Squirrels gotta eat…
…too. Bird feeders, a free meal for the… squirrels. Smart creatures, they have broken into every bird feeder we have. How? Ingenious?! Ya gotta laugh. Hey! Squirrels gotta eat too.
We have trained cats. I whistle. The musical notes beckon Nutley and Tillie to come to the door. Out they scamper to chase the squirrels to no avail. But the cats know the drill and come right to the door. The squirrels run. The cats get exercise. The birds eat. All is right with the world order. How did that squirrel get inside the metal cage? Really?!
Cardinal in flight? Try it! It ain’t easy. Purely a lucky shot. I must have had my eyes closed.
1, 10, 100…
I use a photo catalog. Don’t you? It numbered 413k+ images at the time I composed this post. I don’t ask. It is a very large catalog. The catalog title/contents indicate the images are 2016 and onward. So, early slides from the seventies and digital images from 2004 onward are in different catalogs? Hey! I was always moving images around… but since 2016, there are roughly 413k images collected and (loosely) curated.
Are there redundancies? What constitutes first? What’s last? Here are the numbers: 1, 10, 100, 1000… 100k, 200k, 300k, 400k …on up to the last (see captions) Ok, the key: Me; lighthouse in Maine: Jules whitewater rafting in Maine; Jules shooting basketball in Saudi Arabia; Lulu my cat in Jeddah; Colleen and I vacation in Rockport, ME; Colleen in a restaurant in Scotland; cardinal on my deck; Dover, DE, autumn fair; kitchen renovation in progress.
So? I merely followed a line of curiosity. Random choice for pics to post. It is an interesting series of selections for me. Number one was digital. Number ten was a slide. Hey! It’s how it was in the catalog. The others are, indeed, digital. What to say? I have had an eventful decade as this collection spans images/pics 2007 (not strictly 2016) to present. There are no particular surprises in this potpourri. It reinforces the notion that I am more photojournalist than fine art photographer. Exactly. I picked the right name for my blog! Pictures/stories! Yup!
I did it again
Would you believe this? It’s not as good as the last one I got. It’s unexpected (again). Twice? Bird in flight! Neat! Yes, this is not the first time you have seen a bird in flight. There are many more pics of birds in flight and many better than mine. But this is my shot. It’s rare; it ain’t easy to get; and I was lucky enough to do it twice. Well, I can recall others I have shot. But this is still hard to do, and rare. I could say it was all intentional and the shutter speed was set to get the wings in a blur…. but, no, it was just luck. Struck by lightning – twice!
How lucky can you be? Sometimes, I think I close my eyes, press the shutter, and hope for the best. It works sometimes. Hey hey! Even a blind squirrel gets a nut – sometimes. Our squirrel is back, but, that’s another story. And what do you know?! I got the cardinal in flight – and in focus! That is terrific in my book! I’m tickled even if you have seen birds in flight before. It ain’t easy! And, to be honest, I was pressing the shutter as he took flight. Pure luck!
Around the bird feeder
I was keeping to posting one picture a day. Now, I cheat. I can get around my own rule by making a collage layout. Hey! I have too many images and so little time! The bird feeder is shared by one and all. The birds, a few, eat. The cats have Cat TV. The squirrels disrupt the whole show. (Hey! Squirrels gotta eat too.) My cat Nutley has now been trained (by me!) to go chase the squirrel and then return to the home so I don’t have to get cold on the deck. Ha! (I have to chase Nutley inside, instead.) And, the bonus, I get to take pictures of the proceedings. Colleen has to cajole me daily to go feed the birds. Who knew this could be so much work (fun?)?
There is dynamic interaction between my cats, the birds, and a family of squirrels. I feed the birds. Hey! Squirrels gotta eat too! So they do – the squirrels are all over the bird feeders. Everyone eats. I favor the birds. The cats enjoy the show. They are participating too. Nutley will go out on command and vainly chase after the squirrels. He returns when I call him back. Me? I photograph. I have to say that the darn Sony RR100 VI has a lens that is as good a telephoto as I would want in such a compact camera. Voila! Instant story!
