Archive | August, 2009

Going to seed . . .

30 Aug

Goldfinch hovering

This right here is why it’s sometimes okay to let weeds take over.  Sure they are prickly and non-native and all that jazz but oh the goldfinches love them!

For more beautiful birds to enjoy, go to Bird Photography Weekly.

PS.  Just found out that my step-mother, Babette Donaldson, is a published author. Go see! It’s pretty cool!

Eerie skies

29 Aug

Eerie moon

Belated SkyWatch.  First week of school is kicking my butt.  The ridiculous heatwave we’ve been having is kicking my butt.  And, a phone call I got (but am not ready to talk about) kicked my butt.

But, I refuse to stay kicked so, I’m going to get caught up on my posts and plan for upcoming week.

I think my mantra is going to be “I Will Survive” this year.  With the budget cuts in California, I have more students and more work to do.  My district has done a fantastic job of keeping the cuts away from the students.  However, it has meant that more work has come to the teachers.  Figuring out how to balance all the work and still reach each and every student is my challenge.

And, it’s a doosie.

Most angry Swallows

27 Aug

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BCNH & swallow

Someone thought it would be a good idea to hang out and hunt very close to a swallow’s nest.
The swallows disagreed.

(I will add, however, that the swallows did not win that bout.
The heron left when it was damn good and ready, thank you very much!)

Every Picture Tells a Story . . .

26 Aug

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Ruby Tuesday – the worst day of the year

25 Aug

Ruby likes to watch the world go by

Poor Ruby.  Today, the kids and I go back to school.  It’s the worst day of the year for her.  Most of her pack is gone for most of the day.  Poor dogger.  I suspect she’ll be watching for us most of the day.    (Don’t worry . . . I’ll fill the bird feeders and that’ll keep her busy chasing the squirrels away!)

Walk this way

24 Aug

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For more beautiful birds, visit Bird Photography Weekly.

Sky Watch – Circling the Skies

21 Aug

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

For more amazing skies, visit Sky Watch Friday® Continue reading

I and the Bird #107 – We and the Bird

19 Aug

We and the Bird

by the contributers to I and the Bird #107

A data point in the study of the fate of birds
There were blue-wings aplenty in their usual haunt and a pair of kamikaze wood ducks that had me stamping on the anchors
These hornbills are capable of storing a large amount of fruits in their gular pouch.
Her frame is gangly, adorned with a mixture of adult plumages in different states of development
like two rival gangs feel each other out, replete with posturing and machismo
thirsty raven gathering rocks and dropping them into an urn
Add to this, pink legs and feet, and you have the details that make up the unique and subtle beauty of Ovenbirds
and before you is the incessant cacophony of hundreds of terns, cormorants and gulls crowding little islands of concrete and gravel
Other than the gulls, everything was a little twitchy
by plunging it’s bill deep in the sand, and spitting out the water when he withdrew it
splashing about as their friends look on, or even join in the fun
with a torch with yellow light, the male appears tawnier and therefore very much like a typical female
Swans are mean mothers aren’t they?
one of those head scratching, mind boggling reports that makes you glad to be a birder,

for abandoning that warm sleeping bag to brave the frost as the predawn glow begins
as it ripped at the flesh, a variety of birds came by and perched on the same dead treetop
Spoonbill foraging is dependent on fluctuating water depths
here a Wilson’s Storm Petrel does their characteristic foot pattering across the surface
I also saw a green heron fly by a few times but never got a shot of it.

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I am deep in the midst of preparing for the start of a new school year.  One of my favorite things to teach my 4th graders is poetry.  We do a group poetry exercise after a field trip.  So, I thought I’d get warmed up with all of you.  I scoured the posts submitted for poetic lines.  I included them in the order they were submitted and I kind of like the results.  Dang!  We’re good!

Contributors to the “We and the Bird”:

Start getting ready for I and the Bird, #108.  It’s being hosted by The Zen Birdfeeder.

Heron-o-rama!

17 Aug

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Black-Crested Night Heron at Clear Lake

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron at Clear Lake

Double Heronage

And now, together.

I also saw a green heron fly by a few times but never got a shot of it.

Didn’t see any egrets of any size there at all that weekend.

For more fun birds hanging out doing birdy things, visit Bird Photography Weekly.

Santa Cruz Skies

13 Aug

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For more summery skies, visit SkyWatch!

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