What a little digital dueling among friends?

By Lynn Moncus

Many of us have been enjoying the presence of Harold and Kathy Nichless because they just naturally add a lot to our lives.

Some of you may remember that Harold is the cause of my having all these gadgets to play with because he thought I needed to stretch my mind and imagination after retirement. He may mentor teachers during the school year in Iowa, but he has mentored me at the computer and digital camera for a number of years. He might be forced to admit that he has caused both of us much trouble because we are both a bit competitive.

Just recently, he decided to show off and took his DVD player to morning coffee to display the pictures he has taken during their stay here. Just seeing those pictures made me want to head to the country to capture some that might make him sit up and take notice. Well, he is really too far ahead of me, but he is sometimes amazed at the subjects I choose. Because we are both much into scenic and nature shots, we have to compete to see who can come up with some unique subjects.

Well, I did cause him to pause one day when I took a picture of a devil’s walking stick for him to admire. If for no other reason, he seemed fascinated because he didn’t know what that insect was and needed to have a little lesson.

One more time, he showed me his superiority by capturing some excellent closeup views of an antelope. He has great luck taking pictures of wild animals and has even had some of those published.

I guess I do better with pictures of bugs because when I try to take shots of large animals, they are dots disappearing in the distance. Of course, he has a stronger telephoto lens than I, but he just naturally takes better pictures. I could point out that he is older than I and should know a lot more, but I don’t like to admit that even my elders can best me in taking pictures of nature. Because we are both THS graduates, we also have great fun remembering the past and meeting and greeting classmates at the Rattler Reunion. Even though he has spent his professional life in Iowa, he got a running start here and seems to have done well because of the wonderful teachers he had. We talk about that frequently because we are both very proud of the education we received here. Even though he was in the Class of ’48 and I in the Class of ’52, we had several of the same teachers, such as Mrs. Babcock. I was also privileged to know Harold before he graduated here despite the difference in our ages.

He and Kathy are getting ready to return to Iowa for the winter but will be leaving me with a major challenge to get busy with the camera. We may head in different directions to take our New Mexico pictures, but we both work hard to capture special scenes. He takes hundreds of pictures on even short trips while I take only a few, but we both seem to wind up with our idea of the beauty in nature.
We usually write a number of letters during his absence, but this year one of us was a bit too lazy so Harold called frequently to let me know of his latest escapades whether at school or out in the woods taking pictures. We’ll be sure to keep in touch during the coming year and will be waiting to compete with our pictures as the days pass.

We’ll miss our morning visits, but we’ll know what is going on and will just wait until our next visit. Usually, I write about his getting lost, but this time I won’t even mention what he said about trying to go from Puerta de Luna to Fort Summer. Have a good year Harold and Kathy!