Monday, January 21, 2008

The Mockingbird with OCD


Today at 5:00 p.m.
Fill the dish and the cups, woman.

He (or she) is mighty angry. Someone refused to offer Zick dough this morning. It had to be done.

Sunday at 10:00 a.m.
I’m getting low on the dough.

When the temperatures are in the twenties, I expect to see over one hundred birds at the feeders, draining them by late afternoon. Not yesterday. He was in charge.

Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
The Zick dough is mine. It's all mine.

When Mocker likes something, he really likes it. Other birds were not allowed near the feeder stations or on the ground. He not only guarded the Zick dough, he guarded everything else edible. I had a male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird that carried on the same way last summer for seven straight hours.

Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Why are you looking at me? Put the damned camera away and fill the dish and the cup.

I was looking at the lone bird at the feeders. All others waited in nearby trees and took chances at a few seeds, only to be attacked by the large bully. He even managed to fend off Starlings and when he attacked poor Bella, who doesn’t have a clue about birds, the movie title “To Kill a Mockingbird” entered my mind…

I’d like nothing better than to serve the dough to all of the birds who love it so much, but this bully needs an attitude adjustment for a few days. Jayne has wonderful birds that flutter merrily around her head and probably land on her shoulders while she serves them treats. They’re such sweet birds. Newcomers show up often at her house. Then there are Mary’s birds, which fight and defecate all over the place. I need to move to the country.

Disgusted with the back yard, I hit the road today. With respect to Dr. Martin Luther King, I had the day off. I’m not a self-indulgent person but I really enjoyed my first deluxe pedicure today with Gina sitting next to me! Ahhh…it was heaven! We had our nails done, too, then lunch and a little shopping followed. Two hours of pampering does a girl good and I can’t wait to admire my feet tonight.

For the men out there, take advantage of a pedicure. When I lived in Delaware I visited a nail salon regularly and watched the male athletes from Delaware State indulge on Saturday mornings before a big game.

Before I met Gina today, I stopped by two partially frozen ponds.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen birds walking on water.

Saw a male Canvasback! Lifer. Check.

Three days earlier, forgive me…

I hope the Stinker filled his belly before the freeze. (and avoid a visit to my half-frozen pond)



A heron in flight at the wrong angle. I’m trying.

It’s tough to get a National Geographic type photo because I am watching the bird while losing concentration on the camera. Having a camera with a burst mode would be very nice.


Come on, raspberries and Spring!

…and more pedicures.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Mary I love this post. You sound so happy. A pedicure and a lifer all on the same day you should be thrilled. :) I just love the picture of the great blue with its wings going down. I think it is a great shot. It's legs dangling make it look clown-like. And that naughty Mocker. He is too cute to get too angry with him.

JeanMac said...

Before we know, it will be spring - enjoyed your pictures, as usual!

Carol Michel said...

Mary, I thought of the movie, "The Birds". You be careful out there with that angry bird. You just never know...

Your day sounds wonderful. I had to work, but I did get a second feeder! Maybe now I'll have ten birds feeding at once. I can't imagine a hundred birds all at once. I'd need a few more feeders.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Robin's Nesting Place said...

You're mockingbird isn't playing very nice is he? I can see by the look in his eyes that he clearly needs an attitude adjustment.

I'm not self indulgent at all. I've never had a pedicure or a manicure. I keep my hairstyle very simple so I only need a haircut a couple times a year and I'm graying gracefully and not coloring my hair.

That being said, my neighbor was telling me how wonderful her pedicure was and she invited me to go with her sometime. I might just take her up on it come spring. Nah, more than likely not, I'll probably want to spend that money on birdseed or a plant.

Mary said...


I'd rather indulge on feeders or seeds too :o) I had a pedicure to join my daughter as she has been pestering me to join her. Try it! A pedicure a few times a year won't starve the birds and plants multiply!

Susan Gets Native said...

Mary, LOVED the great blue heron from behind. Even though they are graceful 99% of the time, I laughed out loud as his cute legs splayed out behind him!
Our mockingbirds are a bit frustrating, too....but I try to remember "They chase off the starlings....they chase off the HOSP....they are native....."

Richard said...

Great pictures Mary. I always look forward to visiting your blog. Thanks.

entoto said...

YAY! For pedicures and lifers...YIPPY!

Jayne said...

LOL Mary! I also have a Mocker to comes to my feeder to eat the Zick dough and runs everyone else off, so you are not alone. I'll post his photo soon, the bugger.

Nothing like a nice pedicure for what ails you!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog but am a bit unsure how to leave a comment on blogspot so here goes! I believe that we have the same camera (kodak z612)? If so, you DO have a burst mode! If this comment "posts" I will send another with instructions if you would like!

Mary said...

Gretchen, please do send info! Thanks!


sonia a. mascaro said...

Thank you for sharing all those wonderful photos, as always you did!

Have a nice day!

TR Ryan said...

