Image 6116

Saturday, June 29, at Leo Carillo State Beach
Image 6116, as far as I know, could very well be the very last photograph I ever took with my beloved Canon EOS 60D, of a Blueband Hermit Crab (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/28074989) and a piece of Kelp with eggs. First I thought these eggs could be the beginning of whatever the fatal problem was, but for whatever it's worth, they are also in image 6115.

My next picture was meant to be another one of a Striped Shore Crab who had lost the tip of its left claw (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/28074812), but the camera didn't focus. I checked the lens to see if it was on manual focus, then saw on the monitor a blinking "Err 80." I switched off the camera, switched it back on, nothing. I put in a full battery, nothing. I tried a few more times, then drove home, feeling very anxious. I tried trouble-shooting by removing lens, battery, SDHC card, then holding down the shutter release for 30 seconds, and inserting battery, card and lens step but step, but got nothing. I drove to a camera shop in the neighborhood, they put in their own battery, nothing. It never came to life.

I had bought the camera on November 28, 2010, at Samy's Camera in Los Angeles, and had paid $1,399.95. There was not a single issue over the eight and a half years I had this camera. I took tens of thousands of pictures with it, some of them very dear to my heart.

I called Samy's last night and spoke with a repairs person. He shared my love for this sturdy camera and said he is using it to this day to compare settings at other cameras, and understood my reluctance to give up on it. But he also said the camera is obsolete, and repair will cost upwards from $275. He said, "I want you to write this down: EOS Rebel T6, which is the successor of the 60D. Same settings, same protocols, but lighter, faster, much more advanced. You will kick yourself for not switching to the T6 earlier." Samy's is not even selling that model, so he wasn't looking for my money, he wanted to help me out. I spent a bit of time researching, but when I found a steep discount at B&H that was to expire in 6 hours, I ordered the T6, for $399. It comes in a kit with two lenses, but I will be able to continue using my fantastic 300mm zoom lens that's actually more expensive than the new camera plus kit. The T6 should be in my hands Tuesday morning.

In all this tech trouble anxiousness, I tried to download the pictures I took that day, but the card had no pictures whatsoever on it. I was desperate! Camera bust, and all the images gone? I called my computer guy who had rescued data for me, and he said he will try his best, on Monday. I was close to tears... Waiting until Monday seemed torturous, so I tried to keep my cool and analyze this. Maybe the reader is kaput? I inserted my second card... and that showed over 1,000 pictures. Sometimes I expect Murphy's Law and create it.

I had spent the day in the burn scar of the Woolsey Fire, at the bottom of Mulholland Hwy at PCH, where the fire jumped PCH and burned all the way down to the ocean. It's still very gloomy, mood-wise, even though there's lots of new life, and reassuring evidence that our native plants can deal with fire. It's beautiful if it weren't so eerie and depressing. There were many many Funereal Duskywings flitting about, reinforcing the spookiness. And then a fatal camera crash... not too good a day.

Tuesday, July 2nd: The new camera arrived and I'm charging the battery... Meanwhile, I posted some of my observations of the day, among them my first of a Common Yellowthroat (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/28009424), and this year's first of a Wrentit (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/28067177) and WB Nuthatch (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/28009336). The last day with the EOS 60D wasn't so bad after all.

Posted by andreacala andreacala, July 02, 2019 19:30

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 09:02 AM PDT

Description

Mulholland Hwy runs across the western Santa Monica Mountains all the way to PCH, ending at Leo Carillo State Park and Beach. Many parts of Mulholland Hwy were in the path of the Woolsey fire (yet most fortunately not that stretch of Mulholland I live on). Yesterday, I explored the burn scar around Mulholland at PCH and noticed that the area is quite infested by Castor Bean plants. The plants look like they melted in the fire but some are still alive and keep growing. I wonder if the oil-rich plants fueled the fire on its last leg before it extinguished in the ocean...

Photos / Sounds

What

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 09:20 AM PDT

Description

White-breasted Nuthatch on the charred bark of a tree that got badly burnt in the Woolsey Fire.

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 09:29 AM PDT

Description

Common Yellowthroat in a burnt tree skeleton... The bird was singing beautifully from the shrubs below, then flew up to the tree and perched for the briefest moment. I got this one shot, then it was gone.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Towhee (Melozone crissalis)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 10:06 AM PDT

Description

The adult California Towhees around my house are molting, and this individual at Leo Carillo State Beach looks just like them, slightly disheveled, and kind of stressed and uncomfortable. The CA Towhees seem quieter right now, and somewhat wary of other birds. Does molting make them feel a bit vulnerable?

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Kelp Bass (Paralabrax clathratus)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 10:22 AM PDT

Description

Two fishermen had installed four rods on the beach and told me they had pulled out four fish over the last two hours -- each one a different species -- and had released all of them. I stayed in the background for a bit hoping for another catch... They released also this small Kelp Bass, and then packed up.

Photos / Sounds

What

Brandt's Cormorant (Urile penicillatus)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 10:31 AM PDT

Description

About 20, mostly juvenile Brandt's Cormorants on the cliff at Leo Carillo, preening and drying their feathers. Two newcomers flew over the cliff, didn't find space and decided to rather land in the water and climb up. It was a laborious ascend for the two, with a few slip-ups, which reminded me on Penguins hiking to their nesting grounds. But apparently, it was safer and more comfortable than touching down on a crowded cliff. (Up on the cliff were also five Double-Crested Cormorants, four of them grouped together, one among the Brandt's, and two Western Gulls.)

Photos / Sounds

What

Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 11:00 AM PDT

Description

The beautiful white flowers of the Sacred Thorn-Apple pushing through charred remains left behind by the Woolsey Fire...

Photos / Sounds

What

Marine Blue (Leptotes marina)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 11:18 AM PDT

Description

Marine Blue feeding on Deerweed

Photos / Sounds

What

Flatbud Prickly Poppy (Argemone munita)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 10:52 AM PDT

Description

Flatbud Prickly Poppy growing in between Bladderpod and Sacred Thorn-Apple, in the burn scar of the Woolsey Fire. I wouldn't have noticed the plant if it weren't for its flowers that reminded me on the two species of Matilija Poppies I saw at King Gillette. I wanted to check if the flower buds were smooth or hairy, and saw it's an entirely different, and very thorny species...

Photos / Sounds

What

Oleander Aphid (Aphis nerii)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 09:38 AM PDT

Description

Oleander Aphids taking over an unfortunate Narrow-leaf Milkweed plant. Other Milkweeds in a 15 meter radius weren't infested (yet).

Photos / Sounds

What

Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 11:32 AM PDT

Description

Wrentit in what's left of a burnt shrub...

Photos / Sounds

What

Broadleaf Sea Lettuce (Ulva lactuca)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 12:22 PM PDT

Description

For size reference, I put a yardstick (inches) into the frame of picture two.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Striped Shore Crab (Pachygrapsus crassipes)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 12:16 PM PDT

Description

Striped Shore Crab who had lost the tip of its left claw...

Photos / Sounds

What

Blueband Hermit Crab (Pagurus samuelis)

Observer

andreacala

Date

June 29, 2019 12:25 PM PDT

Description

RIP, beloved Canon EOS 60D. This is the last picture I was able to take with my camera of 8.5 years... :-(

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