Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
This sucks, sucks, sucks! But I'm gonna do it anyway.
No pictures today. No birding, kids didn't really do anything cute.
I'm off to read other blogs for some pick-me-up.
BTW: Welcome John of DC Birding Blog to my blogroll.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
...And a few stray cats, who were not interested in being rescued.
The orange cat gave me quite a start, because as I was driving by, I thought he was a fox.
There is an old Methodist church smack dab in the middle of the park, with a graveyard behind it. I'm not a superstitious person, so cemeteries don't bother me. I don't think that the living dead are going to burst out of the graves with skeletal hands to drag me down.
It's the children's graves that get to me the most.
This baby girl was born and died in the same year.
At the back of the graveyard, in a seemingly forgotten corner, were 56 graves marked as "Unknown". I wonder why there were so many unknown bodies to be buried in this small cemetery? I think I may have to Google that.
Ever present, fungus looks out over a field of stones.
In a place dedicated to death, I found a sign of life:
A well-worn path, made by some animal, traced from the graveyard to a small opening in the foundation of the church.
Monday, November 27, 2006
I tried and tried to get closer so I could get better pictures, but the lake is shaped in a way that you can't get to certain places, which was exactly where the mergansers were. Water birds are so fussy.
I'm happy. Life bird number 105!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Red bellied woodpeckerThis is the best I could do with the Bonaparte gulls.
Tip: If you see any house finches, goldfinches, etc, at your feeders and one or both of their eyes are swollen, consider reporting it to Cornell's House Finch Disease study. They are trying to track this disease and figure out what to do about it.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Isabelle is someone I am rather proud of. She has a lot of my idiosyncracies, which makes her fun, but she also has this spirited, passionate soul that is all hers. I really didn't want a daughter who was like me (I gave my parents WAY too much grief) but she seems to be growing out of my shadow into a person who will let the world know just how much she matters.
Okay, check this out:
Upper left: The male in question
Lower right: a "normal male"
The top male guppy has an extra fin on his belly, and also a round mass growing in front of the fin that looks like it has a small fish eye in it. Do I have the first documented case of Guppy Siamese Twins? The extra fin has all the finery that is supposed to grow out the back, not the belly, and that eye-thing is freaky.
Sorry for the bad quality of these photos..ever try to get a fish to be still while you are photographing it?
Anyone have any insight into guppy mutations?
I have to get to bed soon...in the morning, I will be going on my first "real" guided bird field trip! And I will be blogging the Hell out of it, you can be sure. We will be looking for mainly water birds, and since my life list is currently at 98, there's a lot of room to add more with little effort.
I will be meeting a blogger friend face to face, too!
By the way: It's the Swami's birthday today. Pay him a visit and wish him a good one!
(I found a yak puppet for a birthday present for him...he was moved.)
Friday, November 24, 2006
Maybelline: Look at that big puppy belly! If she were older, I would say that she is pregnant. Wouldn't that just be our luck?
She has two light patches on her shoulders, which made me think of the name Angel, but Geoff didn't like that name. I still don't know if she is staying.
I have the curse of giving a damn about any helpless animal I see, and take them home, and have to hear how "crazy" I am for having so many animals. Well, anyone with a soul would not have been able to turn away from this poor, shivering puppy alone in the woods. And now, we have to deal with it.
Boomer update: Rachel, my sorta-might-be sister in law, is involved with a rescue organization who might be able to help us. They screen potential owners and foster the dogs in homes, to see just what the dog needs. Let's hope they can take him and find him a home that suits him. I hate the idea of someone else loving and caring for him, but it is what it is. If I had known he had such an aversion to cats, I never would have adopted him. Why can't the animal shelters evaluate the dogs they adopt out? I know they are stretched to the limit, but wouldn't it be beneficial to the dogs if they aren't placed in a home that they are ill-suited for?
