I have an excellent backyard for attracting birds. I enjoy hearing them talk and sing, and I love seeing robins bouncing along my deck, and watching the cardinal momma and poppa teaching the little ones how to live a proper cardinal life. I allowed another chokecherry tree to spring up by my fence this past year because the first one is so popular with the birds it gets stripped bare every year. This young tree, loaded with berries, is right next to the deck, and gives me an excellent position from my office doorway to watch for birds feeding.
Today, apparently, was an ideal day for the birds to gobble up the berries, and I got pretty excited when I periphally saw all kinds of bird activity while I sat in front of my computer. Looked outside carefully, so I wouldn’t scare any of them away – and there they were! Not only adult and juvenile robins, but cardinals and a cedar waxwing! A minute or two later I realized there was a little warbler in the twigs fluttering around, maybe after bugs.
I suddenly realized what an opportunity for some photos, and grabbed my phone to take some pictures.
(1) Carefully, quietly, slowly opened the vertical blinds.
(2) Carefully, slowly, quietly opened the sliding door.
(3) Quietly, slowly, carefully opened the screen door.
(4) Forgot to hold my breath, and birds, all sensing my heavy breathing I guess, departed.
(1) Waited patiently.
(2) Waited some more.
(3) Lifted my phone to take picture, realized I would have to zoom.
(4) Remembered how to tweak my fingers and zoom in.
(5) Friend who had said he would come by, came by – barging in quite boisterously.
(6) Birds took off again.
(4) Realized there was a cedar waxwing visiting and three robins fluttering around.
(5) Also the little warbler I couldn’t quite make out clearly.
(6) Lifted up camera-phone, zoomed in very carefully.
(7) Message flashed across screen to plug my phone in RIGHT NOW/BATTERY LOW
(8) Which I did. (While uttering a couple of expletives).
(1) Remembered I have a Panasonic camera in the office.
(2) Searched the desk for the last remembered whereabouts of the camera.
(3) Couldn’t find it.
(4) Looked for it in the bottom drawer, in its case, in its proper place.
(5) It was there.
(6) Took it out.
(7) Remembered how to use it.
(8) Turned it on.
(9) Wouldn’t turn on.
(10) Realized battery was dead.
(11) Searched for battery.
(12) Found it, nestled inside the battery charger.
(13) Removed live (hopefully) battery from charger & put in dead one.
(14) Inserted battery into camera.
(15) Checked for birds.
(1) Back to waiting.
(2) Birds probably too stuffed to eat any more today.
(3) Deck littered with berry pits.
(4) One lone robin landed, took off.
(5) Realized birds are now in farthest tree, not really visible from the doorway.
(6) Realized I wouldn’t be able to sneak up on them through the back yard.
(7) Memo to self – try again tomorrow.
(8) Have both camera and smart-phone charged, primed, ready to go.
(9) Never, Never, Never give up.
Sixth (and final) venture:
(1) Had to go out, do a little shopping, rushed home.
(2) Readied camera and cell phone.
(3) Carefully, quietly, slowly opened vertical blinds
(4) Slowly, carefully, quietly opened sliding door.
(5) Quietly, slowly, carefully, opened screen door.
(6) Grabbed camera, positioned to highest zoom.
(7) No birds. No Berries.
(8) They had STRIPPED the trees yesterday.
(9) Ah, well – next year.
just to show you what “Might-Have-Been”…..
and what the little chokecherry tree might have looked like when almost all it’s berries were gone…
A big man has no time really to do anything but just sit and be big. (F Scott Fitzgerald)
A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it. (Wm Feather)
A Cannibal is a person who walks into a restaurant and orders a waiter. (Morey Amsterdam)
A child, like your stomach, doesn’t need all you can afford to give it. (Frank A Clark)
A child’s kiss is magic. Why else would they be so stingy with them? (Harvey Fierstein)
A dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream. (W C Fields)
A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you. (Margaret Atwood)
A friend will tell you she saw your old boyfriend – and he’s a priest. (Erma Bombeck)
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. (R W Emerson)
A little learning is a dangerous thing, but a lot of ignorance is just as bad. (Bob Edwards)
A man of sixty has spent twenty years in bed and over three years in eating. (A. Bennett)
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? (Albert Einstein)
A sign of celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services. (Daniel J Boorstin)
A sublime faith in human imbecility has seldom led those who cherish it astray. (H Ellis)
A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students. (J Ciardi)
A word to the wise isn’t necessary, it is the stupid ones who need all the advice. (Bill Cosby)
Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. (Mark Twain)
All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song. (Louis Armstrong)
An Army of lions commanded by a deer will never be an army of lions. (Bonaparte)
An income tax form is like a laundry list – either way you lose your shirt. (Fred Allen)
An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured. (K.Adenauer)
As a child my family’s menu consisted of 2 choices: take it or leave it. (Buddy Hackett)
As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way. (R W Emerson)
“The Lark Ascending”
Hello again. It’s ej’s daughter back with a little music for Mom’s blog. I chose one song, two versions, of a wonderful piece by Ralph Vaughan Williams called “The Lark Ascending”. It’s music that I love, and I think it would be a suitable soundtrack to a soft, summer afternoon listening and watching your own backyard berry eaters…
Nicola Benedetti (b. 7/27/87 -) is a Scottish classical violinist born to an Italian father and Scottish mother. She started playing the violin at the age of four and four years later was the leader of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain. In 2004 at the age of 16, she won the BBC “Young Musician of the Year” and signed £1m, six album recording contract with Deutsche Grammaphon/Universal Music Group. For a full bio go to:
2007 – Nicola Benedetti performs a shortened version of the hauntingly beautiful Ralph Vaughan Williams piece “The Lark Ascending” to a backdrop of lovely English scenery (Decca Records Classical YouTube).
If you love “The Lark Ascending” like I do, and you have some time to listen to an equally wonderful but full length version from Janine Jansen, see the video below.
Janine Jansen (b. 1/7/78 -) was born in the Netherlands and is a violinist and violist. She started playing at age six. She has eschewed tradition by recording with only five other solo strings rather than an orchestra, including her brother and father. In live concerts, she has received standing ovations from enthusiastic audiences, for example at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 2006 concert at Berlin’s Waldbühne, with a full attendance of 25,000, and in Los Angeles at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 2008 to a sold-out audience. For a full bio go to:
2003 – Violin Solist Janine Jansen & the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms Royal Albert Hall. Janine Jansen plays a 1727 Stradivari “Barrere” violin on extended loan from the Stradivari Society of Chicago, in this popular Ralph Vaughan Williams masterpiece “The Lark Ascending”.
Bet you always wondered what their paws were like up close….
Hope you’re enjoying some sweet mid-summer bird song wherever you live!
Signing off – ej
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