November 14, 2002

Scotland County Headed To State Playoffs After Beating Eagles 7-6

The final Friday night of the football regular season proved to be a roller coaster ride for both teams before Scotland County finally prevailed 7-6 over Knox County to capture the Class 1 District 16 championship and move into the state playoffs.

The district crown, the first for the Tigers since 1998, was not the only prize in the win. Scotland County continued it's dominance in the annual "Clyde" game, keeping the Kyle Peterson traveling trophy at home for the seventh straight season with a win over the Eagles. SCR-I has not lost to Knox County since the trophy game was started in 1996.

"What a game, I'm going to remember this the rest of my life," said first year Coach Brent Bondurant following the victory. "We're in the state playoffs, so now is when the fun really begins."

While the games two scores both came within 20 seconds of each other, the entire game was filled with plenty of ups and downs to keep the large crowd from both schools on its feet most of the evening.

Knox County took the opening kickoff but the SCR-I defense set the tone for the game. Knox tried two unsuccessful running plays before Eric Long broke up a pass attempt to force a Knox County punt.

The Tigers offense faired even worse on its first possession as a Curtis Cochran pass was intercepted by Ladon Force on Scotland County's third offensive play of the game. Force returned the ball to midfield before a clipping penalty backed up the line of scrimmage to the 35-yard-line.

Knox County couldn't get anything started on offense as the Tigers defense did not allow a first down in the opening quarter. But a good punt by Knox County had the Tigers pinned at the four- yard line.

A penalty backed SCR-I up even further before Joel Myers gave the team some breathing room. The junior back broke a run up the middle for 18-yards. However SCR-I would go no further, punting the ball back to the Eagles with 5:18 left in the first period.

The teams traded punts to close out the first quarter with Knox County holding the ball at the 40-yard-line.

The Eagles opened the second period with the teams first first down of the game. Quarterback Ty Parrish picked up a good gain on a scramble to put the Eagles in scoring position. The drive ended on the next play as the Eagles tried a halfback pass. Clint Cottrell stepped in front of the pass from Force and returned the interception to the 31-yard line.

Scotland County did not take advantage of the turnover. After a penalty backed up the Tigers, SCR-I coughed up the ball and Knox County pounced on the turnover when the Tigers mishandled the snap.

That proved costly as Knox County finally got the offense rolling on the short field. Faced with second down and goal from the 11-yard line, Parrish dropped back to pass. Finding no receiver open, the quarterback scrambled up the middle and found his way to the end zone with 4:31 left in the second period.

A bad snap on the point after kick forced the Eagles to try to run the ball in but the defense stopped the two-point conversion.

That play proved crucial as Scotland County answered just 20 seconds later. On the first play from scrimmage after the kickoff Cochran threw a bomb down the near sideline to Cottrell who had got behind the defense. The junior receiver momentarily bobbled the ball before pulling it in and going 67-yards for the touchdown. Aaron Dale made the PAT kick to put the Tigers ahead 7-6 with 4:11 left in the first half.

The two teams traded punts after that with Knox County looking to run out the clock on the first half. A fumble by the Eagles was recovered by Brett Masden at the 30-yard line but the Tigers were unable to take advantage of the scoring chance as time ran out in the half.

Neither team mounted much offense in the first half. Knox County was limited to just 64 yards, all on the ground. The Tigers racked up 111 yards, with 67 of that coming on the big touchdown pass.

Scotland County took the kickoff to open the second half. The Tigers looked determined to put another score on the board as the team marched down the field eating up much of the third period. But the drive stalled at the 14-yard line and SCR-I turned the ball over on downs.

The Tigers defense kept the ball on their end by stuffing Knox County. Michael Lodewegen made a big play, backing the Eagles up and forcing a punt.

Scotland County quickly was faced with a third and long situation on offense. Cochran and Cottrell teamed up again for another big play. The pass covered 31 yards to put the ball at the 30-yard line.

