Tag Archives: birding

Jack Of All Trades


Master of none.  That would be me.

I am one of those people that loves to try new things, but rarely sticks around long enough to master my skill.  Unless you include being a dumb ass.  Pretty sure I have my 10,000 hours in on that one.

So far, I have tried my hand at scrapbooking, knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, beading, running, biking, photography, writing, clarinet, banjo strumming, volleyball, video gaming, veterinary medicine (in the sense that I worked for a vet, not that I became one), cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, history, genealogy, beanie baby leashes (don’t ask), horses, pokemon (again…don’t ask), comic book collecting, softball….

I don’t think I purposely tried so many things because I have some internal bucket list or because I’m so full of life I just have to try EVERYTHING.  It’s more like a repressive ADD gene that whispers “Aren’t you bored?  I’m bored.  I see something shiny on the other side of the fence.  Come on!  Let’s go see!  I’m dying here!  SO BORED.  Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored.  MUST.  CHECK OUT.  THE SHINY THING!!”

Of course, that has its limits.  There are certain things my inner ADD will never get me to do.  Like, you will never see “bungee jumping” or “becoming an astronaut” or “sky diving” on that list.  I would prefer to live long enough to collect social security or become the crazy cat lady or just be a crabby old bag all the neighborhood kids tell stories about and ding-dong ditch me to see if I’ll run out with my shotgun.

That actually sounds kind of fun.  Dang.  Fifty isn’t nearly old enough to get away with that without getting arrested.  Although it seems I now found my reason to live to be 90.

So, where was I going with this…oh yeah.  One of my current hobbies is photography.  It’s hard to call it a hobby when I know almost next to nothing about it other than pointing at something interesting and pushing the shutter button, so every once in a while I get a wild hair and actually read something instructive.

This last time, my “something instructive” was reading Cee’s Tips and Tricks about macro photography.  I love macro shots, but I have a hard time figuring out how to get shots with that trademark striking clarity.  Cee’s macro photography is beautiful, and if I can ever learn to take photos of that caliber, I will be a happy camper indeed.  Of course, I might then get bored and move on to rocket science or something, but based on my current pace and the fact that I have about 50 other irons in the fire, that will be a long time coming.

Today I fooled around with my lenses – I only have two – an 18-55mm and a 55-200mm, which I know is supposed to mean something to me but I’m not really up on my lens lingo.  I only know the 55-200 is the bigger one and lets me take zoom photos which works well for zooming in on things like trees and rocks but terrible for birds.  I need one that’s like a foot long for bird photos because no matter how sneaky I am, those buggers hear or see me (“stealthy” will never be a word used to describe me.  More like “bull in a china shop”) and take off well before I am in any kind of decent range.  I tried hiding behind the bench but then the mosquitoes found me and I almost needed a blood transfusion.

I like to watch birds – or to use the politically correct term – “birding”.  I even have a list of birds I have spotted and I get all wiggy when I see a new one.  Does that make me an old bag?  I think it does.  In fact, I think I saw “bird watching” on the back of my AARP card.  Next thing ya know we’ll be going out to eat at 4:30 to beat the crowds.  Oh wait, we already do that.  Dagnabit.

Moving on….

So here are my most recent photos trying for a good macro shot.  I hope you like them and aren’t horrifically bored.  But if you are, I’m sure I can sell you some scrapbooking supplies or beading supplies or embroidery floss or a banjo or roller blades or a binder full of Pokemon cards.  They could be your next “shiny” object!

Enjoy!
Sue

flower3Flower2

This one is my favorite of all the flower ones.

This one is my favorite of all the flower ones.

Lucky dog!

Lucky dog!

Daisy girl!

Daisy girl!

Look closely into her eye...what do you see?

Look closely into her eye…what do you see?

 

Better Late Than Never. Random Thursday Thoughts.


