Whoa, there should be a warning on the side of a camera when you buy it. Something like:
"Warning: Initial use of camera may be hazardous and you might get caught."
I mean, really, how was I to know? Every day at lunch I've been trying to learn to use the new camera by firing up my laptop in my car and reading the manual which comes on a CD, not in a booklet. I'm going on a "research vacation" soon and I'm not taking my computer, so if I want to be able to take awesome pictures, I need to practice now, before I go. And what better subject than a bald eagle sitting in a hundred foot Douglas fir in the hushed twilight of a rain/snow shower? Perfect, right?
The bird was in a stand of firs on a side street in the hills on my commute home. It was too late to make the turn when I spotted it as these little country roads have a 50mph limit and folks get mighty cranky if you dawdle. I drove up to a little private road, hung a three-point turn and raced back to the little side street, cranking the wheel to starboard and rushing up a hill. It was still there, but there was no place to pull over. The mini-mansions on that street are all on acreage and the road is narrow. I ambled down the hill to the next driveway and pulled in, ready to back out again, but headlights appeared at the top of the street.
I waited patiently while the champagne Lexus rolled down, slowing to a crawl. I couldn't see the tops of the trees from where I was, but while I waited for the grandma to pick her way down the hill, I got the camera out and pressed the power button. Between the thwacks of the windshield wipers, the whir of the camera signaled the extension of the zoom and a little beep notified me it reached the maximum. Still the Lexus inched down, and although I couldn't see through its windows, I sensed the cell phone open and the 9 - 1 - 1 being punched into the key pad.
My heart did a little somersault. Sometimes if you look confident, people will believe you know what you are doing. I jutted my chin, backed out of her driveway, smiled and gave her a little finger wave as I slipped past. Careful not to look directly at her, I continued to the top of the hill and watched in the rear view mirror as she pulled into the driveway I'd just vacated.
Figuring there was plenty of time before the police arrived, I rolled down my window, stuck the camera outside in the rain/snow mix, and snapped a picture. I didn't take time to focus because I didn't want the camera to get wet. But, even the eagle has his beady eye on me, probably noting my vehicle license.
When I got home, I practiced enlarging the picture. So the first picture is with the 12x zoom and the second is cropped. Considering the tree is about 100 feet, and the light was poor, I think it is pretty good. I wouldn't mind taking a few pictures in sunshine, though, just to see how it works.
So far, there have been no knocks on my door. But I don't know what I'm gonna do, what I'm gonna do when they come for me.