Coach Brent Bondurant looked determined to pound the ball in from that point, switching to the t-bone offense which features three runners in the backfield. But the Knox County defense was up to the challenge, stopping the Tigers twice with less than two yards to go. SCR-I turned the ball over on downs at the 22-yard line.

The momentum from the defensive stop didn't last long. Knox County turned the ball over for the third time. Travis Onken caused the turnover and recovered the loose ball at the 25-yard line.

But the Tigers gave the ball right back as Jason Pflum picked off the pass attempt from Cochran giving Knox County possession at the 11-yard line with 8:02 to play in the fourth quarter.

That looked like the deciding moment in the contest as Knox County began to march down the field behind the running of Michael Prebe and Nick Hettinger. The Tigers took a timeout with 4:40 left in the game trying to fix the defense as the Eagles were poised to score, setting just 14-yards from pay dirt.

The Scotland County defense stiffened and faced the Eagles with a fourth down and one to go. But the Eagles picked up the first down and with 3:23 looked poised to win the game with a first down and goal to go situation.

But the seventh turnover of the contest proved to be the most costly as the Eagles fumbled on the next play and Scotland County recovered on the three yard line.

However the game was not over, as a safety or even a field goal for the Eagles would be enough points for a win.

After Knox County stopped Myers for no gain, Coach Bondurant made a gutsy call, running Cochran around the end, The play paid huge dividends, not only getting the team out of the shadow of its own end zone but also picking up a key first down.

That forced Knox County to use all of its remaining timeouts. The Tigers ran three more plays but faced with fourth down and one, the Tigers were forced to punt the ball back to Knox County with 40.9 seconds left in the game.

The suspense ended a bit prematurely as Cottrell made his second interception of the night on the Eagles first play.

SCR-I took a knee on the final snap of the game and the celebration began as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

The Tigers offense had 10 first downs on the night. Myers ran for 77 yards on 22 carries. Eric Long finished with 25 yards on eight attempts and Cochran ran four times for 19 yards. The senior quarterback completed six of 13 passes for 113 yards and one TD. He was intercepted twice. Cottrell caught four passes for 106 yards. Jared Shelley and Chase Moore had the other receptions.

Prebe led the Knox County offense with 84 yards on 21 attempts. Hettinger had 23 yards on 11 carries. Parrish ran for 26 yards and four attempts while Force had 16 yards on six carries. The Eagles completed only one of four pass attempts for 12 yards. The Eagles had 12 first downs in the contest.

The Tigers defense once again had a big performance. Lodewegen and Long topped the list of tacklers with 11 stops each. Cochran and Onken each made 10 tackles. Kiel Fogle made nine stops while Shelley and Brett Masden each made eight stops.

The victory sent Scotland County to 6-4 on the season and gave the Tigers a third place finish in the Tri-Rivers Conference with a 5-2 mark in league play.

Scotland County will host District 15 winner, Princeton (7-3), in a sectional playoff game Wednesday, November 13 in Memphis at 7:00 p.m.

Bible Grove Bar B Saddle Club Meets

The Bar B Saddle Club had their monthly meeting on April 27 at the club building. They will be holding a poker ride for horses and ATV’s this Saturday, May 7th starting at the club house with sign up starting at noon and the ride starting at 1:00 p.m. Entry fee is $5.00 per hand with a carry-in wiener roast following. All are welcome to attend!

Final preparations were made for the poker ride and wiener roast at the meeting. The next meeting will be Thursday, May 19th at 6:00 p.m. at the club house. Come on out to their event and support the newly formed saddle club.

Music Department Hosting Used Instrument Drive

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That trumpet in the attic was made to make music. The guitar case in the garage is collecting dust instead of being played by the next great musician.

If you have any good used, or easily repairable musical instruments would you consider putting them back to work? The Scotland County R-I Band is hosting a used instrument drive to find more pieces to put in the hands of youth wanting to learn how to make music.

