Does That Come in Blaze Orange?

Blue skies, 68 degrees, a beautiful day to weed whack around the fruit trees on the swale at the top of the hill. I was at the farm by myself  weekend before last as M needed to stay home to finish putting the Land Cruiser back together after fixing an electrical problem.

After I finished weed whacking, I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and snapped a shot to text M. I like to keep him apprised of my progress lest he think I’m out here sipping mint juleps on the veranda [that we don’t have yet].
As I walked down the hill back towards the camp trailer, I remembered there were some native lupines I wanted to make sure didn’t get cut down when we mow the fields (I’m saving the seed to sow in the food forests as they are nitrogen fixers). I traversed back and forth trying to remember where I had seen the lupines before the grasses took over. My how things had grown in just the last week! I found several lupines and whacked a wide area around each one so they would be easy to spot from the tractor [that we don’t have yet].
I continued on down the hill, went straight to the shed and put the weed whacker away. I reached into my pocket for my phone to text M the picture and IT WASN’T THERE!
I could not figure out how my phone could have fallen out of my pocket – I was wearing cargo pants with super deep pockets and there were no holes. I went up and down that hill at least twenty times trying to retrace my steps. I also went back and forth along the swale and even retraced steps I was sure I had taken before I had snapped the picture. After two hours of searching, I jumped in the truck to find a neighbor so I could use their phone to call M at home and have him call my cellphone about a zillion times as I retraced my steps yet again.
No answer on his cell phone. No answer on the home phone. I left messages, but all I could hope for was that he’d get the message right away and start calling my phone as I didn’t want to stand in the middle of the field (it’s about 3 acres) wondering if he was trying to call or not. To add insult to injury – we have very poor cell reception at the farm, so even if he did call my phone might not even ring.
Can you see it?

Do you see it?

My neighbor didn’t have a cell phone, but said his wife would be back in about an hour and she had one. Not too long after that they showed up and we tried a few spots, but got nothing. They insisted on leaving their cell phone with me because they didn’t want me to be by myself without some way to call for help in the event of an emergency. It sure is nice to have good neighbors who barely now you [yet] and still care about you. After they left I retraced my steps calling my cell phone every 10 feet straining to hear that tune my phone plays. Nothing.
I finally got a hold of M later that evening and he said he’d try the cell phone locater feature. Once it locates the device it sends you an email.  By this time it was 930 pm, dark, I hadn’t eaten anything, and the neighbors cell battery was just about to give out. Luckily the phone charger we keep in the truck fit the neighbors phone. So I had to call it a night and hope that the phone locator service provided a location with enough accuracy that I could actually find it.
M called at 11:00 am the next morning when he received the cell locater email. It’s a satellite picture showing the location within 20-30 feet, but I can’t receive it so he has to describe it to me over the phone. It sounded like the area I had been focused on, so I got down on my hands and knees and crawled all over that area combing through the grasses. Still nothing. I hiked back down the hill and grabbed a rake. I combed through everything again. Nothing.
satellite image of phone location

objects may appear larger than they are

I hiked back down yet again and brought the weed whacker back up to cut a wider swath. I cut all the way to the ground. NOTHING!  aaarrrggghhhh. I also brought up a shovel and poked around in the swale (which has filled up with water from the pond overflow). Nada. Zip. Zilch.
Do you see it now?

Do you see it now?

At this point I’d spent the better part of the weekend looking for my stupid phone so I called off the search, returned the neighbors phone and got back to work.  Despite the unproductive time spent searching in vain, I shoveled out a truck load of cow manure building up 4 x 8 compost pile, emptied five 5 gallon buckets of chick manure into another compost pile, washed those buckets out, weed whacked all around the camp trailer and equipment shed (not to mention the weed whacking around the fruit trees that started this whole fiasco), sowed more seed on the hugels, peeled logs and scrubbed them down with a borax solution to kill the mold, and pruned the deadwood off of the fruit and nut trees.
******************************************************
The following weekend with M and the satellite picture in tow, we headed down to the farm. M is the finder of lost things. He has found rings on the side of the road that flew off of my fingers while pulling off a glove riding on the back of his motorcycle (more than once), so he was pretty sure he was up to the task.  Of course, within ten minutes he found it. and of course it was but a couple of feet from where I stopped the whacking and searching.  Talk about a bittersweet moment.  I was thrilled he found it as I, being the finance manager on the team, didn’t want to have to spend the money to replace my smartypants phone, but ding dang it – I spent hours and hours looking for the darn thing and it was literally right in front me.  What’s that saying – if it had been a snake it woulda bit me.
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M marched back down to the tool shed and a little while later presented me with this
I guess orange IS the new black

I guess orange IS the new black

He paints his tools with blaze orange paint so he can easily spot them in the grass.  Smarty pants.
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About La Femme Farmer

Starting up a small farm is the goal for the second half of my life. It's a late start I know, but better late than NEVER! Growing food, cooking and eating are my passions and now I get to do it full-time (and then some). and yes, that's a tomato from my garden!
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6 Responses to Does That Come in Blaze Orange?

  1. bobraxton says:

    don’t know how, but “mates” find their opposites — my spouse is the “finder” – I cannot see it (anything) right in front of me — at a recent meal, the hot pepper rings (a jar in the refrigerator door) – today at the grocery store – the pimento cheese (for sandwich making) in a “tub” – I asked twice and had a person go get it and then show it (the location) to me – right where (same aisle) I had spent “about an hour” back and forth looking for it but could not find. Now if I could only find my black socks in the drawer (they are all very dark).

  2. Glad it was found. My theory is that when you were looking for it, it wasn’t visible – but you might have moved the grass around it. Then when M came along, it was visible enough to find. Same kind of principle applies to jar opening, right? I struggle with the lid for 5 minutes, use all my secret techniques to no avail, and finally hand over the jar to HIM, and voila! A casual twist and the lid is off. Obviously, I have loosened the lid enough for the next person to finish the job.
    The orange is a good idea though…and you’re going to look pretty cool back in the city with a blaze orange phone. Maybe you should wear camo with it, and say it’s your hunting phone…

    • I know! The jar thing happens to me all of the time…
      Ok, true confession – the aforementioned cargo pants are also camo. I love them for working on the farm because they are big and roomy, have lots of pockets and don’t show the dirt and grass stains. My city friends think I’ve gone off my rocker anyway, so maybe next time I meet them to “do lunch”, I’ll wear the camo and be sure to flash my blaze orange phone around!

  3. DM says:

    that is amazing (the satellite photo feature). I know the feeling of trying to find my wallet or truck keys drives me crazy, so your whole cell phone loss would have bugged the crap out of me for sure. Made me smile when you said “your city friends think you’ve gone off your rocker anyway.” sounds like a full weekend. thanks for the update. DM

  4. little did they know I was never really big on rockers anyway 😏

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