Friday, April 20, 2007

Embarrassed? Naaa...

Have you ever felt like you should be embarrassed but you didn’t feel embarrassed at all? I have, on many occasions. This will be short and sweet because it’s Friday and my wits are leaving me fast.

It all started on my lunchtime walk. Only one other person was on the trail for my thirty sacred minutes. He was a man about my age with a windbreaker tied around his waste and it was maroon and orange. I guess he might have been a VA Tech alum or had children there. He was power walking and I was just strolling. I’ll call him “VA Tech Man”. Perhaps he needed some stress relief, bless his heart.

Lucky me, I came upon birdsong that was deafening on a dark part of the trail. And I stood there, looking up. Camera ready. It was like I was suddenly in an Alfred Hitchcock movie with birds darting overhead faster than lightning. My eyes were wide, only seeing flashes, shadows, and blurs but I knew something was happening. Blue Jays and Cardinals and Crows and Sparrows were all around me BUT I COULDN’T SEE THEM. My hot hands were holding the camera as I stood in one spot and repeatedly did military about faces, right faces, left faces, over and over again and then I dashed from one set of trees to the other. I stood motionless and listened again. Then the VA Tech Man rounded the bend coughing his head off. It’s only a .3 mile track and I think he hacked and coughed and spit the entire time.

I wanted to yell at him, “Don’t you have any freaking cough drops, man?”

The sun was glorious but when I was seeing blue flashes soar right over my head, an enormous white cloud covered the sun’s rays. Great.


This is the type of photo I took today. Arrrrgh! See a patch of blue in the middle? A flock of these birds teased the living daylights out of me. I fumbled with the camera which was too darned slow for the action. I held my breath. I cursed. I ventured into the woods, backed up to get a view, put my camera on the low light mode, then lost my footing on pine straw and fell backwards on my bum. Pine straw is too darn slippery. The VA Tech Man was rounding the bend again, coughing his lungs out, and smiled at me as I was pulling dried pine straw from the back of my pants. I know he saw me land in the hole. He inquired if I was OK and I graciously replied, “Oh, I’m fine. Thanks.” But I wanted to say, “Screw you, and mind your own business. And thanks for scaring the birds away, you fool. Take a drink.”


HELP! Can anyone ID this bird? My field guide can’t. Bad photo, I know… Blue, yellow, black.


On my way back to the office, I cackled. I couldn’t stop laughing. That man probably thought “I” was an idiot. HA! No, but I do like the sun shining on the wings of bumble bees.


This is the Chipping Sparrow photo I wanted to post yesterday but I made a mistake and posted a Field Sparrow instead. I didn’t know it was a Field Sparrow but the Science Chimp caught it right away! A Chipping Sparrow visited my yard AND a Field Sparrow! I love both of them. Small and sweet.


He doesn’t need a better set of lungs. Here, he’s singing and raising himself UP. The loudest bird in the group tonight. You Go!

It’s been a very long week and I’m glad it’s over. I wanted this post to be short and sweet. Maybe next time…


LauraHinNJ said...

That cardinal pic is hilarious - was he reacting to your falling on your butt in the straw?

I think that's a yellow-rumped warbler - so much prettier in their spring finery!

KGMom said...

I have this mental pic--Mary falling on her bum, cursing at coughing man and clicking away photo after photo.
Bet you dream about birds tonight--crowding around you and chirping away. I know what you mean about how they tease--I headed out this evening, and every bird I saw sang like crazy, but stayed at a distance from the camera.

Susan Gets Native said...

Looks like a yellow-rump to me, too. Aren't they cute?
Don't worry...the birds were laughing WITH you, not AT you.
No, really...they were laughing at you.

Jayne said...

I was going to say Yellow-rumped warbler too. Sweet! You are like me... once I have that camera in my hand, I am pretty much oblivious to anything going on around me! Hope your bum wasn't too bruised. :c)

Cathy said...

A Butter Butt! Yea! I hope I'll be seeing my first on the Lake Erie's edge tomorrow.

Mary - I know exactly what dance you were doing! It's the 'crow's nest' 'Bird Ahoy!' spin. To heck with what anyone thinks of your spinning and scanning. Thar be birds out thar! The main thing is to not trip on your own shoe laces and fall over. You could lose the bird.

Oh! One more thing. Sometimes birds 'mob' an owl who is perched discreetly on a brance near a tree trying to get some sleep. So if varied species of birds are making a rucus in unison - be sure to check for owls and other raptors.

