Friday, April 27, 2007

Dull? Counting Sheep Helps...


Same face, day after day. The feeders are becoming dull, at best. Until tonight. The red-bellied woodpecker is back and some others. More later.

Maybe it’s my fault for my snitty behavior lately. Yes, in fact, it is my fault. At the office, I throw paper across my desk, curse at the copy machine, and mumble obscenities at the staple remover when it rips the corner of my document. I’ve been yelling at the dogs, too, in a kind way. It’s the little things in life that can either turn me into a monster or make me smile lately. I'm still exhausted and cranky, but I'll give a good effort with this post.

Last night I decided to stay away from the computer. I was in bed by 9:30 p.m. and that’s after I took a one hour nap after dinner. Crash. That’s all it takes. I know how important my sleep is and how much healthier and alive I feel when I get it. A few more nights like that and I’ll be a new person. I’ve been a night owl for too many weeks.

I’ll start an insignificant rant now. Who waters the dying gardenias and hydrangeas every day because of the drought? Who tops the pond and cleans it? ME! This is really a sore subject. I want a hose bib conveniently located in the back of the house. We have two, but they’re a good walking distance away, on the sides of the house.

One of them has less water pressure than a drinking fountain. The other one has great pressure but has a honking, 1,000 foot heavy-duty hose attached to it which means I need to unroll it, hoist it over the fence and drag it a quarter of a mile to the pond. Ok, it’s not that far and not that long... But when I have only a few hours in the evening, dinner in the oven and water boiling on the stove, I need to be fast, “chop chop!”.

For over a year, I’ve been hinting for a convenient garden hose as a gift idea. HA! It['s true. So, he gives me a Dooney & Bourke handbag as one of my Christmas gifts. I've been thinking about this lovely bag today. It’s a very nice handbag and I appreciate it (thanks to Gina, who encouraged him because of her own handbag fetish). Honestly, all I asked for was a black handbag from Belk’s or Target. $16.99-$40.00 will do to carry my life under my armpit. Am I the type of person who needs a Dooney to go along with my sweat pants, tee-shirts and tennis shoes? Do I drive a Mercedes? Do I care if my shoes match my bag? Heck, no! I buy my clothing from the sales racks at department stores and a lot from Target. Twice a year, I change my handbag from spring/summer to fall/winter. How ridiculous is it to see a little blonde lady run to the grocery store with pond sludge on her sneakers and a Dooney over her shoulder?

For my next gift, I’ll insist on the giver sticking a bow on the new hose bib or handing me a gift card from the plumbing company. I’ll take care of the rest, dammit. Whew. I’m done.


There was new male here yesterday. A female has been visiting once in a while. A male Eastern Towhee isn’t a lifer, but this is the best photo I have. I enjoyed his nonchalant behavior in front of the camera.


Camera hog, Robin, in my front yard.

The same Brown Headed Nuthatch has been pecking away at the same tree on campus for a week. Click to enlarge this tiny acrobat. Sweet!


If there was a contest of stopping your car and photographing a lifer in the shortest time, I'd win. In approximately eight seconds or less, I can pull over, throw the gear in park, find the camera, power it up, turn off the radio, exit my vehicle quietly, and grab a shot of a lifer. A Killdeer is unusual. It crouches low as if playing dead, or camouflaging itself. I don't understand its behavior.


This photo is not completely in focus but I saw those large eyes looking at me. Wow.


A pair of lazy Canadian Geese didn’t want to leave the campus this morning. They knew I was spying on them.


For Lynne and Cathy, who share love of bird butts with me. This one is especially robust. My kind of woman! (Is she a woman?)


How close can you get to a Canadian Goose without being assaulted? I took a chance and it proved to be a lucky one.

Here’s lookin at ya, kiddo! Trust me.

Goose: Got any cooked spaghetti - hold the sauce?

I filled one of my hummingbird feeders a week ago and have been noticing the nectar getting low. While standing on my back deck tonight, I saw the sunlight catch the buzz, hovering and darting. It was the beautiful blur I haven’t seen since last summer. Is this a female Ruby Throated? My heart raced as I tried my best to control the camera. This is my first photo of a hummingbird.


JOY!!!! Now, to bed.


Susan Gets Native said...

