The hide develops

A number of people have noted, in response to my excuses involving imperfect glass, “Well, have you thought of opening the window!”.

Well, yes I have. But it has a window bolt which would be at least 28 years old, because I have barely touched the window since I moved here. So, why don’t I go through that box of old keys, the ones I really ought to chuck out but you never know when you will need one. So I went through the many keys of unknown application, and, Voila, sure enough, none fitted.

Hmm, but then the brain-wave – the lock being so old it might pre-date one-way screws, so why don’t I just take it off, and replace it with the trusty bit of wood in the slide groove. Sure enough, using my now readily available screw-driver, because I had cleaned up the workbench, I removed said lock and opened the window. Wow, I should have been an engineer.

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So then, given the relative success of Prototype 2 (see yesterday’s blog), I moved on to Prototype 3. Using clamps and tape in case I made a muck of it, I constructed, not an extensive ad for Storage King (and seriously it could never be good for their business of making boxes for the box to be useful only when cut open),  a hide wall. There is enough vision through the conveniently located cuts between the folding bits of the boxes – Storage King must have foreseen such a use – and the camera, on a tripod, is focussed (ha!) through a hole in the cardboard with the lens itself seeking action through an old nightgown. I knew there was a reason for keeping that.20200422_12134120200422_121335

So now we have the ability, but with some practical issues to be resolved, to take pictures whilst hidden from view, and through an open window. But if I open the window when the birds are there, they will be alerted and will flee. I even dry lubed the window tracks,so moving the window would be quieter, but I think I will have to get up at sparrow’s each day and open the window before the action starts? I can’t leave it open, or my other daily, or more correctly nightly, visitors, the ringtail possums, will be permanent residents before I can say “antidisestablishmentarianism”.

So now I could take photos unseen by the birds – but remarkably, not one single bird up there all day! Figure that. I remember the owner of a cloud forest bird lodge high (otherwise it wouldn’t be in the clouds) in Ecuador, complaining of the perils of Galapagosisation – the belief that all wild animals were as accessible as they were on Galapagos.

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Still, a great advance. Inevitably inherent in any prototyping exercise, there are a few teething problems there for the solving.

Michael Monaghan

Later April 2020

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