Unlike Peggy Sue, I can’t say that in the future I happen to know that I won’t have much use for algebra. After all, I’ve used a fair bit of it already.
Not anything complex, you understand, but basic ratios are useful in many applications, from scaling recipes up or down, to adjusting knitting patterns to allow for a different gauge.
But it’s basic geometry that I felt the need of this week. The trouble is more to do with my difficulty estimating distances, though, than any problem with calculating the hypotenuse of a triangle otherwise defined by my unknown distance from shore and the improbable height of three trees. One tree had an eagle’s nest at the top with a juvenile bald eagle sitting up on the edge of it, pondering the wisdom of launching. One had an adult bald eagle partway up. One had an osprey’s nest at the top with a juvenile keeping a sharp lookout for something.
But although I don’t know the distances, in practical terms the answer is, “Too far away for a good shot with the camera I have.”
Maybe that’s partly why I get a kick out of the loons. We stop a respectful distance away and they submerge, only to surface closer to the boat. Their apparent unconcern at our presence gives me a chance to get a close shot, at least, even if the bobbing of the boat, the impossibility of getting and staying between the sun and them, and the inherent difficulty of shooting a jet-black and white bird sort of rules out the chance of getting a great shot.
So, instead, I have some fun with it.
And if the future is anything like the past, I do happen to know that I’ll need my sense of humour.