This orange monster is Butterscotch (or as the Swami calls him, "Quagmire"). Look at his paws: He is like the Hemingway cats. It looks like he is wearing mittens.
I have tried for months to get a good picture (heck, ANY picture) of a kingfisher. Today, I finally did.
Goofy bird...he knew I was there, and stayed high up in a tree on the opposite side of the river from where I was. So I hiked up the shore until I was directly across from him. I didn't see a belly band, so he is a he.
And I finally figured out how to turn on the digital zoom on the camera. This was taken from across a rather wide river, and I think it turned out pretty good, considering.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
2. My girls, Isabelle and Lorelei
3. My Mom.
4. My brother Steve, his wife Anne and their kids Heather and Michael
5. My in-laws (Swami and the Swammette)
6. My best friend, Shannon and her wonderful son, Jake
7. Our house
8. My health (such as it is) and my family's health
9. That I had 31 years to know my Dad
11. My pets (even when they throw up on the carpet and shred my socks
12. RAPTOR, Inc., all the work that organization does, and for them giving me a chance to prove myself
13. The color green
15. All of my Blogger buddies (you know who you are)
16. My doctor
17. Comfortable shoes
18. My ability to love
19. What I know
20. What I have yet to learn
I went to the doctor today to get some answers. My stomach troubles still don't have a name, but I now have some medicine that seems to be working. And I have had a headache for 5 days, and after talking with the doc about it, we concluded that one of my last programs pulled some muscles in my neck. So now I have muscle relaxers and narcotics! Whoopee....it's going to be a fun Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Sometimes it's good to pee in the woods...walking along the river at Kelley's Nature Preserve, I had to go, so I stepped off the path. As I was coming back onto the path, I saw these three deer swimming across the river. COOL.
She is home with us right now. Some of you must be thinking that her arrival has something to do with us giving Boomer up, but that's not true. It has made me think even more seriously about what a dog needs. This one needs love and Boomer needs a house to himself.
On a bird note, this cooper's hawk was there to greet us in the yard the other day. I got excited when I saw his tail, because I thought that it might be a sharp-shinned hawk, which would be a life bird for me. The tail of a sharp-shinned is squared, like this one and a cooper's is rounded.
Monday, November 20, 2006
But I'm glad I did. This is, as far as I can tell, a horned grebe, in non-breeding plumage. It was larger than the pied-billed I saw the other day, with a dark back and a white front.
We woke up to snow this morning. The girls and Geoff were thrilled.
We had snow last year at this time, and I posted pictures here.
Dave asked about Isis in my last post, so here's what I know:
Isis is a female leucistic red-tailed hawk. She came to RAPTOR about 1 1/2 years ago (?) with gunshot wounds. Who in the HELL would shoot a bird like that?
Her wings were partially removed and she isn't very steady on her feet when she is on the glove, but as long as I am not moving around too much, she does okay. And she is super strong.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I had a nice, encouraging program today at a library in Cincinnati. It's the oldest library still standing in the city, and it's beautiful. But it's also smack dab in the middle of a really rough part of town. The kids were precious, and I could tell that they had rarely, if ever, been exposed to things from nature (other than pigeons and roaches). I hope I reached at least one today.
Since the photos from a few days ago were not so great, I got another shot of Earl, the Devil's Henchvulture. She is pretty cute, even if she is crazy.
There was some housecleaning going on at RAPTOR today. We are almost to full capacity, and some birds needed to be moved to other mews. Now, all the program birds are in one barn, and the rehab birds are in the other. Isis, who I think never has shared a mew before, is now in with Two Socks and Scarlet.
Check out the back of Isis' head...you can see a black spot, the only place she has pigmented feathers.
Two Socks: "Um, nooo...what are YOU doing in MY mew?"
When I picked up the birds, Isis and Scarlet were sitting together. When I came back a few hours later, they were still sitting close. I guess girls have to stick together.
How do we tell Two Socks and Scarlet apart? Two Socks is smaller and darker.