“This is an excellent way for donors to ensure that their unused instruments find a new home in the hands of promising young students who are unable to afford or obtain a suitable instrument of their own,” said SCR-I band booster Ellen Aylward. Of course, cash donations will also be accepted to help offset the costs of repairs and refitting these instruments for future use.”

A starter trumpet can cost several hundred dollars, with violins, guitars and drum sets being even more expensive.

Donors to the SCR-I instrument drive will receive a receipt for fair market value for the music item, making the donation tax deductible.

For more information contact SCR-I music director Nathaniel Orr at 660-216-5426 or the SCR-I High School at 465-8907.

Sheriff’s Office to Join Youth Alcohol Enforcement Crackdown

sober WEB

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign is joining the National Crackdown in an effort to reduce drunk driving fatalities.  The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign will target substance-impaired drivers.

Local and state law enforcement will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide May/Youth Alcohol Enforcement Crackdown ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ substance-impaired driving crackdown.  The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Scotland County, will run from May 5-16, 2016.

The effective nationwide substance-impaired driving crackdown will also include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance-impaired driving during the enforcement period.

The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies will be aggressively looking for substance-impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.

Although it is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive impaired (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or other illegal drugs. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.

“Every year, about one-third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more substance-impaired drivers or motorcycle operators,” said Chief Deputy Bryan Whitney. “In 2015, 178 people were killed and 605 seriously injured on Missouri’s roadways in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver.” That works out to approximately one substance-impaired driver involved fatality every two days.

Whitney added the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is particularly dangerous. During the Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign May 1-12, 2015, four people were killed and eighteen seriously injured involving at least one substance-impaired driver that was under 21 years of age.

Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces substance-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Scotland County’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday,” said Whitney.

“We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel impaired is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does being under the influence impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses,” Whitney said.

He also noted that being arrested for driving under the influence of any substance brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life. Substance—impaired drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of their job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.

“Driving while impaired is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” said Whitney.

For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov, or www.saveMOlives.com.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, May 5 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, May 6 – Muffin for Mom, Muffins, Choice of Cereal, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Monday, May 9 – Donuts, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, May 10 – Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, May 11 – Breakfast Pizza, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Toast, Orange Rings, Juice/Milk.

Thursday, May 12 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, May 5 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Quesadillas, Hamburger Bar, Buttered Corn, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, May 6 – Sack Lunch

Monday, May 9 – Hot Dog/Bun, Bar BQ Ribb/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Scalloped Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, May 10 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, May 11 – Chicken and Noodles, Sliced Ham, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears, Fresh Fruit

Thursday, May 12 – Corn Dog, Chicken Fajitas, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Help Us Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

Superintendent’s Corner

by SCR-I Superintendent Ryan Bergeson

On teacher appreciation week, we would like to take time to thank the teachers and faculty members at the Scotland County R-1 School District for their dedication and commitment to our students.  To quote the great Todd Whitaker “it is people and not programs that make the biggest difference.”  Great teachers make great public schools and the Scotland County R-1 School District is fortunate to have so many great teachers. faculty and coaches leading our youth.   Teacher Appreciation Week is recognized Monday, May 2 through Friday, May 6 this week at the Scotland County R-1 School District and we encourage you to thank a teacher this week that has made a positive impact on your life.

“Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”
John F. Kennedy

ANNA GENEVA PARRISH (10/5/1928 – 5/1/2016)

Anna Geneva Parrish, age 87, of Montevallo, MO, passed away May 1, 2016 at Cedar County Memorial Hospital after a short illness.

She was born October 5, 1928, to Arthur and Eunice Egbert in Gorin, MO. She attended and graduated from Gorin School in 1947. Anna was a member of Gorin Methodist Church since her childhood.

After graduation she worked at National Fidelity Life Insurance in Kansas City, MO where she met many life-long friends, including her future sister-in-law, Madelene Parrish, who introduced her to her husband, Cap.

