Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My computer has PMS. Does anyone have any Midol?

My PC is still running slow, so I upload these with Flogger...I mean Blogger.

How about a really bad picture of a life bird today?

I'm starting to doubt that this was the bird I saw.
Sitting at Lake Isabella, on the river side of the park, I heard a really unique bird call.
It was a rising, zeeeeeeeeee zeep!
All I knew was that I hadn't heard it before, and I was betting it was a warbler.
I caught a flash of yellow on the throat, and some blue-gray on the back, so I thumbed through my trusty Birds of Ohio and found the Northern Parula. It fit perfectly to what I was seeing and hearing. A small warbler, high in the treetops (hence the really bad pictures I got) and a very unique, rising zeeeeeeee zeep! Lifer #123.
So this is one of less than a handful of times I got a life bird by sound!
(One of the other times was a bittern...I "felt" the sound in my chest.)

I got out of the car to stretch and saw this thing swimming in the river. This is another really bad shot...a little head poking up from the surface, and it was treading water, and then disappearing. Weird. A turtle? A salamander? Who knows. Right before seeing this little guy, I had crested the hill and a large splash and something large swimming away under the surface. The river was too muddy to see anything clearly.

And now, a cautionary tale:
Rule #1 when mowing a lawn...

Don't run over a pick axe.

Last fall, Geoff was getting ready to mow for the last time (Remember how November was? We were still cutting the grass!) and I told him to walk through the yard and pick up all the toys, dog chewies, etc. But he missed something.
And to be fair and share the blame for this, I was the one who left the pick axe out in the grass.
Basically, the quickly-spinning blades of a lawn mower cannot cut through a steel pick axe. One or the other will have to give, and the pick axe is going to win every time.
Mower blades are supposed to be straight... like this:

My brother Steve came over tonight to put on new blades. I could have done it myself, but he's the guy with all the socket wrenches. We are still building our tool collection.
Thanks, Uncle Teeb! (That's what the girls call him)

A quiz...and you won't win anything, but I would love to hear some guesses on this one.
What is this?
(Hint: It's not a bird.)


Jess Riley said...

Is that the nose of a cute doggie? (I'll be really embarrassed if it isn't, I suspect.)

Liza Lee Miller said...

I bet it made a heck of a noise when the lawnmower tried to shred the pick axe! Wow!

Is that a Sharpei nose?

Trixie said...

Nellie Nosie! ??? I'm guessing.

Mary said...

My first reaction was a dog nose. A Sharpei, like Liza suggested.

Poor lawn mower...bad axe!

Beth the cousin said...

I too would like to guess dog nose.

Lynne said...

Looks like a pug nose to me. And your unidentified water creature must surely be Nessie of Loch Nes fame! Congrats on id'ing the warbler by song- I am impressed!!

The Swami said...

Lynne is obviously correct about the second photo being Nessie. The Swami, who knows that you and Geoff honeymooned in Scotland, is extremely disappointed that you would not have recognized that as that as the famed Loch Ness Creature from the Deep.

katdoc said...

I would agree with the group - dog nose, I'm guessing Pug. Something with a short nose and a lot of facial folds, anyway.

EXCELLENT ID on the Northern Parula! This is a warbler you will hear many more times than you see. That rising "zeeeeeee-UP!" sliding up the scale then falling off at the end is a good tell. Count yourself lucky when you see one, they are notoriously high in the trees and quite small.

I'm jealous - I haven't seen a warbler yet this spring. I do have Purple Martins in my yard though - two adult males tonight, checking out the gourds and singing away.


Julie Zickefoose said...

Science Chimp votes for soft-shelled turtle for your mystery water treader. The needle nose is a tip-off.

mon@rch said...

Congrats on your lifer and our parulas should be here soon also! I always remember them as sneezing at the end! Ugg, watch that mower!