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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: July heat has photographer staying close to home

By John Hall/Missourian Reader
July 10, 2012 | 6:43 p.m. CDT
John Hall writes: "Since its too hot to go out and play, and seeing that gasoline is far from being cheap, you can see by the photos that I haven't left my back yard."

John Hall frequently photographs his mid-Missouri surroundings, and he has been sharing his images with the Missourian for several years.

While this isn't the hottest summer my old bones have endured it is nonetheless too dry for much of anything to survive. The farmers can say "goodbye" to their corn crop and the backyard farmers can bemoan the fact that while tomatoes can get by without a lot of water, they quit setting their blooms when the temperature doesn't get below 70 degrees at night.

But, with all that said, the biggest problem of the week, just concluded, was a rusty cable. When entering the garage, after visiting my mother at the nursing home, I heard a loud blow when entering the garage. I was sure I hadn't hit anything and I was correct. I hadn't hit the garage but the unsupported door banged the top of the truck. Due to a rusty cable it led to $1750 of expenditures. Why is it that everything I own is either sick, broken, sputtering along or rapidly approaching the previous three conditions? Maybe that is just the nature of things and everyone has similar experiences.

(If you can't see the slideshow embedded above, view it on Flickr here.)

The newest member of the neighborhood (the black and white dog in the pictures) has adapted well to his surroundings, and is usually up and at 'em when I go outside each morning to pick tomatoes. That crop, despite all manner of unpleasant weather, seems to be doing pretty good. I've made two trips to market with them so far and have another load ready to go.

Tracking the progress of the disabled Nikon camera on its trip across the Western US of A was an activity that kept me glued to the UPS website for a number of days, like nine. It arrived in El Segundo, California at 9:27 a.m. on July 9. I suspect it will undergo a thorough examination in the next couple of days to determine the extent of its illness. Then, I'll get a call from the camera surgeon wanting to know what to do with the patient. That's when I'll have to decide on major surgery that might not be successful or tell the camera doctor to do his best imitation of Jack Kevorkian.

Since its too hot to go out and play, and seeing that gasoline is far from being cheap, you can see by the photos that I haven't left my backyard. The old Nikon made a 1759 mile trek — in nine days — to get medical attention. If I had delivered it myself I could have made the trip in about 27 hours, according to Google Maps.

Due to being cooped up all summer, the plan now is to grab the loaner D300 and head east sometime during the day on Friday. I have a grandson who is attending classes at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana this summer. He misses his family, even his grandpa, but above everything else he is suffering from not being able to see his favorite birds, the Cardinals. So, his brother, father and grandpa are going to meet up with him in Indianapolis sometime on Friday and go to a Cardinal game. The Cardinals don't play in Indianapolis you say. Well, that's right. The family will head to Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio for a late afternoon game on Saturday. Then, its back to Indianapolis and on to Columbia, all within a 48 hour window.

So, the next time you get photos there is a chance you'll see something other than bumble bees and skippers, on zinnias, from my backyard.

It's not likely I'm going to be able to share photos of corn as high as an elephant's eye, since the Midwest drought has destroyed over 30 percent of this year's crop. Rest assured, I'll find something to photograph. I might even experience a rare scene of the Cardinals in the winners circle.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.