Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

February 3, 2013

Just Winging It!

Hey there! It’s been a while! My last post was almost 2 weeks ago now, and the blogging muse in my mind has had enough silence. So what’s been going on you may ask? Life, the universe and everything has sent me on a bit of a roller-coaster ride.

Meghan actually did get to go on several rollercoaster rides! Last Saturday morning I dropped dear daughter at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT for a school computer and technology department field trip to Disney World! She was gone for three nights and came home Tuesday. They got to stay at the Disney Port Orleans Resorts

participate in two Disney Y.E.S. programs

and visit all four of the major parks.

While she was in Florida, the temperatures were in the mid-70’s. Around here we were in the middle of that nasty cold snap when the daytime temps struggled to get out of the teens. Needless to say I was just a tiny bit envious!

After I dropped Meghan at the airport that morning, I travelled north on Interstate 91 back into Massachusetts and stopped to visit with my sister for a while. The previous day she had pretty much the same surgery that A-Rod, reviled NYY player, had recently. She’s been couch bound for over a week now, and this, I believe, is a rather regular daily view for her:

That’s Ozzie, her faithful cavachon, which is a mixture of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise.

While Meghan had a wonderful time in Disney World, life continued here. I made some more progress on Sarah’s birthday quilt:
quilt progress
Um, yeah, Sarah’s birthday is in August, and, uh, yes, that was supposed to be a 15th birthday gift for her. So far I’m only 6 months behind schedule…got something to say about that? ūüėČ

When Meghan got home from Florida, New England weather was showing its weird side again. We went from bitter cold to strangely warm temperatures, had rain and thunder and wind, and even lost the power in the middle of the night during the windstorm. I got up and went to work the next morning, hairdryer in tow! It hadn’t come back on by the time I had to leave so I went to work with a wet head. Thank goodness the bitter cold hadn’t returned just yet.

I don’t think all the wild swings in weather did Meghan much good. She had been fighting a cold before she left, but seemed to be getting better. Upon her return she didn’t sound good to me. Off to the doctor’s office: upper respiratory infection. I felt bad for her one evening and on a whim made her a cup of hot peppermint tea. We’re not really tea-drinkers in this house, but on this occasion it seemed like the thing to do. And what do you know? She gratefully took the cup and seems to have taken a liking to it.
daughter's discovery

The cold has returned, and so have the birds to my feeders. I’ve been practicing some more with my heavy new lens, and I’ve been doing okay. I have to shoot in manual focus on this lens because autofocus doesn’t allow the focus ring to be manually adjusted – one definite downside to this lens – and that adds a bit to the challenge of quick moving birds!
dark-eyed junco
Dark-eyed junco

white-breasted nuthatch
White-breasted nuthatch

sparrows
Sparrows

A birdy conversation?
Male house finch and sparrow

Male House Finch
Male house finch
That finch looks like a friendly chap, doesn’t he? It almost seems like he could strike up a conversation. How about you? Strike up a conversation in the comments section if you’d like!

February 19, 2012

Moments

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 2:49 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Thanks to the Great Backyard Bird Count, I had some really lovely moments this weekend while I was out counting birds.  Our incredibly mild winter weather continued, and both mornings this weekend I stepped outside and looked into beautiful blue skies.
IMG_7260

It was about 40¬įF each morning, and I stayed warm enough just wearing sweats and my bathrobe.¬† I stepped out on my deck and took it all in.¬† Birds sang like it was spring time.¬† I quietly watched the fluttering around me, that I’m sure I’m not always aware of because I don’t take the time to notice.¬† The dogs had followed me outside and had a playful morning romp, but eventually even they seemed to take in the specialness of the moment.
IMG_7263

Daphne and Teddy became quiet too, almost like they were taking it in too.  Breathing deep, listening, watching, appreciating.

I was rewarded with the sight of a beautiful red-tailed hawk with its gorgeous red feathers against that clear blue sky.  At first I regretted not having camera in hand, but then I was okay with it.  It was enough to experience the moment.

