trust those things that much. It's probably safer in the great outdoors - in any case, this results in very special photos.
    I also like you little garden-critters!
    Oh dear, I was almost waiting for your message that hosting Mosaic Monday is getting to be too much for your busy life. Anyway, thank you for what you've done so far. I could live with that if you only hosted the MM twice a month or so. If it is taken over by someone else, I VERY, VERY, VERY much hope that we will keep in touch anyway, because you have become very dear to me with your sympathetic, natural way!
    Hugs and all the best from Austria,
    PS: As promissed today I send two postings to you.
    PPS: I'm glad your daughter was healthy enough and was able to fly to England to visit her grandparents!

  11. What fun! Cool photos (and what a great angle for the house). I've got a trail camera on my wish-list... I may have to add a drone, too!

  12. The drone photos are amazing! I love seeing your beautiful home and other scenes around it. We've thought about getting one and know it would be fun. Thanks for Mosaic Monday. I hope things work out...I sure would miss it! Enjoy your week!

  13. I have insect drones in my upcoming novel. What a fun toy. You will have much more aerial blog fodder to come. Enjoy!

  14. Great photos with the drone, Angie. Sorry to see you ending your stint as host for Mosaic Monday, you have done the task excellently. Thank you for your dedication and conscientiousness, as well as for the kind and apt comments on my posts. I can fully understand your decision to move on, I have made an identical one with my blog "My Desktop Daily" and I am linking my last post there today. Au revoir!

  15. Great aerial shots, Angie! I must try my hand at drone photography, a friend has one and I must get to use it under his guidance...

  16. Dear Angie - Your wide interests seem to have kept you motivated. Hosting Mosaic Monday would have been one of them. I can’t thank you enough. Every time I could join, I was happy to be part of your adventures, joys, and friendship. I look forward to see your cottage in the winter wonderland seen from the drone. Keep honing your skills.


  17. Hello, Angie,

    The drone takes great photos, I seeing the Trumpeter Swans. Nice captures of your insect drones. I can understand your decision about Mosaic Monday, maybe another blogger will take over. I do hope to see some blog post from you, when you are not too busy. Take care, have a great new week!

  18. I am sure that your drone will give you perspectives you barely dreamed of, Angie. A friend of mine is a drone enthusiast and I remember the first one he owned a few years ago - it was knocked down by a Red-tailed Hawk who obviously didn't appreciate it! As far as I know he has been mishap-free since then.

  19. Bravo! The photos are spectacular!

  20. What a beautiful home you have!
    I'd worry about a drone here, we've so many trees! I'd lose it for sure!

  21. Interesting photos Angie. Glad you got to see the beavers from above
    Have a good week.


  22. Beautiful sky mirror images. The lake is so ambient too

  23. Thank you for sharing your drone photos. And thank you for hosting for so long.

  24. I can tell you're having lots of fun with the drone. You got some great photo's. I like your daughters idea for the Christmas photo.

  25. Hello Angie
    You are doing so well with your drone, wonderful photographs you've shared, thank you.

    Enjoy these September days.

    All the best Jan

  26. Angie, How exciting to use a drone! I have to say though, that yesterday while I was out at a wetlands a drone came overhead and I felt intimidated. I am being observed but I don't know who or where they are. A little scary I have to say. Enjoy the view.

  27. Great drone photos. You've already surpassed my skills. I'm still in periscope mode. Being in an urban area I'm kind of hemmed in by no-go flight areas. Turkey Mountain is close to an airport and so is Oxley Nature Center so I can't even get my drone off the ground at those places.
    In town I've taken a few pics but you really have to be aware of the overhead power and telephone lines and other obstructions.

  28. The photos are great! You are already becoming an expert.

  29. P.S. Life in Montana that you have been writing about, seems dreamy to me. So, I hope that you will inform us about the news occasionally. Thank you for being the host of Mosaic Monday for so long.

  30. Beautiful images well done, lovely for a drones, thanks Angie.

  31. your excitement about the drone is palpable, what a wonderful gift for you...and the pictures are gorgeous. i don't know if i ever wished you a happy birthday, "happy birthday"!!

    i love my blog but i know what you are saying about how we spend our time. i try to alot a certain amount of time to it and stick to that!! i have enjoyed mosaic monday but would never be able to do the awesome job you have done!!!


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