"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Friday, January 27, 2017

If Chickadees were Human

If black-capped chickadees were humans:

Tuxedos and business suits
Emily Dickinson and Emily Post
Opera and ballet
Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking
Tennis, polo, and golf
Paris and Venice
First or business class
Limos and Lincolns

If boreal chickadees were humans:

Jeans and sneakers
Max Brand and John Wayne
Football, eight ball, darts at the pub
Nashville and NASCAR
Coach, definitely coach on mileage awards
Jeeps and pickups

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Day in the Life

There's a story in this photo:

1. I am not shoveling the waist deep snow that I am supposed to be shoveling, but standing in a narrow path that I shoveled to take this photo that shows how deep the snow was.

2. The photo was taken with a point and shoot camera that was propped on the handle of the snow shovel that I was supposed to be using.

3. Yes, I was chilly. I was not dressed for warmth, but for not getting too warm while shoveling, which I was not doing.

4. Notice the knee of my snow pants. A large tear is repaired with duct tape, the first choice of discerning Alaskans everywhere.

5. When I actually got around to shoveling, the only part of me that was cold was my right hand. That was because I kept taking it out of a glove to take photos.

6. The deck eventually got cleared. By that time, the first half of the Steelers/Patriots game was over.

These are the things that kept distracting me from shoveling:

Oh, look at the pretty mountains.

It's 15 degrees!   How can this tiny icicle be dripping?

The tiny icicle is center right.

Looking down on the back deck below and the way the snow curls off the top rail.

More snow art.

Oh, you have to take a photo of that mountain.

And those, too.

More snow art.


From below.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fretting about the Birds

The temperature was a bit nippy yesterday and I fretted about the welfare of the birds that have to deal with it.   I kept telling myself they are built to withstand the cold, otherwise they would have migrated with their distant cousins to places where the temperature isn't 23 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

Nonetheless, it was an occasion for extra provisions for the magpies, Steller's jays, pine grosbeaks, chickadees both black-capped and boreal, and the red-breasted nuthatches that visit my front deck.

Fluffing up their feathers to create warm air pockets is one way they stay warm.  The colder it gets, the rounder the birds get.  

Yesterday, there was a new indicator of cold affecting birds.

Meet Frosty the Steller's jay.

Even the black-capped chickadees found some surfaces too cold for their tootsies.

Some took it in stride.

And others, if they get any rounder, their feathers will be sticking straight out.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Soothing the Savage Beast

All this month I have been engaged in the War of the Printers.   That was as unwanted problem to come in the middle of a major project I am working on.

Thankfully, there is surcease from the battles.  It comes in the form of birds that visit my front deck to partake in the black oil sunflower seeds, the shelled and chopped sunflower bits, and the peanuts that fill the bird feeder and decorate the railing on the deck.

Steller's jay.

My problem with printers actually began a year ago when the one I had started leaving white lines through photos.   I tried all kinds of fixes and none worked.    Figuring it had reached its built-in obsolescence, I purchased another.

The new one operated fine for a brief time, but then it began to queque the print demands, leaving "communication" lost error messages, and printing white or black lines through  photos.

I never before appreciated how cute these boreal chickadees are until I had a lens that would take a good close up photo.

I'll make this brief and not describe the various skirmishes--and there were many--with several printers purchased and returned.   I'd rather look at bird photographs.

Quite a shallow depth of field when thhe bird's eye is in focus, but not its feet!

Male pine grosbeaks.

At length, I tried my old printer again.   With a new print head and genuine HP cartridges it began working fine.   Skirmishes over, the war won, and flocks of birds.

Does it get any better?

Boreal chickadees

Black-capped chickadee

Female pine grosbeak

Red breasted nuthatch