You really know how to brighten a morning! How do you get such close shots of those birds!!! Mockingbirds won't come near my backyard -- I am surely missing some key habitat element. And now I am thinking perhaps this is a good thing!! I think I'll skip the pedicure for a massage.

Anonymous said...

Here's how to use burst mode: on the top of the camera, there are 3 buttons ( flash, macro/distance and self timer). While looking at the lcd (or through the evf) click the self timer button 4 times (the first 3 clicks will set your timer to different seconds) and on the 4th click you should see the little camera-burst icon appear next to the flash icon at the top of the screen- now you are in burst mode! Press your shutter and fire away!( up to 8 frames will be shot depending on how long you hold the shutter down- flash will not fire) It isn't the easiest to access esp. in moments of excitement but it does work and rather well, too. Unfortunately you must reset it every time you turn your camera on/off, and as our camera does not have muti-select in review mode, it can be a bit tedious to delete the multiples individually BUT when I see some of the bird photos I would not have gotten any other way, it's worth it!! Hope this helped- if you benefit, we all benefit by getting to see even more of your fantastic photos! I hope I have explained this well enough- let me know if I can be of any more help!

Chrissie said...

LOL, raspberries, spring and pedicures sound very good! I don't like herons very much but had to laugh at the photo 'from the wrong angle', it does make the heron look very undignified :-) I hadn't realised that mockingbirds could be such bullies - just like our crows. Great post, Mary!

Mary said...

Gretchen, thank you a million times. I just tried it, and yes, it works! Your instructions were so clear.

Now I'm thinking about human nature and how silly I feel. I completely ignored that third button for a year - like I pretended it wasn't there... Oh, I feel sooooo silly. :o)

Kerri Farley said...

Wow Mary...Fantastic Post! My daughter and I were just discussing how we feel BRAND NEW when we get our hair cut....I'm sure it is that way with a manicure/ that pampering! Your bird shots are FAB as usual! Perfect way to spend your day off!!! Hope your workload gets lighter soon!!

Anonymous said...

love hearing about that mocking bird! did you ever hear why they call the Canvasback a Canvasback?? Goes back to the days when they would shoot the birds, throw them in bags and send them to the big cities via the trains. The bag they placed the birds in had the words "canvas back" meaning they wanted the bags back. When they arrived at the train station they people would say, "look there are the canvasbacks"!

Mary said...

Oh I agree role on spring! Love the birds

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Mockingbird can be aggressive. I had to stop meal worms because of the same behavior your Mocker is displaying.
I am so happy you and Gina had pedicures! I think of them as "needed" for good health! I think facials and massage are also part of the "well lady" program. Preventive medicine they call it!
You live in a great area. A canvasback right near. How very cool! I enjoyed reading Monarch's comment, so interesting how names begin.
I love Herons, in any pose. Magnificent birds.
You will get your Heron in flight, reflecting in the water, just like you dream about. It is in the cards for you. Maybe the Moon will be rising over the pond and the Heron will be flying into the moon! I am some what of an romantic. Your photo will be beautiful!
Glad you enjoyed your day off. Spring is just around the corner for you.
The daylight is growing longer and soon the Hummers will return.
Life is good.
Thanks for a fun post.
Stay warm,

possumlady said...

And here I am worrying about my lone mockingbird and hoping he finds my suet dough as I can't think of what else he must be eating! Just remember the immortal words of Harper Lee "But remember, it's a sin to kill a Mockingbird"

No pedicures for me. I tried one about ten years ago and could not stop my foot and leg from involuntarily jerking every time she tried to smooth my calluses. I had no idea I was so ticklish. I was quite embarassed.

Mary said...

Possumlady, you make me laugh. I was worried about my ticklish feet and the hardware in my left ankle but I controlled my reflexes when she massaged between the toes..AAAAA! Go get a pedicure. Laugh all you want. The technicians understand...

KGMom said...

Mary--greedy mocking birds. Pedicures with daughter. Camera with hidden burst mode.
What will you experience next!?!
Oh, but please hold off on your spring wishes--the winter has been overall too warm, and that concerns me. I mean, it is January--and it is supposed to be cold.

Larry said...

That's funny about the Mockingbird-They sure can be territorial when it comes too food.-I've had them repeatedly buzz by my head when I'm near their nest during nesting season too.

Donna said...

I enjoyed the photos Mary!

RuthieJ said...

What a great day off you had Mary....pedicure and a lifer! I think you rear-view flying GBH shots are neat -- Definitely not a view I've ever seen before!

dguzman said...

Oh Mary! Great post! I'm glad the mockers don't hog my feeders, but my bluejays are just as bad.

Burst mode ROCKS. I can't wait to use it this spring.

I didn't know it got so cold where you are!

Marvin said...

Great post and photos, Mary. There are mockingbirds down in the valley, but they don't come up here on the ridge. Jays we do have. They are noisy, aggressive and belligerent, but our jays don't get as territorial as your mockingbird.

Sherry said...

Enjoyed your post and beautiful photos, as always. Sounds like you had a great day!

Anonymous said...

awwww marti more cute dog pictures!!