Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday and Leftovers


The Robins returned this morning. Heck, they might be here every morning but I wouldn’t know it… One false move from me out the back door and they're history, so I stood in the garden tub again. I've enjoyed the few days off and have a lot of blogging fodder to share for the next few days.

Thanksgiving was good with Gina and Billy here, and my turkey was the best I’ve roasted. Our main course is homemade ravioli and turkey is the side. Weird, I know… By the end of the day I felt as limp as an old stalk of celery from the bottom of the vegetable keeper. Tired? No matter – I kept a promise to shop on Black Friday.

I had forgotten how much I disliked retail on Black Friday because it’s been at least six years since I sucked it up and faced the crowds. Only for Gina… I wanted to get a good deal on Christmas decorations for her new house so we visited one of the largest malls in North Carolina, only ten minutes away. Concord Mills on Speedway Boulevard near Lowe's Motor Speedway. Wow. Right off I-85, we see license plates from four or five surrounding states.

Park a half mile away, listen to toddler tantrums or infants screeching and watch parents who are either oblivious or are at their wits end with them, see a young child vomit with an ear infection, listen to non-English speaking holding up check-out lines – count to ten! Shopping carts collide (they’re called “buggies” here, not "carts" as I learned farther north), creating roadblocks in aisles and all eyes roll. I get hot and take off my coat, wanting to carry some long rolls of wrapping paper to whack away at slow-pokes on my way through… Sure glad I saved 50% and we left the store with nice decorations. Covered in glitter on hands and faces, we were out of there! Phew!

Leftovers are great, including some leftover, odd photos I took on my glorious day off on Wednesday.


I was so quiet… I didn’t even get out of the car for this photo. Approaching the pond near the grocery store I drifted in at 5 mph, radio off, ignition off.


Slid out of the car, leaving door open. Intending to tip-toe closer, using full zoom. DRATS!

Have you ever chased a Belted Kingfisher or another elusive bird, in your car???


The odd sounding bird flew to the other side of the pond, perched, and waited for me to get back into my car, drive around the loop for sixty seconds, and coast to a stop.


Twenty-five feet away and this is the bet I could get. The antsy bird took off and I watched it disappear behind the grocery store.



I turned my attention to a more friendly species


and enjoyed the view, wishing I had days and mornings free to relax, look, and listen.


I posted this photo on Wednesday and want to post it again. I love glitter and stars… It’s one of my favorite photos.

Back home:


What’s with the Chickadees? I struggled with them for so long!


My goal is to work on photographing birds in flight. Hmmmm. I don’t even know what I was photographing! It's probably the Cooper’s Hawk who visits every day.


Clouds rolled in tonight and rain is predicted tomorrow! Time for a rain dance wiggle ;o)


JeanMac said...

Ooh! that would be a good Halloween pic with the dark sky. HOpe you got some rest!

entoto said...

I avoid Black Friday like the plague. You are so brave.

entoto said...

Oh and lovely, lovely pictures. Now you know where the kingfisher is, maybe you can stalk him?

Ruth said...

I love the loud shriek made by the Kingfisher during flight. They are so boisterous. You should have developed your own shriek for the check out line. Your pictures are great. I like the full moon. Our skies were clear, but your shot is far more interesting with the clouds.

Susan Gets Native said...

That large dark bird is a turkey vulture. Large heavy wings with silver underlinings, red head.
Black Friday is the work of the Devil. It turns normally rational people into psychotics.

LauraHinNJ said...

You Italians know how to eat, Mary. Pasta with everything! Yum.

Your pics are lovely - I like the glitter and stars, too. You couldn't have planned a nicer pic.

So is your tree up already?


Carol Michel said...

I avoided Black Friday and worked on putting up my outdoor lights, which of course involved TWO trips to the stores, but I chose stores that were far from the shopping crowds, so not too bad.

I can just imagine you out there somewhere, tusseling with those crowds, ready to smack a few of those shoppers up side the head with your wrapping paper. You'd be doing them a favor!

(And I hope you didn't run into a bunch of ladies wearing felt reindeer antlers with jingle bells on them. There is a group of sisters here in my city who do that and they always are the ones on the news or pictured in the newspaper! They should be smacked!)

Mary said...

Jean - Well, it's after midnight and I'm still awake so that means I had a nap today :o)

Trixie - five hours out on Black Friday was a killer. Yes, I was very brave. And I did stalk the BK.

Ruth - I took about ten photos of the moon tonight and only one of them was decent. It's very dark and feel like snow.

Susan - I should have known. My monitor isn't bright enough to see the red head but that's no excuse for forgetting what vulture wings look like. It's been a long day and I'm still pushing it.

Laura - Gina's tree is up but I haven't given mine a thought! Next weekend, I'll work on it :o)

Marvin said...

I haven't braved the maddening crowds of the nearest town (population 1,300) in over two weeks. I don't think I could handle Black Friday in a mall without doing something criminal.

Keep after that kingfisher.

Kerri Farley said...

Wow Mary - I don't think I've ever seen a Kingfisher before. Very nice! I love visiting your blog!!!

Jayne said...

You got a Kingfisher!!! He's beautiful Mary! :c) I love the sparkles and stars on the water as well. You and Gina are brave girls. I went NO WHERE near the mall. Just isn't in my genes I'm afraid, bargains or not.

NatureWoman said...