Anonymous said...

Mary, I'll bet the guy went home with a story, too!
As long as you are having a good time, who cares?

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Too funny! That cardinal pic just cracks me up!

kate said...

That's what is so wonderful about being of a certain age ... we can laugh and enjoy how we behave. Those birds must have been having a heyday darting about, just out of camera range.

I am in awe of your birding knowledge. I can identify the birds that come into my garden ... but that's about it. My friend used to take me birding and despaired of my ever learning. I'd be looking at the ground, excitedly pointing out a wildflower and she'd roll her eyes and tell me I just missed the bird we'd been waiting for. I really don't know why she kept inviting me on these birding trips, although I did usually bring good chocolate chip cookies!

Hope your weekend is a relaxing one ... ask any gardening questions you'd like to! I'll do my best at answering them!

Mary said...

Laura, thanks for your ID. The field guide I have caused me a little confusion, but, hey, what else is new?

Donna, I think I have dreamed of birds on a few occasions. LOL!

Susan, funny you should say that because I have thought, at times, the birds were laughing at me. That Cardinal wasn't there when I fell... He was laughing at me at home last night :0)

Jayne, I lose track of time, also. I'm usually good about my spare minutes but yesterday I blew it by ten minutes.

Cathy, you made me scream with the "crow's next Bird Ahoy spin". How appropriate! You are a riot! I did look for a raptor but the woods were darkened pretty much. Thanks for the giggle. I'll remember it next time I'm spinning around - and, I'll be sure my shoelaces are tied :o)

Sandy, I'm sure he did! I have a feeling I've the subject of discussion at more dinner tables than one...

Lynne, that Cardinal was so funny. He didn't see me fall but he was watching me with a camera. It's look like he was ready to throw his head back and fall over in laughter.

Kate, your birds vs. flower story is cute. I need to tell you that I am far from being knowledgeable about birds. I rely on the people above plus others to help me out. I'm new at this but I'm having a great time. I'd love to be able to share some knowledge and insight. I just observe. And, thanks for offering you expertise on things in my garden. I'll need it!

Annie in Austin said...

Landing on your butt and still gets the photo of an unusual Bird - that's what we've come to expect from the dedicated Mary... if you got that upset from him coughing, what would you have done if the poor guy made one of those explosive sneezes? Taken a swing at him?

You're so single-minded in the pursuit of wings and beaks!


NatureWoman said...

OMG - your story had me feeling like I was watching you in an Alfred Hitchcock movie! Don't you HATE rude people who can't keep quiet while you're trying to capture the bewds!!
Hope you didn't hurt your bum. And as always, I love your photos!

Mary said...

Yay! PAM THE NATURE WOMAN IS BACK! We've missed you, Pam.

Mary said...


I just get caught up in the moment! If that guy sneezed gazzuntight during my focus, I don't now what I would have done. LOL!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Happy Earth Day,
Your Yellow-rumped Warbler is a pretty bird!These birds are new to me too. Learning the Warblers is as difficult as learning the Sparrows! My husband says wait until I get to the Flycatchers!
Your Bumble Bee photo is beautiful!
You care for the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees.
It is a honor to know you.
Blessings from another daughter of Mother Nature.
Earthling to Earthling......

Larry said...

I like pictures but hate the process of waiting to take pictures.I thought my camera would be idiot proof but its not.You still have to keep a steady hand and catch things from the right light angle.-It also focuses on bushes instead of birds.-Even if a pic doesn't come out clear you can someimes use it for i.d.

Mary said...

Sherry, Oh, I needed to hear that. It's been a challenging weekend on the nature front as you will see in my next post. You are a dear.

Larry, is there anything more frustrating than photographing birds??? Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments and I will try to use my camera calmly :o)

dmmgmfm said...

I am jealous of your birding opportunities.

I hope you are well.

I'll stop back by when I'm not comatose.


Anonymous said...

I would have to agree, looks like a butter butt to me!

Susie said...

What a treat to see the cardinal pic. We absolutely never see those here in CA. Your birds (bee) pictures are amazing and delightful.

Chrissie said...

Ha :-) The one good thing about growing older is that I care less about what people think of me :-) You may be made him smile when he had nothing else to smile about :-)

dguzman said...

I feel the same way when someone is impinging on "my space" especially if they're tubercular! And poor you, falling on your bum--hope you're all right! I would've guessed something different on the ID, but the pros have spoken!