Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wanting What You've Got


An hour north on I-77 I drove – for new scenery.

Lake Norman in Catawba County, North Carolina is the largest man-made lake in the Carolinas. It’s 34 miles long and 8 miles across at its widest point. Its surface area of 32,500 acres has 520 miles of shoreline, created from dams of the hydroelectric powered Catawba River. In the early 1960’s it took Duke Power two years to fill Lake Norman, covering homes, farms, and entire towns. I find that fascinating. Whenever I drive across the lake on the interstate, my mind wanders off to the history of the beautiful lake and I wonder what remains at the bottom… It’s the primary water source for the city of Charlotte and surrounding counties and seeing the effects of the drought causes more than mild concerns. As I write this, we are having real, soaking rain. We’ve had a dark, drenching, soaking week and I’m smiling about it!


At Lake Norman State Park, I was dreaming of waterfowl and birds. Other than seeing a flock of American Robins and many Juncos, it was waterfowl-less and quiet.


The trail I was planning to walk… Hmmm. I was beginning to feel way too uninvited. The weather turned on me also - to cold, wet, and dark.


I had my favorite Christmas gift with me - Eagle Optics Ranger binoculars (awesome!). They’ve opened up a delicious, clear, and sharp focus on things I would otherwise miss.

As soon as I was back on the interstate the sun broke through the clouds. Julie’s recent post contains a great message that directly relates to how I was feeling on my way home. In Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun”, these two lines having a lot of meaning.

It’s not having what you want,
It’s wanting what you’ve got.

Back at home, all I wanted is what I already had. Julie calls it a little secret to happiness. Yep.



Back at my favorite strip mall pond and spending a little time with my backyard birds.

Carolina Wrens are trying to shack up in my garage.

Pishing is productive after a little practice.



The chickadees, goldies and house finches appear within a minute.

If you frighten a flock of hiding Mourning Doves, you have instant failure.


Cardinals won’t show. I wouldn’t call them skittish. Very reserved.


This one is neither skittish nor reserved. It’s just a loud pain in the a-- that gets on my last nerve, enough to make me momentarily dream of throwing my camera against the fence. And I like wanting that little bird. Imagine that.


possumlady said...

Mary, you are SO right. I learned a number of years ago to be happy with what I had. In material things I may come up way short compared to some of my friends and family but I have the peace of mind of not being in debt for anything, save my house, learning to live below my means.

LOVE the white-throated sparrow. Do you have them year-round? I just notice them in the winter up here in Maryland.

Love the lake shots also. I much prefer a cabin in the woods by a lake instead of a place at the ocean. I guess you can take the gal out of Minnesota, but you can't take Minnesota out of the gal.

I hope your New Year is filled with much more reflective birding time.

Carol Michel said...

Outstanding pictures, as always, Mary. Can you come to my house and help me attract some birds? I have full feeders and no birds. I guess they are going to have to get very hungry first, and then they'll come to my house to eat the pittance I have to offer.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

LauraHinNJ said...

I want everything I have Mary; does that count as wanting what I've got?


You've got great birds in your yard, great pics, and new bins! Yay for you! What else is there?


Anonymous said...

You photos are always so wonderful! And glad the pishing worked with the sparrow! Happy New Year my friend !

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Tufted is beyond cute! Wonderful photos...I hope Tufted will sit still long enough for me to get a photo someday...
Your Heron and backyard birds are the best.
White-throated Sparrow is beautiful! Would be a lifer for me.
Your photography is beautiful. You have the eye!
Thank goodness real rain has come!
A wonderful gift for your parched land.
Looking forward to 2008 and seeing your birds and your fantastic pictures.
Happy New Year.

Susan said...

All-day soaking rain here, too. And that's exactly what we want & need!

Susan Gets Native said...

That must be my problem. There are things that I have that I don't WANT. I love having Geoff and the girls in my life, and can't imagine life without them.....but there's so much damn noise around me. Too much clutter. Too many THINGS. My life is messy.
Great. Now I'm depressed.

Unknown said...

Some of our best sites are right in our back yards and neighborhoods.

Beautiful shots! I do love that titmouse. Enjoy the rain and soak up the sun. ;)

Jayne said...

Oh it really is all about our attitudes, isn't it? :c) Love that you found the happiness right there in your own backyard.

Mary said...

Possumlady, white-throated sparrow only in the winter, lots of them! I prefer a beach house :o)

Carol, I'll send you an e-mail. Your gardens should be a birdie wonderland.

Laura, what else is there? A New Camera!

Monarch, your pishing post/video is the best.

Sherry, we had VERY GOOD RAIN. Since December 15, we have probably received 3 inches.

Susan, not enough to fix the drought but we'll take anything we can get, right?

Susan GN, now you have me thinking about all of the things I have that I DON'T WANT. You're a hoot, girl.

Toni, the skies are clear today and I think I'll soak up the sun for a while. Haven't seen it in many days.

Jayne, sometimes I need my attitude adjusted :o/

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Now simmer down girl. You had some beautiful images to share with us. I deeply appreciate them. Especially the splash of the Heron.

Happy Healthy New Year

NatureWoman said...

Wanting what you've got - that's really good Mary! Cool on the pishing!! I wanna see/hear video of you doing that!
Happy New Year Mary!

JeanMac said...

I hope you will eventually compile your pics in a coffee table book- I'll be your first buyer! Happy new year to you and Michael.(Happy for your rain, too. I've been seeing news images of the drought - hopefully things will change.)

dmmgmfm said...

Mary, your pictures are wonderful as always. I'd like to get out and get some skiff of snow pictures, but things have been rather hectic here. As my son used to say when he was little and I'd ask him to clean his room..."maybe amorrow". ;-)

TR Ryan said...

Mary, you've made my year!!! I was just marveling at your blog once again today -- I am a regular reader. Your photos are so stunning! I'm glad to have finally met you! I hope 2008 is an outstanding year for you.

All the best,

Chrissie said...

Great post, Mary :-) We've been walking too, and watching our own birds and wildlife. Happy New Year to you and your family :-) Looking forward to visiting you often in 2008!

Ruth said...

I enjoyed your pictures very much. I miss our GBHs. A Happy New Year to you, and happy blogging in 2008!

Marvin said...

Okay, Mary, you win: I want what you've got -- like being able to take such fab photos.

Good to hear that y'all received some significant rainfall. I know it doesn't break the drought, but 3" is a lot more than a heavy dew.

dguzman said...

Great post; that splashing Great Blue photo is awesome!

Definitely blessed up here, with our old farmhouse, the marsh, and a lot of happy twittering outside. I love what I got!

Julie Zickefoose said...

I love your photos too, Mare, but I still think you deserve a telephoto lens and a digital SLR now that you've honed your mad birdphotog skilz.

There are some things that are worth lusting after. ;-)

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Mary, love the great shots of the hawk! All of your bird pictures are wonderful! I still have to find a good location around water to catch some of those interesting water birds.
I vote for a cabin in the woods too.

Larry said...

You know what? I really get annoyed when a flock of doves are frightened off by me.-It's like-lets get the h--l out of here.-They warn all the other birds in the area I'm coming.

smilnsigh said...

"It’s not having what you want,
It’s wanting what you’ve got."

What a wonderful thought!!!


Kylee Baumle said...

Beautiful photos, Mary.

I agree - it's all about being content. I constantly am reminding myself that things are just that - THINGS. While they're nice to have, the shine wears off after awhile on most things.

Thanks for the reminder and getting us thinking about what's really important.