They married November 18, 1961 in Kansas City, MO. At that time Anna began her life-long career of being a homemaker and farm wife. She enjoyed raising chickens, working in the garden and attending to her flowers. After the tornado in 2006, Anna and Cap still remained on the farm in their new home.

On July 10, 1963, her son, Jeff, was born. The biggest joy of her life came in September 9, 2002 when her grandson Cameron Albert Parrish (Little Cap) was born. She enjoyed helping Cameron with all of his activities and getting his chickens ready for the fair. Even after Cap’s death, she enjoyed going with her son Jeff and grandson, Cameron to toy tractor shows.

Anna was a very loving and caring person. She enjoyed special occasions at Chicken Annies which was her favorite place to eat. She was looking forward to going there on Mother’s Day.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Cap Parrish; her parents, Arthur and Eunice Egbert; one son, Larry; one brother, Arthur Parrish; nephews, Kevin Parrish and Gray Calvin, her in-laws, Grace and Albert Parrish.

Anna is survived by one son, Jeff Parrish of Montevallo, MO; grandchildren, Cameron and Kelsey; two sisters-in-law, Madelene Parrish and Virginia Egbert; and a niece, Kim Calvin.

Funeral services are being held Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at Sheldon Funeral Home in El Dorado Springs, MO.  Interment will be in the Virgil City Cemetery, Virgil City, MO.

National Nursing Home Week is May 8 – May 14, 2016

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Every skilled nursing care center is a small, vibrant world.  Care centers are sharing, welcoming communities that encourage everyone to interact with the wonderful folks who populate them.  Once a year, always beginning on Mother’s Day, care centers nationwide take pride in publicly honoring the indomitable spirit of residents and recognizing staff who face each day with a sense of purpose and compassion.

During National Nursing Home Week, May 8 to 14, 2016, skilled nursing care centers will coalesce under the theme, “It’s a Small World, with a Big Heart”.  This theme underscores the bond between staff, older adults, and individuals receiving therapies or with developmental disabilities.  Staff and residents view each other in the spirit of family.  For staff, this reality is often a calling to a special mission and life’s work.

In observance of Nursing Home Week, the Scotland County Care Center will be hosting several events meant to encourage residents, families and other relatives to reach out to and visit with their loved ones and caregivers.  SCCC’s theme is Carnival/Fair Craze Days.

The week will begin on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9th with a Cheesecake Social at 2:00 p.m.  Amazing Grace will be entertaining that afternoon.

On Monday, May 9th, the theme for the day is Messed Up Monday and the dress style is mismatch.  Terri and Tammy, the activity girls, will lead devotions at 10:00 a.m. followed by Carnival Fun Facts/1904 St. Louis World Fair at 10:30 and a photo booth with deep fried ice cream Twinkies at 2:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, May 10th the theme is Topsy Turvy Tuesday with the dress style being Red and White.  Devotions will be lead by Robert and Sheila Moseley at 10:00 followed by exercise at 10:30 a.m. Corn Scramble Bingo will start at 2:00 p.m. followed with Cotton Candy Ice Cream.

The theme for Wednesday, May 11th will be Wacky Tacky Wednesday and the dress theme is wacky and colorful.  Dr. Harlo Donelson will lead devotions at 10:00 followed by a Muffin Walk at 10:30. At 2:00 will be Carnival Games/Teamwork followed with funnel cakes.

On Thursday, May 12th the theme is Throwback Thursday with a 50-60 style dress theme.  Sue Kirchner will lead devotions at 10:00 and the 10:30 activity will be Big Top Trivia.  The SCCC Queen Pageant will be held at 2:00 followed with root beer floats. A hymn sing will take place at 7:00 p.m.

The theme for Friday, May 13th is Finally Friday with a jeans and care center shirt dress theme. Departure for the Golden Age Games in Hannibal is at 7:00 a.m.  Dan Hite will lead devotions at 10:00 followed by Carnival Food Information at 10:30.  At 2:00 p.m. Nancy Tague Platz will present a program and refreshments will be served.