Better late than never – I used to hear that a lot as a kid.  I guess I was late a lot.  Our whole family was late.  I seem to recall being the last family filing in to church on Sunday, and always getting stuck having to sit in the first row.  So uncool.  I guess it’s not surprising I am writing this blog late, and that I won’t be posting it until late either. I’m hoping it’s still Thursday when I do, but heck – I’m easily distracted.

Here’s the thing.  It’s not my fault.  It was the first warm Thursday this spring and it didn’t thunderstorm like every single weatherman predicted, so I had to take advantage and ride the Highland Howie ride.  I suppose you are wondering A) Why didn’t you write it earlier in the week so you would be prepared like you normally do and B) What the heck is a Highland Howie?

I did start writing it, but it’s not finished.  I ran into some writers block and my entire idea that sounded so great when I was out walking the dogs has been hard to nail down on paper.  Or…whatever this is.  What do you call this anyway?  In the old days, you either wrote on actual paper or typed on actual paper.  What do you call it when it’s on your computer screen?  Sorry – random thoughts.  Now you know why I’m behind.  Anyway, hopefully I will have it all figured out for next week.

Then again, I might still be running around the neighborhood taking sunset pictures like a moony thirteen year old.  Seriously.  I have taken like 20 of them since Saturday. The bonus is that an iPhone takes far better pictures than my 110 camera did 20 years ago.  HA.  Yeah, more like 30 years.  If you round down.  A lot.   Man.  Remember those old 110 cameras?  And the giant flash thingies you had to buy for them that sat on top like a plastic tower?  Oh, and you had to get the film developed and all the pictures were grainy and none of the sunset pictures looked like the one you saw with your eyes but you still kept taking them because your a big sap at heart and you like sunsets.  Even at age 50.

You can’t see enough beautiful sunsets.  It never gets old, ya know?

You know what does get old?  A crappy bra.  That get’s old real fast.  If your talking to a woman and she’s crabby, it’s probably her bra and not PMS.   Who invented these torture devices anyway?  Why do we even have to wear them?  Who decided it was such a fashion statement?  I bet a 50-year-old having a hot flash started the bra burning fad back in the 60’s.  I think it might be time to revive that.

Our moat is gone.  Dave pumped it out and then the builders brought in about 5 loads of dirt and filled in a bunch of the low spots.  And they knocked a good portion of our mud hill down, so we can actually see the entire pond, which is much better for wildlife stalking.  We have a couple of geese that keep coming back and even though they are messy, I don’t mind if we just have a couple.  It would be cool if they bring babies to the pond.  The blue winged teals still stop by and so does the white egret.

I downloaded a bird app from Cornell to start trying to identify the local song birds.  So far, I haven’t done much but drive the dogs crazy with it.  Entertaining in itself, but I was hoping to track down some of the songs I have heard.  The problem is that so many of them sound exactly the same to me.  I did realize I have heard bluejays and chickadees for years, and just didn’t know it.  And that the owl I heard was probably a great horned owl.  But that’s about it.  However, it’s still pretty cool, and I do get some revenge on the dogs.

I have more random thoughts but it’s 10 pm and most of you are probably in bed and I still have to upload all my sunset pictures because – oh yes – I am going to share them.

May the sun shine upon your faces and the warmth seep into your bones.  Yay, spring!  Finally!

Sue

Trailside Sunset

Trailside Sunset

Sunset at Bayshore Park

Sunset at Bayshore Park

Fingernail Moon over Bayshore

Fingernail Moon over Bayshore

If you look closely, you can see the dew drops on the blades of grass.

If you look closely, you can see the dew drops on the blades of grass.

Sunset over the Bay.  Notice I even got a seagull in this shot.  Am I good or what?

Sunset over the Bay. Notice I even got a seagull in this shot. Am I good or what?

I Got A Rock.

I Got A Rock.

Sunset over the bay 2nd try.

Sunset over the bay 2nd try.

Random stream close to where we live.

Random stream close to where we live.

Spring!  I'm hoping these are trilliums.  I will know soon!

Spring! I’m hoping these are trilliums. I will know soon!