Tag Archives: white-marked tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma)

This is how a camera dies

It begins with a simple mission: photograph a white-marked tussock moth caterpillar (Orgyia leucostigma) who has enjoyed two days meandering about the patio.

A white-marked tussock moth caterpillar (Orgyia leucostigma) crawling down the patio fence (2010_05_14_054641)

The larva spent most of that time on the outside edge of the ceiling.  Not easy to photograph up there given the high contrast of shooting at the sky.

A white-marked tussock moth caterpillar (Orgyia leucostigma) crawling on the patio fence (2010_05_14_054655)

But when it came down to the fence, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to grab some pictures.

A white-marked tussock moth caterpillar (Orgyia leucostigma) crawling on the patio fence (2010_05_14_054666)

While I was clicking away, I realized the camera sounded funny.  That usual SLR shutter sound was coming across sickly and labored.  Then I noticed the images didn’t look right.  And finally I saw what looked like something hanging in front of the lens.


And with each new picture it grew progressively worse.


Then the camera died.  Really, really, really died.

A bit of detective work poking at its innards revealed the second shutter curtain has broken (I originally thought it was jammed or loose).  Though the mirror and the first shutter curtain work normally, the second shutter curtain is in more pieces than it should be.  That has unfortunately jammed the entire shutter mechanism.

Now when I turn the camera on, it immediately goes to a fatal error.

This is traumatic, poppets.  It’s the kind of thing that’s worth a tear or two.  Me without a working camera?  It’s a travesty and a deep wound.

So I’m left with this question: Do I have it repaired or do I purchase a new camera?

Meanwhile, the collection of unpublished photos is quite large, hence there is no fear that this means an interruption in sharing the things I’ve seen.  What it does mean is that all new scenes are on hold.  Temporarily.

[This is another caterpillar that you shouldn’t touch.  Though not as dangerous as southern flannel moth caterpillars, white-marked tussock moth caterpillars can still deliver a troublesome allergic reaction if you come into contact with the setae—the hairs.]