The week’s activities will conclude on Saturday, May 14th with the 19th Annual Car Show.  Registration will start at 9:00 a.m. with judging at 1:00 p.m.

Scotland County Health Department Schedule

Thursday, May 5 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Friday, May 6 – Clinic hours from 8:00-3:30 for fasting blood sugars, cholesterols and blood draws, blood pressure checks, immunizations, nail care, etc.

Monday, May 9 – Office closed for Truman Day.

Tuesday, May 10 – Skin screening clinic from 9:30-3:30.  Please call 465-7275 to schedule an appointment. Clinic hours from 8-9:00 a.m. for fasting blood sugars and cholesterols and blood draws and from 12-2:30 p.m. for immunizations, blood pressure checks, nail care, etc.  Board of Trustees meeting at the Health Department at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 12 – Clinic hours from 8-10:00 a.m. for immunizations.

Jeffrey Davis, DO, Installed as President of MAOPS

Dr. Jeffrey Davis was installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) at the MAOPS Convention. He is pictured with past president Dr. Mark Pelikan, a family physician from St. Louis.

Dr. Jeffrey Davis was installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) at the MAOPS Convention. He is pictured with past president Dr. Mark Pelikan, a family physician from St. Louis.

Jeffrey Davis, DO, of Memphis, Missouri was recently installed as the President of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS). Dr. Davis has been a member of MAOPS since 2000 and is a prestigious Wetzel Scholar. During his membership, he has held the leadership positions of Education and Convention Committee Chair, Convention Program Chair and Young Physicians Committee Chair.

As President, he will ensure the association adheres to its mission and vision through its strategies.  He will also lead the Missouri Delegates to the American Osteopathic Association’s House of Delegates, the AOA’s policy making body for the national association, and will be responsible for ensuring that the voice of Missouri’s almost 3,000 osteopathic physicians is heard.

Dr. Davis is a graduate of A. T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri and is currently Chief Medical Officer at Scotland County Hospital and the Medical Director of Memphis Medical Services, Wyaconda Medical Services & Scotland County Care Center in Memphis, Missouri.  Additionally, he is the Coroner of Scotland County, the Physician for Scotland County R-1 Schools and the Medical Director of Clark County Ambulance District in Kahoka, MO.

The Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, is a not-for-profit professional membership association dedicated to osteopathic physicians and their patients in the state of Missouri.  Its mission is to preserve and protect the distinct philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine in the state of Missouri and to serve and advocate for its members in their quest to provide the highest quality of medical care.  For more information about MAOPS, visit www.maops.org or call Executive Director Brian Bowles at (573) 634-3415.

Behind The Lens: Spring Cleaning Your Camera

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By Taylor Lloyd

April showers might bring May flowers but to a photographer, this equates to mud and pollen producing flowers. With these conditions in mind, it is important to once in a while deep clean your camera.

While it is important to clean your gear, you certainly don’t want to overdo it. A good rule of thumb is, if it’s not dirty, don’t clean it. But when it does get dirty, the first thing you’ll want to do is start with the exterior of the camera. Start by taking a soft bristle brush, like a toothbrush, and gently remove any large particles of dust or grit in the harder to reach crevices. Obviously, if your camera is muddy, now is a good time to use a slightly damp cloth to wipe it down.

Once your camera body is clean, move onto your lens by cleaning the lens barrel with a softer bristle brush, like a makeup brush. Be sure to extend the barrel all the way to get all the grit off in those close knit places. Next, remove the lens cap, lens hood, and any filters that may be on your lens. Use a hand blower or a condensed air canister to first blow off the big particles of dirt and dust and then move the soft bristle brush over the glass. Then take a soft cloth, like a microfiber or disposable lens tissue, and put just a drop or two of lens cleaning solution (some people recommend using a highly concentrated isopropyl alcohol) onto the cloth to remove any stubborn smudges. Clean the glass in a circular motion starting from the middle and working your way outward. My recommended cleaning regimen is to breathe upon the lens in most situations and to only use the cleaning solution when tough smudges are present. A few things to keep in mind is to use only lens cleaning solution or alcohol. Household cleaners contain harsh chemicals which could damage your glass. You also want to apply the solution to your cloth first, not your lens. Paper towels are too abrasive and regular tissues are too linty so it is often best to use microfiber cloths or lens cloths specifically made for cleaning lenses.

