Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I and the Great Blue Heron: Stinkers.


This is my first Blue Jay photo. I was wishing for a better one but a few irritating things got in the way. The mighty Blue Jay! A common bird, but never seen at my house.

The campus Dean and I hung six feeders on our small Wildlife Habitat yesterday. Water sources will come soon. Planting will be postponed until spring and that is if we have some measurable rainfall.


When you see a woman standing motionless, looking upward in a treed area with a camera around her neck, what would you think is going on?

I realize it’s the season of happiness and good will but I don’t want to be bothered while I’m watching birds. There were six or seven Blue Jays, a few Chickadees and Titmice, Eastern Bluebirds, Dark-eyed Juncos, and a male Red-Bellied Woodpecker in the trees this morning. None of them had found the feeders yet.

Mr. Cheery Face waddles on by - an older gentleman who gives his time, free of charge, to tutor students in language and math. Bless his heart.

“What are ya doing?” he inquires.

For a moment, my eyes met his and I whispered, “Watching lots of birds”. I raised the camera to my face.

He’s hard of hearing and yells, “WHERE?”

I'm thinking: In the freaking trees! Just chill, moron, and scram! Stop moving and jumping around, too.

He inquires, “Are they exotic?” (Oh, my God.)

I'm thinking: Read my lips and Shut UP, will ya?

I didn’t get any action, except for the Blue Jay.

Outwardly, I was nice but impatient and nasty inside. A genuine Stinker, I was.


This is exactly why we are moving the seating area to another location. She obviously didn’t realize cigarette smoking is not what birds need and she was screwing up my photo opportunities.


What else could cause more commotion! Before noon I went inside, cleaned up my office, watered the lobby plants, and hit the road to enjoy Day One of my Christmas break.


I had time to run errands and to make a few stops along the way. Belted Kingfishers are crazy. There is no effective way to sneak up on them. Believe me, I’ve tried. If you can't see the blue spot in the middle of this photo, click to enlarge. Enlarge the next one, too.


Darting straight away, across the pond, tree to tree. I am a very skilled stalker and this bird is really on to me… Getting a good shot of a bird in flight is my goal but it’s very difficult with a slow focusing camera. I’ll be using this camera for a while, so I’ll adjust and practice.


It’s been several months since I’ve seen a Great Blue Heron and a good look at the Stinker made my day. For those who don’t understand the nickname “Stinker”: A GBH made regular lunch hour visits at my house in Maryland and Delaware because of its insatiable appetite for goldfish and Koi. It loved them TO DEATH.


Noticing me now,

and getting annoyed and frightened…

My time to honor and gaze at this majestic bird only lasted about two minutes. Dang! What a thrill.

You can fly but you can’t hide from me, STINKER.


possumlady said...

Great shots Mary! Today was my last day too until January 2!! Woo hoo!!!!!!! Though I stayed until almost 7:00 tonight to get my office looking decent and signing a few cards for co-workers. I was hoping to get to a store for wrapping supplies but between the late hour getting home and being caught in some major traffic jam close to my house I ditched the idea. I just kept saying the "Seinfeld" mantra "serenity now"!

Enjoy the time off. I know your dogs and birds and fish will!!

thailandchani said...

.. beautiful! That bird in the lake... wowza!

I can't imagine someone sitting in a beautiful setting like that, polluting it with smoke! She should have chosen another place to smoke.

Sheesh! :)

Anonymous said...

wonderful photos of the Great Blue Heron! Bluejay's are not that easy of birds to photograph! You did great!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What lengths we go to get bird pictures, but it's worth it isn't it?
Great shots!

LauraHinNJ said...

Oh Mary.. you make me laugh! Thank you!

Happy Winter Break!

Alyssa said...

What and excellant way to start you time off. I really enjoyed seeing all the GBHs at the Horicon Marsh this summer. They are breath-taking and lovely up close. Too bad they love to raid backyard ponds.

Glad you remembered what time of year this was when that little old man wandered by - I'd hate to think of you being arrested for beating up an old guy!

Marvin said...

Thanks for the fantastic views of the GBH.

Jayne said...

Can't wait to see all the birds you'll now get to capture with your lens at work. How fun! Have a wonderful, restful time away from work!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Great Blue Heron in flight!!!
Happy Winter Holiday!
Enjoy and enjoy and enjoy some more.
Merry Christmas.

dguzman said...

Mary, I love you!

I need stalking lessons, though--I try so hard--stepping lightly, moving slowly, moving only when the bird looks away, etc.--but I'm a terrible stalker! I hardly ever get the shot!

Really beautiful photos, and I'm just like you when someone bugs me--"tell your story walkin', bub! I'm busy here!"

Oh, I can't wait for my four-day weekend! A lot shorter than your holiday, but no less appreciated!

dmmgmfm said...

Awesome pictures, Mary. As always, you made me giggle. Merry Christmas to you and yours dear lady.

NatureWoman said...

OMG Mary, I can't stand clueless people, either. That happens to me, too. Catch a clue people! I love your photos, as always, you're the best!!
Enjoy your two weeks off Mary!

The Quacks of Life said...

like the Heron. A Great Blue has been blown over here a first ever.

My sympathies with people. Growl

RuthieJ said...

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP....garbage truck backing up. The Waste Management depot is across the highway from our house. I was trying to listen to the owls this morning at 4 AM and they kept getting drowned out by beeping! GRRRRR

A hilarious post as usual, Mare--you always have the ability to make me laugh. And your GBH pictures were awesome!

P.S. I tagged you to play Christmas Hoopla--do you have time?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You little stinker. I enjoyed your blue jay too.

JeanMac said...

Your posts and pictures are always so beautiful!

JeanMac said...

Mary, I wish you and Michael the best Christmas ever. thank you for being there for me. Merry Christmas.

oldcrow61 said...

Hi Mary, I found you through Petes blog. You take wonderful pictures. Lovely dogs you have. I see you live in North Carolina. My brother has lived there this past five years and loves it.

Chrissie said...

Hello Mary, your photo of the blue jay is fantastic! I love it! Great photos of the herons too but I share your dislike for them. We have had to restock our pond twice and now have twine and wire around to keep them out.

Kathi said...

Love the Blue Jay, Mary! I agree, they are hard birds to photograph.


Larry said...

Nice shots-you arefeisty Mary! A real firecracker!-and always funny too!-I like when people ask me questions about birds but only if they're really interested.
Otherwise it's annoying.