1. We love you, snitty or not.
2. I haven't gotten enough sleep lately, either. I find myself falling asleep and letting the kids' brains go to mush in front of the TV.
3. A local heating and cooling company just had a commercial on the TV, and there was a Boston in it. I want them to come to our house and do something for us, just because of that dog.
4. It's Spring. The feeders can't be dull for long.
5. I think sweats and a Dooney are perfect for you. A girl who cleans out the pond and who is beautiful and a lady, all at the same time.
6. A brown-headed nuthatch is a big deal for me. So be happy, because I am jealous of you.
7. That goose has serious buns. Someone call Jenny Craig.
8. Copy machines were built just for anger release. I am sure of it.
9. I LOVE YOUR HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER. That's a work of art.

Mary said...

Oh, Susan. Thank you. I've been feeling like a pile of crap lately. Hugs!

LauraHinNJ said...

Susan has said it all, I think!

Except I have to add - garden hoses and vacuums are the devil's playground or something like that, I think. Hate them both!

Dooney's are nice bags - you deserve it with your mucky sneakers. A new definition of beauty. Buy yourself the hose thingy!

I'm suffering the blaahs too. The blog feels like a chore. I visit with everyone, but can hardly think of anything remotely interesting to comment (isn't this a good example?) - so I just stop by and read and then go on my way feeling guilty.

I keep thinking once school is done and I get the promotion I put in for maybe I'll "feel" like something, I don't know.

Anyway, your pics are a delight, as is your snittiness.


Unknown said...

So, it's not just me who feels the blues.

Do you suppose it's seasonal letdown? We were all so anxious for spring and here it is and oh, dammitall, life still goes on?

Cathy said...

Ditto! to all 9 of Susan's comments.

I'm such a slob I don't even know what a 'Dooney' is.

That's a delightful pix of your whimsical feeder and a 'great-full' little bird.

Ruth said...

Love the hummingbird. There is so much to do at this time of year. I sometimes awake with a feeling that I have missed doing something important, from the drudgery of cleaning windows to finishing our taxes (Apr 30!) You sound like a multi-tasking can be that for just so long without a break!

Jayne said...

I'll follow Susan's lead:

1. Indeed, you are not the only one. I've been out of sorts a bit this week too, and I agree with Laura, buy yourownself that hose... gift giving be damned. :c)

2. I also switch my handbags twice a year. A Dooney would mean nothing to me as well. I don't get spending hundreds of dollars for a handbag... think how much bird seed that would buy!! I feel the same way about sunglasses and wristwatches.

3. The towhee is beautiful! I've not seen one in AGES.

4. Killdeer always nest on the ground in the craziest places... yes, they are more insane than we are.. and then use the "I'm injured, follow me with my broken wing, eat me" trick when someone gets close to their nest as a way to divert attention away from their eggs/babies.

5. Love the duck butt!!

6. Love your hummer feeder! Yes, that's a female (no dark throat and white tip on the tail feathers) and I am so happy they have found your work of art.

7. Blog on sista! Love you!

Susie said...

Well, I think the other Susan mostly said it all!
I'm enjoying the wide variety of bird photos you share. We don't have most of those here.
We do have hummingbirds year round and I'll share some pics from time to time. We had three at our feeder yesterday!!

Mary said...

Laura, You're up for a promotion? That's wonderful! Blogging gets to be a chore, for sure, but it's something I'd miss...

Liza, I agree. The long-awaited for Spring is here and I'm worn out already. Geez.

Cathy, LOL! Oh, stop. There's no need to know what a Dooney is, anyway!

Ruth, I do the same thing. Wake up in the AM and think "uh-oh..."

Jayne, thanks for your numberd sentences. I think like you - instead of this handbag, what about a gift certificate at WBU? Huh?

Susie, share those hummers! I think ours have just arrived.

KGMom said...

Here I am--I am late for the blog comments meeting.
Anyway, I got to the end of your post and saw the hummingbird photo--I leaned back & showed my husband who said--oh man, that's some fast shutter speed on tha camera.
Nice work--catching a hummer (no, not the big kind, the wee little kind) in mid-flight.

Dorothy said...