Cardinal, as in bird, is a very skittish one. He does not like to pose. Male? You bet. This is its specific coloration. The female is another color. Duh! It’s a soft photo. (it’s a nice way to say, it’s out of focus). But you will forgive me, if the eyes have a catch light in them. It just makes the photo seem sharp. Not. But that’s my argument and I’m stickin’ with it. My bad, I was shooting through the window (glass) and the screen. Of course, I was challenged. I got a shot or we would not be speaking about this at all. And, not another word – ’bout me being challenged.
Squirrels gotta eat too
We bought a squirrel proof bird feeder. It cost $$. Why don’t I want to feed squirrels too? I would have bought a squirrel feeder. The feeder was squirrel free until today. And it works. There is a cage that closes over the holes when the squirrel’s weight is on it. The squirrel was getting something, but not an entire meal. Seeds spilled. Some, including the squirrel buddy, chose the easier way to go, on the deck. At least in this exchange the birds get a higher percentage on the deal.
I am limited by technology and laziness. We have a birdfeeder. It has not been particularly productive to see many interesting birds this year. Mostly it has been LBJ’s. It’s term Colleen uses. Her mother used it before her and it does not mean LBJ, the president. It’s “little brown jobs.” I did not bother (lazy) to remove the window screen this year. Then, a cardinal – male and female – and a woodpecker showed up. My bad, there is definite image degradation due to the window screen. And I was further limited by the camera at hand. The lens was simply not strong enough to pull in the bird. The little image in the corner was due to the limited (Canon) lens. Even at 150mm the bird was tiny in the image. The electronic (Sony) telephoto did a much nicer job. Both camera’s images were degraded by the (window) screen. But, as always there is something to see. Any camera is better than none. Otherwise, this would not be an illustrated post.
Maybe you wonder how I choose/edit my photos. At this point it’s a gestalt. You see it. It triggers an emotional response. Done. I’ve done plenty of bird feeder shots and not so many birds in the trees. Once again, I might add that despite the bright red color, cardinals are not that easy to spot when they are sitting among the branches. Honest. You have to zoom in and isolate your subject or the viewer might miss him. Him, yes, the bright red ones are the males. It was a slow day to find subjects to shoot.
The bird flashed by my peripheral vision. Nice! It stayed still long enough for about two shots. It’s fascinating that the plumage is not more noticeable. But even the male blends right in to the foliage. Colleen doesn’t believe it. It does seem that the plumage of the cardinal changes with the season.
Feather is one smart cat. She learned very early how to depress a door handle and spring the door open. Lately the door to our deck has been her project. Unless I lock the door, she is likely to have a go. I forget sometimes. Today I was photographing the cardinals at my bird-feeder. Suddenly the birds took off. I glanced to the deck and saw the reason. Feather was there beneath the feeder hoping to catch a bird. Loose! She was loose! Darn! Make that worse. Three other cats were out as well. And two had made a jailbreak down the stairs to the yard below. Willow, pictured in the photo of the deck, likes to jump to the rail. I have a gate; it was down because of the wind. And, Patch and Ray were on the loose. Ray, at least knows the drill. He trotted up the stairs. Patch was out in the yard. Not good! We got them all back. Can you count to seven? We did it twice. Everyone is safe and sound. I am working on my penance for leaving the door unlocked. And there is no photo to commemorate the action. I was too busy herding cats at that moment.
Cardinal at our feeder
This bright feathered feeder was posing for me. I got the requisite catalog shots. Then the action started. He flitted to and fro. I got my shots. Action is hard. I have told you that a motor drive will not ensure a good action shot. It’ timing and luck. Mostly luck. Have I mentioned that I am a lucky guy.
All in one day and at the same time, it was unusual to see. Both were there. And I was able to get a shot of them. Birds, fish, cats, oh my! It was nice to capture the images. Action. It’s fortuitous. Patience. The skill is there. The circumstance is a bit of luck.
I have a fish kiss (ing) image somewhere else. It was in my fish days. Serendipity. Totally. I just happened to be watching the squirrels raid the bird feeder. Two cardinals met for a brief moment long enough for me to get exactly one image. I admit that it is a first for me. I have no other birds kissing. And, I have never kissed a bird.