Monday, January 23, 2023

Bang a Bongo

Once again, like many weekends, the most exciting thing about my day was taking the dog for a walk.

We've had bright, sunny weather the last few days, which has been a nice change. It's been cold, though. Olga and I set out around 11:30 a.m. and headed toward Hampstead Heath.

We walked through Hampstead Village, where we came across this old chemist's shop (pharmacy) that had been turned into something else. It's vacant at the moment. I love the old mosaic doorstep, but Olga was indifferent.

This is what throwing the tennis ball looks like these days. I throw for short distances and Olga does her old-lady stiff-legged run to retrieve it. Not exactly the blistering long-distance dash of ten years ago. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak!

I found an online dog-age calculator that tells me Olga is 75-80 years old now in human years. She "would be considered a senior dog," it helpfully informed me. Thanks for that.

The curious find of the day was some kind of bongo drum tucked into the crook of a tree branch. I left it there. We have enough noise around here from the Russians.

Olga was moving a bit slowly so we did only a quick loop of a tiny section of Heath, including the icy dog pond. (As you can see, she was not tempted to get in!) We walked through Vale of Heath and skirted Whitestone Pond and headed back to West Hampstead.

I took only my iPhone on this walk, and I think I wound up with pretty good pictures. Same with my outing to the cemetery on Saturday. The more I use the phone, the more I wonder why I ever bother with my gigantic Canon camera. I can do more with the camera photographically, changing exposures and depth of field and that kind of thing, but is it worth the weight of that camera bag? I'm less and less convinced, especially when we're talking about a simple outing like this. (I'm about due for a new phone, too, which should improve the photo opportunities even more.)

Anyway, now Olga is crashed under the covers and I'm preparing for another week of work. Life goes on!


River said...

Olga is still pretty spry for an old gal! I like that bongo.

Frances said...

Has Olga got a new lead.....very smart! I came across one of those dog age calculators a few years ago. I must have a look for one again. My boy is now 9 1/2, but doesn't seem to be slowing down, partly because he was never very fast! Enjoy the sunshine today. Supposedly minus 4 here at the moment.

Rachel Phillips said...

I assumed you took all your photos with a phone camera as most people seem to do these days. The quality of phone cameras is second to none now and all my photos have been taken thus for many years.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Olga moves well for one that “would be considered a senior dog” and I enjoyed that video of a much younger Olga, too. I'd go back and get that drum. You can play it whenever the Russians are quiet.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

With Dave being a music teacher and all, I feel sure he would have appreciated the bongo drum and The Russians upstairs would have enjoyed listening to him practising. Perhaps he could have learnt a few Ghanaian drumbeat sequences in honour of your genetic heritage.

Andrew said...

Unless I am going on holidays, I don't bother with the too heavy camera any more. The camera excels at long distance photos with its optical 40X zoom but the phone excels in low interior light without the flash turned on. The camera I now own will be the last I ever buy.

The icy pond does not look enticing. Olga is an intelligent dog.

Boud said...

I notice that Olga doesn't exactly retrieve so much as locate the ball! She's doing very well though, still pretty lively.

Pixie said...

Olga runs like me. I'm the same with my camera, it's heavy and uncomfortable. My phone is lightweight and takes great pics, so why not?

Bob said...

I might have taken the drum, if just for the colors.
From that dog age list, it seems Ozzo is between 84 and 92. Oy!

Sharon said...

I thought Olga looked pretty good for a senior dog. I can relate to those senior legs. After looking at the other video, I can see that she was much faster but then so was I once upon a time.
I love that mosaic sign. Every now and then I'll find one here. It's nice that many places keep them.

Janie Junebug said...

I think banging on the drum at 2 a.m. would be appreciated by the Russians, who obviously love noise.


Ms. Moon said...

I doubt a seventy-five or eighty-year old human lady could run with that amount of friskiness.
The iPhone camera is pretty amazing.

Ellen D. said...

Olga has taught you how to return to her once she has grabbed the ball. Good boy, Steve! :)

NewRobin13 said...

Nice video of Olga. She looks fine and healthy going after that ball. Nice mosaic doorstep too.
That is a beautiful bongo drum. People do leave interesting things out there, don't they.
The iPhone pics are great.

The Bug said...

I love that drum - very colorful!

With my lack of photographic skill I definitely prefer using my phone - I can't really tell a difference. Although I have to say that I couldn't have gotten that photo of Roy with my phone - I didn't want to get too close because he would have jumped down from the chair when he saw me. He's probably the same age as Olga - so maybe I should say he would have ambled down from the chair.

Ed said...

