Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fierce invalids and Baltimore orioles

I didn't accomplish a whole lot today, other than to finish painting the screen door I brought up from the NJ house, taking the dogs to the hardware store for more dog food and some missing screws for the screen door and door knocker from B&E, and starting Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, by Tom Robbins (one of my favorite authors).

A quotation from page 22:"Things, Cosas. Things attach themselves like leeches to the human soul, then they bleed out the sweetness and the music and the primordial joy of being unencumbered upon the land. Comprende? People feel tremendous pressure to settle down in some sort of permanent space and fill it up with stuff, but deep inside they resent those structures, and they're scared to death of that stuff because they know it controls them and restricts their movements." Yikes! I cannot resent my new structure! And what about the lifetime of stuff in the NJ house? I would love to be unencumbered, and yet I acquire more stuff every day...

The inclement weather pretty much kept me inside today—it has been raining/sleeting/snowing on-and-off since morning—so I did some birdwatching. There are the usual large numbers of goldfinches, barn swallows, crows, starlings and red-winged blackbirds. But today I saw a pair of brown-headed cowbirds, and quite a few Baltimore orioles, neither of which I have ever seen before.

I am depending on David Allen Sibley's The Sibley Guide to Birds for my identification. It is very useful, but I still have not been able to ID the eagle-sized bird that I saw yesterday, and several times here before. It is either a very large hawk (ferruginous?), or a young bald or golden eagle. Or maybe an osprey? I never can get a good look at it.

I wish I had either a better digital camera (more stuff!) or my old Minolta SLR brought back to life. This little Nikon Coolpix doesn't cut it for bird photos. As proof, here's 2 from NJ, maybe a sharpshin, and maybe a red-tail or ferruginous hawk. Bad photos, hard to see. I want my telephoto lens back!

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