If your camera has a detachable lens, check and make sure all the contacts and lens mounts are clean and shiny. If they are not, your auto focus may have trouble focusing. Your contacts shouldn’t ever get too dirty, but if they ever do, clean them by applying a drop of lens cleaning solution onto a Q-Tip and place a microfiber cloth or disposable lens cleaning wipe over the Q-Tip. Very carefully swab the contacts on your lens and allow it to dry for a few minutes before replacing it on your camera body. Most photographers recommend never using erasers to clean your electrical contacts because they can scratch or wear off the protective coatings.

Now comes the scariest part, cleaning the inside of your camera. The biggest components inside most DSLRs are the mirror and the image sensor. The mirror is often the first thing you will see when you remove the lens, if it isn’t a mirrorless camera of course. It sits at a slight angle in front of the image sensor and its purpose is to reflect light from the lens into the viewfinder pentaprism, allowing you to capture exactly what the camera “sees”. When you push down the shutter button to take a picture, this mirror folds up briefly (which is why your viewfinder goes dark) to expose the image sensor to light. If the mirror looks clean, don’t clean it and never touch anything inside the camera with your bare hands since small traces of oil can remain on your hands even when washed thoroughly.

Ok so you notice some lint and dust on your mirror, now what? Your first go-to should be to face the camera downward to allow gravity to do its thing, then grab a hand held blower and proceed to blow air onto the mirror. Never use compressed air inside your camera. Compressed air, like the kind you buy in a can, is too forceful and can either cause dirt and dust particles to lodge deeper into your camera or damage fragile components. Also avoid using your breath to clean the inside mechanisms because small moisture particles can get onto delicate electronic parts and cause them to malfunction. After you use the hand blower, if dust still remains on the mirror, you can use the Q-Tip and cloth method like as you would when cleaning your electrical contacts.

Once finished with your mirror, you should proceed onto the sensor. If you notice spots on your images, often resembling small dark specks, this might be from a dirty sensor. If you are unsure if your sensor needs cleaning, a good way to check is by taking a plain, white piece of paper (I usually use cardstock since the underside won’t show through) and placing it on a well lit, flat surface. Turn your camera to manual mode and turn your ISO as low as it will go and set your aperture to the smallest possible aperture (large F number). Pre focus on something the same distance from you as the paper, like the wood grain on a table so that any noticeable grit will be visible on your image. Take a few test pictures and review them at 100% on your LCD screen. Any dark spots you see are either dirt or dust.

Since the mirror covers up the sensor, refer to your camera manual on how to raise or “lock” your mirror up. On my Canon, I raise the mirror up by going to my camera’s menu and finding the Sensor Cleaning option. Once there, I then choose the Clean Manually mode, which folds up my mirror, allowing clear access to the sensor. When you choose to clean your sensor manually, it is important that your battery is charged up since many cameras have to stay on in order for the mirror to stayed folded up.

Once the mirror is up, tilt your camera upside down again and gently use the hand blower a few times. These blowers, usually called rocket blowers, sell on Amazon for $10 but in a pinch, I’ve used a clean turkey baster from my kitchen or even a sterile, disposable syringe like what you’d get at an animal health store. If the dust isn’t coming off, you may have to avert to a sensor brush. Since most sensor dust is caused by static from changing your lens while your camera is on, this brush works by using your blower to statically charge the bristles, and allows dust to cling to the brush.

Cleaning your gear can be tedious but it is a satisfying feeling when your gear is all spick and span and functions better. Until next time, happy cleaning, I mean shooting!

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