But, if you’ve learned anything at all about me since I started this blog, you must know I eventually did grab the camera.¬† The hawk returned and landed in the neighbor’s yard, a few houses up the street.
hawk1

I enjoyed the simple site of a sparrow singing in morning sunshine.
sparrow1

I chuckled at the sight of Mr. Cardinal finding himself a drinking fountain, in the form of the return fitting on the side of my pool.

card1

(had a little disagreement with Mr. Autofocus there – wish this shot was clearer, but I’m not letting it ruin the moment)

And I was granted a new photo session with our friend the robin who, I’ve learned since my last post about him, really isn’t so strange to see at this time of year.

robin1

So thank you GBBC, and thank you backyard birds, for providing me with these moments.

April 29, 2011

Giving You the Birds! ;-)

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 8:22 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m sooooooooo excited!¬† I got one!¬† Not the bestest ever super fantastic photo, but I got one!
My first hummingbird picture!

My very first ever picture of a hummingbird!¬† I’m hoping for many more opportunities this year, but I am thrilled that I actually got this shot.¬† Funny how I just mentioned the other day how I thought I was having better luck with birds this year.

While we’re talking birds, I’ve got a mystery bird I’m hoping one of you might be able to identify for me:
mystery bird

This one has been a pretty regular visitor to my suet cake feeder.

And since this post has completely gone to the birds, I wanted to share this funny little sparrow having a grand ol’ time in my bird bath.¬† Scott’s song sparrow actually reminded me that I had taken these pictures a few days ago:

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Hope you have a lovely weekend everyone!

January 30, 2011

Picture Winter Day 30.. and then some

“Glimmers of Hope”

I’m not going to say it, but those of you who’ve been following this month’s photo prompt series can probably guess what I was thinking when I read this morning’s prompt: “On the days when you’re feeling like there’s no end in sight, what signs help remind you that change is on its way; that something new is right around the bend? Today, use your lens to seek out the kind of hope that you can hold onto until spring’s splendor comes knocking.”

Luckily, the neighborhood birds provided me with some great photo-taking opportunities this morning.  I mentioned yesterday that I changed my feeder to a more bird-friendly format, and the birds took little time making the discovery.  From my front window with the 55-250 lens, I happily clicked away.  The shot that made me happiest, which I submitted to the gallery today, was this one of a male house finch:

male house finch

Isn’t he cheerful with his red head and chest, happily posed on my near-by lilac bush – which happens to be one of my first shrubs with buds come spring time.¬† Definitely a little glimmer of hope, I thought.

In addition to today’s house finch and the downy woodpeckers and tufted titmouse that showed up yesterday, I was treated to a nice variety of bird visitors.¬† I think I’ve identified most of them, but I’d love for anyone in the know to either correct me if I am wrong, or give¬†me more specific names of these birds:
IMG_3380

yellow finch

yellow finch

I think all of the above are yellow finches in their winter “clothes.”

sparrow

Some kind of sparrow?

chicadee

Chicadee-dee-dee!

blue jay

Bully blue jay.  All the smaller birds scattered when this one came to feed.

mourning doves

Even the mourning doves came cooing along

IMG_3341

I have lots of these little mystery birds.  Anyone know what they are?

Even as I was treated to this lovely avian display, I couldn’t help thinking it how nice it would have been if the local cardinal pair showed up.¬† The day’s chores must go on however, and I headed out to grocery shop.¬† Coming back in the door, lugging the purchases, Meghan was bubbling at me, “Guess who showed up while you were gone!¬† The cardinals!¬† I tried to take pictures for you but I couldn’t figure out how to make it zoom in.”

Alas, I had left the 50mm on the camera after attempting to take some pictures of Cedric¬†fascinated and chattering his “killer” instinct at the birds.¬† Meghan took several shots like this one:

cardinal

Imagine how nice it would have been with the zoom lens attached!

The seed supply we sprinkled on the ground is about wiped out now, although the bell and suet still have plenty.¬† I’ll be sure to spread more seed soon (MORE SNOW forecast for us Tuesday into Wednesday) and hope that Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal make a return visit!