Mary you've done it again! You needed a break... and when you resumed you continue taking the best bird pictures in blog-land. And you have one of the best blogs I've read too! You manage to take what most would consider ordinary and make it extraordinary! I'm glad you caught up on your sleep.
The hummer and Mother goose-butt are precious!! Good shots!!!
PS..DH bought me a Dooney years ago at an outlet mall. The first time I used it, I set it down under our table at a restaurant..and someone stole my credit cards right out of my wallet right from under my nose!!! I haven't used it since. I'm with you..give me a good Hobo bag from Target or Kohl's!

dmmgmfm said...

I love the robin picture. Definitely a camera hog.

And I'm so with you on the handbag. For goodness sake, I'm lucky if my shoes match each other, let alone match the handbag. I actually don't even carry a purse. I use a backpack.

OK, rant over. *blush*

LostRoses said...

Sleep is good. I managed to go to bed at 9:30 last night too, and was surprised to wake up wide-eyed at 6:15 AM ready to go work in the garden. Who knew that midnight is not an optimal bedtime?

You think your feeder is dull? Try house sparrows all the time. Oh, and squirrels.

I bought a hose extender thingy (Hedge Hydrant) at Gardener's Supply. My backyard is on two levels and there's no faucet up top. No way am I hauling hose. Of course you have to leave 50' feet of hose snaked under bushes, climbing over walls, etc. but at least there's a faucet where I need it.

As I was sweating away in the front yard today I noticed my neighbor going out to her car (looking very presentable, unlike me),carrying a Dooney & Bourke handbag. The one with the initials all over it? Or maybe it was a knockoff. But I don't know why I even noticed something like that and then you go and mention it!

Great bird photos! I heard my first hummer today too, a broad-tailed.

NatureWoman said...

Everything everyone said and more Mary - you are wonderful, I love all of your bewd photos and your descriptions, and I agree, have the water faucet / hose installed where *you* need it. I love the goose butt and any fuzzy bewd butt!!!

Anonymous said...

I agee with the others, you take great bird shots even when you are running on empty.

Leave the phonebook out, opened to plumbers, and put a list of what you want by it, and I'll bet the husband takes over the project really fast.

thailandchani said...

Absolutely beautiful pictures! This continues to convince me that I need to buy a good camera. (Mine's a cheap Canon.. gets the job done but the sharpness is sorely lacking..)




kate said...

Your pictures are wonderful. Canadian geese butts ... I just wish they didn't make so much of a mess of our sidewalks (the ones who reside here stay all year long.)

I love your hummingbird pic ... it is amazing that you were able to focus the pic so clearly.

I so feeling irritable ... it seems to be happening to me with increasing frequency. I've been home for a day or so and already I feel disgruntled. So much for a holiday.

Keep on taking great pics - that's the best antidote.

Anonymous said...

Mother's Day is coming- demand a hose bib! I'm with Susan, 1-9. I even like your dove. But that nuthatch-yum, wish I could see him!

I don' think there's a direct line between the copy machine wars and your general karma in life. Copy machine wars stand separate.

Gotta Garden said...

Ditto everything! I'm so glad someone else doesn't know about the handbag...I use one all year, endlessly, until it wears out! Matching...what's that?? Lol! This last one was a step up for me, from of those back bags and I adore it...holds everything (but is getting kinda dirty looking...hmmm, maybe time for a new one!)

You did a great effort with this post! I tend to stay up too late, too and my DH gets up very, I've been getting way too little sleep of late.

Yes, get that hose where you need it! I would have to do the arranging here, but whatever it takes!

Love your pictures...they are awesome! Maybe you can give me some pointers! (We'll blame it on my camera!)

Anonymous said...

We all understand the not sleeping part! But, when you come back, you really throw down some amazing photos!! Congrats on your lifers!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Saturday evening I finally had a chance to come and visit. I was so wowed by your birds. I have never seen a Towhee! Your photos are so nice too. I feel as if I am right there.
As I was beginning a comment my husband came in and ask me if I wanted a massage!!"YES, oh yes."
So I did not get to leave my message to you!
Do know I also have been "BLUE" these past few weeks. I think it is weather and world events and frustration and too much to do and not enough time to do it in!
Hopefully May will will be a calmer month.
Take rest when you can and keep on enjoying the birds.
I think of often during my day. Sending energy...

dguzman said...

Great post--like Laura, I believe Susan said it all. We love ya!

I've been hinting for a kink-proof hose and a long soaker hose for four years and counting....

Fabulous pictures! Love the hummer!