Monday, January 15, 2007

The Power of Suggestion

Schools were closed today in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many adults had the holiday off, too, including myself. We all need a day to remember great men and to slow down. I’m guilty of rushing through life to a fault, like many people I know. In 2007, I’m trying to change that. On my way to the grocery store this morning I parked my car at the pond next to the entrance of the plaza and enjoyed the view of geese on a windy pond and the clouds mirroring on the water. An older, white-haired gentlemen in a white SUV slowed down and parked a couple car lengths ahead of me.

He was dressed in office attire so I guess he was a businessman that works nearby. With the camera on my face, I just kept shooting away and he apologized for interrupting me. “Hello. I was curious and stopped to see what you are photographing.” I replied with a smile, “Nothing special, just taking in the view.” After a few more photographs, I packed it up and wished him a good day. He stood there for a while, arms folded against his chest, and continued to enjoy the view. The butts-up made me smile.

Without knowing it, I invited him to enjoy something he might not have done. I like this.

I’m a GBH stalker and I admit it. My goal is to catch a photo of this bird in flight, preferably on his runway with the legs galumphing and wings spread wide. This occurred on my way home from the grocery store. My car parked on the easement again, me with the camera, and a mini-van pulled up behind. A young mother rolled her window down and said, “We’re wondering what you see!” She had a little boy and girl in the van with their noses stuck to the windows. I pointed to the bird. It was so nice to have them join me while I gave them a little information about the great blue heron. Ages about 5 and 6, they were thrilled to see a living thing in the pond that they might not have noticed if I weren’t standing there making a spectacle of myself! The little girl asked, “Why are you taking pictures? Because it’s so pretty?” Right on!!!!

While taking my neighborhood walk today, the same thing happened! Am I triple blessed? Four little boys wearing their helmets on scooters stopped and asked, “What are you looking at?” I pointed out the teeny-tiny birds on the feeder over there… “Have you ever seen birds that tiny before? They’re gold finches.” Wide-eyed, they said, “Wow! They’re little!” Another boy added, "No, Jason, they are small!" Little kids tickle me. They’re educational sponges. This photo is a little out of focus but I think I have a new one, here. A female house finch and a male purple finch? He’s raspberry… This neighbor has the right stuff for birds. I’m dying to set up more feeders at my house.

In my travels, if I ever see someone with a camera, I will stop and learn.

Now on to more valuable information.


Gina and Mr. Biggins came to visit today. I’m blessed four times! Doesn’t Chloe stack well? My old girl still has it.

I wanted to upload some beautiful pansies for my friends who are living in a deep freeze, but Blogger cut me off.

Laundry is waiting. It's time to crank up the MUSIC!


Anonymous said...

What a gift you've given today. First to the people who otherwise might not have noticed the beauty in front of them and second to those of us who frequent your blog.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What a great day you had! Thank you for blogging about it to get my mind off of, well, you know! I love the butt shots!! Looks like everyone was showing us their butts today!
It's so cool that you were attracting humans and educating them.
Spoon Tongue!! That's so cute! How many times a day do you get spoon tongue kisses? Chloe's beautiful!
Argh - wanna see pansies - no, need to see pansies! I couldn't even step outside today because of, well, you know.
Hey, are you cranking that Taylor Hicks CD again? I just might have to do the same! :D

LauraHinNJ said...

I almost posted a pic of the *stinker* for you today - the same thing happened to me a few times yesterday while I was out looking at ducks. No one came over to me and asked me what I was doing though. Glad you had the chance to share with others some of the beauty around us all. Oftentimes I think we just need someone to make us see it.

Mary said...

You're right, Laura. The children were delighted today. The older gentlemen had some time to spare. I have found that people farther south are more apt to strike up a conversation.

So, was that a Purple Finch? Or am I dreaming.

Anonymous said...

Tough one on the finch photo...the wing bars make me say purple finch, but I'm not sure. Go back and get another photo!
I love, love, love that you were approached about what you were doing. Those people will think about you and the birds when they pass along those areas again.
*Birds are cool. Pass it on.*

Anonymous said...

How fun that you could share the joy of the birds with so many people on one day!

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, great birding! You are so nice to talk politely to people who stop to ask you what you are taking pictures of. I usually find myself grinding my teeth and saying, "Oh, I was taking pictures of birds" and thinking to myself, "Oh, you know, the ones that just flew off when you yelled "Whatcha doing?" :)

I knew what the Spoon Tongue was but it's nice to have an illustrated guide! :)

Chloe does self-stack nicely! Did you show her?

Anonymous said...

Oh yea, Mary. The way I tell my purple finches from house finches is the female! A female purple finch has white eyebrows. A female house finche does not. So, my guess is you have house finches there. Also raspberry in color and also beautiful. But, I could TOTALLY be wrong on that one! :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Mare! I went out to Target this morning and bought....THE TAYLOR HICKS CD!!! It is FUN!!

I think your day has inspired a new catch phrase for us bloggy/birders to pass around-

"Spread the word- Watch a bird!"

Mary said...

Pam, I would receive over a thousand spoon tongue kisses if I allowed them :)

Susan, it's a male house finch but I was hopeful. Beautiful deep red color!

Jayne, it was so weird. I guests guests each time I stopped somewhere.

Liza, no I've never shown Chloe because she's pet quality. Stacks well, but her ears are too large, her legs are too long, she's thin (not the square,compact Boston build). I love her anyway :) I would grit my teeth, too, if I had a moment's shot on something and little kid blew the whole thing.

Hey, Lynne, Enjoy! Tonight at 8 on Fox! - Mare