Around the Farm: Can You Hear Me Now?

By Kim Carr:



As a Missourian, I often go through life with the “Show Me” attitude. Just because someone says something is true or a certain way does not mean I will necessarily believe it unless I see for myself.


In addition to the Show Me attitude, I also enjoy testing things to see if they really work as stated. For example, I tried filling milk jugs with salt water and placing them in my livestock water tanks to prevent the water in the tanks from freezing. This tale is false and a waste of time. Or how about stuffing brown lunch bags with paper and hanging them where carpenter bees like to hang out. The stuffed bag is supposed to mimic a wasp or hornet nest, thus keeping the carpenter bees at bay. This one I am still on the fence about. I think it has some merit, and I have been hanging stuffed lunch bags around my high bee traffic areas for a couple of years now. Does it keep the bees away 100%? No, but it really cuts down on the number of bees I have buzzing around my chicken shelters. I do not mind bees—I love bees—but these guys can get extremely aggressive, and they like to hang out in areas that I spend a lot of time in. Getting stung by one of these guys is no fun, so I am going to continue to hang the lunch bags even if it is just a placebo effect for me mentally.


Something else I have decided to test recently is the waterproofness of my iPhone XS Max. I got it maybe two or three years ago. I had fried an iPhone a couple years ago when I got caught in a downpour at an art show; did not think about pulling my phone out of my back pocket as I scrambled to salvage my art. Apparently my phone just could not handle the rain. I now carry a bag of rice with me to all shows, just in case.



Well, my new phone that I got a couple years ago stated that it was waterproof up to six feet for like thirty minutes! That is hard for me to believe as a Missourian—and just as a regular person in general, not just one with an extra chromosome of doubt that is inherited by all Missourians. So, being ever curious about the waterproof statement, I did what any good investigator would do . . . I tossed my phone into the pond. That's right, I tossed my phone into the pond.



Now to fill in some of the holes to the complete testing scenario: Last fall friends gave me a super-nice three-seater canoe. It is great for when we have guests out who do not feel comfortable in a kayak, or you got little ones. It is a great addition to the pond but is very heavy and hard for me to move or handle by myself. The kayaks are light enough that I can easily lock them away at night. The canoe, not so much. So, to keep it safe, I pulled it ashore in the cow pasture. This way it would be a challenge for someone to grab and go, though the security cams have been a major deterrent for such things. Anyhow, I had parked the canoe on the pond bank in the cow’s pasture. I put it in a spot where the cows do not really hang out much. All was well and dandy for a week or so, then Sunday I look out to see the canoe missing. Upon inspection, I discover the cows had pushed it into the pond. This would be okay because I could wade out, grab the canoe, and pull it back on shore. Problem is, when the cows pushed it into the water, it landed upside down.



I figured I would get to it at the end of my chores since I knew I would need to get in the pond to retrieve the canoe. So, I went about my day, planted trees, did some push mowing, weed eating, picking up brush, moving the cattle rub, opened a new pasture for the cows, and other odds and ends. By the time I went to fetch the canoe, I was tired and hungry, which means I am not at my best, but I wanted to get the canoe out of the pond and back on dry land. I had on my muck boots, which I figured would help me navigate the mud without losing a shoe. The water's not that deep in this part, so I was hoping to keep it below my boot tops, even though my boots are old and leaky. I was hoping there was a slow, gradual walk into the pond, but this was more of a step off right into the water that was a little more than I thought it was going to be.


I grabbed the canoe to stabilize myself as I regained my balance in the mud. I did a look around to make sure no snakes were being disturbed. A couple days before, I spied a big snake on the pond that moved across the top of the water instead of his head being on top and his body below. Everyone identified him as a harmless water snake, but in doing research I came across articles saying venomous snakes move across the top of water. I sure know this snake had moved like no other snake I have ever seen in the pond. Poisonous or not, I had no desire to come across him while I was trying to fetch the canoe.


I tried pulling the canoe handle, but it would not budge. It was obvious I needed to go a little deeper out and flip the canoe. It was hard to move as I was sinking in the mud, which made it hard to stand. Worried about sticking my hands under the canoe not knowing who might be napping under there or coiled up on the underside of a seat had me a little worried. As I tried to flip the canoe, it was like a giant suction cup, and I had a hard time breaking the seal that had been created. By now my boots were already full of water, and I was determined to “Get 'Er Done”!! So, as I stepped to the center of the canoe to get my best leverage to flip it over, between the ooey-gooey mud and my trying to push the canoe over, it caused me to sink deeper into the mud, and I could no longer free my feet, which caused me to fall backward into the pond. It was at this moment that I decided to test my iPhone's waterproofness.


Now mind you, the water was not six-feet deep, but it was deep enough . . . and, granted, I did not stay down for half an hour, but it seemed close to that.


Shame my phone was in my back pocket, as this would have been a nice time to do a selfie video for America’s Funniest Home Videos. I was thrashing about like crazy thinking about my phone and venomous snakes. My feet were stuck in mud, my boots full of water, and no way to push up because the pond was deeper behind me, and my hands sunk into the mud removing any leverage I was seeking. Luckily, I was only in about two-and-a-half/three feet of water. I was eventually able to grab the edge of the canoe, and since it was stuck, I was able to pull myself up. I tried desperately to pull my phone from my pocket but struggled as my clothes acted like shrink wrap, sealing my phone in my pocket. With a more-than-sufficient amount of struggle, I finally freed my phone and tossed it onto the pond bank.



Now it was time to stop playing around. My iPhone waterproof testing complete, I mustered the last of my strength and flipped the canoe as I scanned it for snakes: all clear. I stumbled to shore and grabbed my phone.


Miraculously, it turned right on! I propped it against some weeds so that any water in the holes at the bottom could drain out while I worked on dragging the canoe ashore. I was not successful because the canoe was full of water. I tried tipping the canoe, but the water weight made that impossible with the canoe half in and half out of the pond. I ended up hooking it to my truck and dragging it up on land, where I was able to tip it and secure it to a fence post. I am working on another way to secure the canoe when not in use, but the really good news is: the iPhone XS Max is waterproof! This has been verified in an independent testing lab and has earned ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️ by the Leary Missourian Association.


Sure, I could have just placed my phone in a bowl of water to test it, but I prefer creating real-life situations in which others might find themselves. While having your canoe tipped by cows and having to fetch it may not be a scenario others find themselves in, I know time on or near bodies of water are highly likely. Now you can go about your summer life with confidence. Should your phone find its way to water, it should be just fine.

Kim Carr is a photographer and mid-Missouri hobby farmer who has combined her love for the country life with that of natural-light photography. Her work reflects my commitment to sustainable agriculture and the humane treatment of all animals. To learn more about Kim, read her interview with Elizabeth Gracen here.

To purchase Kim's photography, visit her website: kimcarrphotography.com


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