What you won't do for your daughter! My Mom and I used to do the day after Christmas shopping and decided years ago it wasn't worth the hassle. And people have gotten nastier over the years. Oh well. I love all of your bewd photos, Mary! And that moon shot, spooky!

Peg Silloway said...

Mary, your leftovers are delicious! The sparkles photo would make a wonderful Christmas card image.

My last foray to anywhere near a mall was two days before Thanksgiving. From now on, if it can't be ordered online, I'm not buying it! Fortunately, this ginchly attitude matches up with a time in my life when I have (a) all the holiday decorations I can ever use, and (b) people on my gift list who don't need more "stuff" either. We're giving food (homemade or otherwise) or donations to organizations that matter to us. And thanks to weird weather and a 70 degree Thanksgiving, my lights are up outside!

Anonymous said...

Among the many things for which I am thankful on Thanksgiving Day, one is that I'M NOT GOING SHOPPING ON FRIDAY! OR SATURDAY!

Great shots, especially the good fortune with the kingfisher.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
SO many birds so little time!
Wonderful photos. One of these days you will be home all day long and can be outside with the birds. I think you do an incredible job of getting the photo. Kingfishers are very fun to watch.
I do not do Black Friday. I actually do very little shopping anymore. The kids get money! We go on trips.
The Robins could stay with you all winter. Looks as if they love your pond.
Your full moon shot is lovely. I like the way the moon looks with all the clouds. Hope you did get some rain.
Countdown to Christmas break? Won't be too long.

Cathy said...


How I enjoy your saying the things we all feel, but don't want to own up to: like using Christmas wrap to thwack the slowpokes in the aisle ahead of us ;0D

Your photographs just keep out-doing your previous offerings. You do capture the delights that so many of us rush past. The moon and clouds - hauntingly beautiful. I once captured glitter like that around your ducky. It's one of my favorites, too. Magic.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I chuckled when you described how you would use wrapping paper to knock people out of your way. Tee hee... I have wanted to do that a time or two myself.

I bird by vehicle a lot. I can just feel the way you snuck up on the kingfisher. They are very illusive.

Mary C said...

Homemade ravioli!? Can I come to your house next year? My mom used to make homemade ravioli for every holiday - and I really miss that. You sure were a brave soul for going out on Black Friday. And I take it that you found your bargains, and that Gina is thankful for a mom like you to provide beautiful Christmas decorations for her new place. I love your description of what I totally hate about shopping even during *normal* times of the year, like toddler tantrums, and those folks who hold up the check-out lines (like they're the only ones shopping). I found myself Wednesday morning at the grocery store dealing with those "road hogs" in the aisle - again, as if they are the only ones shopping, or should be shopping! And I love your concept about whacking the slow pokes with wrapping paper. Truthfully, I would probably think of something worse to use! ;o) And, Mary, as you described your experience with *difficult* to photograph birds - well, I've been dealing with that quite a bit this year. But that's because we want a really good visual aid to remember our *captured* critters. ;o)

RuthieJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
I think your kingfisher pictures were fantastic! Especially the first two. I was surprised to see a kingfisher still hanging around here one day last week. Of course, I didn't have the camera, but I wasn't driving anyway, so it wouldn't have mattered because that other person in my house doesn't stop for birds!

Glad you survived Black Friday. That's a day I generally try to get as far away from crowds as I can.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed you got the shot you did with that jittery kingfisher. Glad you posted that gorgeous glittering water again. Beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Glad thanksgiving was great and I always try to go to work on Black Friday!! still have yet to get any Christmas items but should be soon! I have chased birds around including kingfishers for that perfect shot! Rarely they let me get anything though!

Susie said...

You're brave to venture out into Black Friday crowds. We did our bit by babysitting the grands so our daughter could be there at 4AM!
Seems it gets earlier every year.
Loved seeing all your photos especially the one with "stars"
Great shot!!

Kylee Baumle said...

Mary, these are some fabulous photos! I've never seen a Kingfisher in real life. Your moon picture is really neat.

Alyssa said...

Beautiful pictures! That moon shot should be framed. The glittery duck is neat too.

I don't think that even 50% off would tempt me out of the house on Black Friday. Tell Gina about the big AFTER Christmas sales to stock up for next year. Usually 70% off and not so many nut cases! At some malls here, people were camped outside the stores at 4:00 a.m.!! Do these people have any brains ??? They get weirder every year!

Maybe the robins will stick around all winter - what a treat!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I don't do mall Christmas shopping. Just keep reminding us, Mary, how bad it is, in case we get tempted.

Bet your leftovers are good. We just finished the turkey yesterday.

Unknown said...

Well I'm back home and ready to blog but have to get to work. I hate black friday because of the years I worked retail. And every year black friday gets worse. At least you got some great decorations for Gina.

dguzman said...

I was stalking a kingfisher on Friday morning, but your pics were better!

Oh, Susan beat me to the TuVu ID.

LOVE that night picture!

Anonymous said...

Totally thwarted, Johnny-come-lately Science Chimp, putting the Nerfbat back in the holster. I put a Baker post up for you and Jane (and the legions who love him.) Kudos on the kingfisher. There is no more jumpy bird (I love Nikkipolani's word jittery to describe them!)
Me: No shopping. No malls. Can't do it. Getting my cart around the wide-load Wal-Mart Waddlers is all I can manage.

Annie in Austin said...

With family and friends in retail, I've heard too much from the employees' side to ever want to tackle Black Friday, Mary! You're much braver!

The Belted Kingfisher made me swoon - you do see the best birds.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose