Monday, February 11, 2008

Poor Quality Bird Photos and Police Funnies

No, Mary does not take great bird photos. The majority of them look like this. The Great Blue Heron was antsy and didn't give me a break.

I’ve taken so few photos that all I have to offer are these…bad…photos. One out of forty might be worthy of National Geographic publishing (just joking), so when I take less than five a day which is the norm lately, this is what I get.


I admit this is not too bad. She’s a beauty, despite her photographer.

Fiddling with the camera, I missed the sip and dip at the pond.


The skies are loaded with vultures and hawks and I get dizzy, as you can see in this photo. A low-flying hawk in the center of the photo would make me proud.

Faceless Carolina Wren. I cursed after this shot.

Whaaaat? Ugh.

Can you find the Tufted Titmouse?


They blend in with the landscape very well. White Throated Sparrows are beautiful off the ground, like the Juncos.

Big news! Just before sundown this evening, a Carolina Wren bedded down in my hand-made Barn Swallow nest. I was blaming the nest renovation on House Sparrows. I’ll take the Carolina Wrens! The Barn Swallows probably won’t return anyway. But…maybe I’ll make another nest… Any thoughts on a Wren using a nest modeled for a Barn Swallow?


Regarding Police Funnies, the cadets are working hard and learning a load of emotional discipline. During formation and other exercises, they are forbidden to express emotion. No tears, no anger or contempt, and no sense of humor. They are tested, ruthlessly! Look at their faces.


I heard of this story and I’m glad I wasn’t there. During formation, cadets are expected to be spotless and well groomed. One unfortunate cadet was coated with cat hair all over his black uniform and hat. Sgt. Moore questioned him about his lack of grooming and the cadet replied, “SIR! It’s cat hair, SIR!”

“What’s your cat's name?”, questioned the Sergeant.

“Fluffy, SIR!”

“What kind of F’ing, blankety-blank name is THAT for your @#@$$%, F-ing blankety-blank cat? And why is your F-ing cat crawling all over you, cadet blankety-blank?”


No expression. Never a hee-haw or fall down laughing even when it’s totally hilarious. This is what they are trained to do when they’re faced with a hilarious crime scene. And, believe me, they are out there. It would be disrespectful to hee-haw at victims or during crazy situations.


My daughter has a face that tells her story, minute by minute. You can read her feelings in an instant by glancing at her. She would never make it through basic law enforcement training if she wanted to, and neither would I. It would only take a few hours in the academy before she would be reduced to a puddle of angry tears and severe consequences. You see, I too, have this laughing or crying thing going on. Have you ever laughed uncontrollably in church on Sunday? I have, when my Dad hit loud, sour notes in song and praise. Laughter in church is forbidden and viewed as a total lack of respect. Sorry. When I was in the fifth grade, I had a giggling disorder that made my old, wooden student desk rock and knock on the hardwood floor. All I needed to do was look at Joe Shiavoni’s nose…he was small but his honker was way larger than life. My teacher, Miss Norton, who I thought was old but was probably younger than twenty-five, raised her right eyebrow at me many times and I went home from school with damp panties a lot during that school year. But she liked me.

So, I guess there is truth in the statement,

“There are people who are meant to be the police,

and there are people who are meant to call the police.”

The latter would be me.


thailandchani said...

I am in the latter category as well. :) It seems nearly impossible to not show emotion.

Anonymous said...

Depends on the eye of the beholder! I think your photos are wonderful! Although, don't you hate that birds are always hiding behind the sticks? Also, love your police funnies!

KGMom said...

Oh Mary--I was all admiring of your bird photos--notice how they all are very shy suddenly? Like they say--here comes the camera lady, let's hide.
Then I get to the cadet training story--and I am howling.
Really--take it easy on your poor readers!

Carol Michel said...

So these are your castoffs? The out-takes that wouldn't normally make it? They are still good pictures, still in focus. Better than what I'd call my best. Birds just don't sit still for pictures like flowers do.

I "think" I could stand in formation, but I've never had to so who knows?

Jayne said...

ME? Not show emotion? Not very likely! I can't even talk without my hands! :c)

SO glad to hear that wren has found your sweet hand made nest.

NatureWoman said...

OMG Mary, I'm ROFL!!!! Thanks for the good laughs! And I always love your photos, no matter whether the bewds are hiding or not!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Mary we can see that your are enjoying your birds immensely through your pictures.

Cheryl said...

Hi Mary

Loved the photos,lovely to see birds that we don't have in England.

I am like you an out of control laugher. Your school stories bought back memories. I was often taken out of class for laughing at inappropriate moments. I am still the same especially when my daughter and son are around.

Thanks for making my day.

Unknown said...

Hi Mary

It has been a real pleasure getting caught up on reading your blog. Have you dug out of your pile of work? I'm getting there. I always love your photos and comments. They highlight my day. Wish I had your sense of humor for writing.

Anonymous said...

Gee, they look a lot like most of my photos. Darn birds just won't sit still and won't come out in plain view. Photo op vs survival is a clear call, I guess, if you're a bird.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! Thanks for the comments on my blog. You are welcome anytime to Cape May. You would love it.
Your pictures of the birds a beautiful. I love them all, but your lady cardinal pic is my favorite.
I would never be able to get through the police academy. One because, like your daughter, have a very expressive face. Second, when it is that time of the month, I can cry like a baby at the stupidest things and have. Third, I have a temper and wouldn't be able to stand there and let someone yell at me and not respond. Fourth, if I find something funny, I would laugh hysterically. And finally, (you know that walnut size bladder) would never allow me to stand there for any length of time. Have a good day. Lisa

Naturegirl said...

Mary I can't begin to tell you how many photos I've taken and then erase!Patience a lot of it is what I have learned is necessary in becoming a good nature photorapher.I truly appreciate those that make a living giving us breathtaking footage like "planet earth" ..I just get too darn excited when a photo opportunity happens and by the time I get ready to click....well you know! hugs NG

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I'd be happy with your wren, too.
As for their choice in housing styles, I had laundry hanging out on the line a few years ago, and at the end of a summer day, starting taking it in.
I saw a bulge in the pocket of my husband's shirt, and thought I'd left a tissue that got balled up insdie it.
I gave it a squeeze, and, guess what cam flying out??
Must have been a rude awakening from her nap!

RuthieJ said...

Well, Mare, I think your pictures are great--it's just nice to see birds without a background of snow! The hawk one is the bestest!

Is that Cadet Johnson in the farthest left side of the pic? I would have cracked up as soon as that cadet said, "Sir, Fluffy, Sir!"

Anonymous said...

Mary, loved that pic of the heron taking off, anyone can take a pic of a perching bird but to catch one in flight is another thing. Enjoyed all the photos, police funnies are the best especially with your commentary, still laughing.
Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K]

Anonymous said...

Mary, Mary. I'm always amazed at your bird photos, so it's interesting to see these 'outtakes' - they are still pretty amazing. I wouldn't be cursing after those photos! The gorgeous feathers on that heron still shines through.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Mrs. Carolina loves you! Not only do you provide tasty worms and suet but custom made housing! You will hear the best of songs and see tiny babies! Oh Mary! I am so excited.
I love the Wrens.
Sweet, sweet Titmouse. Tufted is as cute and as sweet of bird there ever was! Just as darling as the wrens.
I could not show any emotion if I had to. I could until a marvelous blue bird came flying by and I am afraid I would break ranks and go running after. Bird distraction would be my downfall.
As always I enjoyed your post.
Keep laughing and having fun.
The daylight is growing longer and you already have nesting birds. The joy of February is at your house. Now for some spring rains.

Larry said...

I'm not meant to be the police or call the police.-Fluffy Sir-lol.
I like the hawk photo-nice contrast between the hawk and the background sky.-very sharp too.-It would be nice if it was a little close.-How high can you jump Mary?-As far as the other photos-I don't like to brag but you've got nothing on me when it comes to bad photos!

Mary said...

Hi all, I've been trying to greet each one of you like I do whenever I can, but this computer is acting strangely. I hope this works. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed "Fluffy". I did! Ya'll make me crack up. Larry, I can't jump more than 6 inches from the ground.

It's raining!

dmmgmfm said...

I love to laugh, and I laugh easily...but when something really strikes me funny (and trust me, it can be anything) I laugh so hard I snort. Like a pig, often more than once. It's truly one of the most embarrassing things I do (and there are many).

Your post made me snort, by the way...


JeanMac said...

They looked rather freaked out- I would be,too. But I look forward to your "grad" report after it's all over.I think the birds have banded (no pun intended) together to duck their heads just as you take their pic.

Alyssa said...

I think your photos are very good - they are so clear and not at all blurry. I love that peeling bark by the way. Oh I would have a terrible time trying to be a emotionless cadet! I give them so much credit for working hard physically and mentally. They are doing it to help people and are a great bunch of young people. But if I was that one fellow with Fluffy, I'd make darn sure I had a clothes cleaning brush on me at all times! Very neat post.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Mary I take so many bird pictures that are disappointing to me. They are so hard to capture, and the telephoto lenses never zoom in quite enough.

My nieces new husband is going into the police academy, I feel sorry for him now. Wow, that is tough stuff! I had no idea. I'm sure they must be properly trained though.

Annie in Austin said...

It took you only 12 photos to segue from a great blue heron to damp panties. Mary, sometimes it's a little worrying that I have no trouble following your train of thought and it all makes sense.

"People who are meant to call the police"... oh, yeah.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kerri Farley said...

Ah Mary...I'm right with you there! I wear my feelings on my sleeve for all to see!

And I LOVE LOVE LOVE Your bird photos. I can tell you have so much love for them....what an amazing discovery...I have never seed a Red Headed Woodpecker. I saw my first ever Pileated Woodpecker a couple of weeks ago...I heard him actually before seeing him...What a Beauty!

Amy said...

If it's any consolation Mary, your bird photos are a heck of a lot better than mine! Thanks for the chuckle over the cat-haired cadet!

Mel said...

I love your pictures! I wish mine would look like that... I own a sony cybershot 7.1, not much can be done. Your pics make me smile every time =)
Thank you for sharing them!