I gave up on taking my Canon a long time ago, pretty much when I got my first smart phone. Like the saying goes, the best camera for a job is the one you have on you and my phone is always on me. I still use the Canon now and then, especially for low light or long distance photos. Modern iPhones do really good anymore in low light but the long distance photos are still out of their wheelhouse.

The Padre said...

She Definitely Works That Ball Over But That Face Next To The Frozen Pond Is A Classic - Looking Forward To The iPhone Post

P.S. An Olga Girl Just Because Treat Would Be In Order

Debby said...

A bongo drum in a tree.

The scenarios that are playing out in MY mind! What a curious find!

Margaret said...

The fact that Olga will chase the ball and participate in the walks is a great sign. And healthy for old dogs and people! Cell phones take excellent photos these days. I have an iPhone 12 Pro and am impressed with what it can do. I'm sure more than what I even know!

Kelly said...

About the only time I use my Canon anymore is to take photos of completed jigsaw puzzles.

I think Olga is getting along quite well for a girl her age. I love seeing videos of her. 😊 We had another dog death last week and it never seems to get easier.

Catalyst said...

I agree with your thoughts about cameras though don't get rid of the old Canon. Great photos of Olga, by the way.

jenny_o said...

Olga does very well for an older gal. The secret is to keep moving and she is doing that. I agree with the others who mused that the Russians would really enjoy the sound of the bongo drum at 2 a.m. :)

ellen abbott said...

Curious about the drum being left. I wonder what the story is behind that. Marc says we're getting new phones this year. He's said that before but I have been less than enthusiastic though this year, yes, I'm ready for a new phone.

Red said...

so go for a walk and you get lots of photo ops , find stuff and enjoy the show put on by Olga.

sparklingmerlot said...

I bought a canon a few years ago and Two was going to teach me how to use it and then the sod went overseas and when he came back he had the audacity to get married and move interstate. I loved it when I did use it but it has been so long I can't remember where the battery and card is.
I can't tell whether you use your phone or camera (ditto Andrew) because you have a good eye. The most expensive camera will not make a good photographer and a good photographer will make the cheapest disposable camera produce a work of art.

Steve Reed said...

River: She has a surprising amount of energy considering her age!

Frances: It's actually not new. Same one as always! Apparently different breeds of dogs age at different rates, so the calculators take that into account. The one I used was on the Pedigree pet food site, I think.

Rachel: Up until about a year ago I took almost all of them with my camera. I've been taking more and more with the phone, though. Why not?!

Mitchell: Ha! The "annoy-the-Russians" drum!

YP: I'm the one who should be doing the Ghanaian drumming. If Dave did it, it would be cultural appropriation! :)

Andrew: Even on holiday, having just a phone sounds pretty great. I took only my phone to Florida when I went last April and I never missed the camera.

Boud: Ha! Yeah, she used to at least bring the ball back, but she was never good at relinquishing it.

Pixie: It makes me wonder why I've been so insisted about using my camera all this time.

Bob: Pets are like people nowadays, with longer lifespans than ever!

Sharon: She was faster and she could run much farther. But that's not surprising, I guess!

Janie: Ha!

Ms Moon: She is pretty fit, all things considered.

Ellen D: Yeah! Who's training who?!

Robin: I'm always astonished by what I find lying around.

Bug: Yeah, that's the problem with the phones. They're not great at long-distance or telephoto shots.

Ed: My iPhone can't handle low light at all. I have a 6S, so it's pretty old.

Padre: She is a chomper when it comes to the ball!

Debby: I'm guessing someone had an outdoor drumming gathering of some kind, as unlikely as that sounds in January...?

Margaret: Oh, you're way ahead of me in terms of phones. I still have a 6S!

Kelly: No, it never gets easier. I'm sorry. :(

Catalyst: Yeah, I'll keep it. It's great for taking pics of birds at the bird feeder, and other things that don't require me to carry it around!

Jenny-O: I need to be better about getting her out and about. She sometimes wants to walk in the mornings but I've become so lazy myself (and I'm often short of time before work). Then she has to settle for sniffing around the garden.

Ellen: I can supposedly get one through my phone plan. I'm eligible for an upgrade!

Red: That's pretty much what our walks are all about!

Caro: It's true that even people who exclusively use phone cameras can get amazing pictures nowadays, a la Instagram. (Especially if they're using filters and stuff, which I don't usually do!)

Ed said...

I used to have a 6s and it didn't do low light well at all. But I traded up to the 12 and it does MUCH better.

Jeanie said...

My spirit is willing, too. I can relate to Olga. Although I need to replace it (it's been dropped on its head too many times) I love my little pocket-sized Canon. It has a great zoom and is generally pretty clear (although it's showing its age). Before I head to Europe again, I'm replacing it -- with the same but newest model. Small, fits in the pocket or purse and better than my phone!