Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mid-Week Frustration with Nature and a bit of Good News


Since record-keeping in the 1870’s, we’re in the driest year. I found these Juncos enjoying a parking lot puddle on campus after less than a quarter of an inch of rain fell on Monday. Many of us forget about the water deficit when the nights and days are cooler. I admit to spending a little extra time in the shower on cold mornings, too.


A muddy puddle is all they have. They should move to my house where there is

fresh, clear water - every day.

Often, I rush around town buying twenty pounds bags of black oil sunflower seed and everything else the birds eat. Will I need to find a part-time job to afford their increasing appetites? If necessary, I would. What irritates me is that I rarely see the birds lately. By the time I get home from work, I only have time to fill their damned feeders while the shadows are getting deep and dark. It’s like putting your dollar into a vending machine and pressing B-6 to see your candy bar get lodged inside and you get NOTHING in return. Arrrrrgh.

Tonight, I’m enjoying seeing my oh-so-common birds that I saw over the weekend.

I like this photo, even though there is not one thing outstanding about it. A variety of locals. (click to enlarge)

One of twenty or more (woo-hoo!).

The following photos are of birds being patient and also feeling a sense of entitlement while waiting for me to finish filling their feeders. I dragged my feet purposely, making the chore last longer than usual.




When I get home in the evening, it’s “Mourning Dove Time”. They are thirsty and oodles of them cover the feeders and pond.

It’s odd to see a White Throated Sparrow perched in a tree. Sweet.

For about six hours last Saturday, I was in Lifer Heaven. I was absolutely and undoubtedly certain I photographed a Red-breasted Nuthatch and I just couldn’t wait to post about it!


Ahhhhh, the despair. No such luck! After downloading and examining ten photos, I sunk in my chair. The wings revealed a Carolina Wren. It was a nice thrill, although short-lived. Pout. It was dark.


Referring to my recent post, When Your Photos are Violated, there is good news. I don’t have PowerPoint at home, so I spent extra time at work to make my own slideshow. It’s been chosen to be presented at the graduation ceremony next Tuesday! It’s a nice dedication, consisting of over one hundred photos that tell a chronological story of their training and I added a Police Officer’s Prayer at the end of the show. With help from others, I’m adding some great music. Each Cadet will receive a copy of it – a very nice keepsake.
The slideshow made by another, with the clip art, shooting guns, and bombs blasting, will be an additional keepsake for them. Hilarious.


RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
Am I the first one here?

Those are great bird photos--I like the line-up of MODOs on the branch. And those sweet juncos bathing in a puddle. And hey, if it's any consolation, I thought that was a Red-Breasted nuthatch on the first picture too. Oh well, something to keep hoping for....

That's good news about your PowerPoint presentation. Thanks for letting us know.

Carol Michel said...

I'm thrilled to read that your presentation will be the one shown! That is good news.

Like you, I'm getting tired of going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. And it will be like this for a loooooong time yet.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

KGMom said...

Mary--there is no question which of the two presentations will be most valued by the graduates.
What a great gift you made by taking time to prepare the power point.

Anonymous said...

Love your photos! Congrats on the Red-breasted Nuthatch!! The birds are well worth it! I two love the oil sunflower seeds!

JeanMac said...

Yeah for Mary!

Unknown said...

yea Mary! I agree with the others your presentation will be much more meaningful.

The bird pics are fantastic. Mondays and tuesdays I come home in the dark also not able to see my birds. Before you know it the days will grow longer.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
The birds love you! Even tho you cannot watch then Monday-Friday there is the weekend! Plus Christmas vacation! Your photos are beautiful! Little Carolina Wren is very sweet. The Cardinals are outstandingly gorgeous. The Red Breasted Nuthatches that were at my house have gone I guess. I have not seen one for two weeks. You have a nice group of regulars. Looks as if your 24 hour food stop is well visited!
Yes! Right decision on photos. I am so proud of you for standing up for your work. The cadets will love your slide show for many years to come. It was very nice of you to care.
Still so very dry at your house. A little rain but not near enough. You really need inches and inches. I would rain dance for you but last time I did that we received way too much rain. Mother Nature doesn't understand rain dance is for Mary! A strong Northwest wind is blowing at my house. Maybe it will keep on blowing the cloud cover over to you and give you a nice soaking rain this weekend. I hope so.

Susan Gets Native said...

1. Glad the presentation will be YOUR version.

2. Keep an eye out for the RBNH. They might just show up!

3. I feel your pain about never getting a damn minute to watch the birds that you go broke feeding.

4. I don't care what you say, your photos are ALWAYS fun to look at.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hey Mary, I am so happy that you got to make the version of the Cadets that you wanted. I am sure it will be most appreciated.

You bird photos are good. We have been concerned about our lack of Mourning Doves at our feeders. They seemed to have dwindled from few to none lately. We don't know if it is the presence of at least two Cooper's Hawks or some other problem.

Jayne said...

Mary, I love all the photos of your "regulars" at the feeders. They are so wonderful! Hey, a red breasted wren! Only you could be that lucky (wink)!

So glad the cadets will receive your sweet record of their journey and that the other won't be shown at the ceremony. Yea you!

Ruth said...

It is great that the powers that be chose the classy presentation for the ceremony. It is dark before and after work at home, but our feeders at the hospital are very popular. I had to put another in the patient treatment area as we cannot have our patients in our office. RB Nutchatches are plentiful here this year which is unusual. I have never seen a Carolina Wren.

Beth said...

I'm so pleased that you found a solution to that problem of the inappropriate power point - so glad things worked out in a way that will honor these people that have worked so diligently!

Your photos in this post are truly spectacular.

David said...

Great photos, Mary! Yeah, and what happened to that inch of rain we were supposed to get???

The Quacks of Life said...

nice photos like the red one. Is it a House Finch? and the one with the punk hair do

all lifers over here.

All my photos are of common birds.

NatureWoman said...

Congrats on the ppt presentation! The graduates will treasure it forever. I love your bewd photos, as always, Mary! Yay!

entoto said...

Good job taking on the new technology! It will be so worth it. I am sure your presentation will be greatly appreciated.

And lovely, lovely birds.

Peg Silloway said...

Yes! Common sense and courtesy prevail, and your photo presentation - which I'm sure is exquisite - will be a wonderful celebration of a special day for all those young people.

Those everyday birds are gorgeous - I think chickadees and cardinals are just as beautiful as hummingbirds or some exotic feathered creature whose name I wouldn't know anyway. Your pictures are amazing!

Mary C said...

Hi Mary, I'm so glad your slide presentation will be used for the cadets' graduation. Somebody's common sense prevailed. And as always, love your bird pix - and I will say I'm partial to the cardinal pix since we don't get cardinals here in California. And here is another person who gets home too late to see the birdies in the evening. At least I go to work while it is light, but I'm too busy getting ready that I hardly see any birds. Oh well, the weekend is coming.

Chrissie said...

Hello, Mary. I understand your frustration with not seeing the birds :-) I put food out every morning and rarely see the birds eat it! Great news about your pics though! Congratulations :-)

Larry said...

That did look a bit like a RB Nuthatch when I looked quick.-That would be a good bird to see that far south wouldn't it?

dguzman said...

Late commenting here, but I feel your frustration. It gets dark here by 5pm; this shorter-days business sucks! In the south, "shorter days" meant the sun set at about 7:30 or 8 instead of 8:30 or 9. Up here, it's 4:30 and starting to get dark, and by 5 it's really dark, and by 5:15 it's like midnight. The earth just isn't big around enough up here, and the sun is sooooo low in the sky even at midday. Ugh.

I only get to see the birds on the weekends, and even then it's tough.