Last week at the Pathfinder meeting we worked on the Fungi honor. One of the requirements is to identify and either photograph or draw 15 species of fungi. There are a lot of honors like that, and I always have the kids do the drawing. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that not all the kids have cameras and I’m not about to loan them mine. Another is that drawing requires closer observation of the specimen.

But there are problems. Specifically, David isn’t very good at drawing, and hates to do it. He asked why they couldn’t just take pictures, and I explained the reasons I just mentioned above. Then he suggested that maybe he could take photos later. I said he could, but that I wanted him to keep quiet about it so I wouldn’t have a revolt on my hands.

Today when I got home from work, I suggested that he should go outside and take the pictures, and he agreed. We went out together, because I had already spent a considerable amount of time scouting the property for mushrooms (I had collected several specimens for the meeting last week). I showed him how to operate the camera in the manual mode, because the results are so much better that way. F-stop, macro lens, tripod, 2-second delay (so the camera can stop shaking after the button is pressed), and setting the exposure time. It looked like he was doing a decent job, but I haven’t reviewed his pictures yet.

Now all he needs to do is identify them. I had identified over half the ones I brought in last week, and other Pathfinders (staff and kids alike) worked on identifying the rest. So in the end, all of them had tentative ids, which is good enough for me since we’re not eating them.

Tomorrow he and Jonathan will be visiting with some friends from church, so that will leave Beth, Va, and I here at home in the afternoon. My plan is to take Beth and Penny for a hike down to Sandogardy Pond, even if it’s rainy. We’re going to try our hand at geocaching, and I found that there are two geocaches there. If that goes well, the next honor the Pathfinders do could very well be Geocaching. We’ll see!

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