Our First PlantCam Time Lapse Video

Our children were kind enough to give Amanda and me a PlantCam last Christmas. We’re only now discovering just how fun it is to use.


When I say this is our first video with it, that’s a bit of a lie. We’ve used it for other subjects, and even had a nice little sequence showing the okra in a daily “dance” in response to the sun’s heat, but they weren’t quite ready for public viewing. This one isn’t great, but we had a good time with it, and I hope you’ll get a kick out of it too.

We’re making good progress on the construction of the lodge up the hill from the barn, and we were building up quite a pile of scrap lumber of all sizes and descriptions, a lot of it spoiled by its use for concrete forms. Knowing I would be building a fire to dispose of it, I positioned the PlantCam on a tripod on the lip of the root cellar on the south wall of the lodge and trained it on the spot where I planned to build the fire. I set the PlantCam to take a shot every 30 seconds.

When I had finished, I loaded the resulting 750 or so still shots into Final Cut Pro (our video editor) and let them run for 3 frames each. The resulting sequence compresses about five hours of clearing, stacking, and burning into one minute and 21 seconds. The date and time are wrong, and I have since corrected them. However, it is useful to point out that if you watch closely you can see Amanda leaving in the truck at 6:58 pm and returning at 8:06 pm, and Oddie pops up here and there throughout the process. At about 7:12 pm on the time stamp, you can see the fire begin to spread ominously from its center to the surrounding grass. I want you to know that I take fire seriously and that I was watching it closely as it was spreading. I intentionally let it burn while I was there and watching it so the area around the fire would be stable and wouldn’t catch up later while I was distracted with other work.

If you watch on either side of the concrete walkway (that’s the entrance to our root cellar/storm shelter), you’ll see the piles of lumber slowly disappearing into the fire. After you’ve watched it once for the fire, you may want to watch it again just to see the sky move through. I think we’re going to enjoy using our new toy!


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