As you can see, the year is over and not all the pictures are up. This was me distancing myself from technology and falling behind. My plan is now to catch up. You're going to get a lovely random mixture of pictures.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 176

     Today was a good day. I heard a bang out in the kitchen, and being the only one home, wondered what in the world it could be. Aphelocoma californica. One of the hatching year Western Scrub Jays that's been hanging around in our front yard ran into our window.
     At first I was heartbroken as I guessed it was lying there dead. I've been watching these guys. There's three of them that like to hang out in the front yard, calling at each other with what almost sounds like a little boink. So to see this guy on my deck dead was terrible.
     I then noticed that his wing was slowly moving up an down as he breathed. Because he was in the direct, hot sun, I decided it would be best to move him in the shade, over by his siblings, in the trees that they frequented. His foot looked twisted and mangled, and upon worrying that he was broken, I examined him closely, feeling for any fractures. Thankfully, everything felt healthy. I wrapped him in a blanket, covering his eyes, and made the short trip. He heard his pals calling and peeped and wiggled for a second, but then calmed, relaxed in my hands.
     I put him down in the speckled shade of a tall pine. And he just sat there. Sat there looking at me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Day 168

     I did it. I broke the Rule. The Rule I've always had and always heard and always kept. I broke the "Let Nature Follow It's Course" Rule. It's the fatal mistake. And sometimes it actually is fatal. But I couldn't stop myself. I told myself that I needed to break It.
     Today it rained harder than I had ever seen it before. Plants were being shredded and some branches broken. I instantly thought of the poor mother Dove, sitting on her eggs, trying through the terrible storm to give them life. And then it started hailing. Big, round balls of ice rocketing from the sky. I couldn't help it. If you don't know, I have a pet dove, but due to all the remodel work, I haven't been permitted to keep her at home, so she's staying at a friends. Discovering this mother and nest was like discovering a little link to her.
     I ran over with a giant umbrella to see the mother, and though it was an image of distress, it warmed my heart. I found her on the nest, eyes plastered shut, head thrown back in determination, all concentration on keeping the two little bundles warm and every feather on her body soaked useless. I broke the Rule and stood under that tree in the slanting rain, with the umbrella angled to protect her from impact. After a few minutes she opened her eyes, curious as to why she could no longer feel the hail or rain. She cocked her head and looked directly into my eyes, a little shocked but perhaps a little thankful. That should have been my cue to go. I should have left the umbrella hanging in the tree and backed away, looking away from her. But I stayed there with her, staring into her beautiful blue-framed eye and seeing her drenched feathers. And for a few minutes it worked. But then she realized what I was, and flew away off in the storm, leaving those eggs subject to the drafty wind. In that situation, those eggs could die in minutes. And my learning was strong enough to know I couldn't take the eggs. But if they were left there, they would die due to my foolishness. I decided to leave the umbrella in the tree and watch from inside. And I waited, waited, waited, but she didn't come back. As the worst of the storm was over, I took the umbrella, and was incredibly concerned, believing there was no way those eggs would ever hatch. But soon after the rain stopped, I heard the familiar whistling of dove wings and saw a disturbance in the leaves. She miraculously returned. I do not know if those eggs stand a chance, but at least she's trying.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 166

     The bestie really knows how to shop for me. I am beyond excited. This is SOOOO cool. I love birthdays. And it is fun to get a new camera, even if it is 60 years old.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 164

     Name: Buster. Weight: 2,000 pounds. Eyes: Endearing. Mouth: Slobbery. Nose: Drippy. Status: Intimidating.

Thank Heaven for the fence.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 163

     Well today was my birthday. And what I wanted to do for part of my birthday was to take some family self-portraits. The times when our family is together are getting rarer and particularly since we will soon be gone from my childhood home, with the kids getting older and moving away. At first, there was some fussing, but we ended up having some fun with it. Of course, they didn't turn out quite as I'd planned, but the pictures are a recording of a good memory. It is a lot harder to get good pictures when you are the person behind and in front of the camera, and especially when the people in front of it are your family. So I guess here is a goofy mess up.

     In other fantastic news...guess what I got for my birthday? The new AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G! The lens I've been drooling over since they announced it! I couldn't believe it! Of course, it's not available to order until the 16th, so I just got a card with a picture on it. But believe me, I will be up early on the 16th!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 162

     Today is my last day being how old I am. Tomorrow when I wake up I will be older than I am now. But not by much. To most, by one year, but logically only by one day. I am so very grateful to be a part of this incredible world. And to be in the beautiful place I am.

     Feel free to ask me what's special about this picture.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 161

     Mommy was sitting in her nest while dad watched over the sunset, waiting his turn. It was quite endearing.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 160

     Mama's dusty old chair makes magic happen at sunset.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 159

     Having celebrated my camera's birthday recently, I thought it would be fun to take baby pictures of my camera. Or at least my first lens.

     And yes, newborn photographers, I am taking a mild stab at you. And your love of baskets.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 158

     Today I did a lot of garden work. As I stood up rather adrubtly, my head bumped into the branch of an Acer ginnala and a startled Zenaida macroura whistled out of the tree. Me being me, I wondered why it hadn't moved until then (they are pretty shy birds) and did some searching. And got out a ladder. And found a nest! Two little white eggs, freshly laid. I don't think she's started to incubate them yet, but I'll keep watching. But I can't wait to have cute little babies! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 154

      I think I have a stocker. He followed me for quite a while today. He has a scratchy singing voice, but is confident enough to sing for me anyways. He has a bit of a hair loss problem. His scientific name is Buteo jamaicensis.

     I went on a nice walk through the canyon in the greenbelt behind our house and he followed me through. Circling, calling and swooping down low over me. I don't know why he took such an interest in me, but it was really fun to watch him. While on my adventure, I saw many more birds. Orioles, Kingbirds, Warblers, Hummingbirds, Towhees and I even saw a group of American White Pelicans flying overhead! It's a good day for birding.